Are you a dog owner, and you have been wondering if your dogs can eat kimchi? You are not alone. Right now, you are getting a warm look from your dog at you about to devour that fermented vegetable dish.
In this article, we explain the A to Z of the safety of giving your dog a nice dish of kimchi.
What is Kimchi?
You have probably seen it a lot in Korean movies or series but have yet to learn; a traditional Korean dish with a long history in their food menu. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish of different varieties, but cabbage (napa cabbage) is the most popular, other vegetables, such as radish, green onion, celery, spinach, etc, can also be used in making the food.
The food is only incredible, with a good amount of seasoning and spices like red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, chives, and spring onions, among many others, as the food recipes are large and growing.
It is also popularly considered a superfood because of its rich supply of antioxidants, high-fiber foods, and a great source of stomach-friendly bacteria owing to its fermentation process.
It has a natural flavor and helps develop the fermentation process of kimchi. The superfood is one of Korean food’s most common side dishes (banchan). It is also considered a good source of probiotics which are living organisms that, if consumed, has massive benefits to the body with similar benefits found in popular food like yogurts, other fermented food, and dietary supplements.
Is It Safe for Your Dog?
Indeed we are overwhelmed with the immense benefits, such as improving digestion and immune system, that kimchi has to offer the average human, and with that seeing the adoption of the superfood in other countries beyond its native home, especially in the US.
Now to the hairy-fluffy-furry canine friends of humans, is feeding your dog a sharp, refined, savory bowl of kimchi safe? Can dogs eat kimchi? Yes and No! We are as shocked as you are, allowing us to break down our double-edged answer.
Kimchi is great for dogs because no other species, like others, need a small amount of kimchi in its bowel. The reason is due to the superfood’s probiotic properties, which help feed the microbiomes in the stomach a handful of good bacteria.
Our dogs need a healthy gut as much as we do because of their scavenging way of life. They roam around in some litter, eating all kind of food exposed and fermented foods, and thus needs a good balance like kimchi which possess a good source of bacteria that can trample the bad ones in the guts.
What Amount is Safe for My Dog?
It is imperative to note that while fermented foods are quoted as a good dish for our dogs, veterinarians recommend some important caution in giving the dish to them.
The most important consideration here is that, in the first instance, it is recommended that a small amount of kimchi is offered as an occasional treat for your furry friend because a large amount of the food isn’t a good fit for a dog’s stomach.
The answer begs a different look into the nature of vegetables for dogs.
Is Vegetable a Good Source of Food for Dogs?
Veggies are a good source of potassium and vitamins, which improves the nerves, kidney, and muscles by keeping them healthy and in good condition. It is also recommended for overweight dogs to help them lose weight.
Safe and Unsafe Vegetables for Dogs
A good number of vegetables like carrots, celery, corn, green beans, and spinach, among others, are well okay for our pet’s diet.
However, some vegetables should be avoided, especially onion, garlic, wild mushrooms, and chives, because of the allergic reaction they cause in dogs which include hemolytic anemia, digestive upset, blood cells damage, or sometimes blockage of the intestines like the effect of corn cobs.
Recommended Amount of Vegetables for Dogs
The last and most crucial part of the debate on veggies for dogs is that the amount vets recommend should constitute only 10% of their diet as dogs are primarily carnivorous.
Another reason is that their stomach needs to be better designed to digest many vegetables. As such, caution must be taken in giving microgreens to them in their diet to avoid an imbalance in their nutrition that may cause other dog’s health implications such as stomach upset and digestive issues, among others.
But hold your horses; this is about fermented vegetables.
Is Fermented Vegetable Good for Dogs?
Fermented vegetables have been subjected to a battery of sugar absorption by bacteria and yeast. The fermentation process goes further to turn the sugar absorbed earlier into lactic acid and then removes the harmful bacteria that may cause harm and, in turn, soften the part that might be hard to digest.
The anatomy of a dog’s digestive tract reveals that they have a shorter length than a human’s tract and thus makes it harder to convert some foods. As such, their biology has made them adapt to eating more meat than vegetables, except if vegetables are easy to digest, like in the case of a fermented vegetable.
Veggies of this category hold the benefits of being easy to digest, no doubt, and also produce a lot of extra vitamins and enzymes for your dog, including the probiotic added benefits in their diet. It is noteworthy to add that the side effects of fermented vegetables on your dog may rise if your furry friend has an infection or yeast problem. It will do more harm than good if a dog who suffers from such is fed fermented vegetables; hence have the whole bowl of kimchi provided to your guts alone.
Can Dogs Eat Kimchi?
No, as previously mentioned, if the kimchi is large, it contains the forbidden vegetables or may be fed to an infected dog with a yeast problem. All of the highlighted issues with kimchi should be duly noted and be considered if ever considered for one’s pup. Feeding your dog too much kimchi may have some drawbacks, so it is a good idea to consult your vet if you notice adverse reactions.
How About a Spicy Bowl of Kimchi?
The issue with “Can dogs eat kimchi?” will not be comprehensive without some words dedicated to the spicy nature of the superfood or the added spices as some cook it.
It is well-known that dogs do not react well to spicy foods as their stomach isn’t well suited to handle the hot burn of spicy foods.
Inclusive is that spices used in kimchi, as done by some people, have to be given some consideration because of their toxicity, especially salt, spices, and sauce. The latter are sometimes immensely high in sodium and, as such, are pretty bad for the dog’s digestive system. These spices are necessary for the preparation of kimchi or to achieve that original taste, but then in small quantities, they are good. Otherwise, dogs can’t have kimchi.
Before you go…
How is Kimchi Prepared?
You have read up to this point but still need to learn how to make grandma’s favorite dish. It’s quite simple than I thought. I will share with you some of the common ingredients you will need to make kimchi at home and some potential benefits of eating kimchi for your health.
For humans, the best way to enjoy kimchi is to make it yourself at home with fresh and organic ingredients. You can buy ready-made kimchi, but homemade kimchi is more flavorful and healthier.
The first process is to choose your vegetables, and in this case, if it’s a table for two, you and your dog should consider what type of vegetables goes in for this delicacy.
Then you salt the vegetables and consider not adding large quantities if making this for your dog. After salting your kimchi, add red pepper flakes and some of your desired seasonings, can it, and leave it to ferment.