Can Dogs Eat Worcestershire Sauce?


If you’re a dog owner, you more than likely know how challenging it can be to fully monitor what they’re eating. 

As straightforward as it is to feed them every day, you never know when your dog might want a bit more, including the food we eat. Still, there is a lot of confusion about what dogs can and can’t eat.

With this in mind, if you have a natural love for adding flavor to your meals, you most likely have tried Worcestershire sauce before. 

Now, what about dogs? Can dogs eat Worcestershire sauce? We’ve all had that dreadful day of seeing our dog get into food they shouldn’t have gotten into. To help put your head at ease, let’s take a look at Worcestershire sauce and if dogs can eat it!

What are the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce?

Like many other sauces, the preparation behind Worcestershire is very subjective depending on the person making it. Some people like it spicier, while others want it to be sweeter. Think of it in the sense of hot sauces, meaning they’re all somewhat similar but can be drastically different.

Still, most Worcestershire sauce is made with salt, sugar, vinegar, molasses, garlic, anchovies, tamarind extract, and chili pepper extract. 

Many people also make the sauce by combining soy sauce with other ingredients, but this isn’t always the case. Regardless, you’re probably more interested in the ingredients being bad for your dog instead of knowing all of the ways it’s made.

Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce is a common sauce found in grocery stores. Here is the ingredient list for them.

Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce:

  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Sugar
  • Water Salt
  • Onions
  • Anchovies
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Tamarind Extract
  • Natural Flavorings
  • Chili Pepper Extract

Are there any ingredients in Worcestershire sauce that are toxic to dogs?

Although varying ingredients depend on where you get Worcestershire sauce, they still have a similar base-level ingredient-wise. 

As for any specific ingredients that are toxic to dogs, garlic is toxic to dogs. However, garlic is so low in Worcestershire Sauce that it’s not a high enough level to be harmful to dogs unless they eat a lot. Still, none of these ingredients should be poured out for your dog to eat.

Studies have shown that 15 to 30 grams of garlic per kilograms of body weight is harmful to a dog. Obviously, Worcestershire Sauce contains much less than that garlic-wise. Regardless, your dog shouldn’t be eating garlic at all.

Besides high doses of garlic, none of these ingredients will kill your dog. Still, if your dog has stomach issues, you may find your dog vomiting depending on how much of the sauce they ate. 

Regardless, your dog can definitely handle the ingredients in the sauce, even the garlic. Just make sure it doesn’t end up being a habit.

What about the nutrition in Worcestershire sauce?

As great as it is to know that most of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce aren’t toxic to dogs, there is the question of the nutrition at hand. 

Obviously, you should never feed your dog anything sauce-wise. Regardless, if your dog does end up getting into it, how is Worcestershire for nutrition purposes?

As you can imagine, with it being an added sauce, it’s a mix for it health-wise. Keep in mind, the nutritional benefits we’re going to discuss are referencing human nutrition. Still, these negatives and benefits are universal for mammals. 

Every species certainly has varying requirements, but that’s beside the point. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the nutrition of this sauce:

High Sodium

With something having so many added spices and salt to it, it’s safe to assume that it’d be high in sodium. 

That is certainly the case with Worcestershire sauce, making it it’s biggest negative health-wise having to do with its sodium intake. A lot of sodium is never good for a dog to eat, especially if they’re older and not as active.

High Sugar

As detrimental as sodium is for a dog’s health, an even worse area of focus is sugar. You more than likely know how bad sugar is, especially artificial sugar and non-naturally occurring sugar. 

Worcestershire sauce is unfortunately decently high in sugar per serving, making it a negative in that respect.


We’ve all seen the countless commercials regarding milk and other products with the essential nutritional value of calcium.

In short, calcium is needed to support strong bones in a dog’s body, making it an essential makeup of their nutritional requirements. Still, too much calcium can negatively affect, so always be mindful of how much calcium your dog is consuming.


Although it’s not incredibly high in iron, Worcestershire sauce surprisingly has a small amount of iron in it. Seeing as iron is a fundamental mineral for growth and development, it’s essential for younger dogs. It also acts as a support for providing oxygen to muscles.


