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Soy sauce is a staple ingredient in many Asian households. Currently, it’s one of the best-known soy products worldwide, praised for its versatility and umami flavor.
If you find yourself wanting to share a bite or two of soy-basted chicken kebabs with your pup, you might be wondering, can dogs eat soy sauce? Is it even safe for dogs?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat soy sauce or foods made with soy sauce. Traditionally made pure soy sauce isn’t toxic to dogs, but can be extremely unhealthy if consumed even in small amounts.
Artificially processed soy sauce is the most dangerous kind for dogs as it may contain toxic ingredients. Some soy sauce brands, particularly the low-quality kind, add onions and garlic to increase the flavor profile. Others use chemical extracts and additives rather than fermenting.
There’s no “healthy” or dog-safe alternative to soy sauce. A single tablespoon (15 ml) of soy cause contains over 900 mg of sodium, which far exceeds the sodium dietary requirement for most dogs. That’s a little more than a tenth of a teaspoon of salt. Excess sodium increases a dog’s risk of kidney damage, hypernatremia, and neurological issues.
As with most human foods, transient gastrointestinal distress may occur when a dog eats plain soy sauce or foods made with soy sauce.
A bite or two of soy-chicken or noodles isn’t likely to cause grave harm. However, your dog might experience vomiting and/or diarrhea for several hours before clearing up in 24 hours.
On the other hand, plain soy sauce, even if it’s a mere teaspoon, can cause serious health problems. Even a small amount sprinkled on rice may cause issues.
If you catch your dog eating plain soy sauce, make sure to provide plenty of water and closely monitor their symptoms for salt poisoning.
These are as follows:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Seizures or tremors
- Respiratory Distress
- Lack of appetite
- Drunken gait
If symptoms occur within the first 24 hours, refrain from feeding your dog for the next six hours and replace water with ice cubes for it to lick.
If your dog’s symptoms last longer than a day, take your pup to the vet straight away. Increased thirst, urination, vomiting, and lethargy all point to sudden kidney failure or hypernatremia. If left untreated, it may potentially be lethal.
According to Dr. Michael Salkin, licensed veterinarian, treatment for salt toxicity includes oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, and even blood transfusions. Mild cases are usually treated with regular medication or induced emesis.
Soy sauce is unhealthy for dogs. It shouldn’t, under any circumstance, be made part of your dog’s regular diet.
Although salt poisoning is relatively rare, it’s a serious medical issue that needs to be treated straight away. Dogs don’t need additional seasonings in their food at all, so it’s best to keep soy sauce for human consumption only.