Can Dogs Eat Ranch? Is It Safe for Dogs?

As a dog owner, you must know that some foods are just off limits. Chocolate is a popular example of a snack that dogs should always stay away from.

At the same time, we all know that a small bit of chocolate won’t hurt your 100-pound golden retriever as much as it would a tiny chihuahua, if they accidentally ate it.

Does the same apply to ranch dressing? In fact, can dogs eat ranch dressing at all?

While ranch is a delicious treat for humans, are we sure that dogs can appreciate it as much as we do? Is it safe for them?

Let’s dive deeper into this topic and find out everything you need to know about foods that are not safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Human Food?

Corgi chewing on pumpkin
Many owners like to give their dogs leftovers from home-cooked meals and fast-food restaurants. 

Most vets recommend pet owners to keep their food away from their beloved pets, but not all pet owners listen.

After all, how often do you beat the temptation to give your dog a piece of the food that it’s been begging for all throughout dinnertime?

It’s like they’re never full, even after eating a full bowl of dog food!

Some foods, like bread, are neutral. Your dog’s diet can’t consist entirely of bread. Bread doesn’t contain all the necessary nutrients a dog needs to live an active life.

At the same time, it’s not exactly bad for dogs.

You can give your dog a piece of bread as a yummy treat from time to time, if it asks for it. However, don’t overdo it. 

What Ingredients Does Ranch Contain?

Ranch dressing contains buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, mustard, and a blend of herbs and spices. Those commonly include dill, chives, parsley, pepper, paprika, and ground mustard seed.

Doesn’t that sound like a treat? You can also make a healthier version of ranch at home, using only the basic ingredients.

Those would include Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, and onion. As you can see, the taste of garlic and onion is prevalent in this delicious dipping sauce.

Given the taste of ranch, it is safe to assume that a fair bit of garlic and onion is used in the making process.

While these are delicious to many people, we can’t say for sure that your dog would enjoy them just as much.

So, Can Dogs Eat Ranch?

White dog drinking milk

The short answer to this question is: no. Garlic, onion, and chives, the main ingredients of ranch, are actually pretty toxic to dogs.

If you have a cat, you’re in the same boat and should definitely avoid feeding your pet these foods. With both cats and dogs, the primary concern is the raw form of the foods.

If your dog eats a tiny piece of onion baked into a bread loaf, chances are it’ll survive. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t risk it.

Many people claim that dogs can have a little bit of ranch. While that may be true, there is just no reason to give your dog a bit of the dipping sauce.

A small amount of ranch won’t kill your dog or send you both to the vet, but it won’t satisfy your dog as much as dog food.

If you’re dipping your French fries into ranch and see your dog starting to salivate, perhaps you could offer it a dog-appropriate snack.

Trust that it will taste even better than ranch to your furry friend!

Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs

You’d be surprised at the foods that your dog should avoid at all costs.

Before you proceed with the list, you should know that your dog likely won’t die from a small amount of the foods mentioned here.

However, these foods are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Besides, if you never offer it the foods on this list, it will never have to know how good they taste.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of these foods may have a negative effect on your dog’s liver and kidneys.

Though they might not kill your pet instantly, they may have a lasting effect on your pet’s organs. Many dogs pass before their time because their owners didn’t take proper care of their diet.

Protect your dog’s liver and kidneys by only feeding it dog-appropriate food. If you’re not sure what that is in your case, you are always better off consulting your vet.

They will always know what’s best for your dog!

Garlic, Onions, and Chives

Hungry dog chewing on a bone

At the top of the list, we have garlic, onions, and chives. Anything in the onion family, including shallots, is not great for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

These foods may irritate your dog’s stomach and cause digestive issues. These issues might not be noticeable immediately.

In fact, your dog might go a few days before it starts showing signs of illness. So, can dogs eat ranch?

Based on this information, I would stay away from feeding my dog this food.


Chocolate is another popular item on this list and it’s just as bad as onions. Dark chocolate is especially bad, as it has high contents of theobromine.

This stimulant may cause kidney failure or greatly contribute to future kidney problems.

