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Is Wasabi Bad For Dogs?

by Lucy

Wasabi is nothing new for ardent fans of Japanese cuisine. Recently, however, dog enthusiasts have become curious about whether their dogs can join in on the fun, too. 

Being a canine parent myself, I couldn’t help but dive deep into this topic. Here’s what I found:

Can dogs eat wasabi? While wasabi isn’t toxic for dogs, it’s highly recommended that you keep your pooch far away from the stuff because of negative side-effects like vomiting, diarrhea, gas, etc. 

If you’ve been scouring the internet for viable canine-wasabi info, then congrats, because you’ve just hit the jackpot! Stick with me while I cover all that you want to know about wasabi and dogs – including what you should do if your furbaby accidentally ingests some. 

Wasabi 101 

Wasabi (or Wasabia japonica) is an aquatic plant that’s pretty difficult to grow. It is native to Japan, and the plant belongs to the Brassicaceae family.

Real wasabi is made from grating the plant’s roots to create the condiment to go with sushi. There are no other ingredients, except the extra soy sauce added to the mix to make a sauce. 

On the other hand, ready-made wasabi paste includes stuff like horseradish, citric acid, rice bran oil, salt, sorbitol, turmeric, artificial color, etc. In short, the mass-produced stuff is barely wasabi at all – it’s more of a wasabi wannabe. Also, wasabi from a tube is way spicier than the original product.

So, if you’re planning on sharing your love of wasabi with your furry companion – be sure to read the sections below to understand the inherent dangers and how your pet’s health could be affected. 

Can Dogs Have Wasabi?

As I said right at the beginning, wasabi isn’t toxic for doggos.

However, that doesn’t mean you should allow your canine to ingest it because of several reasons:

First off, your pup may not thank you for feeding it wasabi thanks to its pungent taste and high-heat level. 

Not to mention, canines have around 1700 tastebuds (compared to 9000 tastebuds in humans), so it’s not like your pet is necessarily going to fall in love with the taste of wasabi. 

However, there is a possibility that your furball will wolf down more wasabi than necessary because dog’s don’t taste spice all that well. But overeating wasabi can result in upsetting the delicate balance of your dog’s digestive system. 

That means your pooch will have to suffer through unpleasant side effects like vomiting, gas, and loose stools. That doesn’t sound very encouraging at all. 

Even supposing your canine has a stellar constitution and manages to avoid all the unpleasant side effects, eating wasabi can still lead to your pooch developing a mouth, nose, or throat irritation. 

Fake Wasabi And Related Dangers

Much of the wasabi found in the U.S of A isn’t even the real stuff! It’s a kind of substitute that includes a bunch of chemicals, green dye, gluten, and different types of mustard. 

That’s a bummer – because we’ve all been eating something else entirely, thinking it was wasabi. 

But, for your furry companion ingesting a wasabi substitute means it may end up suffering from a whole host of health problems. For instance, if your doggo is allergic to gluten, eating wasabi can trigger an allergy attack. 

Ready-made wasabi also includes ingredients like sorbitol or citric acid and while these components aren’t highly toxic for dogs, they can cause problems. For instance, both sorbitol and citric acid can upset your dog’s tummy and cause side-effects like vomiting and diarrhea

Additionally, some canines are also allergic to food dyes, so there’s that angle to consider too. 

As a dog parent, a simple balancing exercise will lead you to conclude that feeding your dog wasabi has no benefits. But, one awry ingredient can cause plenty of problems for your furball – so why take chances? Stick with their favorite treats instead.

Side Effects Your Pooch May Face After Eating Wasabi

Here’s a quick rundown of possible wasabi related side effects your canine can develop after ingesting some of the green stuff:

  • Mouth and nose irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas or bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Excessive itching (if your doggo is allergic to gluten or the dyes found in wasabi)

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Ate Wasabi?

Generally, dogs will tend to stay away from wasabi due to its pungent scent, so there’s a higher chance even the most gluttonous of doggos won’t get into it.

