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Can Dogs Eat Falafel? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_falafel

Can Dogs Eat Falafel? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Falafel is a typically vegan-friendly Middle Eastern dish made of chickpeas or fava beans, spices, herbs, garlic, and onions and that is often served up with pita bread, tahini sauce, and with a side of salad. Now, falafel is an absolute delight for us humans as many of us can attest, but it’s also something dogs shouldn’t eat under any circumstances.

There are several reasons dogs shouldn’t eat falafel, not least the inclusion of ingredients that could make them sick. Read on to find out more about why feeding falafel to your dog is a bad idea.


Why Is Falafel Bad for Dogs?

Though chickpeas—the main ingredient of falafel—are not harmful to dogs as long as they’re fed in moderation, falafel as a whole contains a host of ingredients that are toxic to dogs, including garlic and onions.

Garlic and onions fall into the Allium foods category along with chives, leeks, and shallots—all of which are poisonous for both dogs and cats. It doesn’t matter whether these foods have been cooked or are fed raw—they can still make your dog seriously sick. Foods from the Allium family contain N-propyl disulfide1, a compound that harms the red blood cells and can result in anemia. Dogs also run the risk of gastroenteritis if they consume onions and/or garlic.

If a dog experiences poisoning as a result of ingesting onion or garlic, they may show signs like pale gums, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, drooling, loss of coordination, fast breathing, an increased heart rate, and their urine may take on an unusual color. The presence of garlic and onions in falafel is reason enough to keep dogs away from this delicacy.

In addition to harmful ingredients like onions and garlic, falafel commonly contains spices like cayenne pepper. Though cayenne pepper is not toxic to dogs, it might cause an upset stomach and a burning feeling if swallowed. If cayenne pepper touches your dog’s skin, eyes, or nose, these areas may become irritated.

falafel balls on wooden table
Image Credit: Dmitrii Ivanov, Shutterstock

My Dog Ate Falafel, What Should I Do?

If your dog has only managed to snaffle a little bit of falafel, this may not affect them at all due to the low amount of garlic and onion consumed. A small amount of falafel may cause nothing more serious than a minor stomach upset that passes quickly.

Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to give your vet a heads-up so they can advise whether or not your dog should get a check-up. Keep an eye on your dog and if they start to appear unwell, seek veterinary treatment immediately.

However, dogs that eat a large amount of falafel are much more in danger of suffering ill effects. If your dog has eaten more than just a little bit of falafel—even if they seem fine—contact your vet immediately so they can assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action.

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Final Thoughts

Though there are many great things about falafel, we’re afraid your dog is going to have to sit out any family dinners at which it will feature. This is because some ingredients used to make falafel are toxic to dogs, especially in large amounts.

If your dog has a thing for chickpeas, it is best to feed them cooked, plain, in small amounts, and free of added seasonings. Stay away from canned chickpeas, too, as canned foods are often highly processed, so stick to fresh chickpeas only.

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