Sour cream is not toxic to dogs, and a little now and then should not cause any harm. However, it’s a dairy product made from regular cream fermented by acetic acid bacteria. Can dogs eat sour cream as a treat? As with all dairy, dog owners should be cautious when introducing this product to their pet’s diet.
Sour Cream Contains Lactose – But Not As Much As Milk
Lactose is the sugar found in milk. When fermented, lactose is converted into lactic acid, which gives sour cream and other fermented dairy products their characteristic sour taste. As a result, these products contain little lactose compared to whole milk. There’s 0.4 to 0.6 grams of lactose in one tablespoon of sour cream.
Dogs can consume small amounts of lactose without problems, but large quantities can cause digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting. This is because dogs do not have the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. Just like humans, some suffer from lactose intolerance.
If your dog is lactose intolerant, you may want to avoid feeding them sour cream. However, many dogs can handle small amounts of lactose without issues. To be safe, start with a teaspoon and see how your dog reacts before offering more.
Sour Cream is High in Fat, Which is Not Good for Dogs
Like many dairy products, sour cream is high in fat. One tablespoon of sour cream contains about four grams of fat.
While a bit of fat won’t hurt your dog, too much can lead to weight gain and other health issues. It can even cause pancreatitis, which is a serious condition that can be life-threatening.
If your dog is overweight, you should avoid feeding them sour cream and other fatty foods. But if they’re healthy, a small amount of sour cream can be included in their diet as an occasional treat.
What About Fat-Free Sour Cream?
Fat-free sour cream is a better option for dogs, as it contains less than one gram of fat per tablespoon. Be sure to read the label before feeding your dog some, as some brands of fat-free sour cream have added sugar. Look for one that has no more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving.
Sour Cream May Help Soothe Your Dog’s Stomach
There are some benefits of sour cream for dogs. The probiotics in sour cream can help settle your dog’s stomach if they’re experiencing indigestion or diarrhea. The live, active cultures in the fermented dairy can help restore the balance of good bacteria in their gut.
You can give your dog a spoonful of sour cream to help soothe their stomach, or add it to their dog food. However, it’s better to consult your vet and buy special probiotics made for dogs to avoid issues with lactose.
Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream and Onion Chips?
While you may be tempted to share your sour cream and onion chips with your dog, it’s best to avoid giving them any. The onion in the chips can cause anemia in dogs. That’s because onion contains thiosulfate, which can damage red blood cells.
If your dog accidentally eats a few chips, they won’t likely suffer any serious side effects. But it’s best not to give them onion-flavored snacks or foods, as these can be harmful in large quantities. The high salt content can also lead to dehydration and other health problems.
Can dogs eat sour cream with other chips? Again, it’s best to avoid giving your dog any chips, as they can be high in salt and fat. However, if you must give them a few, sour cream and plain chips are the safest option.
Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream Cake?
Sour cream cake is another treat that’s best avoided. That’s because it contains a lot of sugar, which can be harmful to dogs. A slice of sour cream cake can have up to 20 grams of sugar – more than your dog should eat in one day. For a relatively healthy pet treat, stick to plain sour cream served without human food!
If Your Dog Can Tolerate Sour Cream Well, Go for It!
In general, dogs can eat sour cream in moderation. If your pup can handle a bit of lactose without any issues, then feel free to give them a spoonful or two of sour cream as an occasional treat. Just be sure to read the label on the sour cream you buy to make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful additives.
Does your dog enjoy a bit of sour cream now and then? Tell us in the comments!
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