For us humans, sour cream can add a nice bit of flavor to a meal. You may also see it called for in certain baking recipes. Sour cream is a useful ingredient in many respects, and it tastes pretty good too.
But what about your dog? Can dogs have sour cream? You may have seen your dog eyeing you and that container of sour cream closely while you’re baking or cooking. Perhaps he’s even jumped up onto the counter to get a taste for himself.
So what if your dog consumes some sour cream? Should you be worried, or is it okay for your pup to have a little bit of this tasty food?
The good news is that it’s totally fine if your dog eats a little sour cream. But like everything, moderation is important.
Is Sour Cream Safe for Dogs?
Sour cream is basically safe for dogs to eat. There’s nothing in it that would be toxic to dogs, which means it’s okay for them to eat it.
You can even consider adding sour cream occasionally into his regular diet. But with that said, it’s important to introduce it slowly to make sure it agrees with your dog’s digestive system.
If you give too much of any new food to your dog too quickly, his body may react negatively. He might experience problems like diarrhea.
You should also understand all the different benefits and drawbacks of giving your dog sour cream to help you determine if this could be right for him.
Pros of Feeding Your Dog Sour Cream
Sour cream has a good flavor and can help add desirable texture to certain meals or baked goods. But those aren’t the only benefits that it has.
For both humans and dogs, some sour cream brands can be a good source of probiotics. Probiotics are bacteria and yeast that are good for your gut health. They can help you digest foods better and can help to ease or prevent stomach aches.
Sour cream also contains calcium which is an important nutrient for your body as well as your dog’s. This will help strengthen your bones and prevent injury.
You may also find other minerals like iron, sodium, and phosphorus. It’s also high in fat, which means it’s a good source of energy. This makes it great if you and your dog have an especially active lifestyle.
Cons of Feeding Your Dog Sour Cream
While adding sour cream to your dog’s diet can benefit him in several ways, you should understand that there can be some drawbacks to it.
One of the major drawbacks is its fat content. While fat can be beneficial for providing energy, too much of it can lead to weight gain. If your dog’s diet is too high in fat, then he may face a variety of health concerns.
Gaining excessive weight can put more pressure on your dog’s joints, which could cause major issues like arthritis down the road.
A diet too high in fat can also lead to problems like obesity, pancreatitis, and heart disease.
If you’re trying to avoid this issue by feeding your dog fat-free sour cream, know that it will still contain fat. Just less fat than regular sour cream. Fat-free sour cream also contains an ingredient called tyramine which can be unhealthy for your dog.
The other concern you run into when feeding your dog sour cream is lactose. Like all dairy products, sour cream contains lactose. Most dogs can digest lactose, but some may find it more difficult.
Dogs with lactose intolerance may vomit, have diarrhea, feel dehydrated, or have stomach aches as a result of eating sour cream. If your dog is lactose intolerant, it’s best to avoid this food.
The final drawback to feeding your dog sour cream is its high caloric content. Just one tablespoon of sour cream contains 23 calories.
Your dog needs calories to convert into energy. But feeding him too many calories can lead to weight gain. As you know, excessive weight gain can lead to a host of physical health problems for your dog.
Should You Feed Your Dog Sour Cream?
It’s safe to give your dog sour cream. But does that mean it’s something you should be feeding him?
Sour cream can have some benefits for your dog’s diet, as you know. But giving your dog too much sour cream can lead to potential health problems.
If you’re going to add sour cream to your dog’s diet, the important thing to remember is moderation.
Consider sour cream to be like your dog’s regular treats. The general rule of thumb is that your dog’s treats shouldn’t take up more than 10% of his daily caloric intake. Any more than that and you may start running into potential issues like weight gain.
Also remember that if your dog shows any sign of lactose intolerance, it’s best not to feed him any sour cream at all.
You’ll also want to refrain from giving your dog any sour cream if he’s already overweight. Even if your dog isn’t overweight now, if he’s struggled to stay at a healthy weight in the past you should prevent him from eating any sour cream.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Lot of Sour Cream
If you turn your back one moment and the next moment you find that your dog has eaten far more sour cream than he should, don’t be too concerned. Sour cream isn’t toxic to dogs, and it should pass through his system safely.
Just keep an eye on your dog for the next day or so. Remember to take away any sour cream that may be left so he can’t consume any more of it. Your dog may experience some diarrhea, an upset stomach, or vomiting. These symptoms should go away on their own.
If your dog has these symptoms, don’t feed him for the next 12 hours. When you do feed him, give him something easy on his stomach like chicken and rice. Avoid giving him any treats, but make sure you leave water out for him to help him stay hydrated.
If you do start noticing any major side effects of his symptoms don’t clear up, you should see your vet.