Can Dogs Eat Horseradish? (Sauce & Mustard Poisoning Facts)

can dogs eat horseradish

Dogs will eat almost anything. If it falls on the floor or the find it outdoors, more often than not it’s fair game for them to chew on. This means that dog owners we need to be vigilant at all times, because some rather innocuous foods can actually be poisonous and toxic to dogs.

Can my dog eat horseradish? Your dog can eat horseradish as it’s not poisonous to dogs. However, I do not recommend you give your dog horseradish to eat because it can taste toxic to them, leading to irritation of the mouth, nose, throat, digestive system, and possibly the urinary tract. 

Whilst horseradish will not poison your dog, it could make him or her very sick. As humans, we know only too well how we can react to horseradish sauce and mustard. Dog are not used to eating spicy foods, and tastes like this can give them gastrointestinal problems.

This advice goes for dogs eating horseradish cheese, sauce, mustards, leaves, or plants. You can read more detail below, plus see details on some myths surrounding horseradish being good for dog health problems.

The bottom line is, many dogs are allergic to foods and can react badly. It is irresponsible to give them anything that isn’t safe for dogs. Your dog could suffer an allergic reaction to horseradish and become very ill due to the spicy nature of this root vegetable.

Can dogs eat horseradish sauce or horseradish mustard?

When fed in the mustard form, horseradish sauce will often be a lot hotter than the plants and leaves. Because of this, it’s not advisable that you let your dog eat horseradish sauce as they could develop diarrhea and vomiting.

can dogs eat horseradish sauce
Don’t give your dog horseradish sauce as the results might not be too good!

If you compare how humans can often react after eating horseradish, it makes perfect sense for you to not let your dog have it. For example, medical journals I have read explain that horseradish can cause side effects in humans such as upset stomachs, bloody vomit, diarrhea, and even cause miscarriages in women.

Can dogs eat horseradish plants and leaves?

Once cooked, the horseradish plants and leaves actually lose a lot of their spiciness. Based on this, of all the horseradish variation, the plants and leaves once cooked, would be best for your dog as they are not poisonous.

However, there still will be an element of spice there, so as far as a safe vegetable for your dog goes, that are far better options.

What happens if a dog eats horseradish?

If you do let your dog eat horseradish by accident or otherwise, the spice in it can cause some negative reactions such as:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Painful stomach problems
  • Vomiting

Will eating horseradish kill my dog?

It is very unlikely that eating horseradish will kill your dog, but if in any doubt you should always seek professional veterinary help.

Related questions (and myths)

Whilst researching this guide I heard a lot of strange things about dogs eating horseradish plants and sauce. Perhaps they are old wives’ tales and urban myths. Either way, I wanted cover those off too, and I do that below.

Can a dog go blind after eating horseradish sauce?

If you have ever eaten a really hot chilli, you will know how it can make your eyes water. In fact, capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers that creates the burning sensation can turn you blind – if you are exposed to it in the pure form.

The reason I use chili peppers as an example is because someone on Twitter told me they had heard that dogs can go blind after eating horseradish sauce. I can only imagine that this myth started up due to how spicy ingredients can burn your eyes; hence my capsaicin example.

However, there is no capsaicin in horseradish, and there are certainly no recorded instances of a dog going blind having eaten this root vegetable or the cheese and mustard variety.

Does horseradish work for a dog’s cough?

I also had people tell me that horseradish has been used to help soothe dog coughs. Having spoken with vets, this isn’t something you should do, but I understand why it might have become a thing.

According to the WebMD.com website, horseradish is used by some people to soothe the following ailments:

“Some people take horseradish by mouth for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, fluid retention, infections of the respiratory tract, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), gallbladder disorders, sciatic nerve pain, gout, colic, and intestinal worms in children.” 

They go on to say that horseradish might help to fight of bacteria, but there is no scientific proof as far as I can tell.

Given that some people have used horseradish to treat their coughs, I can understand where the rumor about it working on dogs too might have started.

However, given what we know about horseradish, I don’t think you should use it to treat a dog’s cough. There are plenty of alternatives that are more proven to work and will be safer.

Will horseradish get rid of worms in a dog?

There is no evidence that horseradish can get rid of worms in a dog. If you believe your dog has any type of parasite, then please seek professional guidance from a vet as worms should be treated immediately to protect the health of your dog.

Whilst there are many natural remedies promoted for dog worms such as pumpkin seeds, carrots, coconut and apple cider vinegar, I’ve never heard of horseradish being a remedy.

The health benefits of horseradish

Many of the myths I’ve looked into above result from how horseradish has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. The excellent Healthline.com website says the following:

  • Horseradish may anticancer affects.
  • Horseradish has antibacterial properties.
  • Horseradish may improve respiratory health.

They also explain that in just one tablespoon of horseradish, you can benefit from:

  • Calories: 7
  • Protein: less than 1 gram
  • Fat: less than 1 gram
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.5 gram

It also boasts small amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, and other micronutrients.

Based on all of this, you could assume that horseradish is safe for dogs and is a healthy vegetable to add to their diet. However, given the spice elements of the vegetable, it makes no sense at all to let your dog eat horseradish sauce or leaves.

Conclusion

Whilst horseradish could provide a range of health benefits to your dog, given the bad reaction they might have it is not a safe food for them. Many of the health benefits listed for this vegetable can be gained from high quality dog foods recommended by your vet.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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