However, if you’re worried your canine may have ingested some of it when you weren’t looking, here are the red flags you should look out for:

  • Drooling
  • Pacing
  • Excessive muzzle licking
  • Pawing at mouth or face (almost as if they ate something nasty)
  • Flattened or drop ears
  • Drinking water excessively
  • Runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Tail tucked between legs

While these wasabi-related symptoms will eventually ease off, if for any reason you feel your furbaby needs to be looked at, it’s best to take it to your vet to be on the safe side. 

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Wasabi

Being a furbaby parent, I know we’re an anxious bunch. Even the thought of your canine being in pain is enough to give you nightmares.

But, if you’re sure your dog has ingested some wasabi, the first rule is not to panic. Keeping your cool will likely help your doggo relax quicker too. Apart from that, you can follow these basic steps to ensure your pup finds relief ASAP:

  • Check to see if there’s any wasabi remaining in your furbaby’s mouth. Even if you can’t spot anything, wrap a soft cloth around your finger, wet it with cool water or some coconut oil, and gently wipe around your pet’s teeth, gums, and tongue. 
  • You can also rinse your canine’s mouth (and muzzle) with water to eliminate the spicy taste of wasabi. But, be careful to keep the water from getting in your dog’s nose. 
  • Top up your doggo’s dish with water and keep a close watch on how much water your pet is drinking. 
  • If you feel like your dog isn’t able to settle down and is still showing signs of unease even after considerable time has passed, it’s best to visit the vet for your pet’s health and your peace of mind. 

How To Train Your Dog To Keep Away From Wasabi

If you’ve experienced the panic of seeing your dog eating wasabi, chances are your furbaby was likely after eating something else. As a rule, dogs aren’t drawn to wasabi the same way they’re drawn to meat.

But, if you want to make sure your dog never gets its paws on the stuff again, you can try and implement the following steps:

  • The easiest way to ensure your pupper never runs into wasabi again is to make sure you either chuck it or put it in the refrigerator once you’re done with it. Don’t leave the green stuff lying around on your kitchen counters, especially if there’s a juicy piece of fish lying next to it. That’s just asking for a mix-up!
  • If your pooch is a bit of an explorer and likes to go hunting for treasures in the garbage bin, invest in a canine-proof trash bin to keep your doggo safe.
  • Sometimes, you need to set food out on the kitchen counter, and that’s okay. Get a hold of some durable food covers to mask the delicious smell of temptation wafting from the counters and keep your canine at bay!

Related Questions

You probably think we’ve reached the end of this wasabi and canine-related feature, and you’re right (kind of). However, I’ve also compiled a few FAQs for fellow inquisitive dog lovers, so be sure to check them out!

Can Dogs Eat Horseradish?

Dogs can eat horseradish because it’s not toxic for dogs. However, it’s best to keep your canine away from horseradish because its spicy taste can lead to nose, mouth, or throat irritation. 

Additionally, some dogs have delicate digestive systems and feeding them spicy food can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, diarrhea, etc. 

Can Dogs Eat Sushi?

Your dog can eat cooked fish in any form, including sushi. But, you should avoid feeding your canine raw fish, even if it is well-prepared sushi-grade fish, because of the possibility of parasites.

Additionally, sushi is generally accompanied by other ingredients such as rice, seaweed, or wasabi. 

While seaweed is excellent for your canines, sushi rice may have added sugar, and wasabi can cause mouth and nose irritation, along with the possibility of gastro problems like abdominal pain, gas, or loose stools. 

It’s best to stick with cooked fish for your pupper, or their favorite treats that have been formulated for doggos.

Can Dogs Eat Wasabi Peas?

If you’re wondering about whether to let your canine munch on wasabi peas, the answer is no. Wasabi peas are roasted green peas coated with a mixture of sugar, salt, oil, starch, and wasabi. Although, some brands also use a bit of food coloring in the preparation of wasabi peas. 

Apart from the sharp flavor, your dog’s health could be affected by the amount of salt and sugar put in these snacks. 

Additionally, if your pet’s breed is prone to obesity, like Golden Retrievers or Dachshunds, it’s best to steer clear of wasabi peas because they’ve got a hefty caloric kick too. 

Up Next: Can Dogs Have Grape Jelly?

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