Can Dogs Eat Soy Sauce Safely?

Soy sauce ,Soya, and soybean on a table.

Eating fried rice without soy sauce just simply isn’t an option for the majority of us. It’s only natural to wonder what it will do to your dog. After all, you don’t want your dog to have the same experience from eating soy sauce as he would from eating kidney beans. 

Every pet owner knows that the absolute last thing you should give your dog is chocolate. When it comes to other food items, however, it can be a challenge to know exactly what will harm your dog and what won’t. For example, dogs can eat Cheerios, milk, and cheese as long as it’s small amounts. So where does soy sauce fall into the mix?

The truth is that you should keep soy sauce away from your dog if at all possible. The reason for this may be different than you think. Soy sauce is not toxic to dogs. The reason you should avoid soy sauce is that it has a high sodium content. For example, a tablespoon of soy sauce has a whopping 1,000 milligrams of sodium!

Dogs tend to be much more sensitive to sodium than humans. So while soy sauce itself isn’t toxic to dogs, the large amount of sodium can be. Of all the many different effects having too much soy sauce can have on your dog, there are generally four that are the most common: 

  • Salt poisoning
  • Kidney failure
  • Toxicity
  • Death

Naturally, a bigger dog breed will be able to consume more soy sauce than its smaller counterparts. A Great Dane won’t be affected as much as a Shih Tzu. Nevertheless, it’s imperative that your dog doesn’t have a field day with soy sauce at all.

vet examining a sick German Shepherd.

Consuming large amounts of saltwater can be fatal for dogs.

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Salt Poisoning And Your Dog

One of the most common results of a dog consuming too much soy sauce is salt poisoning. Believe it or not, even the smallest amount of soy sauce can be the reason your dog becomes ill. In fact, many vets conclude that a single tablespoon of soy sauce can cause health problems for your dog.

Although it’s not at all difficult for your dog to contract salt poisoning, it can be scary and even more dangerous. Salt poisoning can be the cause of several neurological problems for your dog and can even result in death. So what are the symptoms you should look out for?

If your dog consumes too much soy sauce, he will have the same symptoms as he would if he drank too much saltwater from the ocean. These symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

You should contact a vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms. Salt poisoning can also lead to kidney failure.

Kidney or adrenal failure concept photo

Dogs can develop acute kidney problems as a result of ingesting toxins.

Kidney Failure As A Result

Kidney failure is even scarier than salt poisoning. It requires immediate attention. Kidney failure has the same symptoms as salt poisoning but with a few added ones. The symptoms of kidney failure not associated with salt poisoning are:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Blood in the urine
  • Stumbling
  • Restlessness

Kidney failure is another item that requires an immediate trip to the vet. The treatment for kidney failure will ultimately depend on the severity of it. The most common treatment methods are dialysis, intravenous fluids, diet changes, and some medication. 


Salt poisoning and kidney failure aren’t the only threats that come with giving your dog soy sauce. It can also be toxic to your dog. The reason for this is because some types of soy sauce may contain garlic and onions. Both garlic and onions can be dangerous for your pup–especially if consumed in large amounts.

The scariest part about this toxicity to garlic and onions is that it may take several days for your dog to start showing symptoms. Once he does, however, the symptoms will look like this:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain

It Can Even Cause Death

This needs no explanation but it’s true nonetheless. This is obviously the worst-case scenario but it does happen. No one wants this to happen to their pet but too much soy sauce can kill your dog. 

Other Complications

As with the complications listed above, soy sauce can do much more damage to the health of your dog. For example, other effects that can come from toxicity are anemia, organ failure, and heart damage. It’s important to remember that the tiniest amount of soy sauce could potentially be fatal for your dog.

If you ever suspect that your dog may have had some soy sauce, don’t wait for symptoms. Take him to the vet as soon as possible. Once there, your vet will begin treatment based on the status of your dog. Most of the time, this treatment looks like intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, or even blood transfusions.

Another Reason To Say No To Soy Sauce

While the aforementioned reasons are more than enough for you to avoid giving your dog soy sauce, we’ll give you another one just in case: Allergies. To begin, there are four main ingredients in soy sauce. They are soybeans, wheat, salt, and fermenting ingredients like yeast.

The dangers of salt have been discussed already. But what about soy and wheat? As it turns out, soy and wheat are a couple of the most common allergens in dogs, and food allergies come with symptoms of their own. For example, your dog could suffer from ear inflammation, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal problems.

The End of the Road

It’s too easy to become curious about giving your dog food that you enjoy yourself. Despite the want to, it’s not always a good idea, especially when it comes to soy sauce. When it comes to most human food items, they’re okay to give your dog, as long as it’s in moderation. Soy sauce is not one of these items. A dose as small as a tablespoon can be toxic to your dog and neither you–nor your dog–want to be taking a trip to the vet anytime soon.

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.