Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? (We Asked A Vet)

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Meatballs are a delicious and popular food enjoyed by people all over the world. But can our furry friends enjoy them too?

To find out, I asked Dr. Littlejohn and looked around online to see what other experts were saying.

So, can dogs eat meatballs? Yes, dogs can eat meatballs in moderation. Stick to homemade meatballs that contain no added spices or harmful ingredients. You should never feed a dog commercially produced meatballs since most are high in fat, salt, and other toxic ingredients like onion, garlic, and spices.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What meatballs are safe for dogs to eat and why
  • The dangers associated with dogs eating meatballs
  • What to do if your dog overeats meatballs

Let’s dive in

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? (We Asked A Vet)

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs?

Yes, dogs can eat meatballs in moderation when homemade and free from harmful ingredients.

Typically, meatballs are made with ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, and parsley. These ingredients are all safe for dogs to eat.

However, many people add garlic, onions, and other spices, which can harm dogs. So, avoiding these ingredients when making meatballs for your dog is best.

In addition, commercially produced meatballs are never a good option. These usually contain high fat, salt, and other toxic ingredients. So, it’s best to avoid these meatballs altogether.

Always be mindful of how much you are feeding them. Even homemade meatballs can be high in fat and salt.

Moderation is the key to keeping your dog healthy while allowing them to enjoy some tasty treats, like meatballs.

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs With Sauce?

No, dogs should not eat meatballs with sauce. This is because many sauces contain onion and garlic, which can harm dogs.

In addition, many sauces are high in sugar, leading to weight gain and other health problems.

So, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog meatballs with sauce.

Dangers Of Dogs Eating Meatballs

Many meatball recipes include things like onions, garlic, and spices.

These ingredients can harm dogs and cause upset stomachs or other health problems.

In addition, processed meatballs contain lots of salt and sugar. Consuming lots of salt can lead to dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.

Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and in severe cases, pancreatitis.

Although a small amount is unlikely to cause much harm, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog these meatballs.

Can Meatballs Make Dogs Sick?

Yes, meatballs can make dogs sick if they contain harmful ingredients or eat too much.

Overeating can cause digestive problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating. In addition, it can lead to weight gain and obesity.

In severe cases, a dog can get food bloat or pancreatitis. Both of which can be life-threatening.

So, it’s important to only feed your dog meatballs in moderation and ensure they are free from harmful ingredients.

Tips If Your Dog Overeats Meatballs

If your dog has gotten into some meatballs and you’re concerned for their well-being, here’s some advice I received from my vet.

Here’s a brief summary of a conversation I had with Dr. Littlejohn about my dog overeating:

My dog ate my entire plate of food. What should I look for to know if I need to come to see you?

Alec Littlejohn

How big is your dog, and how much did he eat? Is he acting different or unusual? Does he seem off? Is he eating? Drinking water? Can you get him excited, or is he lethargic? What does his poop look like? Is he vomiting? If so, how frequently? Is there any physical discomfort or pain being expressed? Was there any toxic substance in the food like onions or garlic?

Dr. David Littlejohn, DVM

Every situation will be different depending on the meatballs and how much they ate, but this should give you an idea of how to handle it.

Knowing these common questions, a vet will ask can help you determine if there’s a problem.

Of course, you know your dog best, so if you think something is off, you’re likely right.

Another thing I will note is a way to determine the severity of the issue. You can estimate this by how extreme your dog behaves and how many symptoms they show.

For example, suppose your dog is vomiting, sluggish, not as playful as usual, and not eating. This might indicate a more severe problem than if your dog just has diarrhea.

As a rule of thumb, always seek medical advice if you know they ate something dangerous or may suspect an issue.

Sometimes symptoms are not so obvious, so it’s recommended to go in for checkups, so no problems fly under the radar.

The most common thing you’ll see when dogs overeat is an upset stomach.

Symptoms of an upset stomach in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Increased gas
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Distress or inability to get comfortable

These symptoms usually go away after your dog’s digestive system has had time to process the food. But, this assumes there are no toxic substances in the food.

They’ll likely experience diarrhea and vomiting, but it usually disappears after a few days.

In rare cases, your dog might need medical attention if they can’t keep any food or water down, are severely dehydrated, have frequent vomiting and diarrhea, or have bloody diarrhea.

Just make sure your dog is staying hydrated and if your dog is showing any severe symptoms or you’re concerned, contact your vet.

You can also use online services to speak directly with a vet for immediate help.

Click here if you wish to speak with a vet online right now.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Meatballs Dog Friendly

The best way to make meatballs dog friendly is by using all-natural, organic, and lean ingredients.

You’ll want to avoid adding onions, garlic, salt, sugar, or spices, as these can harm dogs.

I also recommend avoiding pork and beef as these can be hard for dogs to digest. Instead, go for chicken or turkey.

Can Dogs Eat Tomato Sauce?

Tomato sauce on its own isn’t dangerous for dogs. It’s the garlic, onion, and other spices that can be added to it that can pose a threat.

If feeding your dog tomato sauce, make sure it is plain and does not contain any of these harmful ingredients.

Also, as always, moderation is key.

Other posts you may find interesting:

Can Dogs Eat Spaghetti & Meatballs? (We Asked a Vet)

Can Dogs Eat Ravioli? 5 Dangers & Tips If They Overeat

Can Dogs Eat Mutton? Everything You Need To Know