Tofu is a very popular food, especially with vegans and vegetarians. So it may cross your mind can dogs eat tofu as well? This is not a straightforward answer, as there is a lot to know before you even think about feeding tofu to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Tofu?
Yes, they can, it is not toxic, the question is should they though? Experts have conflicting recommendations when it comes to tofu, even when it comes to humans!
Tofu comes from Soy, which can have many health benefits for yourself and some risks as well. But is it suitable for dogs as well though? It is not something you should be feeding your dog, at least not on a regular basis. Tofu can just cause a few too many health problems.
Experts have argued about the health benefits tofu can offer dogs. Although currently, there is no scientific evidence showing tofu has any worthwhile health benefits to dogs.
There are some cases where tofu has helped dogs with their kidney and liver problems. Although there is an argument that the tofu can make the situation worse in some cases as well. So there truly is no baseline you can follow here.
Why You Should Not Feed Your Dog Tofu
As we will explain further below there are some health risks when giving your dog tofu. Some of the side effects we mention below can be moderately aggravating to a dog to life-threatening.
Coagulated soy milk is the process of making Tofu and Coagulated soy milk is unnatural for your dog. Anything unnatural should not be eaten by a dog or at least not eaten on a regular basis.
Please note that an excessive amount of tofu can lead to your dog producing too much estrogen. Which can cause a hormone imbalance. This can cause more serious health illnesses like a thyroid problem or even worse, cancer.
We thought we would mention this one first, as dogs have a sensitive stomach and the slightest change in their diet can cause them upset.
Soy and tofu can cause stomach issues, especially if they are not used to that type of food. Dogs have sensitive stomachs as mentioned above and are not anything like a human’s stomach, although people like to think they are.
If your dog is being sick after eating any soy product like tofu, then you should stop feeding them it straight away! If your dog’s symptoms do not stop or they seem to be getting worse, you should visit a veterinarian straight away.
Your pet could be suffering from bloat, which is very serious, or they could be having an allergic reaction.
The American Kennel Club has mentioned the below about Soy, which is not good for soy lovers.
However, we do know that foods containing soybean meal or having oils or fats in the first four ingredients increase the risk by fourfold.
Read the original article – American Kennel Club
Soy and Tofu Allergies
Considering Tofu is a type of Soy, we think it is wise that we add potential health problems that come along with soy as well.
Dogs can have an allergic reaction to soy, causing them to have anything from stomach issues, hives to even anaphylaxis. Which I am sure you know is just as serious in dogs as in humans.
If you already know your dog is allergic to soy and severely allergic, then you should take them to your local veterinarian straight away. Some dog foods have soy in it, so you do need to be very careful. You should read the ingredients on all dog food and treats.
If you find your dog is allergic but not as serious as above, then your veterinarian should be able to help you with a treatment plan and help them keep a healthy diet that does not involve soy.
Other allergic reactions they can have are hair loss, ear infections, and excessive licking, which we will mention below.
If you find your dog is losing hair and it is not just shedding, then you should stop feeding your dog Tofu straight away. Soy products like tofu can cause an allergic reaction where they can lose their hair.
You need to find out if it is actually the tofu causing your dog to lose their hair or something else. There could be other illnesses or allergic reaction in play there too. You are best taking your dog to your veterinarian so they can run a couple of tests on them, to see what is causing the issue.
Believe it or not, ear infections can be common for dogs, just as they are for humans, so you have to be very careful. Some breeds are known to have ear infections more often. As an owner it is your job to keep an eye on them and make sure their ears are clean.
An allergic reaction to tofu can also cause an ear infection. You should stop feeding your dog anything soy related straight away. You should visit your veterinarian and explain the situation. They will probably give you some drops or an ointment to help with your dog’s ear infection.
If not treated straight away, it could lead to other serious problems with there ears. If not leading to them loosing their hearing.
As a pet owner, you probably know there is something wrong when your dog is constantly licking themselves. One of the reasons could be they have an allergic reaction.
Some allergic reactions can cause dogs to lick themselves to the extent they have lost their hair and caused red spots or skin irritation.
The reason they keep licking themselves it to soothe the itch or pain they are having there. This will only make it worse in the long run.
You should investigate why your dog is constantly licking themselves straight away. It can become a compulsive behavior if you do not stop it.
You should never punish your dog for licking themselves too much, they are only trying to ease their pain or itch.
Tofu does not provide a good quality or quantity of protein for a dog to live a good, healthy lifestyle.
You may read articles that say Tofu is high in protein and that makes it great because dogs need a protein diet. They are wrong in how they are talking about it. Dogs actually need Meat-Protein in their diet, not any other type of protein.
This can cause the dog to not get enough protein in their diet. Which will in turn cause them to not have the correct amount of amino acids they need.
You should never replace your dogs’ diet with tofu, if you have, these are some of the health issues that could arise.
- Extreme fatigue
- Poor coat health
- Extreme weight loss
- Stunted growth
- Reproductive problems
- Behavioral changes
- Weakened bones and a higher risk of bone breaks and fractures.
- Poor appetite
- A compromised immune system, which can lead to them not being able to recover from an illness or injury as quickly. Along with higher chances of them getting infections.
Dogs that eat Tofu are at a greater risk of getting kidney stones because tofu has high levels of silicate. Kidney stones can cause a lot of pain in your dog and will cause them to have blood in their urination.
If your dog has any kidney problems or already has kidney stones, they should not be touching anything soy, especially Tofu.
Even though Soy and Tofu are genetically modified organisms or GMOs for short, you might think well what do pesticides have to do with it?
Well, while the soybeans were being grown there was a very high chance that they were sprayed with pesticides. Which is a chemical, this is done to make sure insects do not attack or eat the plants.
Can you get pesticide-free and organic Tofu? Yes, you can, some brands offer this. Although there is still a big list above, of what is wrong with tofu in general.
Dogs Are Not Vegetarians.
This may upset some people, but dogs are not vegetarians. They are carnivores and must eat meat-based products.
Your pet is not a predator, we are not saying that, what we are saying is that, it is in their DNA. Over thousands of years, dogs have evolved from preying on other animals to what they are today.
Just imagine an animal like a wolf or coyote, they would not be eating Tofu and could not survive on it either. Now they may be long-distant Cousins, but what we’re saying is, you need to take these types of things into consideration.
A dog gets everything they need from their daily dog food. Which is filled with the correct proteins, meat-proteins, along with everything else they need.
So can dogs eat tofu? Yes, they can, although it should not be replaced or slowly brought into their diet. Tofu is not a good protein source; dogs need to eat meat-based proteins.
The reason why we have created a big list of things that can go wrong is that we need you to understand one thing. Dogs cannot live on a soy-based diet, dogs cannot be a vegetarian or vegan.
If you insist on giving them tofu, it should only be a on rare treat basis and not on a regular basis.
If you are feeding them a bit of tofu for the first time, please make sure you only feed them a very small amount. You should do this for all new human foods, you don’t know how they will react.
Tofu is a human food and not to be used as a replacement for your dog’s diet, all human food is classed as a treat. If you live your life thinking this, then your dog will lead a healthy and long life.