Do you remember the last time dipped your chip in a hot bowl of salsa? Tasty memory, isn’t it? Well, as tasty and delicious as it is for you, salsa could be something you need to keep far away from your dog. Salsa is always paired with some chips, and even that could be bad for your pooch.
Chips are packed with a high quantity of salt and fat, both of which aren’t good for the dogs. To top it all, certain chip variants are packed with onion or garlic powder that can prove to be toxic when ingested in large amounts.
Talking about salsa, there are multiple ways to prepare one for your party, and most of them are not recommended to be served to your pooch.
To Eat or Not to Eat: The Salsa Dilemma
The chili-pepper mix found in the salsa isn’t toxic to the dogs. However, they might not actually like the spiciness of the same. Dogs aren’t used to digesting spicy food & chili peppers that could wreak havoc to their digestive health. Ingesting such dishes could lead to issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. Also, the chopped-up garlic and onion added to salsas could prove toxic to the pooch.
Apart from this, there isn’t any nutritional benefit that your dog could derive from a salsa mix. So, there is no point in taking such unhealthy risks for your four-legged pooch. In case your dog happens to slap its tongue all over the salsa prepared by you, the next few hours would be very crucial and can decide between life and death for your dog.
Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, and make sure you watch them closely. If you happen to notice any changes, rush them to your veterinarian immediately. In small quantities, salsa would be fine for your dog. However, large chunks could be a worrisome affair.
if you have a Doberman and you want to feed good food to it then check out our guide on the best dog food for Doberman
Decoding the Basic Salsa Ingredients: Is it Safe for My Dog?
Onion and garlic are the prime ingredients of salsa, and as is known to all, these ingredients can lead to major health issues. Dogs have to be prevented from ingesting garlic or onion as the canine stomach cannot digest it properly due to a lack of certain enzymes.
However, these enzymes are present in humans and help metabolize the major element present in onion known as thiosulphate. Not just that, onion toxicity is dependent on the dosage you consume. While some dogs may show no signs of physical distress after consuming a bulb or two of onion/garlic, others would show harmful side effects even with the smallest bite.
Even though it doesn’t affect some dogs, extended exposure to the same regularly could result in accumulated toxicity. It could also induce secondary and life-threatening medical conditions that could be fatal.
Apart from this, cooked ripe tomato is healthy for your dog, so no worries in that department. However, refrain from giving your dog raw and uncooked tomatoes. The chili, as explained above, won’t actually cause any issues but could not be particularly appetizing for your pet.
Coriander added to the mix is perfect and healthy for your pooch. However, make sure the seeds are grounded properly and aren’t present in chunks to avoid any choking hazards. If you happen to find fresh picks straight from the garden or local mart, it is the best you could give to your dog.
Lime, in small amounts, acts as a good source of vitamin C for your pooch. However, a lot of it could cause an upset stomach.
Salsa Onion Toxicity: How Does it Hamper Your Dog?
Our body makes use of the RBC in the blood hemoglobin to transport oxygen from the lungs to different body parts. When the dogs ingest salsa made with onion, it leads to thiosulphate ingestion, which isn’t digestible by dogs.
It oxidizes in the hemoglobin that causes a bubble-clump formation in your dog’s RBCs. These clumps tend to stick out and eventually rupture, leading to premature destruction of the Red Blood Cells. Even though the bone marrow does replace it with new ones, the continual damage of RBCs eventually renders it ineffective.
It is right when your dog would start showing signs of onion toxicity as less oxygen is delivered to your pooch’s body while hampering their vital organs. Your dog would start getting weak and lethargic along with symptoms such as:
- Enhanced Heart Rate
- Bloody Urine
- Decreased Appetite
Your dog dealing with toxicity will also have trouble breathing. Continued consumption of salsa made from onion can eventually lead to your dog’s death, especially if no treatment is sought on time.
What Does a Veterinarian Do In the Case of Salsa Toxicity?
If your pooch has just ingested salsa made from onion, it could cause serious issues. In case they have just ingested the salsa, it needs to be tackled right away. Your veterinarian would attempt to induce vomiting with the use of hydrogen peroxide.
This method would work only if the ingestion has happened a few minutes in the past. If it has been more than an hour, most of the salsa would have been digested, and your dog would start showing signs of toxicity in case the amount of dip ingested is large.
Depending on the type of salsa you are preparing for yourself, make sure you check for the toxicity of the same for your pooch while keeping in mind each ingredient. Remember, it might be better to avoid feeding your pooch salsa completely.
Most dogs do tolerate a bit of salsa occasionally given. However, you never know which one could be affected and might require medical attention. In case you have a small dog at home, you would be better off replacing salsa with something nutritional for your pooch. Salsa is like junk food to your dog & causes more damage than help. So, the next time you have a party and call in friends for a salsa dip and chip get-together, make sure you avoid giving any to your dog. Stick to the basics like dog treats or home-cooked food with the right ingredients.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.