Spice is a fine and exciting addition to meals. It is most likely that every sushi or lover of Japanese cuisine must have tried their popular spice, Wasabi.
So every time you get sushi, your furry bud sits across from you and stares at you while you eat. You have gotten it again and he can’t just stop looking. Now, you want to give your dog a bite but can’t because you do not know if it is harmful to your dog. Well, let’s find out.
Dogs might not have as very sensitive taste buds as we do but excess consumption of wasabi will definitely cause a reaction. Although wasabi does not appeal to dog senses, when contained in food, the smell becomes less noticeable.
The sweet aroma of the meal hides the smell of the wasabi thereby making it appealing to your dog. Most dogs even get so curious that they like to try whatever their owner tries. Does Wasabi provide a lot of health benefits for humans but for dogs? No, it does not.
What is Wasabi?
Wasabi is a well-known ingredient from Japan. It is of the Brassicaceae plant family. It is also responsible for a lot of spicy condiments such as horseradish and mustard. Unlike pepper, its effect is on the nose and not the mouth. Despite its spicy nature, it contains quite a number of nutritional values beneficial to human health. It grows in Japan but can be found in every sushi and Japanese restaurant around the world.
The root of this plant is either grated into the fine powdery form or turned into a paste that serves as the spice for your sushi. The paste serves like ketchup but more like a green, spicier kind of ketchup.
This spicy condiment contains vitamins such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Before it became a well-known spice, it was only meant for Japanese royalties. That was how much it was valued. Now, Wasabi has been adopted even in some French dishes to add taste, flavour and colour.
Wasabi has never been food for dogs. This is because way back when it was discovered, people knew that this spice would be too strong for animals.
Is Wasabi Bad For Dogs?
Yes, it is. Wasabi is not entirely toxic to dogs but is not safe for them to eat. It is bad. A little amount might not irritate them but large amounts will. How do you guarantee that a dog will take a little and not much? I don’t think you want to find out. Why risk your pet’s health when you can simply keep it safe?
Humans have the ability to feel how spicy a meal can be but dogs cannot. After the first bite of wasabi, the taste will not register as spicy for the dog but a couple of licks more and your dog will be disoriented. Dogs react in different ways but the point is, most react badly to wasabi. It could cause the throat to constrict in some dogs. For others, it could cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhoea etc. But also, it can just cause discomfort or dazed looks from your dog. Either way, there is a reaction.
Can Dogs Eat Wasabi (Paste, Peas, Almonds Or Sushi)?
The answer is yes and No. Of course, dogs can chew, eat or lick Wasabi. The spiciness of the wasabi however could cause some reactions. Hence, the answer is No. The severeness of the reaction also depends on the quantity of the wasabi ingested.
Wasabi peas are quite nutritious but not for dogs. They pose a threat to dogs with kidney problems especially when eaten in large amounts. One pea might not hurt but it is not recommended.
The same goes for wasabi almonds, Sushi and paste. According to animal health practitioners, almond is not toxic. But just like peas, more than one intake of it has its effect on dogs. It could cause gastric problems for your furry friend.
None of the above-mentioned snacks alone is safe for any dog. A combination with wasabi? Even worse.
How Harmful Could It Be For Dogs To Eat Wasabi?
Eating wasabi does not really pose a death threat to your dog, in most cases. But that does not make it safe either. You don’t need to rush to the vet but it would definitely cause some panic. When a dog eats wasabi, the reaction can be as bad as vomiting. While in other cases, the dog might have stomach upsets.
Other reactions that it can cause are:
- Extreme thirst
- Stomach cramps
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Tortilla Chips?
My Dog Ate Wasabi – What to do?
Dogs can be very curious sometimes. Without permission, they would treat themselves to whatever they find in a sack or lying on a table. Although a small amount of wasabi might not affect your dog much, a large amount would.
The chances of a dog licking or eating wasabi are quite slim. This is because they hate the smell. The smell is strong enough to be used as a tool for training. It can be used to keep your dog from chewing through the couch or table legs.
But in case your dog does eat wasabi, here’s what to do:
- First of all, relax. Try to stay as calm as possible. Because food contains very little quantity of spice, your dog is most likely not to suffer any fatal harm. Unless it ate the wasabi raw and a large amount.
- Keep your dog from ingesting any more of the wasabi by removing the wasabi from its reach.
- One of the effects wasabi has on pets is to cause extreme thirst. So, provide your dog with enough water.
- Gently remove or wipe off wasabi that might be left in the dog’s mouth or around its snout. Use water or a soft wet cloth to do that.
- Watch your dog see if you would notice any symptoms. Symptoms such as drooling, licking the lips, vomiting, diarrhea, pacing, whining sounds or even putting the tail between its legs etc. If you notice any of these symptoms, call a veterinarian.
- Also, if your dog has an already existing health condition, you should call a vet. This is to make sure it is triggered by the wasabi effect.
Also Read: Are Funyuns OK to eat for dogs?
Safety Tips for Keeping Dogs Away from Wasabi
Your canine might actually like wasabi, especially the crunchy type. But like most human snacks and food, wasabi should be kept away from pets. Although wasabi might not be toxic to your pet, it is a No-No for their consumption. Your pet might choose to ignore the signs but as the owner who loves it, you should know better than to let that happen.
- Keep the wasabi in the fridge and make sure the fridge is closed properly.
- Keep leftover wasabi away from your pet’s reach. Possibly on the topmost part of the shelf.
- Dispose of immediately any wrap containing wasabi or wasabi that will not be used again.
- If you order sushi or any Japanese food, keep your eyes on your dog. Monitor it to ensure that it does not go close to the food. Dogs can swipe things really fast so you need to keep your eyes on them all through the time the food is there.
- Do not leave your meal open and unattended or else your dog will do the attending.
- If seeing the dog watch you eat feels like torture to you, then you can best get it a dog snack. Dog snacks contain ingredients that are good for a dog’s health.
- If you have to leave the place where the food is, take it with you or keep it high away from your dog’s reach. In a case where you cannot take the food with you, take your dog with you.
- Although there might be no long term effect of eating wasabi, it is heartbreaking to watch your dog suffer. Prevention, they say is always better than cure.
It would be nice to let your dog have a taste of what you are having. But when it is harmful to their health, you would rather enjoy it alone. Sure, a taste might seem harmless but it’s necessary that you do not feed your dog wasabi.
It is your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure that your pooch eats and stays healthy. Although they have a mind of their own, they do not know what’s good for them. Should in case changes are made to the dietary plans, enough and deep consideration should be done with the help of a vet.