Can Dogs Eat Cole Slaw?

It is ok for a dog to eat coleslaw, but it is not something that you should make a part of their diet. If they get into some or they get given some they will be ok.

Can Dogs Eat Cole Slaw?

Coleslaw is a summer staple, especially at a picnic or a backyard barbecue.

You might be wondering can dogs eat coleslaw?

It is ok for a dog to eat coleslaw, but it is not something that you should make a part of their diet. If they get into some or they get given some they will be ok.

Maybe you want to share some with your dog since your pet seems so curious about the dish– or maybe your pet got into the coleslaw while your back was turned! Either scenario would make you wonder whether or not coleslaw is okay for dogs to eat. While coleslaw itself is not necessarily toxic, it is also not the best choice for a treat for your dog.

Read on to learn more about what coleslaw is and why it is probably best that you keep it away from your dog.

Also Read – Can Dogs Eat Clementines?

What Is Cole Slaw?

Coleslaw is a side dish that is served cold or at room temperature. It is a fairly popular dish that is enjoyed in many different countries, from the United States to Italy and Sweden! The name coleslaw originates from a Dutch word– “koolsla”. Coleslaw is comprised of shredded cabbage and carrots, and then mixed with ingredients such as mayonnaise– though, sometimes vinegar or vinaigrette is used in place of mayonnaise. 

Besides being served as a side, coleslaw is also used on top of certain dishes. For instance, coleslaw can be put in a Reuben instead of sauerkraut, or put on burgers or hot dogs with mustard and chilli. 


Cole Slaw Ingredients

Coleslaw is a food dish that has many different ingredients, as well as a certain few ingredients that are commonly substituted for others. Some of these ingredients make coleslaw a concern for your dog, while others are perfectly harmless! Below, we go over some of cole slaw’s key ingredients, as well as their potential risks for your pet. 


Mayonnaise is one of the big ingredients in coleslaw, and gives it a lot of its flavor! It is not necessarily toxic to your dog, but that being said, it is not good for your furry friend. Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and egg yolks, sometimes with added lemon or vinegar for flavor. Too much mayonnaise can lead to issues like diarrhea and other digestive issues in your pet.

Sour or Heavy Cream

Not all coleslaw recipes include sour cream or heavy cream, but it can sometimes be used as a replacement for mayonnaise. Both sour and heavy cream are dairy products, and dogs cannot digest dairy the same way that our human bodies do. The sour cream or heavy cream in coleslaw can lead to diarrhea, constipation, or even vomiting if your dog ingests enough of it. 


Vinegar is another ingredient that can often be found in coleslaw. It is not as benign as some of the other ingredients on this list, though. Diluted vinegar is less of a concern, but undiluted vinegar can cause gastrointestinal distress in your dog. It is especially dangerous for smaller dogs, those with sensitive stomachs, and those who suffer from kidney disease. 


Cabbage is the main vegetable ingredient in coleslaw, and it can actually be good for your dog– in small amounts, of course! However, too much cabbage can make your dog gassy, and this could lead to gastrointestinal distress or uncomfortable gas bubbles in your pet’s stomach. 


Onions can often be found in coleslaw, too. However, onions are dangerous to canines, because they can lead to onion toxicosis. Therefore, this particular ingredient is actually toxic to your dog. Onion toxicosis is a condition that causes the breakdown of red blood cells in your pet, due to a compound called N-propyl disulphide. It can then lead to anemia, and also causes oxidative damage to the red blood cells. 

Can Dogs Eat Cole Slaw?

Here we come to the big question: can dogs actually eat coleslaw, or not? Unfortunately, coleslaw is not a good dish to share with your pet. While a little bit of coleslaw will likely be fine, there are several ingredients that could end up harming your dog if it eats too much of the coleslaw. It is safest not to let your dog eat coleslaw at all.

Digestive Issues

Some of the ingredients in coleslaw can cause digestive issues in your dog, as many of these ingredients are not ingredients your dog is accustomed to in their normal diet. Cabbage can also cause gas, which may lead to uncomfortable gas bubbles in your dog’s stomach.


Diarrhea is another symptom that your dog might experience after eating something that is really only meant for human consumption, and it is a similar symptom to the digestive issues mentioned above. Dairy ingredients like sour cream or heavy cream can lead to diarrhea, too, because dogs are not able to digest dairy products in the same way as us.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is cabbage OK to give to dogs?

In moderation and in small servings, cabbage is an okay treat to give to your dog, and it can even have some health benefits. However, too much cabbage can make your dog gassy and possibly lead to stomach issues and discomfort– so be careful!

Can dogs have broccoli coleslaw?

Broccoli coleslaw is all right for dogs to have in small portions, but generally, coleslaw is not a good treat for your dog– it is better to avoid it. Coleslaw can make your dog sick if it eats too much, especially because most of the ingredients are not easily digestible by your pet. 

Is it safe for dogs to eat mayonnaise?

While mayonnaise does not contain any ingredients that would be toxic to your dog, it may cause some indigestion or other discomfort if your dog eats too much. 

Can dogs eat vinegar?

Vinegar is not something that you should allow your pet to eat. Especially when it is undiluted, vinegar can cause digestion issues and gastrointestinal distress in pets– and it is often worse for smaller dogs, due to their lower body weight.