You’ve just bought home some fresh Nigiri and are debating whether or not to share some with your dog when you realize you have no idea whether or not it’s okay to serve sushi to dogs. After all, the last thing you want to do is kill your dog while attempting to give them a nice treat.
It’s not easy to say whether sushi is safe for dogs. After all, there are a variety of sushi varieties, and not all of them are healthy for dogs. It depends, is the brief response.
Read on to learn which types of sushi are safe to feed to dogs, as well as which ones you should avoid.
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Table of Contents
Is Sushi Safe for Dogs?
Sushi is not a single sort of food, but rather a broad grouping of many diverse dishes, so this is a difficult question to answer. Sushi is a sort of raw fish that is wrapped in rice and seaweed.
To effectively address the question, we should dissect sushi into its various components and inspect each one separately.
When people think of sushi, they usually think of fish, and it’s also the most complicated aspect of the equation. Some fish are far more suitable for dogs than others.
Rice vinegar, salt, and sugar are generally used to make short-grain rice. Rice is a regular ingredient in dog food and is entirely safe for them to ingest. Sugar and salt should be strictly regulated in your dog’s diet, even though they are not toxic. On the other side, vinegar has been known to create intestinal issues in certain dogs, so while it won’t kill them, it won’t make them happy either.
The seaweed, known as nori, should be entirely safe and even nutritious. However, without the fish, most dogs will refuse to eat it.
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Which Sushi Fish Should I Feed My Dog?
The most serious problem when dealing with raw fish is parasites. Many fish have parasites, such as flukes, roundworms, and tapeworms, which can infect your dog if they consume them.
However, there are a few types of raw fish that are likely to be safe for your canine companion. These are a few include:
However, nothing of them can be guaranteed because some dogs are allergic to certain types of fish. That means that while most dogs can eat the raw fish mentioned above, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that yours can.
What Types of Sushi Are Dangerous?
The list of safe sushi kinds may appear to be tragically short, omitting many of your local restaurant’s most popular meals.
Unfortunately, most raw fish, including the majority of the fish used in sushi, is dangerous for dogs. Giving your dog prepared fish or telling them no when they start begging is a far better option.
The raw form of the following fish should never be served to your dog. Some have a reputation for being extremely dangerous, while others are simply dangerous. Regardless, don’t take a chance.
A Special Note About Salmon and Tuna
While parasites are usually the main problem when giving raw fish to a dog, salmon and tuna have other challenges to consider.
Fish poisoning, a potentially fatal sickness caused by a type of bacterium found in the parasites on salmon, is a risk for dogs who consume raw salmon. The bacteria are particularly prevalent in fish from the Pacific Northwest, where the majority of salmon is produced.
It’s important to note that farm-raised salmon nearly never includes this bacteria, but you’ll never know where your sushi restaurant gets their fish, so don’t risk it.
Tuna, on the other hand, is known for its high mercury content. Mercury poisoning can occur if your dog swallows too much mercury, which can cause kidney damage, digestive problems, and even death.
Other Ingredients to Watch Out For
Sushi is primarily made up of rice, fish, and seaweed, but additional dishes are occasionally included.
Spices like ginger, for example, should be okay for your dog in tiny doses. Other typical taste enhancers include condiments such as wasabi, which won’t kill your dog but will make a big mess to clean up.
Avocado, on the other hand, is the most serious worry. Avocados contain a substance known as “persin,” which is lethal to a variety of animals. Although dogs handle it better than many other animals, it can still make them sick and possibly kill them, and don’t feed your dog avocados.
More Thing to Worry About
Aside from parasites, germs, and mercury, thiaminase, which is contained in some varieties of sushi, might potentially kill your dog.
Thiaminase is an enzyme that breaks thiamine molecules in half, rendering them nutritionally worthless. This is a significant issue because dogs require thiamine to live.
Because cooking breaks down thiaminase, it is less likely to be harmful to your dog. Of course, when it comes to raw fish, that doesn’t help much.
Many fish on the do not eat list contain thiaminase, whereas those on the safe list do not. The list is not exhaustive, so always do your research before introducing a new type of raw fish to your dog.
Not All Dogs React Equally to Raw Fish
It doesn’t mean your dog will get sick just because they ate a parasite or hazardous bacteria. The digestive system of a dog is a tough environment, and many ingested creatures die quickly. Those that survive are frequently eliminated by the dog’s immune system.
However, because dogs’ immune systems weaken as they age, feeding raw fish to a senior dog should be avoided at all costs. If your dog has an immune system problem, make sure everything you feed them is prepared.
Is There Any Benefit to Serving Your Dog Raw Fish?
Fish has a variety of health benefits for puppies, including: It’s high in lean protein and omega fatty acids, and many dogs enjoy the flavor.
All of these characteristics are true of both raw and cooked fish, but cooked fish does not carry any of the hazards associated with raw fish (provided it is prepared properly, of course).
With that in mind, there’s no need to ever feed raw fish to your dog. It not only exposes animals to potentially life-threatening diseases, but it is also unhealthy and unappealing to them.
We recommend including fish in your dog’s diet whenever possible, but be sure to cook it first.
What’s the Verdict? Is Sushi Safe for Dogs?
Some sushi is safe for dogs, but there’s still no need to feed it to your dog, is the best response we can give to this inquiry.
Because most raw fish contains parasites, poisons, and harmful enzymes, you’re taking a chance every time you share sashimi. Giving your dog fried fish instead, or just telling them no when they start begging, isn’t worth the risk in our opinion.
We understand how difficult it is to refuse your pet when they look at you with those puppy dog eyes, but explaining why you’re rushing them to the hospital because you accidentally gave them thiamine deficiency is even more challenging.
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