With the change in meat consumption, we see more consumption of vegetables and alternate protein sources. Tofu is one such food.
While it is a great protein addition to human diets, Can Dogs Eat Tofu? It’s quite debatable since tofu can sometimes positively and negatively affect dogs.
Yes, dogs can eat tofu in moderation. As a good source of protein, tofu can be a nutritious addition to a dog's diet. However, it should not replace meat as the primary protein source. Some dogs might be allergic to soy products like tofu, so observe for adverse reactions.
Can Dogs Eat Tofu?
Yes! Dogs can eat tofu. Tofu is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. Tofu is a type of food made from soybeans, and it is low in calories and high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
However, it is important to feed your dog only plain, unsalted tofu, without any added seasonings or sauces, as these can be harmful to dogs.
Additionally, tofu should be given to dogs only as a treat, and not as a replacement for their regular dog food.
If you are unsure about feeding your dog tofu, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.
Nutritional Value Of Tofu For Dogs
Tofu and soy milk contain sufficient protein and a lot of helpful nutrients for your pet's diet. Some of the nutrients of tofu can prove to be highly beneficial and healthy to include in your dog's diet. So, these are the nutrients your dog is going to get from tofu in their vegetarian and vegan diets.
- Soy protein (no less than animal proteins)
A small tofu serving can be quite low in calories. This makes soy-based foods a highly nutrient-dense option and treats for dogs.
It is essential to keep in mind that although canines are omnivores, they're primarily created to eat meat. Soy-based tofu isn't an ideal nutrition for them.
Thus, in case you prefer to use tofu, ensure that you offer it only as an infrequent treatment to get the health benefits while avoiding possible side effects.
Health Benefits Of Tofu For Dogs
Traditionally used in Asian cooking, the vegan protein source is slowly gaining popularity globally. It has several benefits when fed to your dog. It is a source of Calcium, Magnesium, vitamin A, Iron, Manganese, and phosphorus.
It is a great alternative protein source as it is not only meat-free but also dairy-free and low in calories. It comes with the added advantage of being low in purine, meaning that it is low in uric acid and can help solve urinary tract problems.
Tofu is also easier to digest when compared to meat proteins, making it a great treat but not a complete replacement for meat.
Possible Side Effects Of Tofu For Dogs
Feeding your dog too much tofu (soy proteins) can result in several problems. These issues may affect small dogs and puppies sooner than bigger breeds. Hence, if your dog eats tofu or soybean curds, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. Here are the heightened risk of consuming too much tofu.
Gas formation is a common problem in most dogs that occurs after eating too much soy. Usually linked with indigestion, gas formation leads to the excessive release of stinky farts and bloating.
Excess gas in the abdomen that is slowly released appears like bloat in your dog’s stomach. It may affect your dog's proper health. So, no matter how much your dog enjoys tofu, do not include it in their primary meals.
Your dog may have soy sensitivity if you notice that it suffers from diarrhea each time you feed it tofu.
Vomiting is one of the early signs of gastrointestinal upset, usually followed by diarrhea, constipation, etc.
Soy products contain phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. In its absence, your dog’s hormones are balanced, but it causes an excess of estrogen in your dog’s body. This may lead to thyroid issues and behavioral changes and alter the appearance of its skin and hair.
Excess silicate can disturb the regular functioning of an animal’s kidneys. Tofu contains silicate, which, when consumed in excess, can result in developing bladder stones in dogs.
Although tofu contains enough protein, it isn't a complete protein source. Since dogs are omnivores, they require meat and plant-based proteins to grow at an average pace. Substituting tofu for dog food can prove to be a dangerous change unless prescribed by your vet.
Allergic Reaction To Tofu In Dogs
The number of dogs with allergies to popular meats like chicken and beef is growing. In such cases, using protein alternatives such as tofu is essential to fulfilling your dog’s nutritional requirements using sources that are easy to digest and do not instigate allergic reactions.
However, dogs that have hypersensitive to particular soy products may undergo allergic reactions after consuming tofu. You may notice symptoms like skin itchiness, itchy ears, eyelid inflammation, or rashes. In case you see these or some other unusual responses in your dogs, stop giving tofu in their diet.
In case they have food allergies to protein: Vets will periodically diagnose as well as treat your dog's food allergies by slowly including hypoallergenic hydrolyzed soy protein into your dog's diet. In case your dog has a food allergy to other protein sources, a veterinarian may suggest adding tofu to your dog's meals.
