I am a big fan of Japanese food and I’m proud to say that I have evolved from a sashimi-fearing individual to one that loves trying anything the chef throws at me.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having Japanese takeout at home. As I was pouring the teriyaki sauce over my teriyaki chicken, I clumsily spilled some on the floor. Before I could even react, my dog was there in a jiffy, clearing up the mess I made with his tongue.
That put me in panic mode as my dog had a few vet visits due to being too greedy for his own good. Can dogs have teriyaki sauce at all?
Dogs should not be having teriyaki sauce due to the number of ingredients in the sauce that can be potentially toxic to dogs. Teriyaki cause contains ingredients like garlic, onions, salt and even xylitol. These ingredients can cause severe reactions in dogs and should be avoided.
In this article, we will be taking a closer look at what teriyaki sauce is and how it can affect your dog when ingested.
What Is Teriyaki Sauce?
The word teriyaki means to add shine or luster to one’s cooking. This sauce was invented in Japan in the 1600s and is widely used globally as a marinade or glaze for meat, fish and vegetables.
Used mostly for grilling, you can also use teriyaki sauce for stir-frying and making soups.
You can make your own teriyaki sauce at home but I think most of us would just grab s bottle from the grocery store. My go-to brand is always Kikkoman teriyaki sauce.
The common ingredients in most commercial teriyaki sauces are:
- Soy sauce
- Garlic and onion powder
Your dog isn’t going to get into trouble if it takes a lick of teriyaki sauce but if ingested in large quantities, it might need medical treatment.
Here are some ingredients that your dog should not be eating.
Teriyaki sauce is rather sweet due to its high sugar content. This makes the sauce burn easily which is why it is only brushed on the food during the last few minutes of grilling.
Every 100g of teriyaki sauce has about 14g of sugar in it. That’s 14g too much sugar for your dog. There isn’t a need for sugar at all in your dog’s diet.
Dogs are carnivores which makes them meat eaters. I know that many dog owners would argue that dogs are omnivores since they are open to eating fruits and vegetables.
They are not wrong to an extent.
Dogs are opportunistic scavengers which allows them to eat almost anything even meat that isn’t too fresh. But if given a choice, your dog would pick a juicy steak over a salad bowl any day.
More than half of the dogs in the USA are overweight. I’m guessing this is due to a bad diet and uncontrolled feeding of human food.
Dogs that are overweight are at risk of the following issues:
- Joint problems
- Skin disease
- Heart disease
- Shorter life span
These aren’t the kind of problems that you want your dog to have as it gets older. Furthermore, dogs can get addicted to sugar as they have the ability to taste sweetness as compared to cats.
Almost everybody knows what sake is but I would consider mirin as the cousin of sake that doesn’t get enough recognition.
Most of the time, mirin isn’t drank as an alcoholic beverage like sake, you can if you want to, but it is more often used for cooking.
It has a higher sugar content and lower alcohol percentage than sake. I like using mirin when making soups or stews due to its sweet tangy and rich flavors.
When dogs eat teriyaki sauce, they will be consuming mirin which is an alcohol. And alcohol and dogs do not mix at all. Even though most of the alcohol would have evaporated in the making of the teriyaki sauce, some dogs can be very sensitive to alcohol.
When dogs consume alcohol, the effects are rather similar to what we humans experience as well.
- Unable to walk properly
- Shallow breathing
In more serious cases, it can cause liver failure in some dogs and even death. I would give the vet a call if your can has consumed anything that has alcohol in it just to be safe.
Garlic And Onion
Most dog owners are aware of the dangers of vegetables like garlic and onions. It is easy to keep the actual vegetable away from your dog but it can be tricky to identify these ingredients in our food.
Not all teriyaki sauces have garlic and onions in them. You can actually make a version without such ingredients at home. But most of the ones being sold at the stores do have either garlic, onion or both.
Garlic and onions are from the allium family and are known to be highly toxic to dogs. They can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen around your dog’s body.
This can cause your dog to become anemic and even become life-threatening in serious cases.
In order to reach toxic levels, your dog has to consume 1g of onion for every pound of body weight or 1g of garlic for every 5 pounds of body weight.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much for garlic and onion to become toxic to your dog. When the power form is used, the concentration is a lot higher than the actual vegetable itself.
Other vegetables that belong to the allium family are shallots, leek and chives.
Vinegar And Ginger
I wouldn’t call vinegar and ginger toxic to dogs but when they can cause some gastrointestinal upset if your dog is sensitive to them. Smaller dogs or dogs with kidney disease are more at risk.
There are some dog owners that dilute apple cider vinegar in their water to use on their dog’s skin. It is said to be able to help with skin conditions and help prevent ticks and fleas.
I personally have not used vinegar in such a way so I can’t vouch for its effectiveness. But given how bad it tastes and smells, I can’t imagine any dog wanting to be near it at all.
Some ginger root powder for dogs can be good as it can help with gas and bloating. Ginger is also known to be high in antioxidants which helps to prevent diseases like cancer.
The recommended dosage is a quarter teaspoon for small dogs and half a teaspoon for larger dogs.
However, too much ginger can cause the following problems:
- Low blood sugar
- Low blood pressure
Before feeding your dog any form of supplementation, I would strongly suggest that you have a word with your vet first. Some supplements can cause issues in pregnant and lactating dogs.
Can Dogs Have Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is one of the major components of teriyaki sauce and it isn’t good for your dog. Soy sauce is made from soybeans, water, salt and wheat.
The top-notch soy sauce can be left to ferment for more than a decade and cost a few hundred dollars a bottle.
What makes soy sauce so toxic to dogs is its very high salt content. In fact, one tablespoon of soy sauce makes up 40% of our daily require salt intake. And our dogs definitely only need just a fraction of that in their daily diet.
If you are feeding your dog a balanced and good quality diet, it is already getting all the sodium that it needs.
One tablespoon of soy sauce contains close to 900mg of sodium.
Too much salt!
This is more than enough sodium to cause salt poisoning in a small dog or puppy.
Symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
If you suspect that your dog has ingested enough sodium that can cause salt poisoning, you should take your dog to the vet.
Does Teriyaki Sauce Have Xylitol?
I have yet to see sugar-free teriyaki sauce being sold at the stores. But if you are making your own teriyaki sauce at home and are substituting sugar with an artificial sweetener like xylitol, do note that xylitol is very toxic to dogs.
Xylitol can cause your dog’s blood sugar levels to drop drastically and cause your dog to become unconscious. When eaten in large quantities, it can cause liver failure and kill your dog.
It doesn’t take much xylitol to harm your dog. A dosage of more than 0.1g of xylitol per kg of body weight can cause adverse side effects. Xylitol is commonly found in items like toothpaste and even sugar-free chewing gum.
Can Dogs Eat Teriyaki Chicken Or Steak?
When a dog eats teriyaki beef or chicken, it is at risk of getting affected by the teriyaki sauce. There is no telling how much teriyaki sauce your dog needs to eat before starting to show any side effects.
If my dog ate anything that has teriyaki sauce on it, I would be on the phone with my vet on what I should be doing next.