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Miracle Whip is one of the best-selling spreads for sandwiches and salad dressings in the United States.
It was first introduced during the Great Depression when its cheaper price tag made it alluring to families who couldn’t afford the high-flying mayo.
It contains mayo’s key ingredients (water, soybean oil, egg, and vinegar) but sets itself apart with a sweet, spicy flavor that its devotees adore.
Dog owners who can’t resist sharing human foods with their dogs often wonder whether it is okay to let their pups sample this sweet condiment—and for valid reasons.
Dogs are known to be notorious scavengers. If you leave anything lying around that looks or smells tasty or offer them any type of food that you are eating, they won’t hesitate to eat it.
In fact, after ingestion of OTC medications, consuming toxic foods is considered to be the most common cause of poisoning in dogs in the US.
So, when it comes to sharing Miracle Whip with our canine friends, any responsible dog parent may have good reason to worry.
So, Can Dogs Eat Miracle Whip?
The short answer is: Yes, Miracle Whip isn’t toxic to dogs, so they can safely eat a small amount of it—particularly if it is just a little bit on your salad dressing.
However, you should never make it a habit of feeding your pup a lot of it.
Unlike other human foods that are known to be toxic to dogs, your pup won’t get extremely sick after eating some Miracle Whip.
So, if you are content with sharing some of the condiment with your Fido, you can technically go ahead and do so.
But before you get too excited, let’s discuss why Miracle Whip isn’t good for dogs.
Miracle Whip Ingredients
As hinted above, Miracle Whip was developed by Kraft Foods in 1933 as a cheaper alternative to mayo. So, it contains the same ingredients as mayo but has less oil. It also contains extra sugar and spices.
The actual list of ingredients in this condiment include: water, eggs, salt, high fructose corn syrup, modified cornstarch, mustard flour, soybean oil, potassium sorbate, dried garlic, and paprika.
As a side note, while both Miracle Whip and mayo are similar in texture and appearance, Miracle Whip is tangier and has a more distinct flavor.
In fact, one of the simplest ways of telling them apart is to taste them.
The one that tastes sweeter is the Miracle Whip due to the presence of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup that it contains.
What Harm Can Miracle Whip Do To My Dog?
Now that we understand the main ingredients in a Miracle Whip, let’s discuss why you shouldn’t share this condiment with your dog on a regular basis.
1. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Miracle Whip is sweetened with HFCS, highly refined sugar that has been linked to several health issues in dogs and humans, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Excess sugar can also cause blood glucose spikes in dogs, resulting in irritation and lethargy.
Finally, sugary foods can cause tooth decay and enamel wear in dogs.
If you can’t manage to brush your pup’s teeth regularly, it is advisable to avoid foods with a lot of sugar like Miracle Whip.
Although Miracle Whip contains less oil than mayo, it is still high in both total fat content and saturated fat.
One serving of Miracle Whip contains 3.5 grams of fat, of which about 0.5 grams is saturated. This is a lot of fat for such a small amount of condiment!
Excess fat is not good for your pup because it is associated with a wide range of health conditions including pancreatitis, cardiovascular diseases, and weight gain.
In particular, according to Harvard Health Publication, saturated fats can lower the amounts of good cholesterol in dogs, increase bad cholesterol content, and may even trigger inflammation.
All the three versions of Miracle Whip contain a fairly high amount of sodium, with one serving holding in excess of 100mg of sodium—Miracle Whip has 105 mg sodium; Miracle Whip Free has 126 mg; and Miracle Whip Light has 131mg.
This amount of salt is never safe for your dog considering that his salt tolerance is lower than yours.
Excess salt consumption in dogs is linked to a wide range of health issues in dogs, including hypernatremia, electrolyte imbalance, high blood pressure, and even sodium poisoning.
By sharing Miracle Whip with your pup on regular basis, you’ll be exposing him to all these health issues.
While some dog owners give their pups a lot of fresh water to dilute any form of salt they might have consumed, there is no guarantee that your pup will be safe, so it is advisable to be cautious.
It is also worth noting that smaller dog breeds require less amount of salt than their larger breed counterparts, so they may be at higher risks of the above-highlighted health issues if you allow them to consume excess amounts of Miracle Whip.
1 tablespoon of Regular Miracle Whip contains 40 calories.
The Miracle Whip Free version has 13 calories while the Miracle Whip Light has 37 calories per 1 tablespoon serving.
While this may seem to be lower compared to mayo, which packs 110 calories per same-size serving, it is still excess for your dog.
To maintain a healthy weight, most dogs require about 25-30 calories per pound.
If you own a larger breed that’s active, then 40 calories per 1 tablespoon serving is not a big deal.
But for a toy breed, an elderly dog that is not active, or a lazy dog breed, this amount of calories will be too much.
Feeding the latter group of dogs Miracle Whip too often may cause health issues like unnecessary weight gain and obesity.
As aforementioned, Miracle Whip is sweet because of the HFCS and a blend of spices, including Paprika, mustard, and garlic.
Spicy foods are a no-no for dogs because they may cause a lot of health issues than you may not realize.
Some spices (like onions and garlic) are toxic to dogs and others can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, stomach pain, and gas.
6. Potassium Sorbate, Cornstarch, and Other Additives
Miracle Whip is also formulated with a wide range of additives, including vinegar and Potassium Sorbate to keep it fresh, cornstarch as a thickener, and several artificial flavors.
All these have their own list of side effects or health risks to dogs, including cancer.
Some dogs are also allergic to cornstarch, for instance, so sharing Miracle Whip with them can cause a wide range of allergy symptoms.
7. Soybean oil
Finally, another ingredient of concern in Miracle Whip is soybean oil.
While soy is safe for dogs (in fact, it is a common ingredient in many commercial dog foods), some dogs are allergic to it.
Soy allergy can cause a wide range of health issues, including stomach issues (vomiting and diarrhea), excessive licking, hair loss, and even ear infections.
If your dog is allergic to soy, be sure to monitor him after eating some Miracle Whip.
So, can dogs eat Miracle Whip?
Well, an occasional smear of the condiment on a sandwich won’t kill your pooch, but you probably shouldn’t make it part of his regular diet.
As highlighted above, it adds fat, sodium, calories, sugar, and potentially harmful spices and additives without supplying any useful nutrients to your dog.
As with any other nutritional information out there, if you have any doubt about the safety of Miracle Whip or any other condiment, speak with your local vet.
Most importantly, reach out to your vet immediately you notice any weird signs after sharing Miracle whip with your dog.