Yes, dogs can eat tofu in moderation. Plain and baked tofu without seasoning is best for dogs. Tofu is a high-protein food with low-fat and low-carb formula. However, it is essential to set a limit for a dog to consume tofu.
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is made of coagulating soy milk and is considered a plant-based protein. This is used as an alternative to meat-based proteins. It was first developed in China. Now tofu is used worldwide by vegans and vegetarians as a healthy alternative.
Is Tofu Safe For Dogs?
Yes, tofu is safe for dogs as a treat. Dogs are carnivorous animals and cannot survive on a vegan diet. Therefore, tofu can be used as a treat occasionally. We are listing out the factors which can affect your dog:
Seasoned Tofu: Seasoned tofu contains garlic, onions, chives, chili powder, whole spices, and more. The ingredients used for seasoning any food are harmful to your dog. They will affect your dog drastically.
Fried Tofu: Fried tofu needs oil or butter. Both the ingredients are toxic to dogs leading to fat issues.
Why Is Tofu Good For Dogs?
Tofu is suitable for dogs as a treat occasionally. This is because it has nutrients essential for your dogs. Let us see how tofu can be beneficial for your dog:
Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is vital for your dog’s optimal health. It supports the nervous system, metabolizes carbohydrates, controls food and appetite stimulation, and stimulates healthy growth.
Soy protein: Soy protein helps in proper metabolism in dogs. They also benefit obese dogs by weight crunching. In addition, studies have shown that soy protein help in managing lymphoma, urinary continence, and prostatic hypertrophy in dogs.
Manganese: Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. Manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in maintaining bone and cartilage in joints.
Calcium: Calcium is an essential dietary component for your dog’s health. It is required for bone and tooth development, nerve impulse transmission, cell communication, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation. Therefore, it’s critical for your dog’s general health to get adequate calcium.
Iron: Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells to generate energy. Iron is also necessary to function various enzymes in the body properly.
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral found in numerous things in the dog’s body, including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also necessary for the immune system and thyroid function. Therefore, zinc insufficiency can cause various issues in dogs, including incapability of infection protection.
Magnesium: At the cellular level, magnesium is involved in energy generation. Magnesium is required to allow the passage of energy whenever your pet moves a muscle, has a heartbeat, or thinks.
Phosphorus: In dogs, phosphorus is necessary for maintaining healthy kidney function. Your puppy’s kidneys must be beneficial to drain toxins from his body through pee efficiently. As a result, he can stay in the most significant physical form possible. In addition, phosphorus aids motor function by assisting muscle contractions. This allows your dog to conduct typical walking, chewing, and following you on your morning runs. Phosphorus also aids your dog in maintaining a regular heart rate, which is especially important during activity.
Isoflavones: These are considered to be phytoestrogen which activates the estrogen receptors. Studies have shown that if a dog consumes isoflavones regularly, it might lose weight. But, again, this is only for obese dogs.
Other benefits of tofu on dogs:
The inclusion of tofu in your dog’s diet can aid in the following health benefits:
- For dogs with severe liver disease, to manage their diseased liver
- Metabolic disease management
- High in fiber makes it reduce unwanted fats
- Used for canines like English Bulldogs or Dalmatians that are susceptible to formation urate stones. (Low purine diet)
- Used as hypoallergenic diet to treat food allergies in canines
Why Is Tofu Bad For Dogs?
Albeit tofu’s benefits, it has its downsides which can be dangerous for your dog. Things you need to bear in mind before feeding your dog tofu:
Estrogen: Tofu contains phytoestrogen, which activates estrogen receptors. Even though a benefit for dogs in terms of losing weight, tofu affects the natural production of estrogen and affects the overall health of the dog by:
- Interfering in adrenal function
- Making an imbalance in thyroid functioning
- Performing qualitative damage of coat and skin
- Triggering hormonal imbalances
- Evoking behavioral changes
Antinutrients: Tofu contains trypsin and phytates, which affects the mineral absorption in the dog’s body.
Allergies: Soy milk in tofu can trigger allergies in dogs. The symptoms of the tofu consumption are:
- Chronic diarrhea
Flatulence: Feeding tofu in excess can lead to high levels of flatulence. So tofu intake has to be monitored.
Apart from these,
- Soy based foods or tofu should not be given to pregnant or nursing dogs. It must be used cautiously in dogs that are predisposed with kidney and thyroid.
- If you plan to offer your dog seasoned and fried tofu, your dog will have to face the hospital shortly after consuming the same.
Seasoned Tofu: Seasonings contain garlic, onion, chives, and other toxic spices for dogs. These ingredients will lead to:
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Hair loss
- Decreasing coat and skin quality
- Thyroid malfunction
- Kidney issues
- Internal organ failure
- Muscle cramps
Fried Tofu: Fries tofu has oil or butter in it. The consequences of consuming oil or butter are:
- Weight gain
- Loss of hair
How Much Tofu To Feed My Dog?
If you plan to provide tofu to your dog, remember to give only 20 gms of it. An amount more than this can affect your dogs and may need you to visit the vet hospital.
How To Serve Tofu To My Dog?
Here are some serving ideas you can opt for:
- Boil the tofu, shred 20 gms and add it as a topping to your dog’s food. (Do not repeat the procedure every day.)
- Next, cut small pieces of boiled tofu, and offer it as a treat rarely.
What If My Dog Ate Tofu?
If your dog ate an immoderate amount of tofu, look out for symptoms like:
- Lack of coordination
- Ear infections
- Excessive licking
- Hair loss
If any of these above symptoms appear, consider visiting the vet immediately. Remember to follow as the vet prescribes. Also, always keep human food out of your dog’s reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can puppies eat tofu?
No puppies cannot eat tofu. Puppies should not consume any human food until they are adults. Also, their stomach is vulnerable to dealing with the changes in diet.
Can dogs eat fried tofu?
No dogs cannot eat fried tofu as they have oil or butter. These will increase the chances of your dog being obese and may suffer from pancreatitis.
Can dogs eat seasoned tofu?
Never should your dog consume seasoned tofu. Remember, seasoned tofu may also lead to your dog’s death.
Can dogs eat raw tofu?
Yes, dogs can eat raw tofu in a limited amount once a week. It has a lot of healthy nutrients needed for dogs.
Can dogs eat cooked tofu?
Yes, just like raw tofu, cooked tofu can be fed to your dogs in a small quantity. However it is better to consult your vet before giving soy foods.
Reaching to the tail of the article, we would like to conclude by saying, offer your dog cooked or plain tofu after consulting the vet to keep away unavoidable circumstances. Tofu can provide essential nutrients; however, the estrogen content can disallow the body from absorbing the nutritional benefits. In addition, it can have side effects that may lead to severe imbalances in your dog’s body. Ensure a healthy and happy life for your dog.