Can Dogs Eat BBQ Chips?


Let’s be honest; it’s happened before. You were eating a bowl of your favorite BBQ chips, and somehow your dog ate a few of them. How bad is it?

That’s what we’re going to talk about. The first thing you must understand is, your dog craves some of the things that you do. So, it’s no wonder that your dog would want to chow down on some chips if they were allowed to do so.

Above all else, this isn’t a time to panic. Sure, it might be a time to question your eating habits, but panic, no. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your dog only ate a handful of chips.

They weren’t stopped to eat the whole bag or even half of it; they just ate a few. That is, unless, somehow, they were able to get into the entire bag. If so, that’s a whole different issue about you not keeping things away from your dog.

Are potato chips dangerous for dogs?

The short answer to that question is no. If your dog ate a couple of chips, they’re going to be fine. However, the main problem with chips is the salt content. If your dog ate an entire bag of chips, depending on the size of the bag, there might be issues. A dog can’t digest the same amounts of salt that humans can. It’s all about how many chips the dog ate.

Are there any specific ingredients in BBQ chips that are dangerous?

A bag of BBQ chips is loaded with ingredients. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on the bag of your BBQ chips? If you have, then you’d know there are ingredients with names so long you can’t even pronounce them. You have to wonder if any of those ingredients are good for you, let alone your dog. However, there are a few ingredients that you need to be particularly worried about. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the typical ingredients in a bag of BBQ chips.

This is the list of ingredients from Lay’s Potato Chips Barbecue Flavor:

Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Corn, and/or Canola Oil), Barbecue Seasoning (Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Molasses, Torula Yeast, Onion Powder, Spices, Tomato Powder, Paprika, Natural Flavors, Corn Starch, Caramel Color, Yeast Extract, Paprika Extract, Garlic Powder, and Mustard Seed Oil)

Here is the ingredients of another popular snack called Kettle Brand Backyard Barbeque Potato Chips:

Potatoes, Safflower and/or Sunflower and/or Canola Oil, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Sugar, Salt, Maltodextrin, Paprika, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract, Tomato Powder, Torula Yeast, Garlic Powder, Chili Pepper, Natural Flavor (Including Smoked), Citric Acid

How safe are these ingredients for dogs?

Well, let’s cut to the chase and say that, for the most part, they’re not good for humans. Why would you expect that these things are good for dogs?

When it comes down to it, dogs are like humans. They can eat some of the same things that humans do, but they can’t eat everything.

Even more so, they can’t digest everything that you can. If you know something is bad for you, there’s a good chance it’s also going to be bad for a dog.

Onion and garlic powder are what you need to be concerned with

Onions and garlic belong to the allium family. The allium family also includes chives, shallots, leeks, and scallions. Onions and garlic are very bad for dogs due to their high levels of thiosulphate. If you’re not familiar with thiosulphate, it’s a compound that makes the kidneys shut down.

Here are a few symptoms of allium poisoning:

1. Vomiting

2. Diarrhea

3. Anorexia or poor appetite

4. Depression/lethargy/depression

5. Indecisiveness/delirium

6. Brain damage

7. Coma or death.

It is important to note that it is extremely rare for this compound to cause death in dogs. Most dogs will develop one of the other forms of the disease before they die.

But, it is always important to be on the lookout for the signs of this disease. If your dog gets an onion or garlic powder-infused snack and they develop one of these symptoms, it’s time to call your veterinarian.

Stay calm and try not to think of the worst during this time. If you let yourself think about it, you’ll just get all worked up and make yourself sick. It’s okay to panic a bit, but you need to keep your mind focused on getting your dog the help they desperately need.

Can dogs eat chips that don’t have BBQ seasoning on them?

Can and should are two different things. Can they? Well, technically, yes. Should dogs eat chips? No, they shouldn’t.

Potato chips are loaded with salt, fat, and carbohydrates. The only benefit to chips is that they’re delicious. If your dog is eating a couple of chips, they’re not going to get very much nutrition from them.

When it comes to chips, you shouldn’t be allowing your dog the chance to find the taste for them.

Does a healthy chip exist that you can feed your dog?

The answer to that question is no. However, if you have unsalted chips, it’s not going to kill your dog to give them a few. Keep the chips to a minimum, and your dog will be okay. How often do you have salt-free chips in the house? Rarely, if ever, so you probably have the chips that will do a number on your dog’s kidneys and the rest of their body.

How can fat affect a dog’s diet?

Numerous studies have indicated that dogs who are overweight or obese don’t live as long as dogs who maintain proper body weight. The same can be said for humans. Obesity in humans generally isn’t good for a person’s health. Too much fat isn’t good for you or your dog, so that means you need to be careful of how much of it you have in your diet.

There’s a difference between eating a fatty snack occasionally and eating a high-fat diet. If your dog has a high-fat diet, you’re setting them up for all kinds of health problems down the line. You are contributing to your dog’s decline if you regularly feed them foods that are high in fat, such as potato chips. There’s no way to sugarcoat the situation; you’re killing your dog by providing them with such a diet.

The one exception could be…

If you bake your own chips at home, maybe those are better for your dog than the deep-fried varieties. You’ll be able to control the salt, and that is a plus, but you still have the issue of the carbs. The fact is that chips are just not very good for dogs. Understandably, both you and your dog want a snack, but chips aren’t the best option for neither of you.

Unsalted pretzels are a healthier alternative for you and your dog

Unsalted pretzels are a good option for you and your dog if you want something that both of you can snack on. Unsalted pretzels don’t have the salt that chips do, but they do have carbs. Pretzels aren’t the healthiest alternative to chips for dogs, but they are better than chips, most of the time.

Should puppies eat BBQ chips?

Puppies are even more sensitive to the ingredients in BBQ chips. The onion and garlic powder can do a real number on a puppy. These two things aren’t good for adult dogs; they’re even worse for puppies. If you have a puppy between the ages of one month and 12 months, keep them away from onion and garlic powder. If you have chips with these ingredients in them and BBQ flavor, don’t let your puppy eat them.

The danger is real, and you must take it seriously when it comes to your puppy digesting anything from the allium family. Also, you have to be worried about the high levels of sodium in chips. The salt will wreak all kinds of havoc on their body, and it can damage their bodies well into adulthood. Of course, if somehow your puppy eats one or two BBQ chips, they’ll be fine. You don’t want your puppy to eat any chips, but be especially careful of them getting ahold of any chip with onion or garlic powder as a seasoning.


Watch out for BBQ chips as they are extremely dangerous for dogs to eat! They can cause serious health problems or even death. Don’t let your dog eat any, even if you think they might like them.

A couple of chips won’t hurt your fully grown dog or puppy. However, if they were able to eat an entire bag of BBQ chips, you need to pay close attention to their health. If your dog shows tell-tale signs of allium poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, blood in the stool, pale gums, and all three droopy eyelids, it is time to contact a vet. Your actions very well could save your dog’s life or, at the very least, keep them from getting any sicker than they already are.

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!