Can Dogs Eat Ranch Dressing? 

By Britt Kascjak

No, dogs shouldn’t eat ranch dressing or ranch seasoning. The popular ranch flavor is made using several ingredients that are toxic to your dog. This includes the use of garlic and onion. Eating too much of either of these can cause serious health risks. This includes damage to your dog’s red blood cells which can lead to liver damage and anemia.

Is Ranch A Good Treat for My Dog?

Are you considering sharing your favorite ranch dressing with your dog? Has your dog snuck into the fridge and now you’re worried that the ranch dressing might make him sick?

A stolen lick of ranch dressing off your plate isn’t likely a serious risk.

But, eating too much can cause big problems for your dog.

Keep your dog from getting sick by keeping the ranch safely up and out of his reach.

Can Dogs Have Ranch?

It is not recommended that dogs eat ranch dressing.

This popular salad dressing may be a delicious choice for you. But for your dog, it could lead to some serious problems with your dog’s health.

Health Benefits if your dog eats ranch

Most foods will offer some health benefits, leaving dog owners to weigh the pros and cons. 

But, the same can’t be said about ranch.

This fatty salad dressing has nothing to offer your dog except for a sick stomach.

Health Risks if your dogs eat ranch salad dressing

High in Fat

Ranch dressing boasts high fat and calorie counts.

As an occasional treat, this isn’t a major concern. But eating too much can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

A high-fat diet can also cause pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition.


Ranch contains several dairy products like sour cream and buttermilk.

Lactose intolerance is common among dogs. This means that these ingredients may leave your dog feeling ill.

Signs of lactose intolerance include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Accidents in the House
  • Weight Loss
  • Weakness

Your dog may experience all these symptoms or only a couple.

While this isn’t a serious or life-threatening condition, it can be very uncomfortable.

Spices and Flavorings

The biggest concern with ranch and dogs is the spices and flavorings.

This ranges from ingredients that will upset your dog’s stomach to dangerous toxins.

Some ingredients of concern include:

  • Chives
  • Citrus Juice
  • Dill
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Parsley

The most worrisome ingredients are the members of the Allium family. This includes chives, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Consuming these ingredients can lead to pancreatitis, heart disease, liver failure, or anemia.

In the most serious cases, this can be fatal.

Is Ranch Toxic to Dogs?

If you wondering “is ranch bad for dogs?’ Yes, ranch is toxic to your dog due to ingredients like chives and onions.

A small taste of ranch dressing isn’t likely to have serious consequences. It doesn’t have enough of the harmful ingredients to be life-threatening.

But if dogs eat ranch in larger quantities it can be very dangerous.

Can Dogs Eat Hidden Valley Ranch?

No, dogs should not eat Hidden Valley Ranch dressing.

The ingredients list for their main product, The Original Ranch, includes harmful items.

On the list, the company lists both garlic powder and onion powder. These are both toxic if eaten in excess.

The company also adds both salt and sugar to the dressing.

Too much salt can lead to salt poisoning or sodium toxicity. Symptoms inclue dizziness, headache, and seizures.

In the most serious cases, sodium toxicity can be fatal.

Sugar isn’t as immediately dangerous. But, too much sugar can lead to unwanted weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.

You should avoid feeding your dog Hidden Valley Ranch.

Can Dogs Eat Other Salad Dressings?

There are many other salad dressings that aren’t toxic for your dog. But, this doesn’t mean that they are a good snack option.

Made with oils, salad dressings are high in fat.

Too much fat can lead to health complications. This includes unwanted weight gain, obesity, and acute pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflammed.

Common signs of pancreatitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Fever

If you notice any combination of these signs at once, contact your veterinarian.

Can Dogs Have Cool Ranch Doritos?

Doritos are made with high levels of both fat and salt. This is due to the frying process with corn chips.

But, the biggest concern with Cool Ranch chips is the use of flavoring. To mimic the taste of ranch dressing, similar spices are used.

This includes the use of garlic and onion powders.

While a single chip isn’t going to be life-threatening, you should avoid feeding them to your dog.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Ranch Dressing?

The first thing that you need to do is remove your dog’s access to the ranch dressing.

After you’ve secured the situation, take note of how much he has consumed. A small taste and a full bowl will each need to be addressed differently.

If your dog has eaten a large quantity, contact your veterinarian immediately. Provide as much information as possible.

This includes how much your dog ate, the ingredients of your ranch (if known), and any signs of illness.

They will be able to let you know the best course of action.

Not sure how much your dog had, err on the side of caution. Give your vet a call and follow their guidance.

If your dog only had a little sneak treat, there are likely no long-term side effects. But, he may expereience an upset stomach.

Make sure to provide him with plenty of cool, fresh water.

Even with the smallest taste, you will need to watch your dog for the next 24-48 hours. Pay attention to any signs that he may not be feeling well.

If you notice any symptoms of illness, poisoning, or allergies, contact your veterinarian.

Remember, every dog has different levels of tolerance and sensitivity. While one dog may be fine with no issues at all, another may experience vomiting and diarrhea.

No one can be sure of how your dog will react until he has eaten it.

Healthy Alternatives to Ranch Dip for Dogs

Are you looking for a different option to create a dog-friendly salad or add a twist to his veggies?

While ranch dressing and dip aren’t safe, there are some delicious dips you can make.

Pureed Banana

One easy solution is to take a banana or two and puree them to the consistency of a dip.

Bananas are a great addition to your dog’s diet in moderation.

They are a great source of potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Benefits of eating bananas include:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve digestive health
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Sharpen the mind

If you are looking to add a little spin to your banana dip, try adding in other fruits. There are many great fruits for dogs to enjoy.

But remember, fruits are high in natural sugars.

This is a great occasional treat, but it shouldn’t be a regular addition to his diet.

Greek Yogurt

Are you looking for an easy way to treat your dog without any extra work on your part? Greek yogurt is a ready-made, dog friendly snack.

This tasty dip option is high in both calcium and protein.

It’s also a great source of natural probiotics which can help to improve digestion.

Probiotics work to fight off bad bacteria in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Make sure that you only feed plain Greek yogurt. Choose an option that is free from sweeteners and other artifical additives.

If you want to add a flavor, you can do so in the same was as the pureed banana. Add a bit of mashed or pureed fruit that you have prepared from fresh.

Lickable Dog Treat

There are some treats on the market that are a similar consistency to ranch dressing.

Inaba Churu Lickable dog treats offer a creamy texture in convenient squeezable tubes. Formulated for dogs, they are free from grains, corn, wheat, soy, and other additives.

Choose from tasty flavors like chicken with vegetables or chicken with salmon.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Ranch?

Returning to the original question, can dogs eat ranch? The short answer is no.

With ingredients like chives, garlic powder, and onion powder, ranch dressing is toxic. It’s not a healthy snack and should not be fed to your dog.

If you are looking for a fun way to add some flair to your dog’s veggies, there are safe options.

Trade in the ranch dressing or dip for a dog-friendly alternative instead.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.