Can Dogs Eat Wasabi? Everything You Need to Know!

can dogs eat wasabi

If you’re a Sushi lover, you might have wondered about occasionally sharing some with your pet dog. But sushi itself is not where the doubt lies, but rather in the condiments, like Wasabi sauce. So, can dogs eat Wasabi?

The answer is a resounding no. Dogs should not be given Wasabi, even to taste.

With all the benefits associated with wasabi, such as its superfood potential and frankly astonishing taste, it’s tempting to let your dog in on the treat as well. But there are very serious reasons for why you shouldn’t.

Where Does Wasabi come from?

Wasabi sauce is traditionally made by making a paste from Japanese horseradish. However authentic wasabi sauce is extremely expensive, as the rhizome of the Japanese horseradish plant needs to be grated very finely and consumed immediately. Otherwise, it loses its taste within the first few minutes. It’s also very hard to grow.

So, what we usually eat in restaurants is not wasabi made from Japanese horseradish but rather western wasabi: horseradish sauce with added pepper and food coloring. This gives it the typical sharp taste associated with wasabi and serves as a good accompaniment to sushi.

But despite its fresh and tantalizing smell, wasabi should never be served to dogs. In fact, care should be taken that they don’t even get their curious noses into the garbage bin where wasabi wrappers may be laying.

Is Wasabi Bad for Dogs?

Yes, Wasabi is incredibly bad for dogs. The taste of wasabi is extremely hot and spicy.  If your dog gets some in his mouth, he will experience horrible burning and searing pain on the inside of his oral cavity, as well in his throat along with burning, drooling, excessive tearing, and a running nose.

This may even result in ulceration on the inside of your dog’s mouth. Your dog’s nose and the lining of his airway may also get severely inflamed, if he accidentally inhales the wasabi flavoring dust, or rubs it into his snout in an effort to get it off his mouth. This may cause irritation, sneezing, and even breathing difficulties, if a large amount is taken in.

If your dog swallows the wasabi that he’s locked up, he may have burning all throughout his digestive system. It could be accompanied by vomiting, excessive flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and severe abdominal cramps. Passing stool can also become very painful for your dog after he’s eaten wasabi.

Can Dogs Eat Wasabi Peas?

No, dogs cannot eat Wasabi peas.  Wasabi peas are fried, or baked dried peas covered in a dusting of wasabi flavored powder. They do not appeal to dogs on their own to begin with. Occasionally, dogs eat some out of curiosity or because they found something interesting looking in the trash in or on the ground. But they will generally immediately spit them out or drink water to get the taste out of their tongue.

Peas on their own are a great snack for dogs. They are high in vegetable protein, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamins like A and K, along with minerals like Iron. They make a terrific addition to homemade dog foods and can be given to dogs boiled or raw, mixed in their food. With Wasabi peas, the benefits are lost because of the irritation caused by the flavoring.

If your dog eats a couple of Wasabi peas you can generally rest assured that he will not be raiding your stash again. Some dog owners in Japan even use wasabi to train their dogs to give up bad habits like chewing the furniture.  But as a rule of thumb dogs should not be given Wasabi peas. Even mild wasabi flavored peas have other ingredients like garlic in the mix, which are very bad for dogs’ health. In fact, not just peas. Wasabi flavored nuts are a big no-no for your dog, too.

Can Dogs Have Wasabi in Small Amounts?

No, dogs cannot have wasabi even in small amounts. Apart from the horseradish component causing stomach aches, diarrhea, extreme burning throughout the gastrointestinal tract, and abdominal cramps in dogs, most commercially available Wasabi sauces also contain additives like citric acid and soya sauce along with preservatives and added chili paste or powder for extra heat.

This can be a recipe for disaster for your dog. It’s best never to give your dog Wasabi intentionally.

My Dog Ate Wasabi By Accident; What Now?

If your curious pooch has accidentally eaten wasabi from your plate or from the bin, don’t worry. He will be fine, but you should take a few precautions.

First of all, try your best to wash away any wasabi in or around your dog’s mouth and tongue with plenty of water. This will help reduce the burning and prevent further damage.

Give your dog plenty of water and / or milk (if he can drink milk safely) to help counter the burning. Keep a close eye on your dog. If he shows symptoms like excessive vomiting, bleeding from the mouth or anus, or extremely high heart rate, you should take him to the vet ASAP.

Also, if your dog has chronic gastrointestinal issues or reduced kidney function, you should consider taking him to the vet at the onset of these symptoms itself.

Is Wasabi Poisonous To Dogs?

No, Wasabi is not outright poisonous to dogs. But it causes a lot of suffering and therefore should not be given to dogs.

The spiciness in Wasabi and horseradish sauces is because of chemical compounds called Allyl isothiocyanates in these plants. Isothiocyanates are compounds that protect these plants from herbivores around them by making these plants inedible.

So, when animals eat them, they suffer excruciating symptoms. Even humans who like eating wasabi only eat it in very, very small amounts, as accompaniment to salty and hearty foods. Dogs reap none of the benefits but suffer all the side effects of Wasabi consumption.

FAQs-

Can sushi kill a dog?

Sushi is okay for dogs as long as it consists of plain fish and boiled rice. Additives such as soy sauce are too high in sodium for dogs, while vegetable components like avocado should not be given to dogs. Even fish should be prepared carefully, as raw fish can often carry parasites.

Can dogs taste spicy?

Dogs cannot taste spicy foods the same way that humans do. Although dogs can perceive heat and bitterness or sourness from spicy food, the taste is dulled, in comparison to human taste buds. Dogs do not have any particular affinity for spicy food either.

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