Can Dogs Eat BBQ Sauce

bbq sauce on wings

There’s quite a debate over which regional variety of barbecue (BBQ) sauce in the United States is best. The Carolinas have several versions. Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas all have their own styles. Alabama even has a mayonnaise-based BBQ sauce. Your preference may depend on where you grew up. If you barbecue, your dog probably spends some time trying to convince you to share your meat. Can dogs eat BBQ sauce? Find out all about BBQ sauce in our guide below.


Barbecue sauce seems to have originated in the American colonies in the 17th century. The earliest form of barbecue sauce was probably vinegar, salt, and pepper. German settlers in South Carolina had a mustard sauce in the 18th century.

In the early 20th century, barbecue sauces started to contain sugar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. After World War II, the amount of sugar greatly increased and many other ingredients were added.

Today, most barbecue spices include vinegar, tomato paste, or mayonnaise as a base. They can also include liquid smoke, onion powder, and spices such as mustard and black pepper. They often contain sweeteners such as sugar or molasses.

There are some regional preferences for different kinds of barbecue sauce in the U.S. The sauce from eastern Carolina is probably similar to the early sauce in the American colonies. It is vinegar-based. However, it is probably spicier than the original sauce.

The sauce in western Carolina is similar but it also uses tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup.

In South Carolina, a mustard sauce is popular that appears to date back to early German settlers. Along with yellow mustard, this sauce also contains vinegar, sugar, and spices.

Memphis barbecue sauce is similar to the sauce from western Carolina but it uses molasses instead of sugar. It also adds more spices.

Kansas City barbecue sauce is thicker than many sauces. It developed from western Carolina and Memphis sauces. It is reddish-brown and tomato-based. It uses sugar, vinegar and spices. Most commercial barbecue sauces today are based on the Kansas City sauce.

Texas barbecue sauce usually has a strong helping of cumin, chili peppers or chili powder, black pepper, and fresh onion. This sauce often has less tomato and sugar than other sauces. Compared to other sauces, it is medium-thick.

Alabama’s white barbecue sauce is mayonnaise-based. It also includes apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper. It is mostly used with chicken and pork.

Barbecue sauce can be used as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches, as a topping for meat cooked as barbecue, as a marinade, or for basting. It’s widely used on chicken, beef ribs, pork, and other meats. Some people use it on french fries instead of using ketchup. It can be used for cooking outdoors and indoors – in the oven and on the stove.

Many fast food restaurants hand out packets of barbecue sauce with their meals.

You can make homemade barbecue sauce but most people simply buy a version that they like in the supermarket. If you do make your own barbecue sauce, you can use reduced amounts of sugar and salt to make the sauce healthier.

One serving of barbecue sauce is estimated to be 2 tablespoons (35 grams). Barbecue sauce is generally very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, it is usually very high in sodium. A large portion of the calories in the sauce comes from sugars.

Keep in mind that this sauce is considered to be a condiment so it’s not very high in nutrition.

Barbecue sauce is made up of 98 percent carbohydrates, 2 percent fats, and 0 percent protein. A 2-tablespoon serving contains 52.5 calories. Almost all of the calories are from sugar. It has 12.7 grams of total carbohydrates and 0.2 grams of dietary fiber. It has 9.1 grams of sugar and 0.1 grams of total fat.

Two tablespoons of barbecue sauce contains 392 mg of sodium. Otherwise, barbecue sauce contains very low levels or vitamins and minerals.

The tomatoes used in most barbecue sauces do contain a strong antioxidant called lycopene which is good for the immune system. However, you’re unlikely to get much lycopene from eating barbecue sauce. There are better sources of tomatoes which provide more lycopene.

Can you give your dog BBQ sauce

In general, you should avoid giving your dog barbecue sauce. While there are many different varieties, most of them contain spices which include ingredients such as onion powder and garlic powder which are harmful to dogs. Some barbecue sauces include chili peppers and other ingredients which are definitely bad for your dog.

We looked at random at the ingredients for one popular barbecue sauce that’s sold across the United States:


Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, Molasses, water, modified food starch, vinegar, less than 2% of: spices, natural hickory smoke flavor, natural flavor, salt, xanthan gum, dried onion, dried garlic, caramel color, turmeric, paprika extracts.

As you can see, it contains high fructose corn syrup, dried onion, and dried garlic. These are ingredients that you would want your dog to avoid.

It’s also worth noting that barbecue sauce typically contains more than three times as much sodium as a 30-pound dog needs in one day. Commercial barbecue sauce is very high in sodium.

Fortunately, many dogs are not very interested in eating spicy sauces. Your dog may beg for the meat you’re eating but if you offer the meat covered with barbecue sauce, your dog could taste it and decline it. If you would like to share some barbecued meat with your dog, it’s best to rinse off the sauce before you offer it to your dog.

How much BBQ sauce can you give your dog?

We recommend that you avoid giving your dog barbecue sauce.

There are some dogs that may like the taste of barbecue sauce but many dogs don’t like it. They may dislike the vinegar or the pepper in the sauce. Whatever the case, if you would like to give your dog some barbecued meat, it’s best to rinse the sauce from the food first.

In several decades with dogs, I have never had a dog that liked barbecue sauce or steak sauce. If I offer my dogs any leftover barbecue or steak that has some sauce, they always leave the sauce untouched.

How often can you give your dog BBQ sauce?

We recommend that you don’t give your dog barbecue sauce unless you make it yourself. If you make it yourself, you can reduce the sugar and salt in the sauce. You can also make sure it doesn’t contain any onion, garlic, or other ingredients that might be harmful to your dog.

If you do make your own barbecue sauce, you could offer some to your dog once or twice per week in a very small amount.


Depending on the ingredients, barbecue sauce can be harmful to dogs. Most commercial barbecue sauces contain onion and garlic, along with other spices, that are not good for dogs. They are also very high in sodium. It’s possible that some dogs may like the taste of barbecue sauce but the vinegar and pepper in the sauce do not seem to interest many dogs. If you make homemade barbecue sauce, you could make sure the sauce has no harmful ingredients. In that case, you could see if your dog might like a small amount occasionally.




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