Studies show that dogs are unique animals with more sentiments and emotions than humans’ including anger, joy, love, and hate. Undoubtedly, every dog is different from the other. Based on the research, it has been declared that you cannot predict a dog’s nature without becoming a friend. To know about their likes and dislikes, you first have to get close to them, as we know that dogs are not vegetarians; instead, they are carnivorous by nature, and they like to add meat into their diet. However, some vegetarian owners do want to serve tofu as a substitute for meat. You have probably heard about the merits of tofu for human beings, but is it beneficial for dogs? Let’s dig deeper into the details to know it is acceptable to feed tofu to dogs or not.
SO CAN DOGS EAT TOFU?
Tofu originated from China and is made up of soybeans that are curdled and pressed into small chunks, practically going through a process similar to the making of cheese. Usually, vegetarians mostly consume it, and as they find it as a perfect alternative for meat.
Choosing the type of tofu that you want your dog to consume is a crucial decision to make, but the main question here is if dogs are allowed to eat tofu or not?
Fortunately, they can eat tofu, and if you decide to feed it to your dogs, always make sure to provide it in moderation to prevent any potential adverse effects of tofu for dogs from occurring.
Well, Tofu isn’t entirely toxic for dogs, but partially it may cause mishaps due to the high concentration of estrogen compounds. However, too much consumption of tofu can be indeed detrimental.
NUTRIENTS IN TOFU FOR DOGS:
Keeping aside all the ongoing debates about tofu being a bad influence on a dog’s diet, let us consider tofu’s health nutrients.
- Fat: 4.2g
- Saturated fat: 0.5g
- Calories: 85-100
- Carbohydrates: 0.7g
- Proteins: 8.1g
Tofu contains essential nutrients such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium; along with being rich in proteins. It contains all nine essential amino acids and is a great source of vitaminB1. From nutritional and health perspectives, tofu tends to provide many of the same health benefits as soybeans.
Moreover, soybeans can be the best source of proteins, as they also consist of a fair amount of carbs and fat.
BENEFITS OF TOFU FOR DOGS:
Everyone wants to prepare the ideal meal for their pet dogs, which provides them with all of the needed nutrients, and tofu does contain numerous health benefits for dogs such as:
- RICH IN PROTEIN: In every 100g serving, tofu contains at least 8g of protein. Such High protein content is useful for healthy cell growth. Also, the amino acids found in tofu ensures healthy muscle growth.
- RICH IN MINERALS: tofu is rich in minerals, which plays a massive role in developing healthy bones, coat, and skin. Research says that iron is essential for the growth of red blood cells; on the other hand, zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system, and tofu also contains other minerals like magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus.
- PREVENT FROM OBESITY: Tofu contains a large amount of protein content and a low level of far and carbs rate, which prevents your dog from getting obese.
- OBESITY: Obesity in dogs is mainly due to unhealthy eating habits, mostly by eating high-calorie foods, and that is why veterinarians recommend feeding your dog healthy protein-based food.
- PREVENTS FROM ALLERGIC REACTIONS: Being a living thing, dogs tend to develop several food allergies to certain types of local dog food brands, and in these circumstances, tofu can make an accurate substitute for dogs with food allergies as it can make its way through the digestive system without causing any mishap.
Based on the research, feeding tofu to a dog can be risky. However, after witnessing so many health benefits, the examination says that it is excellent to feed tofu to a dog as long as your dog eats in moderation.
AMOUNT OF TOFU SAFE FOR DOGS TO EAT:
Even though tofu contains numerous nutrients but still the nutrients needed by dogs can seem to be lacking from tofu and that is why vets suggest providing them in a limited quantity.
An Excessive Amount of tofu can lead to too much hormonal imbalance and estrogen distress; it may also cause other health issues for your dogs, including thyroid issues and cancers.
Grievously, if your dog has overeaten tofu by some chance, look for any of these signs:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale nose or neck
- Extra drooling
- Weight loss
ADVERSE EFFECT OF TOFU FOR DOGS:
Where tofu has a lot of health benefits for dogs, there may be some downsides to it as well if taken inappropriately.
As we have discussed earlier, it doesn’t provide all the necessary nutrients that a dog needs, So in case of excessive eating, tofu can create several health damages that can be life-threatening. So if you choose to give tofu as a substitute for meat regularly, you might be setting up his life in danger; here are the reasons why:
- INADEQUATE PROTEIN CONSUMPTION: tofu doesn’t contain the adequate amount of protein content that a dog needs to live a healthy life, it can cause scarcity of protein consumption and lack of amino acids, this condition can also cause other health issues like a reproductive problem, low appetite, extreme fatigue, weak inner growth, and a weak immune system.
- RISK OF DEVELOPING KIDNEY STONES: Tofu contains high levels of silicate, so there is a greater chance of developing kidney stones; these kidney stones can include bloody urination and pain in dogs.
There are no studies at the moment to prove if tofu can cause kidney stones or not. Still, it does contain silicate, which can develop kidney stones; until we see some specific studies showing one way or the other, it’s better to avoid tofu altogether.
- GASTROINTESTINAL ISSUES: some foods may not be as clean as they initially seem; tofu is made up of soybeans, which contains phytoestrogen (plant estrogen), which causes gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
- ALLERGIC REACTION: although tofu seems to be alright for most of the species of dogs, some of them can still get allergic reactions, especially from soybeans and tofu. Studies show that many dogs are allergic to protein sources, which is another component of tofu.
Allergic reactions for dogs may include itchy ears, redness on the body, gastrointestinal disorders, and itchiness.
OTHER HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES:
Other than tofu, there are numerous healthy alternatives of meat available, which can be offered to dogs for:
- Strong immunity
- Better growth
- Prevent allergy
1: CASHEWS: cashews are rich in a wide range of minerals such as vitamins A, B, D, E, and K; in terms of minerals, cashews contain minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. These energy sources help in maintaining your dog’s overall growth.
Whenever you decide to offer cashews as a substitute for tofu, always look for any adverse changes in your dog’s reaction like any other food. Cashews can also create allergic reactions.
2: WHEAT: humans highly consume wheat as their primary diet, but it can also get eaten by dogs because the grain is highly rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. That is why wheat is famous because of its extensive nutritional value. Therefore, you can serve your dog wheat in the form of bread.
3: BLUEBERRIES: Being low in calories and high in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Blue-berries are a great source of snacks for our dogs. All you have to do is to wash them thoroughly and serve it to your dogs as it is. They are small, like little balls, and your dogs can easily chew it.
4: CARROTS: carrots can be an excellent treat for your dogs as it contains vitamin A, dietary fiber and potassium, and other nutrients. Whether cooked or uncooked, carrots are a safe and healthy diet for the dogs.
Veterinarians also recommend carrots as they play a massive role in removing dental problems in young puppies.
5: PUMPKIN: pumpkin is another healthy alternative because it is high in fiber and beta carotene, which after digestion, converts into vitamin A; pumpkin is very beneficial for dealing with constipation and diarrhea among dogs.
Soy is becoming a prevalent ingredient for artificial pet food; because it is relatively cheaper and an adequate alternative protein. Let us prompt ourselves that tofu is not dangerous for dogs. However, if you overfeed your dog with tofu, they may end up lacking the nutrition that their body needs. To prevent such mishaps, you can offer tofu as an occasional treat but never let your dog live alone on tofu. Otherwise, you’ll have to face the consequences. Conclusively, we’d like to remind an old saying, “Prevention is better than cure!”