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Can Dogs Eat Sushi? Everything You Need To Know

Yes, dogs can eat sushi in moderation. However, avoid adding toxic or harmful ingredients like raw fish, wasabi, garlic, tempura, etc., that are not included in the recipe. Sushi can be a healthy and decadent treat if prepared fresh at home with safe yet simple components.

This article will explore commonly used ingredients in sushi, which ingredients are safe and toxic for dogs, and how much sushi is too much for your pup. 

What is Sushi? 

Sushi is a Japanese dish that is prepared with rice as the primary ingredient. This quality rice is flavored using sugar and salt, as well as several other accompaniments.

E.g., seafood (such as yellowtail, tuna, crab, octopus, shrimp, squid, eel, mackerel, or salmon), vegetables, and tropical fruits like mango

While the preparation styles may vary with each region, sushi rice, also known as sumeshi or shari, remains the common factor in sushi dishes worldwide. 

White rice has been used traditionally for sushi, but nowadays, brown rice is being used in some places to make it more nutritious. Sushi is served with various accompaniments such as pickled ginger (also known as gari), soy sauce, wasabi, and garnished using pickled daikon (takuan) and daikon radish.

Most people think sushi originated in Japan, whereas it originated in Southeast Asia. It started from the Mekong River and became popular in China before making its way to Japan. You can find sushi just about anywhere around the world, at restaurants, grocery stores, and even at some gas stations. 

Is Sushi Safe for Dogs? 

Sometimes sushi rolls can contain ingredients that your dog should not eat. So, here is a list of things you need

  • Toxic ingredients: There are certain ingredients in sushi that you should avoid for your dog’s safety. These include raw fish, avocado, wild seaweed, and garlic.
  • Avoid any sauces or spices: Any additional condiments like spicy mayo or any spicy additions like wasabi or pickled ginger must be held back. Your dog’s gut cannot break down and digest some of these components.
  • High sodium content: Too much addition of salt can lead to salt poisoning. So, ensure to add very little or no salt when feeding sushi to your dog.
  • Expensive treat: Sushi would make a costly treat for your pet dog. Hence from a cost perspective, this food is an indulgence. So, it could be an occasional treat to your dog.

Why is Sushi Good for Dogs? 

One of the most significant benefits of feeding your dog sushi is the salmon ingredient in many sushi rolls.  Salmon contains omega 3, which is beneficial for both humans and dogs. This essential fatty acid is excellent for your dog’s heart, skin, eyes, immune system, and more.

Benefits of Salmon in Sushi 

  • Maintains your dog’s skin and coat health 
  • Works against autoimmune diseases and allergies 
  • Restores the loss of mobility associated with arthritis in older dogs and soothes the pain and swelling involved in this condition 
  • Protects eye health  
  • Reduces the risk of certain cancers 
  • Promotes heart health 
  • Battles against arrhythmia and prevents high blood pressure in dogs

Seaweed is another common ingredient in sushi that is good for dogs. This is full of vitamins and minerals that your dog needs for optimal health.

Here is a list of ingredients often used in vegetarian sushi that are also good for your dogs:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots 
  • Shiitake mushroom
  • Mangoes
  • Banana

Why is Sushi Bad for Dogs? 

Besides knowing the list of quality, healthy ingredients that make sushi, pet parents must also be acquainted with what to avoid when offering sushi to your dogs.

Raw seafood

Feeding your dog raw seafood, particularly raw salmon, might lead to severe bacterial or parasitic infections in your dog. This is because raw seafood contains several parasitic worms that include roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes, out of which flukes are the most poisonous. 

Flukes found in raw salmon are associated with a condition known as salmon poisoning, which shows up with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, bloody stool, dehydration, and lethargy. This condition could ultimately be fatal to your dog.

Salt

Consuming unchecked high amounts of salt is associated with sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of this condition include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, seizures, and depression. 

In place of a sodium-laden soy sauce, use mild spices like turmeric, and herbs like parsley, rosemary, etc., to add flavor and aroma while keeping salt away!

Avocados

Avocados contain persin, which is toxic to dogs. Consuming any food items with persin leads to severe nasal congestion, labored breathing, and fluid accumulation around the heart. 

Garlic 

Garlic is not recommended either, as even a small amount of garlic can cause high toxicity for your pup. Some common symptoms of garlic poisoning include stomach upset, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and anemia-like symptoms. 

