There are some human foods that our canine friends can eat, but others are not good for them. But how do you know which is which? Is tofu safe for dogs?
Tofu has some benefits for dogs, but there can also be side effects. Tofu can be given to dogs but must be done in moderation to avoid any adverse effects.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is an excellent calcium source, and an even better one if calcium sulfate is used in the coagulation process. Soy milk is solidified in a process called coagulation, and the curds are pressed together to form small white blocks of tofu.
Why it is Good for Dogs?
Tofu has a lot of protein in it, which is good for your canine friend. Aside from protein, there are many more nutrients that are beneficial in a dog’s diet:
Tofu is a nutrient-dense treat as it is low in calories. Keep in mind that dogs are omnivores, and though they can eat plants, they generally eat mostly meat. Since tofu is plant-based, it is best given in moderation.
Benefits of Tofu
1. Good for Allergy Prone Dogs
Dogs can develop food allergies. Some breeds are prone to developing allergies to some commercial dog foods. The processed meat proteins found in kibble may be the culprit.
Tofu can be a good option for a substitution for dogs who develop an allergy to their regular commercial dog food. The dog can digest tofu without an allergic reaction occurring.
It is still not a good idea to regularly feed your dog tofu, so if your dog develops an allergy to the food you are feeding him, it is best to check with your veterinarian to find a suitable alternative.
2. Good for your Dog’s Liver and Kidneys
If your dog has trouble with his liver, it is essential to remove animal proteins from his diet. Tofu allows for this since it is full of other vital nutrients in your dog.
Your dog still can’t eat tofu regularly, but it is a better option for a treat. This is also true for dogs who have renal issues. Soy proteins are said to be better than animal proteins for dogs who suffer from liver or kidney conditions.
3. Good for Dogs with Bladder Stones
Some dogs may be prone to developing bladder stones. If this is the case, reducing the amount of protein in your dog’s diet can help.
Tofu is an excellent way to do this since it is different from meat protein.
The Side Effects of Feeding your Dog Tofu
Though tofu can be good for your pet, it needs to be given in moderation. Your dog may not digest and absorb the nutrients found in tofu, so they do not get the same benefit from it that humans do.
If you give your dog too much tofu in place of other nutritious foods:
1. Full-Structure Protein Consumption may be Inadequate
Dogs need a variety of proteins to remain healthy. If they get inadequate protein that lacks amino acids, the following health conditions may occur:
- Poor appetite
- Extreme fatigue
- Stunted growth
- Reproductive problems
- Weight loss
- Poor coat health
- Weakened bones
- Compromised immune system.
2. Risk of Canine Bloat
Soybeans can cause gas in dogs. Since tofu is made from soybeans, there can be a higher risk of canine bloat if given in large amounts.
3. Increased Risk of Kidney Stone Development
On the one hand, it is said that tofu is suitable for dogs with kidney issues. Other researchers say that tofu can be a cause of kidney stones because it contains high levels of silicate.
Because there are health benefits and some adverse possible side effects of tofu for dogs, always feed it in small quantities.
There is no proof at this point about the effect of tofu on a dog’s kidneys, so if your dog already has kidney issues, it is best to avoid tofu. If eating tofu seems to cause your dog any discomfort, take it off the menu.
4. Gastrointestinal Distress and Upset
Soybeans contain plant estrogens and sugars that a dog cannot digest. It is possible that consuming tofu will cause diarrhea and gas in dogs. This can also lead to canine bloat, as mentioned earlier. This is another reason to feed your dog minimal amounts of tofu.
5. Tofu May Contain Pesticides
Soy and tofu are genetically modified. Because of this, the soybeans have probably been sprayed with pesticides to control insects during growth.
If you want to feed tofu as a treat, look for brands that are non-GMO and organic. This will ensure that the soybeans were not sprayed with pesticides.
6. Some Dogs Have a Tofu Allergy
While tofu can be an excellent food for dogs with allergies, some dogs may be allergic to soy. Dog allergies often revolve around protein in foods.
If your dog is allergic to tofu, you may notice that he is itchy, experiences gas, chews at his feet, scratches and rubs his face, and has red or itchy ears. If you notice any of these signs of irritation in your dog, remove tofu from his diet.
In a Nutshell
Dogs can eat tofu. It is not a good idea to feed them too much, and if you do notice and adverse reaction to it, quit feeding it immediately.
Though there are some health benefits of tofu, they are not the same as humans’ benefits.
Tofu is not a food that is toxic to dogs. Unless you notice any issues when you give it as a treat, it is safe to feed it to your canine friend in moderation. It should not be the primary source of protein for your dog, but it is good for them in small doses.
It is crucial to ask visitors not to give your dog treats without asking you first. That way, you will know how many treats he is eating and know when he has had his quota for the day.