Black pudding is one of those ingredients that either gets you excited for brekkie, or turns your stomach. Many people are put off by the fact it’s made from blood or just don’t like the rich flavour.
However, this food has existed for centuries as a means of making something tasty out of a body part that would otherwise go to waste, a bit like ye olde recycling. But while we humans might love or hate black pudding, you probably wonder can dogs eat black pudding and assume they’ll enjoy the meaty taste.
Whether you’ve seen some black pudding treats in the pet shop, you’ve got some leftover, or if your pooch has pinched some pud off the floor, read on to find out if it’s safe for dogs to have black pudding.
Yes, dogs can technically eat black pudding but it is one of those foods that you should probably avoid unless you carefully check the label, and only feed it to Fido occasionally in very small pieces.
If your dog only eats a very small piece as a treat, they should be perfectly fine. Or if your pooch hoovers up a piece of black pudding that fell on the floor, they should be alright. But as always, you should double-check with your vet if a new food is suitable for your pup.
However, given the high fat and salt content of black pudding, it’s not something you should regularly feed your pup. It’s definitely not a food they can have every mealtime, that’s for sure.
Some dog trainers suggest using little pieces of black pudding as a high-value reward, but it must be used very sparingly and you’ll need to make sure there are no harmful ingredients inside. It’s best to buy special black pudding made specifically for dogs if you’re going to use it as a regular reward.
However, there are lots of other foods out there that make great high-value treats that are safer and healthier for your pooch to enjoy. (Which means they can eat more of them!) Things like chicken, dried sprats, or even plain cheese are enough for most dogs to go barking mad about, as well as other healthy, tasty treats.
The ingredients used in black pudding recipes will vary a lot whether it’s shop-bought, from your butcher’s, or even made at home. Black pudding is mostly made from animal blood, fat, and oats. The blood and fat usually come from pork, but not always.
Many varieties are heavily seasoned with pepper and may contain other ingredients such as various herbs and spices, flavour enhancers, and sometimes barley or wheat instead of oats.
Because dogs are sensitive to spices and seasoning, some heavily flavoured black puddings might be unappetising to them and could cause gastrointestinal upset if they have a particularly sensitive stomach. Unhelpfully, some recipes only list “spice extract” or “herbs” on the ingredient list, so you can’t be certain what’s in the sausage and whether or not it’s safe for your furry friend to eat.
Some spices, like nutmeg and garlic or onion powder, are toxic to dogs, so you’ll need to check the label to make sure there are no nasties lurking inside.
As long as there are no harmful ingredients inside your black pudding, your dog can eat it raw or cooked. This is because black pudding is partially cooked during the manufacturing process.
It is still quite rich and if your dog is picky or has a sensitive stomach they might find raw black pudding unappetising or difficult to digest so it might upset their stomach. If that’s the case, just grill it and let it cool off before cutting it up to use as treats for the rest of the week.
If you want to let your dog eat a little bit of black pudding, it’s better to grill it or bake it than to fry it. Black pudding already has a lot of fat and frying it just adds even more fat and oils that are difficult for dogs to digest and can cause pancreatitis or lead to weight gain.
However, if your pooch only eats a tiny bit of fried black pudding as a one-off, they should be fine. They definitely shouldn’t eat a whole slice or eat it regularly though.
Black pudding sticks are a kind of dog treat you might see in pet shops. They should be dog-friendly and perfect for Fido to snack on as a special treat. The quality of the ingredients can vary though, so you should still check the label to see what’s inside.
These sticks are often high in protein, but the ingredient list is also typically vague and doesn’t actually list what’s in there, just the percentage of components like fat or protein.
As long as your pooch is eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise, an occasional black pudding stick should be perfectly fine. Otherwise, you can always find healthy treats or safe human foods your pooch can snack on so you know exactly what they’re eating.
White pudding isn’t as common as black pudding, but it’s made in a similar way it just doesn’t contain animal blood. Really, it’s just a mix of fat, barley, and oats. Given the ingredients, it’s pretty clear that it isn’t the most nutritious snack and it’s not exactly a healthy treat for your furry friend.
If your dog is okay with eating grains, a tiny tidbit of white pudding probably won’t do them any harm but it won’t do them any good either. If your pup is unable to eat grains or fats then it’s best to steer clear.
As always, you’ll need to double-check the ingredients for anything that could be toxic to dogs. It’s still high in fat and salt, so there is a risk of problems like dehydration, pancreatitis, or weight gain if your pooch eats too much.
Some folks have claimed black pudding is a “superfood” but there’s not a lot of science to back that claim up. Although there are a few nutritional benefits, it’s certainly not the healthiest treat your dog can eat.
In terms of why black pudding could be “good”, it contains iron thanks to the blood content. The problem is, the iron content varies a lot depending on the concentration and volume of the blood used. While some brands have high iron, it’s not guaranteed. Iron is great for dogs because it helps to prevent anaemia and keeps their red blood cells healthy.
Although black pudding has some positives, there are plenty of ingredients that aren’t great for your furry friend. For instance, black pudding is very high in salt, with many brands having between 1.5-2g of salt per 100g. That’s way too much salt for a dog to eat, but your pooch shouldn’t be eating that much black pudding either.
If your dog has too much salt in their diet, it can lead to dehydration and in worst-case scenarios even sodium poisoning. Eating too much salt regularly can also lead to problems like changes in blood pressure.
Plus, black pudding contains a lot of calories and fat, which varies wildly between brands from anywhere between 2.5g to 22g of fat per 100g of pudding. Even for humans, black pudding is best kept as an occasional treat because it is so fatty. But for dogs and their smaller calorie needs, it must be an occasional treat or avoided entirely to prevent any unwanted weight gain or illness.
Because calories, fat, and salt are three of the main things you need to moderate in your dog’s diet to keep them healthy, it can be a lot easier to just avoid feeding your pooch black pudding to prevent any problems. Although as long as the ingredients are safe and your dog is eating a healthy diet, a tiny piece of black pudding as a treat should be fine. If your pooch is on a low-sodium or low-fat diet, it’s best if they don’t eat black pudding.
Dogs can eat black pudding, but it doesn’t mean that they should. A healthy dog can have a tiny piece of black pudding as a very occasional treat and usually be fine, but it isn’t suitable for all dogs and they definitely can’t eat a lot of it.
Eating too much black pudding can make your dog sick with vomiting or diarrhoea, but the high fat and salt content could lead to serious issues like pancreatitis. Because of these risks, it’s best to feed it very sparingly or not at all.
Instead, feed your dog a complete and balanced dinner such as Pure, which is packed with all the meat, fruit, veg, vitamins and minerals that your dog needs to be a happy, healthy pooch. As a tasty little tidbit, we've got a wide selection of treats that are not only really healthy, but super delicious too! Your dog doesn't need to be eating junk food to enjoy a treat.
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.