Spices 

Spices, such as wasabi and ginger, must be kept away from dogs as they can cause your dog severe digestive and gastrointestinal complications. 

Risks of Feeding Your Dog Sushi

If your dog has eaten spoiled sushi or sushi that may not have dog-safe ingredients in it, then you are right to worry about your dog’s health. Take your dog to a trusted vet immediately if he develops these symptoms:

  • Fever 
  • Lethargy 
  • Retching
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Blood or visible worms in stools 
  • Inexplicable shivering 
  • Seizures 
  • Uncoordinated movements 
  • Excessive drowsiness and unresponsiveness 

Tip: If your dog is overweight, you can stick with kibble and low-calorie vegetables as part of their meal plan.

How much Sushi Can You Feed Your Dog? 

Moderation is key when it comes to providing your dog with some quality sushi. Give your adorable pup a few pieces of sushi roll as a treat, or make some fresh sushi with dog-safe ingredients as a meal in itself, once in a while.

Ensure that the amount of sushi you’re feeding them is proportionate to their size as well.

Alternatives to Sushi

The premium sushi you would treat yourself with may not be the best bet for your pet dog. So let’s take a look at some alternatives to sushi for dogs:

Pet-Friendly Sushi Recipe

Things you will need: 

  • Bamboo sushi mat (optional, but beneficial) 
  • A little bowl of water 
  • A sharp knife 
  • A kitchen cloth 
  • Cutting board 

Ingredients: 

  • Cooked rice 
  • Carrot, peeled and sliced thin (resembling matchsticks in size)
  • Cucumber, peeled and sliced (resembling matchsticks in size)
  • Salmon fillets that are cooked properly
  • Nori paper or seaweed

Method: 

  1. Spread your bamboo sushi mat and lay down a strip of nori with the shiny side facing down on the mat. 
  2. Spread a spoonful of the cooked rice in an even, thin layer across the nori sheet, leaving about half an inch on one side uncovered to seal the roll in place.
  3. Line up a few cucumbers and carrots in a thin line along the center of the nori sheet. Next, line up little pieces of the cooked salmon on top of the vegetables. 
  4. Use the mat to roll the seaweed, rice, and other ingredients into a roll. Use some water from the bowl to press the seaweed into the rice and seal everything tightly in place. 
  5. Then, transfer this roll to a cutting board. Dampen a sharp knife with a damp yet clean kitchen cloth. Now, slice the sushi roll into even circles. You can dampen the knife between cuts to keep it sharp.  
  6. Serve this pet-friendly fresh sushi to your pup now!

Tip: You can also use ground beef or cubed chicken breast and add vegetables like peas, beets, turnips, etc. 


Here’s a dog-friendly sushi recipe for your pet!

Dog-Friendly Sushi Places 

Sushi bars are being built specifically for dogs now – isn’t this evident enough that sushi is safe for dogs. 

Don’t underestimate these dog-friendly sushi bars, as they offer quality sushi with dog-safe ingredients along with other pet services like a soothing pet spa, supply shopping, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Dogs Eat Sushi-rice? 

Dogs can eat both white and brown rice. 

Rice can help alleviate stomach aches and other digestive issues yet ensure that it is adequately cooked. Check for the amount of rice you feed your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Sushi? 

Fried sushi is one of the most loved forms of cooked sushi, but the problem lies in the amount of oil we use for this dish. This is the reason why one must consider boiling the sushi instead. 

Can Pregnant Dogs Eat Sushi? 

Sushi is generally not ideal for young, sick, aging, or pregnant dogs. These dogs have compromised immune systems, which may be incapable of handling the risks associated with a dish like sushi. 

Can Dogs eat California Rolls?

No, you shouldn’t feed your dog any California rolls because the avocado present in this can be toxic when consumed by your dog in excess. 

Can Dogs eat Sushi ginger? 

Yes, dogs can safely eat sushi ginger. Ginger is often finely chopped in sushi recipes. So, not only is it safe for most dogs but also beneficial for them. 

Conclusion 

A small amount of fresh sushi will be harmless for your dog. Just be sure to avoid feeding any recipes that contain spices or other questionable ingredients. Making unique sushi for your dog yourself or taking them to a sushi bar designed for dogs to eat is the best way to ensure that the meal will be safe for your pup. 

Now have some sushi with your pup! 

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