Can Dogs Have Sour Cream And Onion Chips?

Photo by FDA on Flickr

Who doesn’t love a bag of crispy chips? Whether you are binge-watching a hyped-up Netflix series or casually chilling on the couch on a Sunday breeze, chips are hands-down, the way to go.

But when it comes to sharing it with others, you might need to consider exactly whom you can share the joy with. For a fellow human, that should be a no-brainer, but for our furry little friend? You might need to reconsider a couple of things for their goodness’ sake.

The saying “Health is wealth.” goes both ways for our friends in arms and paws. 

Can dogs have our sour cream and chips?

Hate to break it to you, but sadly and unfortunately, sour cream and chips are a straight no-no for dogs. They may resent you for a short while, but it’s worth the health instilled by keeping it as far off their menu as possible.

This article will be entailing the key ingredients in sour cream and chips and explain why and how some of these ingredients might compromise your dog’s health.

We will be recommending which foods you need to keep away from your beloved pal, as well as what is safe to chew for. Without further ado, let’s hop right to it!

What are the ingredients in sour cream and onion chips?

The all-star and go-to snacks are simply made of thinly sliced potatoes, either baked or deep-fried to crusty perfection. Now, sour cream and onion chips mainly comprise the following ingredients: Potato (obviously), Vegetable Oil, and sour cream and onion seasoning.

It does sound and seem safe for dog-friendly consumption, but it is wise to note the nature of these ingredients and the effects they may have for your furry friend reading this next to you.


In all shapes and sizes, potatoes are deemed as not toxic for dogs (hooray!), but they do have to be properly boiled or baked. Potatoes are nutritious as they contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, etc. But when served raw or improperly, it may lead to unwanted effects on your dog’s health.

Serving your pal raw potatoes is a huge red light. Why you may ask? Because potatoes contain a toxic compound known as solanine, in high levels when raw. However, by boiling or baking potatoes, solanine levels are significantly reduced and therefore safe to be eaten.

Note: If your dog has diabetes, potatoes are not recommended in their diet. Potatoes have significant levels of sugar that can result in blood glucose spikes (which none of us want).

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is indeed a safe cooking oil to be used in your dog’s meal plans. In this case, canola oil and sunflower oil are often found in sour cream and chips, which isn’t a concern as it doesn’t pose any toxic threat to your dog. As a matter of fact, sunflower oil is an excellent skin moisturizer energy booster and helps maintain a big healthy heart.

Supplementing this ingredient to your dog’s diet should always be done after consulting with a professional vet to ensure it is safe and suited to your dog’s body.

Sour Cream and Onion Seasoning

This particular ingredient is one to watch out for your dog as much as you possibly can. Although not all the components that make up the seasoning are toxic or dangerous, it is best to keep them far away from their paws’ reach. Below are the culprit components your dog should dash away from:

Onion powder. Found in various forms in foods, 100 grams per 20 kilograms of a dog’s weight is all it takes to cause severe toxic effects, which can threaten a dog’s health and life if large amounts are ingested. Onions contain N-propyl disulfide, a compound that causes red blood cells to break down. For dogs, this can lead to anemia due to the reduction in the red blood cell’s ability to carry oxygen.

Skim milk.  Though not toxic and has nutritional benefits, it may cause disruptions in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, especially if he/she is lactose intolerant.

How toxic are onions for dogs?

A piece to the puzzle of some of the world’s most fabulous culinary dishes, maybe a firework of flavor to the human tongue, but to dogs? Not so much. Ingesting onions may cause gastroenteritis or GI tract inflammation.

These may cause dogs to experience nausea and mouth irritations, often indicated by excessive drooling. Not to mention the abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, that comes along as an effect.

The grave danger here is the fact that it may lead to oxidative hemolysis. Essentially, it causes the red blood cells in dogs to be burst, hence unable to carry as much oxygen as they usually would. This eventually leads to anemia, weakness, and lethargy due to lower red blood cell counts.

If dogs ever come close to eating just as little as 0.5% of their body weight, it would be enough to get them sick. This is why it is crucial to be aware of what lies around the kitchen floor, especially with tail(s) wagging back and forth.

Signs of onion toxicity in dogs

Knowing and identifying the signs of onion toxicity in dogs is vital to promptly get him/her to aid. Suppose your dog eats little to moderate amounts of onions. In that case, it may not be entirely noticeable and would rarely cause illness.

But if they ingest a decent sum or nibbles a little on a daily basis, your dog will likely get sick. This is why we have listed the following symptoms to keep an eye for: 

  • Foul breath (not good for play dates)
  • Mouth irritation due to drooling
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Reddish urine discoloration
  • And more 

Although your dog might find the first two as a regular part of being a four-legged adoration, the last three is a straight-up no-thank-you-and-please-leave kind of symptom. We might not be able to speak bark language but we now know enough to spot these symptoms in time. 

What should you do if your dog appears to have “onion poisoning”?

Here are the prompt steps to take should your dog experience onion poisoning.

If your dog has been consuming onions for some time, immediately remove any of the remaining onion(s) and store it where it’s out of reach. You must try to keep your dog as calm as you can. As mentioned above, ingestion of onions can lead to a drop in red blood cells. Hence, it is crucial to keep your dog from getting excited and active, which may lead to unconsciousness.

If you do happen to catch your dog taking a bite or two of onions, we highly suggest you take him/her to the vet. Within a few hours, your vet can induce vomiting promptly to get the onions out of your dog’s system. Vets might also administer charcoal for toxin absorption. However, if blood tests indicate hemolytic anemia, your pal would most likely require a blood transfusion.

How nutritious are sour cream and onion chips?

Although potato chips may be undeniably delicious with its explosion of flavor(s), it still does not contribute any nutritional value for dogs. In general, most of the potato chips we consume comprise processed oil, fat, sodium (salt), and worst of all, carbs. Though these components might not be toxic, it is deemed unhealthy for dogs, as high carbs mean unwanted weight gain, and we, owners wouldn’t want that, right?

In addition, potato chips contain high amounts of artificial flavoring and additives, which are nowhere near healthy for dogs. Excessive consumption of potato chips for dogs can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Tummy aches 
  • Diarrhea (Yikes)
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration 

As you can see, none of these should ever happen to our pal. So, as googly as their eyes can be when you hold a crusty bag of chips, please bear the strength to say no, for their cuteness’ sake and well-being. In short, treat dogs just as you would treat your child (or future child, at least).

Potato chips are generally non-toxic for dogs, as long as onions are kicked out of the ingredients’ list. Giving dogs one or two chips should not be a concern, but before doing so, please ensure you double-check the contents as well as consider your dog’s current health status.

Other onion flavored foods to keep away from your dog

Here are some of the human-friendly, master-crafted, and heavenly dishes your dog(s) should avoid by any means necessary:

  • Cooked onions
  • Onion gravy (oh my)
  • Onion rings/onion ring crisps 
  • Meatloaf (your dog’s tummy already screaming here) 

Those rings and meatloaf sitting on the kitchen table may receive a 3-dog-Michelin-star rating for a majestic scent and excellent presentation, but please, stay strong! Keep these to yourself, and your furry friend can thank you later.

Concluding remarks

Dogs can be excellent negotiators and persuaders. The dazzle of googly eyes and tail wag may be unbearable to say no to, but always keep in mind that telling them no to certain foods you eat is love in its purest form (though they might not see it at first). Potato chips are perfectly fine in small amounts but in general, not recommended for dogs due to high fat and sodium content. Instead, treat him/her with other snacks such as plain popcorn that are safer for your dog to enjoy alongside you. 

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!