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What happens if a dog eats soy sauce?

Dog owners love to share their favorite foods with their pooches. However, it’s important to know what foods are safe for your dogs. You may be wondering if your dog can finish off your chicken fried rice, complete with soy sauce. 

Soy sauce is not healthy for dogs, and it can even be dangerous. In fact, it takes only a small amount to be toxic. 

Can dogs eat soy sauce?

Soy sauce isn’t good for dogs, and can even be deadly. There’s some debate about whether soy itself is safe for dogs, but it’s generally considered to be a healthy part of their diet. However, the main problem with soy sauce isn’t the soy, it’s the salt. 

What Is Soy Sauce Made Of?

Soy sauce is made from four basic ingredients. Soybeans, wheat, salt, and a fermenting ingredient, usually mold or yeast. The soybeans and wheat are fermented with the fermenting agent. 

The traditional preparation of soy sauce takes months of fermenting. Today, many commercial soy sauces are made using chemicals. These use a chemical, usually hydrochloric acid, to speed the process. It can be made in a few days, instead of several months. 

The problem with the chemical method is that it doesn’t provide the same color and taste. Artificial flavorings and seasonings are added, including extra salt. 

The Problem With Salt

Salt is essential for dogs bodies as well as humans. However, dogs have a much smaller requirement for salt. Humans sweat as a method of cooling themselves. This contains salt. We must consume a certain amount of salt to stay healthy. 

Dogs, however, do not sweat this way. They cool their bodies through their tongues and the pads of their feet. Because they don’t lose salt through sweat, they only need a small amount in their diet. 

A medium sized dog that weighs 30 pounds can safely consume 100 mg of salt a day. This is a tiny amount compared to humans, who can eat about 2400 mg each day. It’s easy to see why many people foods, including soy sauce, poses a risk to your dog. 

The Soy Controversy 

There’s not enough soy in soy sauce to have a big impact on your pet, unless they have an allergy to it. However, what was once touted as a health food is now coming under fire. Some experts are saying that you should avoid dog food with soy in it. 

Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are known to have an effect on human’s and dogs hormone balance. It also contains some potentially toxic chemicals, including trypsin inhibitors, which have been shown to stunt growth in laboratory animals. It can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, and is linked to gastric distress in dogs. 

Still, the vast majority of experts say that soy has a high safety profile. They claim that it’s a suitable protein, although it is not as easily digestible as animal proteins.

When it comes to soy in dog food, owners should do their own research and weigh the benefits vs. the risks. However, it can be difficult to know if your dog food contains soy. It can be found under several names in the ingr3edinets list, including lecithin, vegetable protein, tofu, and TSF (textured soy flour). 

What happens if a dog eats soy sauce?

What happens if a dog eats soy sauce will depend on a few factors. Their size and the amount consumed are the biggest factors. Age and their overall health status also make a difference. 

What to do if my dog eats soy sauce?

If your dog eats soy sauce, there are steps you’ll need to take. Depending on the amount they ate, your pooch may need emergency veterinary care. 


When you eat salty food, you drink more water. Your dog is the same way. The body needs water to process and flush out excess salt. 

If your dog eats soy sauce, even a small amount, be sure they have fresh water available. Do not allow them to drink an excessive amount, because that can cause further problems. 

Monitor Your Dog

Next, you’ll need to monitor your dog. Watch for the signs of salt poisoning, which we will cover in the upcoming section. If you notice severe symptoms, you’ll need to take further action. 

Getting Help

If your dog develops signs of salt poisoning, you’ll need emergency veterinary care. For many cases of poisoning, the Pet Poisoning Helpline can be very helpful. 

They have a database and equations to determine what your next steps should be based on the substance, your dog’s weight, and how much they ingested. 

However, when it comes to salt poisoning, it’s best to take them to the vet immediately if they’ve ingested a large amount or are showing symptoms of salt poisoning. 

Signs of Salt Poisoning

The signs of salt poisoning are similar to those of dehydration. Essentially, dehydration is the condition that causes your dog to be ill. Salt isn’t toxic to your dog in the proper amounts. In fact, it’s essential for life. However, when they consume too much salt, your dog’s body will push water out of the body to flush out the salt. This can cause severe dehydration. 

If your dog only ate a small amount of salt, they should be fine with plenty of water. If they ate a large amount, you will see signs of salt poisoning. 

The first signs you may see are gastrointestinal. Your dog will try to expel the salt via vomiting and diarrhea. You may also notice a lack of appetite. 

They will drink lots of water in an attempt to rehydrate. Excessive thirst and urination are signs of salt poisoning. Avoid giving your dog massive amounts of water, which can cause it’s own problems. However, be sure they have access to water frequently. 

As the salt and dehydration take effect, you may notice lack of coordination and muscle tremors. They will also be very lethargic. 

The neurological effects include seizures, disorientation, and coma. In severe cases, death can occur. 

Treating Salt Poisoning

Your vet can successfully treat salt poisoning, in many cases. The first step is an examination. Your vet will examine your dog, and perform a blood and urine analysis. This will tell them how much sodium is in the blood. It can also indicate organ damage due to poisoning. 

If your dog is suffering from salt poisoning, the vet will give them fluids through an IV. This will provide hydration, and help remove the salt from their system. 

It can take a few days for salt to leave your dog’s system. If they are having seizures or other symptoms, the vet may give them medication to stop these symptoms. 

Dogs with salt poisoning often make a full recovery. However, organ damage can occur. This can be permanent. It’s also possible for salt poisoning to be fatal. 

To give your dog the best chance of recovery, give them plenty of water and get veterinary care as quickly as possible. 

Can soy sauce cause poisoning in dogs?

Yes, soy sauce can cause poisoning in dogs due to the high salt content. There’s also a risk of allergy to soy products. However, this isn’t usually serious. 

What Causes Salt Poisoning

When your dog consumes too much salt, their body acts to combat the effects. This can cause brain damage, organ failure, or death. 

The cells in the body will begin to release their water, in an attempt to flush out the salt. When this happens, the brain cells malfunction because they have no water. The dog may experience seizures, headaches, or dizziness. In severe cases, brain damage can occur. 

The muscles also lose their water. This makes them stiff and shriveled. Shaking and jerking commonly occur, because the muscles contract due to lack of moisture. 

How much soy sauce is likely to be too much for a dog?

Put simply, any amount of soy sauce is really too much for a dog. It poses a risk to their health and has absolutely no health benefits. You should avoid giving your dog anything with soy sauce. 

However, if they sneak a lick of your food or soy sauce, you shouldn’t worry. If it’s a teaspoon or more, there’s a reason for concern. 

How Much Soy Sauce Is Dangerous for My Dog?

One tablespoon of soy sauce has 900 mg of sodium. This may not seem like a huge amount. After all, it’s only a tenth of a teaspoon of salt. You may toss more than that on your popcorn. 

Again, dogs have very different sodium needs compared to humans. A medium-sized dog only needs 100 mg of sodium a day. Smaller dogs will need a little less, and larger dogs will need a bit more. 

A tablespoon of soy sauce at 900 mg of sodium, is enough to cause serious health issues no matter the size of the dog. In fact, even a teaspoon of soy sauce can do serious damage and may be life-threatening. 

Dogs with heart or kidney disease should be on a low sodium diet. They will be more susceptible to the effects of salt at a lower amount than healthy dogs.