A dog with a wary expression looking at spaghetti sauce, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Spaghetti Sauce?

No, dogs should not eat spaghetti sauce. While the sauce may smell delicious and seem harmless, it contains ingredients like garlic and onions that are toxic to dogs. These components can lead to serious health issues, including gastrointestinal upset and red blood cell damage.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 16, 2024

Did You Know?

Many commercial spaghetti sauces contain onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs.

Spaghetti Sauce



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Allergic Risk


Why is Spaghetti Sauce Bad for Dogs?

Spaghetti sauce often contains garlic and onions, both of which are harmful to dogs. These ingredients can lead to hemolytic anemia, a condition where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be produced. Additionally, high salt content and spices can cause stomach upset, and fatty sauces can contribute to pancreatitis.

How Much Spaghetti Sauce Can Dogs Eat?

It's best to avoid giving your dog any spaghetti sauce at all. However, if your pup licks a small amount off your plate, it's usually not cause for immediate concern. Monitor them for any signs of discomfort or illness and contact your vet if symptoms such as vomiting or lethargy occur.

Similar Harmful Products

Spaghetti sauce isn't the only risky food:

  • Tomato Sauces: Many pre-made sauces contain the same harmful garlic and onions.
  • Ketchup: Often high in sugar and may contain garlic or onion powder.
  • Garlic Bread: Contains dangerous garlic and is often high in fat.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Spaghetti Sauce?

If your dog consumes spaghetti sauce, monitor them closely for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness. Contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance. Avoid inducing vomiting unless explicitly instructed by a professional.

Consuming harmful foods like spaghetti sauce can lead to long-term health issues, including chronic digestive problems or anemia. Vet treatments can be costly; therefore, having pet insurance can be a great relief for unexpected emergencies.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of spaghetti sauce, offer your pup:

  • Plain cooked pasta: Simple and safe for occasional treats.
  • Dog-safe vegetable purees: Like pumpkin or sweet potato.
  • Commercial dog treats: Designed to meet their nutritional needs without the risk.


In summary, spaghetti sauce is not a safe choice for dogs due to toxic ingredients. Always consult with your vet for personalized advice, especially if your dog has specific health conditions. Keep harmful foods out of paws' reach and stick to dog-friendly alternatives for your furry friend's snacks and treats.