Can Dogs Eat Tofu?

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
By Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP on Jan. 11, 2024
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In This Article

Is Tofu Good for Dogs?
NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one

Tofu is a nutritional food for humans that’s added to many dishes. While it might not be the first snack that comes to mind when you think about Fido, those begging eyes might lead you to wonder: can dogs have tofu? Read on to find out everything you need to know about whether tofu is an OK snack for your pup.

Is Tofu Good for Dogs?

Fortunately for Fido, tofu is not toxic to dogs. However, many of the extra ingredients and sauces we put on our tofu dishes are. So if you decide to share some tofu with your dog, be sure it’s plain, cooked, and free of all extra ingredients. Even if the tofu is non-toxic, things like onions, garlic, and heavily salted soy might not be nearly as safe.

Tofu is a nutrient-dense food, meaning that it packs a lot of punch in a fairly low-calorie serving.  It’s reasonably high in protein and also contains calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Tofu is considered to be a nutritious snack for your dog in small amounts—a 1-inch cube  for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight is OK.

Can Tofu Be Bad for Dogs?

Tofu doesn’t contain enough protein to be a primary ingredient in your dog’s diet, so keep it as an occasional snack. And because soy contains phytoestrogens (estrogen-like compounds), tofu can affect the hormonal balance of your pooch when served in large amounts. If you decide to offer your dog any tofu at all, keep the amounts small and infrequent. This is especially critical for young dogs that have not yet fully developed or for dogs that may be used for breeding.

Tofu can also make dogs very gassy, which can be quite uncomfortable for them. It can increase the potential risk for bloat and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), particularly in breeds already predisposed to bloating. Any dog that experiences an increase in gas after eating tofu probably shouldn’t be offered more in the future.

If your dog has eaten tofu and then attempts to vomit without bringing anything up, this is considered a medical emergency. Go to the veterinary hospital immediately.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Tofu?

Tofu is made from soy, and it’s possible for dogs repeatedly fed soy to develop an allergy to it over time. These dogs will often develop skin problems (such as itchy faces, ears, and feet) that worsen over time. Some dogs will develop gastrointestinal sensitivities if they have an allergy to soy and can experience bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. 

However, most dogs do tolerate soy in their diets without problem, and soy is sometimes used as a protein substitute for dogs who have developed allergies to other proteins.

If you have concerns that your dog’s diet may be contributing to allergies, your veterinarian can help you develop a trial diet to determine what the likely underlying cause of the problem is.xa

My Dog Ate Tofu. What Do I Do?

If your dog has eaten a relatively small amount of soy (a 1-inch cube per 10 pounds of body weight) of plain tofu with no potentially toxic sauces or ingredients on it, chances are good you have nothing to worry about. However, if your dog develops signs of abdominal discomfort, excessive flatulence, burping, vomiting, or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian.

If your dog is trying to vomit without producing anything (retching), this can be a sign of life-threatening bloat and must be treated immediately.  

Similarly, if your dog has eaten a large amount of tofu, has a known allergy to soy, or has eaten additional ingredients that may be toxic, seek veterinary care immediately.

What To Feed Your Dog Instead of Tofu

If you’re looking for safer human foods to share with your pup, consider:

Featured Image: AleksandarNakic/E+ via Getty Images

Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell is a 1995 graduate of the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in many fields...

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