We share everything with our dogs: our homes, our beds, and even our food. It’s hard to resist when they flash those sweet, innocent eyes to let us know they want a taste of whatever we have on our plate!
Most of the time, our dogs can safely eat our food scraps without a problem, but some human foods are very toxic to our furry friends. That’s why you should always check the ingredients before giving your pup a human snack.
Can Dogs Have Soy?
Dogs are meat-eating animals, so if you’re a vegetarian that eats tofu, you may be wondering if a plant-based protein is suitable and safe for a dog.
Is soy ok for dogs? What about tofu – is tofu good for dogs?
Here’s the answer: A moderate amount of tofu for dogs is completely safe and healthy, but it can’t be the main protein in their diet.
We’ll explain why dogs and tofu have a complicated relationship and how you can safely feed your dogs tofu without overdoing it.
Beware, because soy allergies are common in dogs. If you’re feeding your pup soy for the first time, give them a minimal amount and closely monitor their reaction.
A Dog’s Best Diet
Dogs today mostly subsist on kibble made in a factory. But by nature, dogs are meat-eating omnivores that do well with a balanced diet of meat, vegetables, and grains.
Carnivores vs. herbivores vs. omnivores
Some animals are carnivores that can only eat meat to get the nutrition they need. Herbivores only eat plant-based foods and will get very sick if they attempt to eat meat. Omnivores eat a combination of both.
A dog, as we mentioned, does well on an omnivorous diet that contains meat. That being said, it is possible to feed your pup an entirely vegetarian diet and maintain their health.
If feeding your pup a vegetarian diet is your goal, it is possible! But you will need to do extensive research and preparation to ensure your dog is getting all of the nutrition it needs.
Toxic foods for dogs
So, we now know that soy is safe in limited quantities for our dogs. But there are some foods that should be totally off-limits!
Don’t ever feed your dog any of the following foods:
- Corn on the cob
- Cooked bones
- Raisins and grapes
- Chocolate, especially dark chocolate
- Macadamia nuts
- Garlic, onions, and chives, raw or cooked
While these are perfectly healthy for humans to consume, they can be toxic and fatal for dogs. If your dog consumes any of these, get them to your local vet clinic ASAP for emergency treatment.
Soybeans for Dogs: Ingredients in Dog Food
Can dogs eat soy?
Yes! And, the reality is, your dog is probably already eating soy without you knowing it. Soy is a common ingredient in dog kibble, as it’s an inexpensive and readily available ingredient. 75% of soy production worldwide is used for animal feed, with roughly only 20% used for human consumption.
Soy is perfectly safe for your pup to consume in moderation. It contains phytoestrogens, which can mess with a pup’s hormone balance if excessively consumed, but a little soy is an excellent way to round out your dog’s diet.
Is Tofu Bad for Dogs?
Can a dog eat tofu?
Absolutely! Tofu is pressed soy curd, so it’s entirely safe for your dog. Tofu is made using a process that adds in some essential vitamins and minerals, like iron, zinc, and magnesium, so tofu for dogs is even better than soy proteins in other forms would be.
When consuming tofu, dogs might be a little extra gassy. This is normal and can happen to humans too, but monitor your pup to make sure the tofu isn’t causing diarrhea. If they get excessively bloated or ill, remove tofu from their diet immediately and take them to the vet.
Tofu is an excellent source of vegan protein for pups: each 100g serving contains at least 8 grams of protein. Dogs need a lot of protein in their diet to keep their muscles and joints healthy, especially as they age.
Should a dog eat a tofu dog, mock chicken fingers, or veggie ground round?
Possibly, but we don’t recommend it.
In all honesty, you’re better off feeding your dog tofu instead of prepackaged tofu-based foods from the grocery store, full of other ingredients that may be harmful to your pup.
The best way to serve your dog tofu is straight from the source: press the tofu for 15 minutes, cut into cubes and then pan-fry, turning the pieces occasionally until browned.
Don’t add in any sauces, onions, or other ingredients that might disturb your pup’s tummy.
Safe soy levels for dogs
Once you’ve determined your pup doesn’t have a soy protein allergy, you want to be careful about how much you give them.
At most, give your dog one or two small servings of tofu or soy each week.
Keep meat in their diet to keep them in the best health possible, or if you’re ethically opposed, do your research to ensure your dog is getting absolutely every nutritional need met on a vegetarian diet of your design.
Other Vegetarian Foods for Dogs
There are many delicious and nutritious vegetarian options for your dog to consume to keep variety in their diet.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Wheat. It’s full of fiber and an inexpensive way to round out a vegetarian doggie diet.
- Cashews. These nuts are widely used in vegan and vegetarian recipes due to their rich protein and fat content. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, too.
- Blueberries. Easy to prepare, blueberries are great for both humans and dogs to enjoy. They’re full of vitamins and antioxidants to keep dog illness and cancer at bay.
- Carrots. Feed these to your pup raw or cooked. They’ll love the sweet veggie taste, and their guts will love the extra fiber and nutrients.
- Pumpkin puree. Mix some cooked pumpkin into your dog’s dinner for a tasty meal that will help control any issues with constipation or diarrhea.
Final Word: Can Dogs Have Soybeans?
You can include tofu in your pup’s diet a few times per week and have a perfectly healthy and happy dog.
If you’re cooking yourself some tofu for dinner, feel free to set a bit aside and leave it un-spiced and un-sauced for your pup to eat.
Include some of our other vegetarian suggestions for a dog that will stay healthy and drool over its food dish every time you put it down.