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Can Dogs Eat Kielbasa? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Visnja Radosavljevic

Last Updated on June 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_kielbasa

Can Dogs Eat Kielbasa? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Lorna Whittemore  Photo


Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

Learn more »

Kielbasa is a delicious sausage that many people love to eat; however, you should be careful when eating it around a dog. Kielbasa is not considered safe for animal consumption because it contains additives, seasonings, and other harmful components. Its nutrients are also insufficient for a proper canine diet, so it’s not the type of food that your dog needs.

This article will discuss kielbasa, including its ingredients and nutrients, and explain why it’s not safe for dogs to eat.

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How Should Your Dog’s Diet Look?

For your dog to be healthy and develop properly, it’s essential to provide them with the right diet. Dogs are technically carnivores, and their main food source should come from animal protein. However, they also like to consume various omnivorous foods, including fruits and veggies.

Besides protein, they need the proper amounts of fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins, especially at a young age. Their diet should be well-balanced and include everything that they need to grow healthy and strong.

Most dogs should eat dry or wet dog food as their primary daily food source because it contains all the needed nutrients for proper development. Up to 10% of their daily diet can consist of treats or other safe foods such as dog-safe fruits and veggies.

The Ingredients of Kielbasa

Before explaining how kielbasa affects dogs and why it could be potentially unsafe for them, we need to provide information about the ingredients of this human food.

The main ingredients of kielbasa are:
  • Beef
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Garlic


Beef is not harmful to dogs and is an excellent source of protein, which is why you can occasionally use it as a treat. However, only fresh beef should find its way to your dog’s stomach. Other types of beef, including the beef inside kielbasa, are not the best food options for your dog.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a main ingredient of kielbasa, and it’s unsuitable for dogs due to various reasons. For one thing, corn syrup is a sweetener that contains high amounts of sugar.

Sugar is not something that should be in your dog’s diet. Although not toxic, sugar could lead to an array of health problems, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic issues
  • Diabetes

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Excess salt can be toxic to most pets, including dogs, which is why you should prevent your dog from eating it in high quantities. A small amount of salt in your dog’s diet is okay, but consuming too much salt could lead to salt toxicity.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Lethargy

Salt toxicity in dogs can cause various signs, such as:

Due to the possible health problems, it’s best to monitor your dog’s salt intake and prevent them from consuming foods like kielbasa.


Most kielbasa recipes contain garlic, which is toxic to dogs. Consuming too much garlic can even be fatal, which is why you should keep any garlic-seasoned foods away from your pet.

The most common signs of garlic toxicity in dogs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Lack of coordination
  • Reddish or brownish urine
  • Increased salivation
vet examining a sick German Shepherd dog
Image Credit: Roger costa morera, Shutterstock

Kielbasa Nutrients

Kielbasa contains mostly fats, sodium, and cholesterol, and it has low carbohydrate and protein levels. Since dogs need a high-protein diet, foods such as kielbasa are unsuitable for them.

Here’s a list of typical kielbasa nutrients:

Calories: 180 kcal
Fats: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Sodium: 520 milligrams
Cholesterol: 35 milligrams

Since kielbasa is high in fats and low in carbs and protein, it’s not ideal for your dog to eat it if you want them to get enough nutrients. It also contains high sodium levels, which are unhealthy for your canine.

The cholesterol levels in kielbasa are higher than the amount of cholesterol that a dog should intake daily, which may cause additional problems. High cholesterol in susceptible dogs (such as some miniature schnauzers) is dangerous and can lead to hyperlipidemia, a severe condition that can cause various side effects, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Nervous system dysfunctions
  • Skin patches
  • Cutaneous xanthomata


Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Kielbasa?

Kielbasa is potentially unsafe for your dog. It contains corn syrup (which is high in sugar), salt, and garlic, which are all potentially extremely harmful to your dog. It also hardly has any nutritional benefits that a dog needs. It may even cause digestive and metabolic issues in your furry friend.

homemade kielbasa
Image Credit: ungvar, Shutterstock

Is It Healthy for Your Dog to Eat Kielbasa?

Besides not having the nutritional benefits, kielbasa is unhealthy for your dog. Due to its ingredients, it could cause multiple problems, such as salt toxicity, garlic toxicity, and high cholesterol.

Due to its high sugar levels, consuming large amounts of kielbasa can also lead to obesity, and therefore, diabetes.


Obesity is a serious health problem caused by an increase in body weight in your dog. When a dog is obese, they can develop an array of issues, such as:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Arthritis
  • Respiratory compromise
  • Abnormal response to insulin
  • Decreased heat tolerance
  • Joint pain

You can easily notice obesity by noticing the significant weight gain in your dog. However, there are other signs that you can look out for, including a lack of energy and desire to exercise.

fat chihuahua dog
Image Credit: taro911 Photographer, Shutterstock


Regularly consuming kielbasa could result in obesity and then diabetes in your canine. This is a condition in which your dog’s body is incapable of producing enough insulin. If your dog has diabetes, they will likely need treatments for the rest of their life to function properly.

Common signs of diabetes in dogs include:

  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Kielbasa?

If your dog consumes small amounts of kielbasa, there’s no need to worry. Simply prevent your dog from eating more of it, and there should be no issues.

However, if your dog eats a large amount of kielbasa, it’s best to take them in for a vet check. The sausage contains salt and garlic, which can poison your dog, so it’s vital to react promptly.


Final Words

Kielbasa is unsafe for dogs because it could lead to multiple health problems. It’s best to keep it away from your dog. It doesn’t have any nutritional benefits and can harm your canine’s health.

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