Can Dogs Eat Sushi

By diets4dogs on
Can Dogs Eat Sushi

Can Dogs Eat Sushi

Generally, dogs should not eat sushi as it contains raw fish or seafood which may carry harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Additionally, sushi often contains ingredients like soy sauce, wasabi, and avocado, which can be harmful or toxic to dogs. In particular, avocado contains persin, a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other health issues. Stick to dog-safe, cooked fish, and avoid giving your dog sushi.

Can Dogs Eat Sushi: Understanding the Risks

As a dog owner, you may be tempted to share your favorite meals with your furry friend. Before you do that, it’s essential to understand what foods are safe and unsafe for your canine companion. In this blog post, we will explore whether dogs can eat sushi and its potential risks, as well as what precautions to take when offering them fish.

The Primary Risks of Sushi for Dogs

Sushi, a popular Japanese cuisine, features raw fish or seafood combined with rice, vegetables and sometimes wrapped in seaweed called nori. While sushi may be a delicacy for humans, it’s not a suitable dog food option. Here are some of the primary risks:

Raw Fish and Seafood

The main ingredient in sushi, raw fish or seafood, can contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses that are harmful to dogs. These pathogens can lead to severe health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or even more serious complications. Cooking the fish or seafood effectively kills these pathogens, making it much safer for your dog to consume.

Soy Sauce and Wasabi

Sushi is often served with soy sauce or wasabi. Both of these ingredients are potentially harmful to dogs. Soy sauce contains a high salt level, which can lead to sodium poisoning in dogs, causing dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea. Wasabi, a spicy condiment, can irritate your dog’s stomach and cause discomfort or pain.


Some sushi rolls, like the popular California roll, contain avocado. Unfortunately, avocado contains persin, a toxin harmful to dogs that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious health issues. It’s best to avoid giving your dog any sushi containing avocado.

Alternatives to Sushi for Dogs

While sushi isn’t ideal for dogs, there are plenty of other dog-friendly fish options available that can provide them with nutrients and other benefits. Here are a few alternatives:

Cooked Fish

Offer your dog cooked, boneless, and unseasoned fish instead of raw sushi. Some of the best choices include salmon, whitefish, and cod. Just make sure that the fish is fully cooked and deboned to prevent choking hazards and injury.

Fish-Based Dog Food

Opt for a high-quality, fish-based dog food that provides essential nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and other health benefits for your pup. This alternative will ensure that your dog gets the nutritional benefits of fish without the risks associated with sushi.

Fish Oil Supplements

Another option is providing your dog with fish oil supplements. These can help boost their immune system, improve their coat’s health, and support joint function. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new supplements to your dog’s diet.

Key Takeaways

The bottom line is that sushi is not a suitable or safe dog food option, and it’s best to avoid sharing your sushi meal with your canine companion. The potential risks from raw fish, soy sauce, wasabi, and avocado far outweigh any possible benefits. To provide your dog with essential nutrients and health benefits, consider cooked fish or fish-based dog foods that are specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

Signs of Food Toxicity in Dogs

If you accidentally fed your dog sushi, or they managed to steal a bite, it’s crucial to monitor them for any signs of food toxicity or gastrointestinal upset. These signs may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Swelling or redness of the mouth
  • Difficulty breathing

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, immediately contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic for advice and further steps to ensure your dog’s safety.

Preventative Measures for Dog Food Safety

To prevent accidents or health issues related to sharing human food with your dog, take the following precautionary measures:

Safe Food Zone

Keep your sushi and other human foods out of your dog’s reach. Ensure that countertops, tables, and other surfaces with food are not accessible to your dog. This prevents them from eating something they shouldn’t.

Establish Boundaries

Train your dog to avoid begging or stealing food from your plate or when you’re eating. Establishing boundaries will help prevent harmful food consumption and teach good mealtime manners.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Always consult your veterinarian before introducing any new food or supplement to your dog’s diet. They can provide guidance on what is safe and appropriate for your dog’s size, breed, and health condition.

Foods Safe for Dogs

While many human foods can be harmful to dogs, there are some dog-friendly options you can share with your canine companion. Here are a few examples:

  • Carrots (raw or cooked)
  • Green beans
  • Blueberries
  • Chunks of cooked, lean meat (without added seasonings)
  • Plain rice or pasta

Remember to offer these treats in moderation and make sure they are properly prepared and free of harmful ingredients.


Protecting your dog’s health and safety should always be a priority. Now that you know that sushi isn’t a suitable treat for dogs, you can make informed decisions about what to share with your furry friend. Always consult your veterinarian for advice on your dog’s specific dietary needs and stick to dog-safe options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to dogs and sushi consumption. We hope this section provides you with the insights you’re looking for and helps guide you in making the best decisions for your dog’s diet.

1. Can dogs eat cooked sushi?

While cooked sushi may eliminate the risk of bacteria, parasites, or viruses found in raw fish, it still contains other ingredients like soy sauce and seasoning that are potentially harmful to dogs. It’s best to avoid offering cooked sushi to your dog.

2. Can dogs eat plain rice from sushi?

Yes, plain white or brown rice is safe for dogs to consume in moderation. However, ensure that the rice you give your dog does not contain additional ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, or sugar, which are commonly used in sushi rice.

3. Can dogs eat seaweed?

Seaweed, specifically nori, can be given to dogs in small amounts. It’s high in vitamins and minerals and can provide some health benefits. However, ensure the seaweed you provide is plain and unsalted. Consuming large amounts of seaweed can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs.

4. How much sushi is harmful to dogs?

Any amount of sushi can be harmful to dogs because of its ingredients. It’s best to avoid giving your dog sushi altogether and stick to dog-friendly alternatives, such as cooked and plain fish or nutritious fish-based dog food.

5. What should I do if my dog eats sushi?

If your dog accidentally consumes sushi, monitor them closely for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or difficulty breathing. If your dog shows any signs of distress or food toxicity, contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic immediately.

6. Can dogs eat fish bones?

No, fish bones can pose a choking hazard or cause injury to your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines. Always serve fish thoroughly deboned to prevent these risks.

7. Are fish-based dog foods suitable for all breeds?

Fish-based dog foods can be suitable for most breeds as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. However, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet to ensure the new food meets their specific nutritional needs.

8. How often should I give my dog fish oil supplements?

Before administering any fish oil supplements, consult your veterinarian for the appropriate dosing recommendation based on your dog’s size, age, and health condition. Over-supplementation can cause adverse effects.

9. Can dogs eat cooked shrimp?

Cooked shrimp is safe for dogs to eat in moderation, as long as it has been thoroughly cooked and any shells, tails, and veins have been removed. Avoid giving your dog raw shrimp, as it may contain harmful bacteria.

10. Are there any fish that dogs should not eat?

While most fish are safe for dogs to consume, some fish should be avoided due to high mercury levels, such as tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel. Always opt for fish with lower mercury levels like salmon, whitefish, and cod. Additionally, ensure any fish you offer your dog is cooked, deboned, and unseasoned.

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