Can Dogs Eat Mayonnaise? How Safe Is It For Dogs? (Explained)

Can Dogs Eat Mayonnaise? Photo of a dog with a bowl of mayonnaise in front of him.

If you’re preparing your sandwich and your dog is begging for some mayonnaise, you may want to give him some. But, can dogs eat mayonnaise?

Dogs can eat mayonnaise, as most mayonnaise recipes don’t contain any ingredients that will cause your dog harm.

However, mayonnaise is very high in fat content, which can create problems for your dog’s health, such as pancreatitis and obesity.

Below, you’ll learn about what kind of mayo is safe for dogs, how much mayo your dog can have, and problem signs to watch for.

Can dogs safely eat mayonnaise?

Generally speaking, dogs can safely eat mayonnaise. Unlike many other human foods, mayo doesn’t have any active components that are dangerous or harmful to dogs, typically. In this case, we’re talking about traditional, plain mayo from a grocery store.

However, “should” is another matter! Mayo is very high in fat content, and having too much of it, too regularly can cause poor health in dogs.

The most common ones include obesity and a higher risk of pancreatitis.

Do dogs like mayonnaise?

Is there anything that dogs don’t like? Besides medicine, of course.

Yes, most dogs will love mayonnaise because it combines fats for a delicious snack.

Fatty foods have a very appealing taste, so it’s no surprise that your dog will beg you for some. However, if you have a very fussy dog, he may turn up his nose at it.

Can dogs eat mayo every day?

For your dog’s health, you shouldn’t feed your dog mayo regular servings of regular mayonnaise from the grocery store. The high levels of fat aren’t good for their body and can cause problems over time.

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Luckily, there are lower-fat versions of regular mayo that you can purchase from the grocery store.

If your dog seems to enjoy these lower fat versions, then it’s fine to give them a few tablespoons every now and then. It won’t hurt them, but it also won’t be good for them either.

As long as it doesn’t cause obesity, it should be fine for your dog.

How much mayo is too much for a dog?

A very important question, for sure. Generally, dogs can have approximately a tablespoon (or enough to cover their dog food) once in a while. This is enough to be a treat but not enough to cause health problems.

Of course, the key with portioning and dogs is in its frequency.

If your dog has a tablespoon of mayonnaise every single day, that’s too much! Just occasionally as a treat or along with his dog food is fine.

As well, adjust this portion depending on the size of your dog! After all, a tablespoon for a chihuahua is much more than a tablespoon for a Golden Retriever. When in doubt, check with the vet, too.

Are there harmful ingredients in mayonnaise?

Back in the day, no. In today’s day and age, though, there can sometimes dangerous ingredients in mayonnaise when it comes to dogs.

Dangerous ingredients in mayonnaise can include:

  • Seasonings 
  • Soy 
  • Flavored mayonnaise

Seasonings 

Since mayo is intended for humans, they don’t always list seasonings in their ingredients. For humans (allergies ignored for the moment), this is harmless.

For dogs, though, many spices can be dangerous. For example, dehydrated garlic, and onion are popular spices that can be dangerous for your dog, even in small servings.

Soy

This is a popular additive to mayonnaise. While it isn’t dangerous to dogs across the board, soy allergies are very common amongst dogs and can cause a severe allergic reaction.

If your dog is allergic to soy, you’ll want to check the ingredients very carefully.

Flavored mayonnaise

These days, there is more than one kind of mayonnaise! Manufacturers will add flavors to the may. This is just another way for them to appeal to customers, but it can be very dangerous for your dog.

If you are getting any kind of flavor, be it garlic mayo, chipotle mayo, etc., it’s safe to assume that it isn’t safe for your dog to eat mayo. The only mayo that dogs can have safely is plain, classic mayo.

Can dogs eat homemade mayo?

It depends on what you put in it! Dogs can eat homemade mayo safer than store-bought mayonnaise just because the person who made it will be able to ensure that it is safe for the dog when they list off all of the components.

In this case, dogs can eat homemade mayo just fine, and they can have a tablespoon or so of mayo. This is especially true if you’re making it yourself!

What to do if my dog eats mayo?

If you’ve discovered your dog has eaten mayo and want to know what to do about it, here are the steps to follow to help you keep your dog’s health a priority.

  • Check the components on the mayonnaise
  • Gauge how much he had
  • Call the vet to let them know
  • Watch for symptoms of a problem

Generally, the more he eats, the more of a risk he has. If he’s polished off an entire jar when you turned your back, you’ll want to grab the jar and take him into the vet.

If he’s just had a lick or plain mayo, though, you can wait and see how he reacts, symptom-wise.

Any time he’s had flavored mayonnaise or your spot a dangerous ingredient on the list, call the veterinarian and bring him. Better safe than sorry, right?

If your dog starts to act strangely once the vet gets there, they may administer some activated charcoal orally to trap toxins in its system. This is helpful if he has eaten dangerous ingredients or just a lot of it!

Do not feed your dog mayo or any other kind of human food for the next 48 to 72 hours while he recovers. This is to ensure that no toxins enter his system while he’s recovering.

Photo of a dog looking to a bottle of mayonnaise.

Symptoms to look for if my dog eats mayo

Just like a lot of situations, some of the most common dangerous symptoms to watch for after your dog’s unauthorized snack include:

  • Restlessness and excessive panting
  • Indigestion, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Lethargy/Fainting
  • Frantic behavior

Mayonnaise contains dairy products and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. If you notice indigestion, he’s most likely had too much of it and is now paying the (smelly) price.

These are considered mild symptoms, but you can keep an eye on it and call the veterinarian if it goes on too long or is especially severe.

If you notice stronger symptoms such as restlessness, lethargy, or frantic behavior, he could be struggling with some of the hidden dangerous components.

He should definitely get a trip to the vet, just to be sure.

Regardless of how mild or severe any or all of these symptoms are, trust your gut and let that lead you to decide whether or not to call the vet.

What to feed your dog instead of mayonnaise

If you love the thought of giving him a treat, but you don’t want to put him at possible harm — we don’t blame you! — then here are some dog-friendly options to give him instead:

  • Yogurt
  • Peanut butter
  • Plain/Dog gravy

Yogurt

When giving him yogurt, go with plain, simple, non-flavored yogurt. Just a little bit, too. Any flavored ones are often laced with sweeteners, which are very dangerous and toxic for dogs.

Peanut butter

Most peanut butter brands are okay, but you’ll want to check for sweeteners, too, as this is becoming more popular now! You can mix in his regular dog food or just give him a spoonful of it, if you think he’ll eat that much!

Plain/Dog gravy

Plain gravy is also a great idea in small servings. Better yet, canned dog gravy is also great, as it’s designed specifically for dogs and can be a lot more reassuring when it comes to knowing if it is safe for your dog to enjoy.

Most Dogs can eat mayonnaise every once in a while, though you’ll want to make sure he keeps his portions small and very well spaced out for his best health!

Finally

Dogs can safely eat plain mayonnaise in small servings as a special treat every once in a while.

Not all mayo is safe, though, so watch the components for potentially dangerous ones.

Keep an eye out for symptoms of indigestion, lethargy, or frantic behavior. If any of these appear after he’s had his treat, bring him to the vet ASAP!

Know another dog owner that will love the idea of sharing mayo with their dog? Share this with them and spread the love!

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Writer, Editor and member of the Council, I am a dog person and I thrive to get the answers that will help you provide the best care a dog can have. You can also find me on my personal blog here.