No, dogs cannot eat miso paste. The popular Japanese seasoning that gives umami flavor to dishes is not directly toxic to dogs, but it does contain ingredients that are potentially hazardous to dogs.
Miso paste, or simply miso, is basically a mixture of fermented soybeans and other grains (barley, brown rice, etc.) with the edible fungus Aspergillus oryzae (popular name: kōji mold). Sadly, this mixture is often too much for the dog’s stomach.
Why is Miso Paste Bad for Dogs?
Basically, all of the ingredients in miso paste are safe for dogs. What is interesting is that the end product is not. Namely, miso paste can be bad for dogs due to several reasons. Let’s take a closer look at the potential risks of giving your dog miso paste.
Same as all human foods, miso paste can wreak havoc on the dog’s digestive system and trigger an episode of stomach upset. Depending on the severity of the episode, some stomach upset cases can be managed at home using over-the-counter meds, while others require veterinary help and visits to the vet clinic.
As a dog parent, you are probably familiar with the grain-free dog foods hype. Well, although grain sensitivities and allergies are not as common as we believe, they are still present for some dogs. A dog with grain sensitivity or allergy will develop severe stomach upset every time it consumes something with grains.
Salt poisoning is the most severe consequence of miso paste for dogs. Namely, one of the main ingredients in miso paste is potassium chloride (salt). Dogs need salt but only in tiny amounts. The level of salt in miso paste can trigger dehydration, kidney damage, and even salt poisoning.
Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Miso Paste
Stomach upset, and grain sensitivities manifest similarly, causing signs and symptoms of digestive troubles. Here is what miso paste may cause in dogs:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain.
Dogs experiencing salt poisoning (which, as mentioned, is relatively rare) will show additional signs and symptoms, such as:
- Loss of coordination
- Tremors and twitches
What to Do If My Dog Ate Miso Paste?
If your dog ate miso paste, try not to panic as the food is not directly toxic. Instead, try to assess how much the dog ate.
With as much information as possible being gathered, call the vet and explain what happened. The vet will give clear instructions on what to do, based on the info you provide.
In most cases, you will wait at home while carefully monitoring your dog. However, if the situation involves a tiny dog that ate a significant amount of miso paste, the vet will recommend a visit to the clinic.
With everything being said, we can conclude that miso paste is not a dog-friendly seasoning. While not directly toxic, in large enough amounts, miso paste can be hazardous to dogs.
Therefore, miso paste must never be fed to dogs on purpose. There are far better food options for canines – that are safer and more nutritious. Also, in case your dog steals some miso paste, it is advisable to call your trusted veterinarian immediately.