Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream? Is It Safe Or Harmful For Your Pooch?

October 6, 2021

Can Dogs Eat Sour Cream? Is It Safe Or Harmful For Your Pooch?

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These days, it’s becoming more and more common for our pampered pooches to eat some human food as part of their doggy diets. It feels good as a pet parent to spoil your canine companion with a few little extras to add variety to their regular dog food. However, some human foods are not suitable for dogs. So, what about sour cream? Imagine you’ve cooked Mexican for dinner, and your naughty pup helps himself when you’ve turned your back. Should you be worried? Can dogs eat sour cream? Read on to find out.

What Is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is regular dairy cream that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation removes the sugar and gives it its unmistakable sour taste. It can be used for baking and in some desserts and is a common accompaniment to fajitas and other Mexican dishes. You’ll also find it in some dips and snacks. But can dogs eat sour cream? Is it safe?

Is Sour Cream Safe For Dogs To Eat?

The short answer to whether sour cream is safe for dogs is yes, mostly. A small amount is unlikely to harm a healthy dog with no ongoing medical issues or sensitivities. Sour cream doesn’t contain anything toxic to dogs, but remember, it can often be served with other poisonous foods. For example, fajitas include onions, and some dips will contain garlic, chives, or onion, all of which are poisonous to dogs. So, if your dog gets hold of some food that contains sour cream, be sure to check the other ingredients are not harmful.

Is Sour Cream Harmful To Dogs?

There are situations where sour cream can be harmful to your dog. For instance, if your dog is lactose intolerant, sour cream will probably give them a bout of vomiting or diarrhea. So, if your dog has had an upset stomach after milk, cheese, or other dairy products before, you’ll definitely want to avoid sour cream.

Sour cream is also very high in fat, so if your perfect pooch has had pancreatitis in the past, you could risk another flare-up if you give them sour cream. The high fat content also means that sour cream will cause your dog to gain a few pounds if offered regularly. Therefore, if you have a dog who needs to trim down, avoid fatty foods like sour cream and stick to healthier treats, like a raw carrot.

What If My Dog Accidentally Eats Some Sour Cream? What Should I Do?

If your dog has eaten some sour cream, don’t panic! They may not show any signs of being unwell, especially if it was a small amount. However, some dogs will get mild vomiting or diarrhea after eating something like sour cream. If this is the case, you should feed a bland diet (boiled chicken and rice, scrambled egg, plain pasta, or white fish) for forty-eight hours to allow the guts to settle. If at any point your dog starts acting unwell, goes off their food, or you’re concerned, you should speak to your veterinarian for advice.

If your dog is lactose intolerant, is prone to pancreatitis, or has a sensitive gut, you might find that they develop a more severe tummy upset. Contact your veterinarian right away if your canine companion isn’t eating or drinking, is vomiting even after water, or seems to have a painful stomach. The vet will be able to check them over to decide if they need any medication to help them recover.


What happens when dogs eat sour cream?

If your dog isn’t lactose intolerant and doesn’t have a sensitive gut, a small amount of sour cream is unlikely to cause any immediate symptoms. However, some might experience vomiting and diarrhea. In the longer term, though, eating sour cream regularly is likely to cause weight gain and might even lead to a bout of pancreatitis, where the pancreas gland becomes inflamed. 

Can dogs die from eating sour cream?

Sour cream is non-toxic to dogs, so it’s unlikely to cause any severe adverse symptoms. However, dogs who are lactose intolerant or have dietary sensitivities may develop vomiting or diarrhea. If you are concerned about your dog after they have eaten sour cream, you should speak to your veterinarian, who can advise you what to do.

What foods can upset a dog’s stomach?

Many foods have the potential to upset a dog’s stomach. Many dairy products can cause a stomach upset, especially in dogs who are lactose intolerant. Equally, particularly rich or fatty foods like pâté and fatty meats can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even pancreatitis. In fact, any new food that is introduced suddenly rather than gradually can lead to symptoms of an upset stomach. So, it’s essential to give only a tiny amount of a new food at first, and then gradually increase the amount if your dog doesn’t develop any problems.

So, can I give my dog sour cream?

The answer to whether you can give your dog sour cream is yes – small amounts should be fine. Unless your dog is lactose intolerant, they should be able to cope with a little bit. However, perhaps the more important question is whether you should be giving your dog sour cream. The truth is that there are much better options for nutritious add-ons to your dog’s diet that are much healthier and more beneficial. 

So, if you’re looking for a healthier snack or treat for your dog, why not consider carrot, apples, or even peanut butter (but make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol). Remember, your dog can’t go far wrong with a commercial, nutritionally complete diet, but always do your research if you want to add a bit of variety. By checking what’s safe and what isn’t, you’ll be able to share some tasty treats with your furry friend without worrying that they’ll become unwell.

Dr Hannah Godfrey MRCVS graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Although she initially worked in mixed practice treating all species, she found a love for small animal work and has worked exclusively with dogs and cats since 2014. She lives in Wales with her partner, son, and two cats (named Poppy and Ashton Kutcher), and writes comedy fiction in her spare time.
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