The last nutritional area to highlight for the sauce is potassium. Potassium is a mineral that dogs need in order for their body to work properly. 

It helps nerve functionality, making it a critical part of dogs since they rely on their nerves and muscles to get around so much. Worcestershire sauce has a decent amount of potassium in it, making it one of the few benefits of the sauce.

Can dogs even taste Worcester Sauce?

Whether you’re aware of it or not, dogs have roughly 1/6th of the taste buds we do, making their sense of taste much more minor than humans. 

Still, this doesn’t mean dogs don’t taste anything. All it means is they don’t taste as much as we do. This is essentially the reason why dogs can eat practically anything without issue.

Think of it like when you’re sick and have a lack of taste. Although you can taste some things, your sense of taste is undoubtedly weaker than it usually is. 

As for dogs being able to taste Worcester sauce, they can definitely taste it to a certain degree, but nowhere near in the same sense as us.

Are soy sauce, fish sauce, or balsamic vinegar any better?

If you have a love for Worcestershire sauce, you more than likely dig soy sauce, fish sauce, and balsamic vinegar as well. 

So, what’s the case with these sauces? Are they any better for dogs, or are they worse for them? The only way to find out is to look at their nutrition facts and see!

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce isn’t toxic for dogs to consume, but it’s incredibly high in sodium, meaning dogs should avoid it at all costs. 

In fact, soy sauce has almost seven times the sodium content of Worcestershire sauce. Although it’s lower in sugar, the high sodium intake is a reason to ignore it alone.

Fish Sauce

Similar to soy sauce, fish sauce technically isn’t poisonous for dogs to eat, but this doesn’t mean you should feed your dog it. Plus, fish sauce is slightly higher than soy sauce in sodium, making it even worse for your dog. The sugar content is lower than soy sauce, but the sodium is way too high for your dog.

Balsamic Vinegar

Although balsamic vinegar is significantly lower in sodium, balsamic vinegar is derived from grapes, which are poisonous to dogs. 

Thus, you should never give your balsamic vinegar, no matter the case. If your dog somehow eats it by mistake, make sure you get them help as soon as possible.

Can a dog have too much salt?

Similar to humans, feeding your dog food that’s too high in salt is never ideal. In fact, most dogs can’t handle high salt intake like humans. 

It’s ubiquitous for high-salt dog diets to lead to sodium ion poisoning, making it never ideal for the matter. Always do what you can to monitor the matter.

What benefits would pickled or fermented foods have for a dog?

Seeing as Worcestershire sauce is a part of the fermented and pickled food spectrum, do these foods have any benefits for dogs? 

Although a dog’s digestive system is usually too sensitive for these kinds of foods, some studies show certain pickled or fermented foods can be beneficial. Let’s see why:

Full of Probiotics

Pickled and fermented food’s most significant benefit has to do with probiotics. Probiotics offer several specific benefits that we’ll discuss in a moment. Still, for the most part, it’s safe to assume that any form of probiotic can be incredibly beneficial.

Enhances Digestive System

Dogs typically have issues with their digestive systems since they have a natural interest in eating things they shouldn’t. 

Whether it’s neighborhood plants or left-over human food, we all know how much dogs love to eat. As a result, pickled and fermented food can benefit them in enhancing their digestive system.

What is the best way to help a dog who is a picky eater?

Although most dogs are associated with being easy eaters, some dogs struggle in the opposite sense. The best way to get around this issue is to feed your dog on a schedule. 

Getting into the groove of a schedule can do wonders for your dog’s pickiness. Other solutions include changing their food brand, food flavor, food texture or size, using moist food, and cooling or warming their food.

Can dogs eat Worcestershire sauce?

We’re finally here! The grand finale of wondering, can dogs eat Worcestershire sauce? If you haven’t picked up on it yet, dogs won’t die from Worcestershire sauce, so don’t worry if they accidentally ate some from you. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should feed your dog it. Its high sodium and sugar levels make it not ideal for dogs to consume. In short, keep it away from your dog, but don’t overreact if they accidentally eat a little bit of it.

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!