Don’t Feed Kimchi to Your Dog Without Reading This First
Kimchi is a famous Korean side dish and it’s known worldwide for its impressive health benefits in humans. As dog parents, it’s completely normal for you to want to share something delicious and healthy with your pet canines, but the question is, should you?
Kimchi may be full of flavor and nutritional benefits for humans but dogs are anatomically different, and respond differently to human food. But can dogs eat kimchi? The answer is yes, they can, but it depends on several factors. If your dog has accidentally eaten a tablespoon of kimchi, there is no need to worry. However, if it eats kimchi every day, that’s a different story.
Read this guide before giving kimchi to your dog.
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi, also spelled as kimchee, is a common Korean side dish. It is a staple in Korean cuisine and typically consists of fermented cabbage, onion, garlic, pepper, and a variety of different spices and seasonings. There are many variations of kimchee, but the mentioned ingredients are the most commonly used. Other common ingredients added to kimchi are radishes, scallions, ginger, and fish sauce.
Once these ingredients are mixed, they are fermented in cool pits and placed on the ground for weeks to several months. They are placed on the ground to help control the speed at which healthy bacteria can grow.
The result is a spicy, pickled dish with a crunchy, pungent, and flavorful taste that’s packed with impressive nutrients.
Kimchi Nutritional Facts
Kimchi is a spicy pickled vegetable considered to be a probiotic with its live bacteria, making it a healthy food option that boosts gut health. Having a healthy digestive system contributes to overall healthy well-being, making kimchi an extremely healthy food option for humans. But does it have health benefits for dogs? Yes, dogs receive similar vitamins and minerals from food, except that they process the food differently since they don’t have similar digestive systems compared to humans.
Nevertheless, dogs do get the same nutrients from kimchi. Some of these nutrients include Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene, choline, potassium, and calcium.
One serving or one cup of kimchi contains the following:
- 23 calories
- 1g protein
- Less than 1g of fat
- 4g carbohydrates
- 2g fiber
- 2g sugar
Aside from these mentioned nutrients, kimchi is also known to have antioxidants and amino acids that boost overall health.
Can Dogs Eat Kimchi?
Yes, dogs can eat kimchi but it depends on the ingredients. Some kinds of kimchi don’t contain onion and garlic, while others have high levels of salt, with others being fermented for fewer weeks, and some use other leafy greens aside from cabbage.
If you don’t know the ingredients used in making a particular kimchi, it’s best to avoid feeding it to your dog. This is because some ingredients, like garlic and onion, are toxic to dogs.
If you want to feed your dog kimchi because your pup is begging you for a taste, give your dog a tablespoon and nothing more. Wait for your dog’s reaction before giving it more. If your dog is showing some signs of adverse reactions, such as vomiting, nausea, wheezing, lethargy, excessive salivation, scratching more than usual, or diarrhea, your dog might be having an allergic reaction or it may have eaten toxic ingredients found in the kimchi.
If your dog is in distress or if symptoms persist for more than 12 hours, bring your dog to the vet immediately.
Benefits of Kimchi on Dogs
While the benefits of kimchi on humans are well-documented, its health benefits on dogs are not. Nevertheless, kimchi and other fermented food are known to provide benefits to dogs, as long as harmful ingredients are not consumed or present in the fermented vegetable.
Here are the known benefits of consuming kimchi for dogs:
- Improves Gut Health
Kimchi is known to be a probiotic, which means it contains live lactobacilli bacteria just like yogurt, which is good for your dog’s gut health. Healthy bacteria improves and prevents digestive issues in dogs, as well as prevents colon inflammation. A healthy gut is also essential for your dog’s overall health and well-being.
- Good for the Heart
Kimchi is also known to help reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation, which helps to improve your dog’s cardiovascular health.
- It Improves the Immune System
Kimchi’s nutrients support your dog’s overall immune system, helping your dog to effectively fight against diseases and infections.
Kimchi also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that fight the signs of aging and helps in preventing the medical condition in dogs, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
Why Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat Kimchi
We’ve talked about why kimchi is okay for your dog to eat, and what the benefits are when your pup eats the dish. However, as mentioned earlier, common ingredients added to kimchi can be harmful to dogs, so you should know what these added ingredients are, and how much of them are present in the kimchi you’re feeding to your dog.
Here are the most common ingredients added to kimchi that are harmful to them to eat:
Salt is added to kimchi to improve the taste of the vegetables, as well as to help preserve the dish. Because of this, kimchi may contain high levels of sodium, which can be harmful to dogs. The amount of salt in kimchi may not pose a risk to humans but dogs are more at risk for salt poisoning when they eat more than they should.
Some symptoms of salt poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, incoordination, muscle tremors, and dehydration.
- Garlic and Onion
Garlic and onion are harmful to dogs. They contain thiosulfate, which can cause oxidative damage to your dog’s red blood cells. This can result in hemolytic anemia, which can be life-threatening when left untreated.
Typically, the amount of salt, garlic, and onion present in a cup of kimchi are not enough to be toxic to dogs. So if your pup has accidentally eaten a serving of kimchi, there is no need to worry. Your canine friend may experience nausea or vomiting if it has eaten more than one serving, but it typically goes away on its own.
However, if symptoms continue for 12 to 24 hours, you need to bring your dog to the vet immediately.
- How much kimchi can I feed my dog?
If you want your dog to reap the benefits of kimchi, give it one tablespoon of kimchi first. Check if your dog shows any adverse reactions. If none, you can give your dog one tablespoon of kimchi per day.
- Can I give spicy kimchi to my dog?
No, do not give anything spicy to your dog because this can lead to excess gas, which is painful for dogs.
- How can I ensure the kimchi is safe for my dog?
If you want your dog to eat kimchi, you should make the dish at home to ensure there are no harmful ingredients present in the dish. you can skip the onion and garlic and use other ingredients in your kimchi.
Kimchi is a nutritious side dish with plenty of health benefits for humans but do dogs receive the same benefits? In some ways, yes, but since kimchi typically has garlic, onion, and salt, kimchi should be given in small amounts to your canine friends. A tablespoon is okay but more than that can be harmful. To make sure your feeding safe kimchi to your dog, a homemade version without garlic and onion is the best option.
Dad and daugher feeding dog (Pexels)