Can Dogs Have Salt and Vinegar Chips? Are They Bad?

Last Updated on June, 2024

You’re sitting down and relaxing with a nice bowl of salt and vinegar chips. You see your dog looking at you expectantly with those giant puppy dog eyes, begging for a bite of your snack. 

Like most dog owners, you might be tempted to give in to him. Letting dogs eat salt and vinegar chips should be fine, right? 

Think again. 

Let’s cover the facts on this popular junk food! 

Quick Summary

Giving dogs salt and vinegar chips is not recommended. The high amount of salt and unhealthy oils in these chips can cause harm to dogs, leading to digestive problems, weight gain, and potential diseases like pancreatitis and heart disease.

If your dog consumes a small amount of chips, it will likely pass without issue. However, if they eat a large quantity, it is important to monitor their symptoms and provide plenty of water. In severe cases, veterinary attention may be necessary.

It is possible to train dogs to avoid consuming chips by using basic commands, positive reinforcement, and providing alternative, healthier snacks such as vegetables, fruits, and plain popcorn.

So, Can Dogs Eat Salt and Vinegar Chips? 

A dog is standing in the background of a plate of vinegar chips

The short answer is no. Your dog shouldn’t be eating salt and vinegar chips. 

The reason why it is not recommended for dog owners to let their dogs eat salt and vinegar chips is because they contain excess salt and vinegar content, unhealthy oils, and artificial additives. They offer zero nutritional value for your dog. 

These potato chips are a popular human food, but feeding your dog salt and vinegar chips may cause much harm to your furry friend. 

Let’s break it down for you. 

Potatoes

Cooked potatoes are perfectly safe for dogs. They offer beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. In fact, many dog food brands use potatoes as a filler for kibble. 

However, pet parents must note that fried potatoes, such as potato chips, are less healthy as they’re fried in oil containing trans fat content.

This can lead to health problems like:

  • Weight gain.
  • Pancreatitis. 
  • Cholesterol.

You must also never give your dog green or raw potatoes, as they contain solanine, a poisonous substance. If large quantities are consumed, solanine can impact your dog’s health, causing digestive problems, paralysis, and even death. 

Salt 

Vinegar and salt chips contain added salt, which poses serious health risks to your dog and can even be potentially fatal.

This is because dogs cannot process sodium chloride the way humans can.

However, your dog’s diet needs to have a controlled amount of salt in its food to maintain proper health.

Dog foods usually contain a minimum of 0.3% sodium per volume.

A bowl of vinergar chips with dog paw prints on the bowl

Vinegar and salt chips, and too much salt in dog food can lead to: 

  • Sodium ion poisoning. 
  • Dehydration (as dogs tend to experience excessive thirst after eating salty snacks).
  • Digestive problems.
  • Kidney damage. 
  • Heart disease.

Salt poisoning can be especially dangerous to dogs. I will cover what should be done if your dog has salt poisoning, later on in the article.

Vinegar 

You might be wondering: Is vinegar safe for my dog? 

Similar to salt, vinegar is generally safe for most dogs in very small amounts. The vinegar content in salt and vinegar chips is typically insufficient to cause harm, but in larger quantities, such chips can give your dog stomach problems.

It can cause several health issues, like:

  • Gastrointestinal upset. 
  • Inflammation. 
  • Stomach pain. 
  • Kidney issues. 
  • Allergic reactions. 

A quick tip: If you’re unsure that your dog is allergic to vinegar, you can test your dog’s reaction by adding a small spoonful of apple cider vinegar to its food. Don’t worry; this vinegar is gentler on the stomach and will not adversely affect your puppy. 

Is it Okay if Dogs Eat Salt and Vinegar Chips in Moderation? 

A bowl of  vinegar chips next to a bottle of vinegar

If you choose to let your dog eat salt and vinegar chips, ensure that you give them only in small amounts. You can try setting up a routine to avoid giving your dog too many salty treats. 

When relaxing with a bag of salt and vinegar chips, strictly limit your dog to only one chip. This practice helps you track your dog’s salt and vinegar intake and reduces the risk of overconsumption. 

Dogs love a good treat, and a dog lover tends to give in to their dog’s begging. If you train your dog to understand that he is allowed only one chip, it helps curb your dog’s tendency to beg for more.

It establishes a healthy boundary between you and your dog during feeding, promoting moderation in your dog’s treat consumption. 

What Do I Do if My Dog Eats Salt and Vinegar Chips? 