Though your dog will likely not drop dead before your eyes after eating a small amount of chocolate, it may develop kidney problems in the future.

Grapes and Raisins

Golden Retriever sniffing around the cherry tree

Grapes and raisins make the list as well. These delicious treats are only meant for humans, not dogs.

Be careful to not accidentally give your dog a raisin cookie, as that could be fatal.

Scientists are not exactly sure what it is about raisins and grapes that has such a negative effect on dogs, but they recommend to keep these foods away from your furry friends.

Both items can cause liver damage and/or kidney failure. For your dog’s safety, you shouldn’t even let it try these foods.


This next one should come as no surprise: Alcohol. Under no circumstances should you ever feed your dog alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol is toxic to humans, so you can only imagine what it would do to a dog. Your pet may become intoxicated, and end up feeling sick and throwing up all over the house.

There are better ways to spend your Friday night than cleaning up your dog’s vomit, so think twice before you decide to give your dog alcohol.

In the worst-case scenario, alcohol may result in central nervous system damage in dogs.

Cooked Bones

Dog chewing a small bone

Raw bones are a great toy for big dogs. If you come upon some uncooked bones in the kitchen, feel free to give them to your dog to chew on and play with.

Cooked bones, however, is a different story. The problem is not with the bone itself, but the fact that it can easily break into smaller pieces.

When the bone is cooked, it becomes significantly softer, making it easier to splinter into sharp little bits.

If your dog accidentally swallows a little piece of the bone, it may cause gastrointestinal issues. In the best-case scenario, your dog will experience constipation.

In the worst-case scenario, the bone piece may be so sharp that it pierces your dog’s gut. Doesn’t that sound painful?

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob poses a similar threat, except it’s not sharp. There is absolutely nothing wrong with corn.

You can give your dog corn and they will digest it with ease. The cob, however, is where the issues begin.

Pieces of the cob may block your dog’s intestine and cause gastrointestinal issues. Expect your dog to feel constipated and experience lots of pain.

In order to avoid that, just don’t give your dog corn on the cob.

Almonds and Macadamia Nuts

French Bulldog looking at the camera

Nuts are not great for dogs either. Though cashews are generally safe for consumption, almonds and macadamia nuts are not.

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. They may cause nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and even affect your dog’s nervous system.

Almonds are not toxic, but they may cause other issues. If your dog gets a bit excited and swallows the nut whole, it can block your dog’s esophagus.

While some foods containing almonds are fine, avoid giving your dog salted almonds. Heavily salted foods are not good for dogs, especially if your pet is at high risk of heart disease.


Cinnamon is not toxic for dogs, but it can cause irritation in the mouth. If given too much cinnamon, the dog can react with vomiting and diarrhea.

Don’t leave cinnamon powder lying around the house. Your dog may accidentally inhale a large amount of it, resulting in difficulty breathing and even choking.

Ice Cream

Dog licking some food

Though your dog may enjoy sweet treats, sugar is not great for dogs. Ice cream is a delicious treat for humans, so let’s keep it that way.

Even though giving your dog ice cream on a hot, sunny day might be tempting, don’t give in! Instead, offer your dog some frozen fruit that has plenty of natural sugars and healthy vitamins.

How to Recognize Your Dog Is Sick

Don’t you wish that your dog could talk to you? Then it could tell you when it feels sick, hungry, tired, or excited. Without verbal communication, you have to rely on body language.

Because of that, it’s not always immediately apparent that your dog got food poisoning from eating something it wasn’t supposed to.

You should keep an eye out for any telltale signs of food poisoning in dogs.

If you saw your dog snacking on forbidden food, it’s time to pay attention to their bathroom habits for a few days.

Your dog may be completely fine after eating a tiny piece of onion, or it may start to feel very sick in a few hours. Either way, keep an eye on your pet.

Food poisoning usually shows up within a few hours after consumption. If your dog looks fine today, it’ll probably be ok.

Let’s have a further look at some of the signs your dog could be sick

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs of food poisoning in dogs, much like in humans.

On the one hand, it may be a good sign too, because your dog’s body is releasing all the toxins it doesn’t need.

