Can Dogs Eat Mayonnaise Safely? What The Science Says

Written by Austin S.
Updated: July 10, 2022
Image Credit Aleksey Boyko/Shutterstock.com
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Bread or sandwiches without mayonnaise isn’t complete. If you are a lover of mayonnaise, you’ll be able to relate to how rich and tasteful this food additive can be. As a dog owner, your dog might have seen you spread some mayonnaise on your bread to eat and give you that “I want some” facial expression. But you aren’t sure what to do because you don’t know if mayonnaise is safe or toxic to your dog.

In this article, we’ll provide answers to your questions and also recommend other healthy food alternatives for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Mayo Safely?

It depends. Mayonnaise is safe in minute quantities for your dog’s consumption. But it is advisable to remove mayonnaise from your dog’s diet.

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Plain mayonnaise is not toxic to your dog, but it has no known benefits for your dog. And its consumption leaves your dog at risk of obesity or pancreatitis because of its high-fat content. So, why should you risk your dog’s health for a meal with no health benefits?

Ultimately, it depends on you to decide if you want your canine friend to have some mayonnaise. It is also highly recommended you consult your vet for a standard feeding plan for your dog. But first, let’s check out the mayonnaise composition to know why it can be dangerous in excess to your dog.

What Is Mayonnaise Made of?

  • Egg yolks:  This is one of the main ingredients of mayonnaise. Egg yolks are considered safe for dogs. But it is not advisable to let your dog feed on excess egg yolk because it is high in calories. It contributes to the high-fat content of mayonnaise.
  • Vegetable Oil: This is another important ingredient of mayonnaise. Commercial mayonnaise uses soybean or sunflower oil in its production. Some brands use olive oil. These oils are considered safe for dogs, but they are the major contributor to the high-fat content found in mayonnaise.
  • Salt: Excess salt consumption is not considered safe for dogs. But it is in small quantities, which may not be dangerous to your dog’s health except if eaten in excess.
  • Sugar: Sugar, like salts, is not good for your dog when consumed excessively. However, the small amounts in Mayonnaise aren’t too much to cause problems for your dog.
  • Water: There is about a 7% water composition in mayonnaise. Water remains safe and healthy for your dog.
  • Vinegar: This ingredient is also non-toxic to your dog. But your dog will probably not like the taste of it in mayonnaise.

All these ingredients in mayonnaise are not toxic to your dog if it consumes small amounts of mayonnaise. However, if your canine friend consumes excess, it may be at risk of obesity or gastrointestinal distress. 

What are the risks attached?

Feeding your dog in excess and moderate quantities can be toxic. It is generally advisable not to feed your dog mayonnaise. However, if your dog eats excess mayonnaise or you feed it mayonnaise regularly, the following are the risks your canine friend is predisposed to:

Obesity

Sadly, your dog is at risk of obesity when it consumes excessive amounts or regularly. This is because mayonnaise is particularly high in fats. And the high-fat content is a result of the basic ingredients of mayonnaise, so it can’t be removed or reduced.

These high-fat contents may cause weight gain as a result of excessive fat deposits, and this, in turn, can lead to other diseases like arthritis and atherosclerosis in older dogs.

Pancreatitis

This is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for blood sugar regulation. Your dog might develop this condition because of the high-fat content in mayonnaise. This is because the pancreas cannot deal with excess fats in the body, and it becomes inflamed. Pancreatitis can lead to diabetes and lethargy due to impaired sugar level regulation.

Allergic Reaction

Ingredients in mayonnaise such as eggs and soy can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs. If your dog accidentally eats or you feed your canine friend mayonnaise for the first time, it is important to monitor for symptoms of allergy. 

These reactions include excessive scratching, eyelid inflammation, rashes, and vomiting. Please, take your dog to the vet when you notice these symptoms.

Gastrointestinal Distress

Foods with high-fat contents can cause stomach upset in your dog. This is because the fatty content may slow down the process of digestion, and your dog might be prone to constipation. However, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, please remove mayonnaise from its diet.

Salmonella Poisoning

Although this isn’t common, egg yolks found in several varieties of mayonnaise have the potential risk of causing salmonella poisoning or other dangerous bacterial infections to your dog.

However, mayonnaise bought in stores has a lower risk of salmonella poisoning than homemade mayonnaise. This is due to the process and equipment used in its production.

Can My Dog Eat Light Mayonnaise?

No. Light mayonnaise should be avoided for your dog. This is because the difference between the regular and the light mayonnaise is a decrease in oil content by 50% and an increase in water content to 35% in the latter. These reductions don’t make the light mayonnaise less of a danger to your dog’s health. It is best avoided.

Can My Dog Eat Homemade Mayonnaise?

Homemade mayonnaise seems like the best choice if you want to treat your dog to some mayonnaise. This is because since it’s homemade, you can easily remove ingredients that are toxic to your dog and use others in moderate proportions.

However, your dog might be at risk of salmonella poisoning due to the type of egg yolk and cooking equipment used.

Can My Dog Eat Flavored Mayonnaise?

No, it would be best if you didn’t feed your dog flavored mayonnaise. Flavored mayonnaise is not safe because it contains various seasonings, and these seasonings can be toxic to your dog’s health.

For instance, onions and garlic are known to be toxic to your dog, and they are one of the seasonings used in making most flavored mayonnaise. These and many other potential seasonings contained in the flavored mayonnaise can be troublesome, and their mixture may upset your dog’s stomach. So, it is best to avoid flavored mayonnaise for your dog.

However, if you want to feed your dog flavored mayonnaise, It is important to check the ingredients used in its production. This is to make sure they don’t contain ingredients that are potentially toxic to your dog. After this, make sure you only feed your canine friend a little. Please do not make it a habit of feeding your dog flavored mayonnaise.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Mayonnaise?

If your dog feeds on a tiny bit of Mayonnaise in your presence, or you feed it small quantities of Mayo after a while, your dog should be fine. But if your canine friend consumes a large amount of mayonnaise in your absence, these are the things you should do:

Check the ingredients

This is the first thing to do if you can access the mayonnaise jar. Check the ingredients to know if it contains natural toxic seasonings like onions and garlic. You should be cautious of mayonnaise with artificial sweeteners too. If it contains any toxic ingredients, skip to the last step.

Monitor your dog

After checking the ingredients and you have an idea of what your canine friend has ingested, you need to pay attention to its behaviors. If your dog shows any of the following symptoms, please proceed to the last step immediately:

  • Lethargy
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions, like eyelid inflammation and rashes.
  • Gastrointestinal distress.

However, if your dog doesn’t show any of the symptoms listed above, it is advisable you inform your veterinarian about the incident. Your vet would be able to advise you further on the next line of action.

Take your dog to your veterinarian

This is the best course of action whenever your canine friend deserves to serve itself some mayonnaise. Your vet would be able to provide the right treatments and treat your dog’s allergy if it manifests.

Other Alternatives to Mayonnaise

Since mayonnaise isn’t that beneficial to your dog, you might want to look into other healthy food alternatives for your dog. You can choose from any of the following:

Conclusion

Mayonnaise isn’t toxic to your dog, so you shouldn’t be worried if your dog eats a piece of your sandwich or licks some off the floor. However, it would be best if you didn’t make Mayonnaise a bulk of your dog’s diet as it has no major health benefits for your dog, and it can be harmful in excess.

If you decide to incorporate mayonnaise into your dog’s diet, you should visit your vet for proper guidance.

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.