Can Dogs Have Bisto Gravy?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Bisto gravy is generally not recommended for dogs due to its potential health risks. Even though your dog may enjoy gravy on leftover Sunday roast dinners it should only be given in small amounts. You should not worry about your dog getting sodium poisoning as long as they do not overeat.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Have Bisto Gravy?“.

If you are anything like me then you can’t stand food waste.

The end of some dinner times can lead to some agonising decisions.

It is a “no-brainer” to feed the dogs any vegetables that are left on the plate.

What about the rest of the leftovers?

Gravy is one of the things I struggle with the most.

This post explores whether dogs should eat gravy.

There are still many of you who want to know more about how dog-friendly Bisto gravy is.

Lets get started!

What is Bisto gravy?

In gravy fat and juices from meat are mixed with stock and often thickened with wheat flour to add texture. Two formats of Bisto gravy are available today.

In the more modern quick and easy Bisto gravy you mix granules with hot water to make a delicious gravy. After bringing cold water to a boil gravy powder (which is still very popular today) is slowly mixed with more cold water (and optional meat juices) and gently simmered. 

Where did Bisto originate?

Bisto gravy powder was first produced in 1908 and quickly became a bestseller in the UK. Gravies were thickened with it and the complex process of making gravy was shortened.

Their wives persuaded two British gentlemen to create a product that would guarantee perfect gravy. Thus Bisto was born whose name refers to its “Browning Seasoning and Thickening” features. 

Are there any other Bisto gravies?

Other delicious flavours include Beef Chicken Onion Turkey and Vegetable in addition to the traditional gravy granules. There is now a 25% salt reduction available on both beef and chicken.

A newer Bisto Best which contains real meat juices is available in the following delicious flavours: Beef Chicken Caramelised Onion Lamb Pork & vegetables. The salt content of both beef and chicken has also been reduced by 25% here.

Furthermore Bisto offers Original Gravy Powder from which its name is derived. Bisto Favourites Gluten-Free Gravy Granules and Bisto Southern Style Gravy Granules are also available.

Do you have any other information I should know?

Bisto has two fun facts to share:

  • Ahh! Thats the tagline for Bisto! The Bisto Company. Favourite of the Nation.
  • In 1969 Bisto gravy featured Bobby Moore in its first colour advertisement.

What are the ingredients of Bisto Gravy?

Its best to keep it simple.

Original Bisto Gravy Powder contains the following ingredients: Potato Starch Salt Wheat Starch Colour (Ammonia Caramel or E150c) Onion Powder and Inactive Yeast Powder (contains wheat and barley).

Bisto gravy typically contains these ingredients as well as Maltodextrin Palm Fat and appropriate flavourings (such as Smoked Paprika or Ground Black Pepper).

Why might Bisto gravy be unhealthy for dogs?

Perhaps you are wondering what exactly is in Bisto gravy that makes it unhealthy for dogs. Lets examine the ingredients.


It is safe to consume salt in small amounts but too much can cause serious illness. It is possible for dogs to develop sodium poisoning which can be fatal.

Wheat starch

Wheat allergies should be considered but this can be safe.

Onion powder and E numbers

In very low amounts both are safe but too much can cause serious health problems.

Gravy can be eaten by dogs (and licked!) if the portion is large enough. Sodium poisoning is caused by excessive salt intake and obesity or acute pancreatitis is caused by excessive fat intake.

An onion powder contains n-propyl disulfide which is toxic to dogs. As a result of the compound red blood cells are broken down resulting in anaemia.

Additionally Bisto contains saturated fats and unhealthy carbohydrates which can upset the stomach. This can cause acute pancreatitis or affect the health of a dogs heart over the long term.

Why might Bisto gravy benefit dogs?

Dogs must surely benefit from this? Its good news that they do exist.

Despite some ingredients offering some benefits its not the best nutritional choice for your dog. Take advantage of how much they love licking gravy from your dishwasher or smothering it on their dry food! 

Despite this there are still nutritional benefits associated with two ingredients in particular.

Potato starch

Starch from potatoes is actually a good source of starch for dogs especially puppies. By improving digestion dietary nutrients are more easily absorbed.

Inactive yeast powder

Dogs can benefit from inactive yeast in many ways. It contains a lot of protein and vitamin B and it may also help reduce the faecal E. colitis count.

Its good to know that dogs need salt in their diet just like humans do. Donot go overboard. 

You can benefit from the right amount of salt in many ways: it helps you stay hydrated promotes good vascular health and prevents cramps. 

What is the nutrition in Bisto Gravy?

Bisto gravy does not have much nutritional value despite its long list of ingredients.

