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Can Dogs Eat Miso Soup? Vet-Approved Health Review

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

miso soup on wooden table

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup that includes hearty ingredients and is enjoyed by people around the world. It is typically served with rice and has become a staple in most Japanese restaurants.

Although miso soup might be healthy for you, it may contain ingredients that can be unsuitable for your dog. It is for this reason that miso soup might not be the healthiest or safest food to feed your dog. It is essential to ensure that each of the ingredients in miso soup is safe for your dog before you feed it to them. This article will focus on the safety behind the ingredients in miso soup and whether your dog can enjoy it as a snack.

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Is Miso Soup Safe and Healthy for Dogs?

Miso soup can be safe to feed your dog in small amounts, but only if it does not contain any ingredients that are harmful to dogs and has a low sodium content. This means that you will need to check the label on any premade miso soup packages or make the miso soup yourself without adding unsafe ingredients.

Miso soup (Japanese fermented soybean paste soup)
Image Credit: norikko, Shutterstock

Miso Soup Ingredients

Some of the most common ingredients found in miso soup include:
  • Fermented soybeans
  • Miso paste
  • Seaweed
  • Tofu
  • Vegetables (onions, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes, or spinach)
  • Seasoning (such as salt)
  • Soy sauce
  • Scallions
  • Rice
  • Garlic
  • Various types of meat

Unsafe Ingredients in Miso Soup

Some of the unsafe ingredients that can be found in miso soup include garlic, onions, salt, soy sauce, scallions, and leeks. The majority of those ingredients belong to the allium plant family, which is considered toxic to dogs. This is because foods like onions, leeks, garlic, and scallions contain thiosulfates and disulfides which are believed to cause damage to dogs’ red blood cells.

These ingredients are not safe for dogs even if they are in a dried powder form. Unfortunately, many premade miso soups contain ingredients from the allium family, making it unsafe for your dog to eat. These premade miso soups can either be purchased as a powder that requires water to form a soup or a soup from a restaurant or store.

Furthermore, the high salt content is not good for dogs. One of the main ingredients in miso soup—miso paste—is made using salt. While salt does have its place in a dog’s diet as an essential electrolyte, dogs should not be eating human foods that contain an excessive amount of salt.

Too much salt can cause salt toxicity according to veterinarian Dr. Sandra Mitchell from PetMD. Thus, any human foods that you feed your dog shouldn’t contain salt, and even foods with small traces of salt that can be safe for humans might not be as safe for your dog. Of course, this depends on the size of your dog and the amount of salt ingested.

pure white shih tzu dog on couch looking sad
Image Credit: Lindsay Helms, Shutterstock

Dog-safe Ingredients in Miso Soup

Some of the safer ingredients in miso soup that dogs can eat include vegetables like carrots, store-bought mushrooms, spinach, and ripe tomatoes. These vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and other nutrients that may be beneficial for dogs. Unseasoned seaweed, soybeans, and tofu can also be safe for dogs when fed in moderation. Regardless, these foods should be fed to dogs alongside a healthy and balanced diet approved by their veterinarian.

It’s also recommended to check with a veterinarian about adding new foods to your dog’s diet, especially if they have any health issues that can be aggravated by certain foods.

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What Happens If a Dog Eats Miso Soup?

If your dog has a few sips of miso soup, you may notice that they become thirstier and spend more time drinking water. This is because miso soup can be too salty for dogs. Miso soup that contains spicy ingredients may cause an unpleasant burning sensation in your dog’s mouth that they will try to alleviate by drinking more water. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may experience a bout of diarrhea due to the ingredients in the miso paste and soup.

Dogs who are vomiting, acting abnormally, or consuming large quantities of miso soup that contains toxic ingredients like onions, garlic, and leeks should be seen by a veterinarian. You never know how these ingredients may affect your dog and what harm they could do in the long run.

veterinarian examining a sick Rhodesian ridgeback dog
Image Credit: Zontica, Shutterstock

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What Should Dogs Be Eating Instead?

Dogs are considered facultative carnivores or omnivores that require a diet containing both plant and animal-based ingredients. In cases where a dog can’t be fed meat due to a medical issue, they can be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet that is formulated for dogs.

Whether you feed your dog’s pellets, wet, raw, homemade, or freeze-dried foods is up to you, your dog’s veterinarian, or a certified canine nutritionist. Each dog may do better on a certain diet than others, and there is not one particular diet that is guaranteed to work for every dog. Regardless, your dog should be fed a diet that contains the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that they need to stay healthy.


Final Thoughts

You should avoid feeding your dog miso soup that contains toxic ingredients like onions and garlic, and soups that have a high sodium content. Even though miso soup may contain healthy ingredients like vegetables, dogs certainly do not need miso soup in their diet.

Unless you are making the miso soup yourself and don’t add extra salt and unsafe ingredients, your dog shouldn’t be consuming miso soup.

Featured Image Credit: miso soup, Shutterstock

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