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Potential Dangers of Feeding Canned Chili to Dogs Full Guide of 2023

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Can dogs eat canned chiliYou’ve probably heard it said that dogs will eat just about anything. And it’s true – they aren’t always the most discerning when it comes to food.

Take canned chili, for example.

Just the other day, I had a client come in with her Labrador Retriever, Rufus. Poor Rufus had gotten into a stash of leftover chili and eaten nearly an entire can! Now he was having some serious gastrointestinal distress – vomiting, diarrhea, the whole nine yards.

While dogs can technically eat canned chili, it really isn’t good for them. The spices, onions, garlic, and other ingredients can irritate their digestive systems.

So do your dog a favor – enjoy the chili yourself, and feed them a nice balanced dog food instead.

Key Takeaways

  • Canned chili contains ingredients like onions, garlic, spices, fat, and beans that can cause stomach upset and other health issues in dogs.
  • It’s best to consult your veterinarian before sharing any canned chili with your dog to ensure it is safe.
  • Look for dog-friendly canned chili options without onions, garlic, or excess seasonings if you do choose to feed it.
  • Stick to very small portions of canned chili for dogs – 1-8 tablespoons max based on dog size – and watch for signs of stomach distress.

Potential Risks of Feeding Dogs Chili

Potential Risks of Feeding Dogs Chili
Some of you’re risking your dog’s health by feeding them canned chili. The meaty texture and enticing aroma may seem irresistible to dogs, but the spices and ingredients can wreak havoc on their sensitive digestive systems.

Garlic, onions, and excess salt commonly found in canned chili can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. The fat content may also lead to pancreatitis. Even beans or tomatoes can lead to gas and bloating.

Before sharing your chili, consult your vet about dog-safe seasonings and ingredients. It’s safer to stick to bland foods designed for canine consumption. While an occasional spoonful mixed into their kibble may be fine, regular canned chili meals could lead to chronic health issues.

So be mindful of moderation and your pup’s tolerance. Their wagging tail and begging eyes may sway you, but stay strong and deny chili for daily dining.

Guidelines for Choosing a Dog-safe Canned Chili

Guidelines for Choosing a Dog-safe Canned Chili
When choosing a canned chili for your dog, be mindful of a few key things. Look for options without onions, garlic, or excess spices, as these can upset your dog’s stomach. Opt for dog-friendly ingredients like lean meats, beans, and vegetables. Additionally, watch the sodium content, as too much salt isn’t good for dogs.

Varying the ingredients can provide a more balanced nutritional profile. Focus on quality ingredients from reputable brands. With some care in selection, canned chili can be an enjoyable treat for your pup.

Avoid Added Spices

After going over the potential risks of feeding dogs chili, you’ll want to avoid added spices when choosing a dog-safe canned chili for your pup. Look for options without onion, garlic, hot peppers, or other strong seasonings.

Stick to mild chilis made with minimal ingredients to protect your dog’s sensitive stomach. When in doubt, add plain cooked meat or a dog food topper instead of sharing your spicy meal.

Watch Sodium Content

When picking out a dog-safe canned chili, you’ll want to keep an eye on the sodium levels, as too much salt can be dangerous for dogs. Look for low-sodium or no-salt-added options, check the label for sodium content per serving, and limit total intake.

Opt for chili made with lean meat, veggies, and minimal seasonings. Moderation is key when giving dogs chili.

Choose Meat Varieties

You’ll now need to choose meat varieties carefully when selecting a dog-safe canned chili. Opt for all-natural meats without nitrates, focusing on chicken or turkey rather than beef or pork varieties, which are harder for dogs to digest.

And be sure to check the label for any other questionable ingredients. Ultimately, homemade chili may be the safest option if you want to share this treat with your dog.

Recommended Portion Sizes and Frequency
Avoiding overfeeding your dog canned chili, you’ll want to stick to small portion sizes no more than two or three times a week.

Recommended serving sizes are one to three tablespoons for small dogs, three to five tablespoons for medium dogs, and five to eight tablespoons for large dogs.

Too much chili can upset your dog’s stomach and lead to gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or vomiting.

Look for low sodium, natural ingredient canned chili without onions, garlic, or excess spices which can also cause stomach upset.

With sensible portion sizes a few times per week, you can safely let your pup enjoy this tasty human food as an occasional snack.

Signs of Stomach Upset and What to Do

Signs of Stomach Upset and What to Do
While canned chili may seem like a tasty treat for your pup, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of stomach upset after feeding it to them.

  • Frequent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdominal pain or bloating
  • Lethargy or weakness

At the first signs of distress, stop feeding the chili. Try giving your dog only their normal food and water for a day or two to settle their stomach. If symptoms persist or seem severe, take them to the vet right away for evaluation and treatment.

With prompt care, your pup will likely make a full recovery. Still, it’s best to avoid chili and other rich human foods in the future.


You love your dog like family, so you want to share your tasty chili. However, think twice before dishing up those beans and spices. Canned chili contains ingredients that can harm your best friend’s digestive system and overall health.

While you may savor that zesty kick, your pup can’t handle chili’s acidic tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, and even beans.

Instead, give your dog quality kibble and dog-safe treats. When you want to share a special human food moment, choose plain cooked chicken or pumpkin, which dogs can digest easily. With a bit of care and chili for you, not your dog, you’ll both enjoy mealtime bonding.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.