Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw? Salad Suspicions!

selective focus photography of white and grey puppy lying on sofa

Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw? — No, They can’t

When it comes to dogs and coleslaw, the answer is a resound­ing no. While coleslaw may be a pop­u­lar side dish for humans, it is not suit­able for our fur­ry friends. Coleslaw typ­i­cal­ly con­tains cab­bage, car­rots, may­on­naise, and var­i­ous sea­son­ings, all of which can pose poten­tial risks to dogs if con­sumed.

Can Puppies Eat Coleslaw?

Just like adult dogs, pup­pies should avoid coleslaw as well. Pup­pies have del­i­cate diges­tive sys­tems that are still devel­op­ing, and feed­ing them coleslaw can lead to gas­troin­testi­nal issues and poten­tial chok­ing haz­ards.

Why is Coleslaw Harmful for Dogs?

Coleslaw can be harm­ful to dogs due to sev­er­al rea­sons:

Cabbage and Carrots

The main ingre­di­ents in coleslaw, cab­bage, and car­rots, are high in fiber and can cause diges­tive upset in dogs, result­ing in diar­rhea or gas. Addi­tion­al­ly, an exces­sive intake of cab­bage can lead to gas­troin­testi­nal block­age, pos­ing a seri­ous health risk.


May­on­naise, a com­mon ingre­di­ent in coleslaw, is high in fat and can lead to pan­cre­ati­tis in dogs if con­sumed in large quan­ti­ties. Pan­cre­ati­tis is a painful inflam­ma­tion of the pan­creas and can have severe health con­se­quences for dogs.


Some coleslaw recipes include sea­son­ings like onion pow­der or gar­lic, which are tox­ic to dogs. These ingre­di­ents can cause dam­age to the red blood cells and lead to ane­mia. It is impor­tant to keep all forms of onion and gar­lic away from dogs.

Symptoms to Watch Out For After Dogs Consume Coleslaw

  • Vom­it­ing: If your dog con­sumes coleslaw and starts vom­it­ing repeat­ed­ly, it could be a sign of diges­tive dis­tress and should not be ignored.
  • Diar­rhea: Loose stools or diar­rhea after eat­ing coleslaw may indi­cate an intol­er­ance or diges­tive upset in your dog.
  • Abdom­i­nal Dis­com­fort: Exces­sive gas or pain in the abdomen can occur due to the high fiber con­tent in coleslaw, caus­ing dis­com­fort for your fur­ry friend.

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Dog Eats Coleslaw

  • Mon­i­tor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog’s behav­ior and observe any unusu­al symp­toms or dis­tress.
  • Con­tact your vet: If your dog shows severe symp­toms such as con­tin­u­ous vom­it­ing, diar­rhea, or signs of abdom­i­nal pain, it is impor­tant to con­tact your vet­eri­nar­i­an imme­di­ate­ly for guid­ance.
  • Avoid feed­ing any more coleslaw: Pre­vent your dog from con­sum­ing any more coleslaw or any oth­er poten­tial­ly harm­ful foods.

Safe Alternatives to Coleslaw

Although coleslaw is not rec­om­mend­ed, there are plen­ty of safe alter­na­tives that dogs can enjoy instead:

  • Broc­coli — Rich in vit­a­mins and low in calo­ries, broc­coli can be a healthy and safe option for your dog as long as it’s served in mod­er­a­tion.
  • Apples — Apples pro­vide dogs with essen­tial nutri­ents and can serve as a crunchy and tasty snack. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core before feed­ing.
  • Car­rots — Car­rots are a great alter­na­tive to coleslaw. They are packed with vit­a­mins and min­er­als while offer­ing a sat­is­fy­ing crunch for dogs.


While coleslaw may be a deli­cious side dish for humans, it is not suit­able for our canine com­pan­ions. The ingre­di­ents present in coleslaw, such as cab­bage, car­rots, may­on­naise, and sea­son­ings, can pose poten­tial risks to dogs’ diges­tive health and over­all well-being. It is impor­tant to be mind­ful of what we feed our four-legged friends and always pri­or­i­tize their safe­ty. Instead of shar­ing coleslaw, opt for safe alter­na­tives like broc­coli, apples, and car­rots that can pro­vide nutri­tion­al ben­e­fits with­out the poten­tial haz­ards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat homemade coleslaw?

No, dogs should not con­sume home­made coleslaw either. The risks asso­ci­at­ed with cab­bage, car­rots, may­on­naise, and sea­son­ings apply to both home­made and store-bought coleslaw.

Can coleslaw cause pancreatitis in dogs?

While coleslaw alone may not direct­ly cause pan­cre­ati­tis, the high fat con­tent in the may­on­naise used in coleslaw can con­tribute to the devel­op­ment of pan­cre­ati­tis in dogs if con­sumed in large quan­ti­ties.

Is it safe to feed dogs raw cabbage?

Raw cab­bage can be dif­fi­cult for dogs to digest and may cause gas­troin­testi­nal upset. It is gen­er­al­ly rec­om­mend­ed to light­ly cook or steam cab­bage before feed­ing it to dogs.

Can dogs eat carrots?

Yes, car­rots are safe for dogs to con­sume. They are low in calo­ries and pro­vide essen­tial nutri­ents. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to feed car­rots in mod­er­a­tion to pre­vent any poten­tial diges­tive issues.