On the other hand, if it continues for more than a day, you should take your dog to the vet. Lengthy vomiting and diarrhea may be dangerous to both dogs and humans.

Refusing Food and Drinking More Than Usual

White dog resting on the deck

If your dog starts to refuse food and/or is drinking a lot more than usual, that could be a sign of food poisoning.

Don’t jump to conclusions and consider other factors that could be causing this behavior, such as high room temperature or stress.

If you saw your dog eat something it shouldn’t have eaten and it’s refusing food several hours later, it could be a cause for concern.

If such behavior continues, you should take your dog to the vet.

Hyperactivity, Panting, and Extreme Salivation

You know your dog best, so you should be able to tell when its behavior changes. Hyperactivity, panting, and extreme salivation are also signs of food poisoning in dogs.

Only you can tell when your dog is being hyperactive or salivating way more than usual. Watch out for these signs and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

What to Do if Your Dog Ate Ranch

A little bit of ranch on the tip of a piece of bread probably won’t kill your dog, so you have to think realistically.

How big is your pet and how much ranch did it have? If it was only a small amount, you should merely watch out for signs of food poisoning that were mentioned above.

Consider taking more serious measures if your dog stops eating, and experiences vomiting or diarrhea.

The smaller the dog, the higher the chances of it actually exhibiting signs of illness after consuming ranch.

Assess your dog’s size and the amount of ranch it had. Naturally, the more ranch your dog had, the more worried you should be.

If your dog becomes seriously ill, there is probably not much you can do for it at home anyway. So, take it to the vet.

Take care of your dog if it starts vomiting and make sure it is comfortable as possible. Clean up the mess and give your dog lots of attention.

If the vomiting continues, take your dog to the vet. If you’re lucky and nothing happens, be more careful next time!

Hide all the forbidden foods from your dog and don’t tempt it with your bottle of delicious ranch.

Signs That You Should Take Your Dog to the Vet

Sometimes, urgent medical intervention is needed. How do you know when to take your dog to the vet?

In this section we will have a look at some of the signs you need to look out for that require medical intervention.

Vomiting That Continues for More Than a Day

Your dog should feel alright after a small amount of ranch. However, there are some clear signs that you should take your dog to the vet.

While vomiting in itself does not mean that you need to run to the vet, vomiting that continues for more than a day does.

If your dog can’t seem to catch a break, you should definitely call the vet. The same applies for diarrhea.

Loss of Appetite Over Several Days

As you know, most dogs love to eat. That’s the whole reason you’re reading this article! Therefore, if your dog suddenly loses its appetite, you should seek professional help.

That’s a telltale sign of food poisoning and a number of other illnesses. If this continues for over a day, take your dog to the vet.

Heavy Panting, Hyperactivity, Tremors, and Heart Palpitations

Hyperactive Corgi running in the forest

Other changes in behavior, such as heavy panting, hyperactivity, tremors, and heart palpitations are all signs that your dog is not feeling so great.

Watch out for these signs and take your dog to the vet if any of these behaviors persist.

Though most times you’d rather avoid paying a hefty vet bill, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your beloved animals.

You might be annoyed if you have to pay money just for the vet to tell you that your dog will be fine, but you’ll also be extremely relieved.

Besides, if your dog is actually suffering from food toxicity, you won’t be able to help it recover at home.

In such situations, it’s always best to get help as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your dog might not make it.

If your dog ends up in the vet’s emergency room often, you should consider taking out pet insurance.

Insurance will cover a part of the costs and make visits to the vet a bit less painful on your wallet. 

Final Thoughts

So, can dogs eat ranch? Well, a small amount of ranch will likely not kill your dog. But it’s best to avoid any foods that contain garlic, onion, and chives.

In order to save yourself a trip to the vet, don’t leave your ranch unattended. And don’t give your dog any, even if they beg!

A small amount may not trigger a reaction in a big dog, but it also won’t satisfy any cravings he has. Give your dog some doggie treats instead!

If you really want to give your dog human food, there is a wide range of options you can choose from that are safe for dogs.