Dog With Diabetes And Tofu
In human beings, a plant-based diet can decrease insulin requirements. When you increase fiber in your diet, it lowers your blood glucose. Moreover, a plant-based diet can improve insulin sensitivity.
If your dog is diabetic then it will need a fairly constant diet to bypass changing insulin requirements. And most experts believe that a vegetarian diet can be beneficial for most diabetic canines.
It's however very significant to observe blood glucose when you change diets (any change in diet like including a new food) and accordingly change insulin dosage. Ideally, pet owners can utilize a home monitor and stay in touch with their veterinarian to change insulin if required.
Symptoms of low blood sugar may include disorientation and weakness in your dog. This must be immediately treated with oral sugar and call your vet As soon as possible.
With proper check-ups, a plant-based diet isn't only safe for diabetic dogs, but it also can potentially reduce their insulin requirements.
How To Feed Tofu To Your Dog
Tofu can be a protein supplement to your dog’s diet but cannot replace high-quality dog food. Since human foods should only be given as a treat, they should account for less than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
In case your dog enjoys tofu, here are a few safety measures you must follow if you want to offer a slice or 2 to your dog:
Cook tofu but do not add any sauces, spices, artificial flavors, and seasoning to it. These extra ingredients may include substances that may lead to adverse reactions in dogs, like digestive upsets, and even can be toxic to your dogs.
You can feed tofu and soy products in moderation to your dog. It is human food; not for dogs. This's particularly significant to limit your dog's tofu intake when your dog starts to consume less of its nutritionally balanced food to eat tofu or other human foods.
As soon as you let this continue, your dog will ultimately suffer the results down the road by suffering from nutritional deficiencies.
Tofu should be an occasional treat and not a daily supplement unless prescribed by your vet. If you wish to feed your dog tofu daily, you must consult your vet before doing so.
How Many Tofu Should A Dog Eat
Human foods approved by vets as safe for dogs should be limited to 10% of your dog’s daily intake. Since tofu is low in calories and nutritionally dense, an inch cube of tofu may add up to 20 calories at the most.
An inch-sized cube per day is ideal for average size dogs. Ensure that it is unseasoned and not cooked using oil.
Tofu-Based Recipes For Dog Treats
100g serving of Tofu has at least 8g of protein. It also contains essential amino acids that can aid maintain your dog’s muscles and also ensure healthy cell growth. Furthermore, each 100g serving contains 53% of the daily calcium requirements, which means it'd supply enough calcium to your dog.
Besides, tofu has low calories, making this food an excellent nutrient-dense food for your dog who has difficulty with weight loss programs and needs a balanced diet. For such dogs, here are two dog treats that will make your dog feel fuller.
Pea Stew with Tofu for dogs
See what you will need to make pea stew with tofu and how to do it.
- 1 and a 1/2 cup overnight soaked dried black-eyed peas
- 1 cubed sweet potato
- 3 cubed regular potatoes
- 4 sliced carrots
- 1 shredded tofu
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons cold-pressed hemp seed oil
- 2 tablespoons dulse flakes
How To Make
- Boil the overnight soaked dried black-eyed peas with 6 cups of water on medium-high flame.
- Cook until the peas become tender. In the case before being tender they are drying out, then add additional water.
- Mix in carrots, potatoes, shredded tofu, and 2 cups of water
- Steam on a medium flame for around 25 min
- Remove from heat
- Allow to cool down for 10 min
- Add the hemp oil and dulse flakes, and stir until combined well
- Leave to cool down before serving.
Scrambled Tofu for Dogs
See what you will need to make scrambled tofu and how to do it.
- 300g Firm Tofu
- 100g Chicken Thighs or Breasts, cut into 0.4"/1cm cubes
- 3 rehydrated, small-size dried Shiitake Mushrooms
- 30-gram Carrots
- 30 gram Pea
- 30-gram Long Green chopped Onions
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 2 Eggs Beaten
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 2-3 tablespoon Shiitake Liquid
- 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
How To Make
- Boil the peas for approximately 1 min
- Strain the peas
- Boil the tofu.
