Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw? 11 Facts To Find Out

If a dog ingests a small amount of Coleslaw by accident, it should be fine. A small amount of Coleslaw is fine for dogs to eat, but the dish should never be given to them as a treat. Dogs do not benefit nutritionally from eating coleslaw, and it may even make them sick.

Dogs should not eat coleslaw or any other human food. Dogs can safely eat other vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts, which are more nutritious.

Let’s find out why dogs shouldn’t eat Coleslaw, which ingredient in this dish is toxic to your canine, and what other foods are safe to feed your four-legged friends as an alternative before we come to any firm conclusions.

Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw?

Your dog might be fine if it accidentally ingests a small amount of coleslaw, as it is considered safe for canines. On the other hand, coleslaw is not something you should ever give your dog because it is unhealthy and could make them sick.

What is Coleslaw?

To accompany grilled or fried meats, a bowl of cole slaw is a great choice. The people of the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany are not the only ones who enjoy this side dish.

Shredded raw cabbage is combined with plenty of mayonnaise and a few other ingredients to create a salad that tastes a lot like egg salad but is much healthier. Vinaigrette is a popular substitute for mayonnaise in some recipes.

The Dutch word koolsla originally referred to this type of cabbage salad. When making a Reuben sandwich, many opt for Coleslaw instead of sauerkraut. Coleslaw isn’t just a side dish; it’s a common addition to burgers and hot dogs served with ketchup, mustard, and chili.

What is Coleslaw made of?

how to tell if coleslaw is bad

Coleslaw relies heavily on cabbage as its primary flavoring agent. Shredded red cabbage, carrots, pepper, onion, cheese, and mayonnaise or cream are just some of the additional ingredients that are commonly added. Seasonings, such as celery seed, are often added for extra flavor.

In the United States, the standard ingredients for cole slaw are carrot, buttermilk, and mayonnaise or a mayonnaise substitute. You can also find versions of Coleslaw that use vinegar or mustard rather than mayonnaise or dairy products. Examples include crimson Cole slaw and smoked meat. As an alternative to mayonnaise, cole slaw is typically made with ketchup and vinegar.

Buttermilk, sour cream, or cream are often added to Coleslaw in the south of the United States. You can even get a side of buttermilk Coleslaw.

Coleslaw, a popular side dish in the United Kingdom, consists of shredded cabbage, onion, and carrot tossed in salad cream or mayonnaise. The dish can be customized by including your preferred nuts, dried fruit, and cheese.

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In conclusion, the standard Coleslaw ingredients in the United States and the United Kingdom are:

  • Cauliflower (46%
  • Topping: mayonnaise (35%).
  • Root vegetables (carrots, 13%)
  • Milk or Double Cream, Two Percent
  • 1% onion

The following are then added to these main ingredients:

  • Castor oil.
  • Whole eggs that have been pasteurized.
  • Sugar.
  • Vinegars made from white wines or distilled spirits are used here.
  • Salt.
  • Fillers like guar gum and xanthan gum are used as stabilizers.
  • Powdered mustard.
  • Potassium sorbate or another preservative.
  • Color-enhancing carotenoids.
  • Flavoring supplements.

Is Coleslaw toxic to dogs?

A dog will be fine if it eats a small amount of cole slaw. A dog’s thyroid gland can be suppressed from eating too much Coleslaw.

This is because both raw cabbage and red cabbage are staple ingredients in traditional Coleslaw recipes. The chemical thiocyanate is present in both of these raw cabbages and can be toxic to dogs.

Because it inhibits thyroid hormone production, the chemical thiocyanate is toxic to dogs.

Your dog’s organs and tissues rely on thyroid hormones for their normal, day-to-day metabolic processes, including digesting food.

When dogs’ thyroid hormone is suppressed, they often display symptoms like increased body fat, a lack of energy and motivation to exercise, abnormal shedding that leaves behind patches of dry, dull hair, a slowed heart rate, and susceptibility to ear and skin infections.

Since they don’t have enough fur to shield them from the sun, you might also see a lot of dark pigmentation on their skin.

This is why it’s best to serve cooked cabbage to your dog. By heating the cabbage, the thiocyanate is rendered inert and is no longer a threat to your dog’s thyroid.

Additionally, cooked cabbage is more digestible and pleasant to chew for your pet. Unlike humans, your dog won’t choke on the raw cabbage.

Antioxidants and vitamins abound in cabbage. Feeding your dog a small amount of cooked red cabbage or giving it as a treat can help them keep their fur and skin in good condition. Never make cooked cabbage a regular part of your dog’s diet; instead, save it as a special treat on occasion.

How to tell if Coleslaw is bad for dogs

The above list of ingredients includes several that are extremely harmful to dogs. Examples of these are:

  1. Onions
  2. Cream
  3. Savoy cabbage, in its raw form
  4. Vinaigrette made with mayonnaise
  5. Salt
  6. Sugar
  7. Preservatives

Let’s investigate these ingredients further to see what makes them so dangerous for canines.


Although onions don’t make up much of the Coleslaw dish, even a tiny amount can be harmful to your dog. Onions are extremely poisonous to dogs because they are part of the allium family, so even a small amount, such as a few bites, can cause severe illness or death.

The oxidative stress on a dog’s red blood cells from eating onions could lead to hemolysis and anemia. Do not feed your dog Coleslaw if the dish contains onions.

Hint: Dogs should also stay away from pepperoni because it contains a lot of onion, which is bad for their health.

