Our fur babies have a way of prancing on our hearts, especially when we are eating. Even the most well-fed dogs love to beg. Most pet parents won’t cave to those (literally) puppy dog eyes, but sometimes, we do give in to Fido’s pleading. Then there are occasions when we inadvertently drop something on the floor and Fido grabs it up before we can pick it up. On occasion, our curious canines will rummage through the garbage and get into some tasty, but very unhealthy leftovers. This can lead to our pets ingesting some very bad things that dogs cannot eat, including soy sauce.
We pet parents know that soy sauce is high in sodium, which is tasty but can detrimental to our pets’ health. So, can dogs eat soy sauce even in small amounts? Soy sauce contains a great deal of salt, which can lead to kidney failure in our canines. In fact, if your dog eats more than a teaspoon-sized amount of soy sauce and doesn’t drink water afterward, he can encounter serious kidney damage or, worse, salt poisoning. Salt poisoning, if left untreated, can cause neurological damage to your pooch, and it can be fatal depending upon the amount of sodium your dog ingested.
In order to understand why you shouldn’t feed your dog soy sauce, you should understand exactly what is in the product, and why that is so bad for Fido.
What are the ingredients in soy sauce?
Soy sauce is a condiment that is made by the process of fermentation. Four basic ingredients go into making soy sauce. Soybeans, salt, yeast, and wheat are the chief ingredients in soy sauce. (NOTE: Some fermentation requires a few more additives to yeast to make the process go as it should.)
If you’ve read anything about what goes into commercial dog food or the benefits of a raw diet, you may already know that some dogs shouldn’t have wheat or yeast. Gluten can wreak havoc on the digestive system of some dogs, but, this isn’t the chief “bad guy” in soy sauce. Each tablespoon of soy sauce includes up to 902 mg of sodium. If you can imagine one-tenth of a teaspoon of salt, then that’s the amount of sodium in just one tablespoon of soy sauce.
Of course, when you picture that amount of salt in a teaspoon that doesn’t seem like a great amount. However, that’s why we stated that if your dog ingests less than a teaspoon of soy sauce, he should be fine. If by chance your dog was able to get into a takeout cup of soy sauce, then that could spell big trouble for Fido.
Can dogs have soy sauce?
The short answer to this question is “NO!” You should do everything you can to ensure your dog doesn’t intentionally ingest soy sauce.
To put it simply, soy sauce contains too much sodium for dogs. We mentioned the fact that too much sodium can cause kidney damage or kidney failure in dogs. We also mentioned salt poisoning. Both of these conditions can be life-threatening for your canine companion, particularly if, for some reason, your dog can’t drink enough water to flush the sodium from his body.
So, no, you should never allow your dog to eat soy sauce, and, when disposing of a container of soy sauce (say, from takeout), then dispose of it in an area where Fido can’t rummage through the garbage to get to it.
What are the side effects of a dog eating soy sauce?
In the event, your dog does somehow ingest soy sauce, and you suspect that he ingested more than a teaspoon of the condiment, then you’ll need to provide extra water. However, you’ll need to see the vet if you begin to observe the following symptoms in your dog:
These symptoms are indicative of possible salt poisoning . Salt poisoning can not only leave your dog with neurological issues but, it can be deadly if left untreated. Don’t wait—if you suspect or are unsure of the amount of soy sauce your dog has ingested, get her to the vet immediately.
What should I do if my dog does ingest soy sauce?
Just because your dog ingested soy sauce doesn’t mean that’s an immediate death sentence; however, readers should be aware of how dangerous it is for a dog to eat soy sauce and what to look for in the case it does happen. Now, with that said, if your dog accidentally does ingest soy sauce, it’s best to know what to do.
In addition to vomiting and possible diarrhea, there are some signs that your dog is entering the salt poisoning stage. Sometimes, if your dog does ingest a small amount of soy sauce, you can give them water so that the extra sodium is flushed out of their system. However, if they refuse to drink or if they seem to get progressively worse, you should be aware of when to take your dog to the vet.
If any of these symptoms present in your dog and you’re unsure of how much soy sauce she ingested, get your dog to a vet immediately:
- Seizures in dogs
- Respiratory distress
- Walking as if intoxicated (stumbling, staggering)
- Muscle spasms
- Extreme lethargy
However, if you notice that your dog is very thirsty and is urinating more than normal, this is actually a good thing.
Remember, it’s a good idea for your dog to drink extra water, which will result in excess urination. This is your dog’s natural way to combat the extra sodium that is in the soy sauce.
Most of the time, if your dog happened to eat a small amount of soy, such as some fried rice that might have a dash or two of soy sauce in the dish, then offer extra fresh water and let Fido’s body do what it does best—flushing out possible toxins on their own.
What are some foods that might contain soy (that I might not be aware of)?
Tofu is made from soybeans. In fact, tofu is made when soy milk is coagulated and then pressed into blocks (the same way cheese is made).
While tofu is not full of sodium the way soy sauce is, tofu is a soy product that really isn’t good for dogs. Some opponents of the practice site the fact that not all soybeans are non-GMO. However, this isn’t the worst of tofu’s issues. Tofu contains silicate, which can lead to a dog developing kidney stones.
Some dogs are allergic to tofu. It can give your dog a bloated stomach (a serious condition in which the stomach can “turn” on itself), which can be fatal for your pup.
Tofu is not toxic, but it can cause problems in some dogs, so it is probably best not to feed your dog tofu purposely.
Soy is high in protein and fiber. That should make it safe for dogs, right? Not so much.
Soy can be very good for dogs, but it can also cause great damage to some dogs. As previously stated, most soy produced in the United States is considered GMO (genetically modified). This is what causes the issue for dogs. Some of these soybeans are treated with pesticides that can cause the soybean to become harmful to your dog later.
If your dog does eat foods with soy in it, just be careful of the amount of soy you provide to your dog. It is never a good idea for dogs to eat a lot of soy, especially if it is GMO.
1. Can soy sauce hurt dogs?
Yes. Soy sauce can not only hurt dogs, but high amounts of soy sauce can be fatal for dogs.
2. Can a dog eat fried rice with soy sauce?
It is a good idea to keep any soy sauce from your dog’s food if possible. No, dogs should not eat fried rice with soy sauce.
3. Can dog tolerate soy?
Some dogs can, but the chief issue is the amount of soy they ingest. If they do ingest soy, this should be a small amount, and it should be a non-GMO source of soy.
4. Can soy make dogs sick?
If the soy is rendered from a GMO farm, then yes, soy can make dogs sick. Seek a non-GMO source for any soy you give Fido, and only provide Fido in small portions.