- Tear tofu and dip it in the boiling water
- It will lower the water in tofu and even help it soak the flavor
- As soon as becomes heated from the inside, strain the tofu
- Cut others ingredients
- Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms
- Squeeze out the extra liquid
- For later use, keep the shiitake liquid aside
- Cut chicken into 0.4" (1cm) cubes
- Heat the pan and put sesame oil
- Add the long green onion only the white part
- Stir-fry the onion until it turns slightly brown and starts to spread more fragrant
- Now add the carrot and shiitake mushrooms
- Add the chicken and continue stir-frying the ingredients
- Remove the extra water from the tofu using a paper towel.
- Add the tofu by breaking the tofu roughly into smaller pieces
- Add salt
- Stir-fry on high flame until liquid is reduced
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, and shiitake liquid (2-3 tbsp only)
- Simply stir-fry it until the excess broth dries out.
- Pour the beaten egg
- Once the edges start to firm up, pour the eggs
- Add peas and mix quickly
- Cool it down to serve.
In closing, canines can eat tofu. Because tofu isn't toxic for your dog at all. As long as your dog is not particularly allergic to tofu or has certain health issues, it is safe to offer tofu and soy products to your dog.
Nevertheless, you must only give tofu to canines in moderation and not as a regular meal to get tofu's health benefits while avoiding any possible side effects.
Ultimately, tofu for canines shouldn't be used as the primary source of protein. A healthy dog should get the maximum of its protein sources from animals to prevent risks to its health.
Q. Can Dogs Eat Cooked Tofu?
Cooking raw foods before giving them to your dog is always a yes. However, the method of cooking can make all the difference.
It is advised to give dogs plain cooked tofu. You can cook it by grilling, baking, frying, steaming, boiling, etc. Ensure that you do not use too much oil or avoid oil as it is difficult for dogs to break down in large amounts and may cause pancreatitis.
Q. Can My Dog Eat Tofu In Uncooked Form?
Raw tofu won’t kill your canine friend, but it will cause pain and discomfort to your dog. Dogs are more likely to have stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., after eating raw tofu than cooked.
Another issue with raw tofu is pesticides. Farmers may use pesticides to keep pests away from their soy crops. Although it goes through several processes to reach its final form, there is always a risk of any remaining chemicals. Consumption of chemicals usually leads to death in pets.
It is best to give your dog only cooked tofu. If you feed your dog raw tofu, keep a watch on it for at least 48 hours in case it develops any symptoms.
Q. Can Dogs Eat Tofu Products?
Most tofu products are safe for dogs as long as they are unflavored. Products such as flavored tofu, tofu noodles, etc., which are further processed and may have additives, are best kept away from your pet especially keep those away from your pregnant or nursing dogs.
Q. Can Dogs Eat Homemade Tofu?
Homemade tofu may be the answer to all your doubts related to feeding your dog tofu on a vegetarian diet. Homemade tofu is not made using chemicals, which is the biggest concern with storebought.
You can feed your dog homemade diet tofu if it is made using safe and hygienic practices and high-quality ingredients. However, ensure that you do not exceed the recommended amount. It is a great option if your dog does not eat meat.
Q. Can Dogs Eat Plain Tofu?
Plain tofu is perhaps the best way to feed your dog tofu because it has plant-based protein. Dog stomachs are more sensitive than humans, and they enjoy bland-tasting foods. Unflavored tofu is a great way to introduce the food to your dog and it does not cause food allergies in dogs.
Q. Can Dogs Eat Roasted Tofu?
Usually, before any ingredient is roasted, it is coated in seasonings, spices, and condiments to make it absorb the flavor while cooking.
Doing so to the tofu would make it harmful to dogs if garlic, onions, and sauces having sugar and salt are used. You can feed your dog roasted tofu if it is unseasoned.
Q. Can Little Dogs Eat Tofu?
Before feeding dogs of any size, remember that tofu is not an exception to inducing allergies. It is best to consult your vet before introducing the food and keep the amount within the prescribed limit.
Dog parents should exercise caution when feeding tofu, specifically puppies and small breed dogs, as they suffer greater consequences that could lead to death if not taken care of immediately.
Q. Is tofu good for the canine liver or tofu bad?
A. Canines with Severe Liver Disease can have plant-based foods like tofu than most animal proteins. This is because soy is a liver-friendly low purine diet food. It contains plant estrogen that not only improves a dog's liver but also helps improve the digestive system, cures an upset stomach, and reduces canine bloat.