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Raw cabbage

As long as you don’t feed your dog more than a few bites at a time, raw cabbage is safe. However, since raw cabbage is the main component of Coleslaw, eating too much of it can lead to stomach discomfort. There is a natural compound in it called thiocyanate, and it has the unfortunate side effect of suppressing your dog’s thyroid gland.

To avoid any potential health problems, keep your dog away from Coleslaw.

Hypothyroidism, which can develop in a dog if you feed him raw cabbage on a regular basis or in large quantities, can be distressing for canines because it results in hair loss on the back of the tail and the hind legs. Their fur may thin and they may develop dry, flaky skin with dark patches.

Specifically, some canines may begin to put on weight and experience a slowed heart rate.

Mayonnaise dressing

is mayonnaise bad for dogs in coleslaw

There are a lot of calories and sugar in mayonnaise dressing. It has a deep, rich taste as well. While mayonnaise isn’t likely to harm your dog in any way, it shouldn’t be fed to him because it can upset his stomach and digestive system. Canine obesity has been linked to a diet that includes mayonnaise on a regular basis.

Coleslaw should be avoided if your canine companion is overweight, has diabetes, an allergy to dairy, or suffers from pancreatitis. Obesity increases the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and joint pain and inflammation, in our canine companions.


Cream, being a dairy product, can be difficult for a dog’s stomach to process. Unfortunately, many dogs are lactose intolerant because they lack the lactase enzymes necessary to digest dairy products.

Dogs with lactose intolerance have trouble digesting cream and may experience additional problems as a result.

  • To throw up (a dog’s body will instinctively try to rid itself of anything it deems harmful).
  • Constipation (to flush the cream out of its system).
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • GI inflammation, as the name implies.

Hint: Sour cream and other dairy products should be avoided if your dog is lactose intolerant.

Salt and Sugar

Dogs shouldn’t eat things that are seasoned with salt or sweetened with sugar. In fact, dogs can develop salt poisoning from eating too much salt, just as humans can gain weight and develop diabetes from eating too much sugar.

Please don’t give your pets Coleslaw if you’ve added a lot of salt or sugar to it, or if it’s been purchased from the store and already contains excessive amounts of salt and sugar.


When it comes to your dog’s health, you should avoid using any kind of preservative, especially artificial ones. When given on a regular basis, artificial preservatives can have a devastating effect on a dog’s liver, even leading to cancer.

Coleslaw provides no nutritional benefit for dogs

Mineral, nutrient, vitamin, and protein-rich dog food is generally the best choice for our canine companions. In the case of cole slaw, there is nothing in it that would be good for our dog to eat.

On the contrary, it has a lot of salt, sugar, and fat. Coleslaw is also low in protein and fiber.

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High calories in Coleslaw

bulldog eating mayonnaise

As you probably know, a dog needs only 25 calories per day for every pound it weighs. Take my two puppies as an example:

  • A 6-pound female Chihuahua should limit her daily caloric intake to 150 calories.
  • The recommended daily caloric intake for a 60-pound female Yellow Labrador is only 1500 calories.

Treats and snacks shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

A 100-gram bag of Coleslaw from the deli or the grocery store will typically have about 165 calories. The effects of consuming this Coleslaw may be more pronounced in smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, and less pronounced in larger dog breeds, such as Yellow Labradors.

What happens if my dog eats a lot of Coleslaw?

It’s probably safe to assume that your dog is fine if he eats a small amount of Coleslaw, but you should still check with your vet to be sure.

But if your dog eats a lot of Coleslaw, he could get food poisoning and show signs like these:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gastric distress from the toxic ingredients and the dairy products.
  • I’ve been farting a lot lately.
  • A dog’s choking or esophageal tear could be prevented if you avoided feeding it hard shredded cabbage.

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, don’t delay in taking them to the vet.

Canine-friendly alternatives to Coleslaw

My Labrador and Chihuahua keep their puppy eyes on me as I eat my Coleslaw and KFC chicken. I don’t give them my Cole slaw, but rather these dog treats.

When Is Coleslaw Okay For Dogs To Eat?

The safety of coleslaw for canine consumption hinges on the specific ingredients used. Due to the high-fiber content of cabbage, a small serving of coleslaw may help your dog’s digestion, especially if you replace the mayonnaise with something healthier like yogurt.

You should also check that the coleslaw doesn’t have any added spices, preservatives, or onions that could be harmful to your dog.

If you’re determined to introduce coleslaw to your dog’s diet, start with a small amount and only give it to your dog on rare occasions.

When Is Coleslaw Bad For Dogs?

Coleslaw Salad from cabbage and carrots with dressing mayonnaise. Selective focus.

When you look at the ingredients in cole slaw in detail, you’ll see that some of them can be harmful to dogs. Avoid the coleslaw if it has onions. Also, you should stay away from any coleslaw that includes garlic or spices.

Mayonnaise is a common ingredient in store-bought coleslaws, despite its high fat content. Keep in mind that overfeeding your dog can lead to obesity, which can lead to a number of health problems.

Colislaw is fine in moderation, so don’t worry if you find your dog has nibbled on some.

Conclusion: an dogs eat Coleslaw?

Coleslaw is unhealthy for dogs because of the sugar, salt, and fat content. Likewise, it offers no nutritional value to canine companions. Coleslaw is not suitable for canines because it is a human food.

Coleslaw is toxic to dogs and will cause them stomach aches and other digestive problems due to the dish’s toxic ingredients.

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