🥬 Can Dogs Eat Coleslaw - Is it Toxic

Coleslaw is just vegetables right? Well it’s not made for dogs, we uncover this side dish

A big, beautifully prepared bowl of slaw


Overall, we don't recommend giving your dog coleslaw. Although coleslaw itself can be safe, it can contain a lot of added salt and fat. While salt on its own isn't bad for dogs, the amount that they get from the side dish could be excessive and lead to increased thirst and urination.

Additionally, there may also be ingredients in the slaw mix that dog’s don’t agree with such as onions which are toxic, dressings such as lemon juice, and flavourings. It’s quite simply a human food, not made for dogs to consume.

Nutrition & Ingredients

The side dish’s main ingredients are typically raw cabbage, raw carrots, egg yolks, green onion and raw onion. It is a great source of vitamin C, and also has zinc and potassium. However, it loses most of its value due to the fact that over 75% of it becomes refuse. The nutritional value for 100g is as follows:

  • ⏲Calories: 23
  • 🍞Carbohydrates:5 g
  • 🥩Protein:1.7 grams
  • 🧈Fat:0.7 grams

These values are subject to change depending on the salad dressing used, however they give us a good idea of what we can expect from a small serving. The preservatives and flavours used in the salad dressing are not good for dogs so it is best to ask your dog’s veterinarian about what you should do with coleslaw if your dog happens to have food allergies!

What makes this dangerous?

As mentioned above if the dressing hasn’t been removed then there will be increased amounts of salt and fat. Too much dog food can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhoea or vomiting - none of which are nice for your dog! Also, watch out for nuts and onions that may be included in the salad mix. Onions either raw or cooked are toxic to dogs and can cause red blood cell damage resulting in anemia.

If there are no toxic ingredients or adverse reactions after half an hour of your dog consuming, then it is probably safe to assume your dog can eat said coleslaw although as mentioned we don’t recommend.

❌ High calories

Shelf bought might be high in fat, calories and salt. High calories are dangerous for dogs who are not very active, as high calorie will lead to weight gain.

❌ Sodium

Table salt should be eaten sparingly by dogs as too much can lead to electrolyte imbalances and stomach issues. For example, half a cup of coleslaw dressing might contain 400mg of sodium (about 20% of the recommended daily maximum for an average dog).

❌ Oil

The type of oil used in the dressing may also contain saturated fats which are not good for dogs. If your dog likes coleslaw this does not mean it is safe to give your dog a large amount or regularly! This could lead to problems such as gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhoea 💩 so only feed small amounts at a time if safe.

Alternatives for dogs include

✅ Cabbage

Cabbage is a great alternative because it has anti-inflammatory properties which can be beneficial for arthritis sufferers and constipation relief, a common problem of senior dogs.

✅ Carrots

Carrots are low in calories and high in dietary fiber as well as being full of antioxidants which can help against cancer.

✅ Broccoli

Broccoli is full of Vitamin A, iron and calcium as well as dietary fiber. It also contains some Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting as well as some vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant. All this means that broccoli is good for heart health, healthy skin & coat and strong bones.

What about mayonnaise?

Some dogs may be able to eat a small bit of mayonnaise but it is best to keep the amount you give your dog very low. It is best to avoid giving any for this reason: even though we all love mayonnaise, there’s no nutritional content!

Can they eat tomatoes in coleslaw?

They have been known to react badly when given tomatoes due to alkaloid, which can cause serious health implications. Tomatoes also contain atropine which can affect the heart and cause heart arrhythmias, so it is best not to let them have any!


A dog would not normally eat coleslaw because it is not a dog’s natural diet. On the other hand, if you want to give your dog a bit of slaw, we recommend that you put it in its own bowl, removing anything toxic and watch for negative reactions.

One of the most important things about feeding your pet is making sure they get all their nutrients. If you’re giving him/her healthy meals, They’ll be getting enough vitamins and minerals from these.

Have you got a question about dogs? Write them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Amanda Brennan
Amanda Brennan

Animal enthusiasts, she works closely with animals that require rehabilitation across the US and writes for several pet websites. Her other interests are photography 📸 and training to run a marathon 🏃‍♀️.