If your dog ate salt and vinegar chips without your knowledge, you must first try to find out how much of it was eaten– was it just a few chips or the whole bag?

If your dog ate a small amount of chips, it’s usually nothing to worry about too much. It will likely pass in a couple of hours after giving your dog some water to drink. 

However, if your dog ate a whole packet of chips, here’s what you should do: 

Monitor 

Watch your pet closely for any adverse reactions. Look out for signs of stomach pain, diarrhea, or distress. 

Provide Water

Ensure your dog drinks plenty of fresh water to dilute the effects of sodium toxicity and it stays hydrated. 

Contact Your Vet

If you notice persistent or severe symptoms or are unsure about your dog’s well-being, contact your vet for professional advice. They can provide guidance based on your dog’s size, health, and the quantity of chips consumed. 

What to Do if Your Dog Has Salt Poisoning

A dog is sitting next to a bowl of vinegar chips

If you suspect your dog has salt poisoning from eating salt and vinegar chips or any other salty food, you must seek immediate veterinary attention. Salt poisoning can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. 

Here’s what you should do: 

Contact Your Vet Immediately

Call your vet or an emergency Animal Poison Control Hotline immediately. Ensure you provide details about the type and quantity of the salty snack your dog has eaten. 

Keep an Eye on Your Dog 

Watch your dog closely for any changes in behavior and for the following symptoms:

Here are some IMPORTANT tests that are recommended for your Moyen Poodle:

  • Vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Inactivity. 
  • Poor appetite. 
  • Disorientation. 
  • Seizures. 
  • Shortness of breath. 

Follow Professional Advice

Your vet or the Poison Control Hotline will provide guidance based on your dog’s size, health, and the amount of salt and vinegar chips consumed. They may instruct you to give your dog water every 30 minutes. 

Be on the lookout for excessive urination when trying to combat your dog’s dehydration. 

Emergency Care 

In severe cases where your dog has consumed far too much salt and vinegar chips, your pup may need urgent medical intervention. 

While there isn’t a specific treatment for salt poisoning, your vet will still try their best to bring down your dog’s sodium levels. This can include administering IV fluids and electrolytes along with careful monitoring. 

Can I Train My Dog to Not Eat Salt and Vinegar Chips? 

vinegar chips kept inside a dog bowl

Yes! You can train your dog to avoid consuming salt and vinegar potato chips.

Here are some steps you can take: 

  • Basic Commands: Ensure that your dog has a solid foundation in basic commands like, “leave it,” “stay,” and “drop it.” 
  • Introduce With A Substitute: Use a dog-friendly treat, like doggie biscuits, as a substitute for chips. When your dog shows interest in the chips, give the “leave it” or “drop it” command and immediately reward it with a dog-friendly treat when it complies.
  • Consistency: Be consistent in reinforcing the behavior. Repeat the process regularly to reinforce that ignoring the chips and obeying your commands leads to positive rewards. 
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your dog when they ignore the chips. This positive reinforcement helps establish the desired behavior.
  • Supervision: When you do offer chips to your dog, ensure you closely supervise it. If they attempt to approach the chips themselves, use the commands you’ve trained them.

Alternative Snacks for Dogs 

Instead of letting dogs eat salt and vinegar chips that would damage their health, here are some healthy alternatives you can opt for instead:

  • Doggie Treats: Many commercially available treats are specifically designed for canine consumption. 
  • Vegetables: Dogs often enjoy crisp, crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumber slices, or bell peppers. 
  • Fruits: Offer small amounts of dog-safe fruits such as apple slices, blueberries, or watermelon. 
  • Plain popcorn: Unsalted popcorn can be a low-calorie and enjoyable dog snack.
  • Peanut Butter: Spread a thin layer of unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter on a toy for your dog to lick. 
  • Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a good source of probiotics. However, ensure that your dog tolerates dairy before offering it. 

Other guides and tools you might need when training your dog:

FAQs 

No, one or two chips will not kill a dog. However, if a dog consumes too many chips, they could experience sodium poisoning or pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening if not treated.

Yes, it is possible for dogs to eat other foods with vinegar but it should be in moderation due to potential health benefits.

No, dogs should not eat salt and vinegar rice cakes due to their high salt content. Instead, plain rice cakes can be given to them in moderation.

Wrapping Up

While dogs may be enticed by salt and vinegar chips, it’s crucial for you to exercise caution. Responsible pet care involves making informed choices about what we feed our dogs.

After all, prioritizing their well-being over momentary indulgences contributes to a longer life and overall happiness. 

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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