The gravy contains a negligible amount of fat saturates and sugars (less than 1%). It does however contain a high amount of salt (0.62g per 100ml). Dogs suffer toxicosis if they consume more than 2 g/kg of salt per day while humans should consume around 6g of salt per day.

Are Oxo beef cubes any better?

In small doses can Bisto gravy be tolerated? Can Oxo beef cubes be tolerated? Similarly to gravy these are delicious for your dog but they do have the same warning signs. You must still be careful with the following ingredients even though they are in small amounts.

Oxo beef cubes are made up of Wheat Flour Salt Maize Starch Yeast Extract Flavour Enhancers (including MSG) Beef Fat (4.5%) Sugar and Onion Powder.

Dogs love the taste of beef fat of course! Nevertheless be mindful of products containing sugar which can cause diabetes in dogs. 

Donot forget to watch out for onion powder as well. In spite of the Oxo containing only a small amount of onion powder it can be toxic to dogs. 

There is actually a considerable amount of salt in the cubes; 16% per 100ml. In addition Oxo beef cubes provide very little nutrition.

Is Bovril beef extract any better?

It sounds like Bovril beef extract would be more suitable for dogs. Do you think thats the case?

The extremely high salt content in Bovril makes it unsuitable for dogs. Besides Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) Bovril contains onion and other harmful ingredients. MSG can cause seizures in dogs and onion can cause anaemia as well as toxicity.

If already being served to your dog just make sure it’s in very small doses. There are some owners who give their pooch a tiny amount to encourage him to eat dry dog food he wouldnot normally consume. You might be able to convince them to eat healthily with this trick! 

It is recommended however that you replace Bovril with a tailor-made dog gravy if possible.

Bovril beef extract is mainly composed of salt flavour enhancers (including MSG) sugar potato starch beef broth (4.5%) onion juice concentrate and sunflower oil. 

Can dogs eat “real” gravy?

Would you like some real gravy? Even though gravy is tempting you should help your dog avoid it entirely. There is a high level of salt and fat in this food which can lead to sodium poisoning and obesity. 

Additionally gravy contains onions and garlic which can be toxic for dogs and increase anaemia risks. 

How does dog gravy differ from Bisto gravy?

Recently you may have seen ads for dog gravy. You’d be right to wonder what exactly the difference is here – surely all gravy is bad?

Its obvious that dog gravy products are perfect for pooches’ diets as well as avoiding their allergies and sensitivities. Whole foods are used without any obscure ingredients and minimal processing is done to make them.

This natural dog gravy is made with only the following ingredients: Chicken Bone Broth Chicken Carrots Butternut Squash Tapioca Thyme and Sage.

In addition to the SuperGravy Paw Jus they also offer a specially crafted Artisan dog gravy made from whole foods and specifically targeted at dog health. Rather than E-numbers artificial flavours colours or preservatives there are ingredients like dried spinach and flaxseed.

As well as promoting heart health taurine is also beneficial for the brain and eyes in dogs.

Beef and carrots are also much better sources of protein than inactive yeast powder.

In addition to being free of MSG onions salt gravy and E-numbers dog gravy also contains no onion.

Other ways of making kibble appetising

To enhance the flavour of your dogs kibble have you ever added small amounts of gravy?

Would you like to know how you can get your dog to stop eating gravy and finish their kibble at the same time?

The good news is that there are other options as well!

You can not only improve the flavour but you can also sneak secret vitamins or nutrients into your dogs body without them knowing! 

There is a suggestion to apply the ‘50% rule here by providing a 50:50 ratio of kibble to fresh wholesome vegetables. Replace as much gravy as you can with fresh food as you try to move your dog away from carbohydrates and fats.

A dogs food would benefit from digestive enzymes sprinkled on it. Probiotic supplements promote good health and digestion by containing live bacteria.

Alternatively you can purchase steamed vegetables that can be grated or blended so that your dog does not notice.

Can dogs eat Bisto gravy?

How do we know what the answer is after all that? Is Bisto gravy safe to eat by dogs?

Bisto gravy is generally not recommended for dogs due to its potential health risks.

Even though your dog may enjoy gravy on leftover Sunday roast dinners it should only be given in small amounts. 

You should not worry about your dog getting sodium poisoning as long as they do not overeat. There are however short- and long-term health consequences associated with salt and fat such as toxicity obesity and acute pancreatitis. 

Dogs can also be poisoned by onion powder and E numbers. 

Bisto can provide your dog with some healthy nutrients. Potato starch aids digestion while inactive yeast powder is a good source of protein and vitamin B. Since other ingredients may be present it is best to source these nutrients from another source.

Its great news that you can make your own dog gravy which is twice as tasty – in part because your pup can eat as much as he wants!

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

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