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

Can Dogs Eat Stuffing?

No, dogs should not eat stuffing. This holiday favorite often contains ingredients that are harmful to dogs, such as onions, garlic, and high amounts of salt, butter, and seasonings. These can lead to a range of health issues from stomach upset to organ damage.

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

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

Updated on Jul 8, 2024

Did You Know?

Stuffing often contains onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Stuffing Bad for Dogs?

Stuffing often contains onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs. These ingredients can lead to gastrointestinal distress and damage to red blood cells. High sodium content can also cause severe dehydration and salt poisoning. The various spices and fats can cause pancreatitis, a painful and potentially dangerous condition.

How Much Stuffing Can Dogs Eat?

It is best to avoid giving your dog any stuffing at all. Even a small amount can contain harmful ingredients, and there's no "safe" portion. If your dog accidentally consumes a tiny bit, monitor them closely for any signs of distress and consult your veterinarian immediately.

Common Misconceptions

A common misconception is that giving a dog just a little bit of stuffing is okay. However, even small amounts can contain toxic ingredients. Another myth is that plain stuffing without onions is safe, but the fats and seasonings alone can still pose risks.

Similar Harmful Products

Stuffing isn't the only holiday food to watch out for:

  • Mashed Potatoes: Often contain butter, milk, and onion powder.
  • Gravy: High in fat and often contains onions or garlic.
  • Cranberry Sauce: High in sugar and sometimes mixed with nuts, which can be harmful.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Stuffing?

If your dog eats stuffing, first ensure they rest quietly and observe them for signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Contact your veterinarian immediately and follow their guidance. Do not attempt to induce vomiting without professional advice.

Long-term consequences can include serious conditions such as pancreatitis or damage to organs like the kidneys. Treatment can be expensive; pet insurance can help manage these costs, providing peace of mind and financial assistance during emergencies.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Here are safe and tasty alternatives your dog will love:

  • Plain Cooked Pumpkin: Great for digestion and low in fat.
  • Steamed Green Beans: A crunchy, healthy snack.
  • Plain, Cooked Sweet Potatoes: Rich in vitamins, but make sure to serve without any seasoning.


In summary, stuffing is a big no-no for dogs due to its dangerous ingredients. Always consult with your vet regarding your dog's diet, especially during festive seasons. Stick to safer, dog-friendly treats to keep your furry friend healthy and happy!