4 min read


Can Dogs Taste Wasabi?



4 min read


Can Dogs Taste Wasabi?


Wasabi is a powerful, spicy, and potent ingredient. When you think about wasabi, you likely correlate this food with a delicious sushi roll. It comes in a thick paste and is a light green color. A little, indeed, goes a long way, so after your sushi is gobbled up, you probably have that wasabi paste leftover. 

Wasabi is tasty and has some health benefits as well, but can your dog benefit from wasabi? Can your dog even have this food or is it toxic for them to consume? Although wasabi is not toxic to dogs, you will want to refrain from feeding this spicy paste to your dog. Read below to find out more about the issues with feeding your pup wasabi! 


Signs of a Dog Not Liking Wasabi

You should not attempt to feed your dog wasabi to see their reaction or for entertainment. Wasabi is very hot and spicy, and it can hurt your dog's mouth and stomach since dogs do not have experience with eating spicy foods. However, your dog may accidentally get a hold of some leftover wasabi, and in this case, you will be able to confirm your dog does not like the taste of this food. 

If your dog does lick or eat some wasabi and they do not like it, your dog will probably try to rub their face, mouth, and snout all over the floor. Perhaps they are trying to get the taste out of their mouth, or more likely, the spicy and hot fumes from the wasabi have gotten in their nose, and it's burning. Your dog may also lick their lips a lot, sneeze many times in a row, or go right to their water bowl and drink a lot.

Furthermore, your pup might run around, pace, or drop their ears and put their tail between their legs. These are all signs your dog does not like wasabi, and it is likely it is hurting their mouth, nose, and stomach. 

Body Language

These are some signs you might notice if your dog does not like wasabi:

  • Ears Drop
  • Pacing
  • Sniffing
  • Lip Licking
  • Tense Jaw
  • Drooling
  • Tail Tucking
  • Tongue Hanging

Other Signs

Here are some other signs you may notice if your dog does not like wasabi:

  • Running To Their Water Bowl Quickly
  • Rubbing Their Face, Snout, And Mouth On The Floor
  • Running Around And Pacing About
  • Sneezing And Sniffling A Lot

History of Dogs and Wasabi


Wasabi is an herb or a spice that is native to Japan. This plant grows in the cold and mountainous regions all across Japan. According to traditional Japanese legends, wasabi was found in a far away mountain village in Japan by a farmer. The farmer took this plant to Tokugawa Ieyasu, a warlord, that liked it so much he declared this plant could only be grown in the Shizuoka region. 

The oldest record we have of this plant is from the 10th century, and it was found in two Japanese books. 

Wasabi was a favorite food within the culture and was eaten nearly every day. Wasabi was also known for its health and medical benefits. Full-scale cultivation of wasabi began between 1603 and 1868 and then spread to other parts of the world for growing as well. Wasabi is notoriously hard to produce since it requires exact conditions, like cold weather and pure water with the right ratio of minerals. Some other countries that have found they can grow this plant are New Zealand, China, Canada, some places in the Americas, and a few more. 

It is likely dogs were never fed wasabi at any time. Wasabi was a prized food within the culture many thousands of years ago. Additionally. people would have realized this food was much too powerful and spicy for a dog's palate as well. 

Science Behind Dogs and Wasabi


Although wasabi is not inherently toxic for dogs, you should never give it to your dog as a treat or to see if they like it. Spicy foods can upset your dog's stomach, burn their mouths, and even cause them gas and bloating.

If your dog overeats wasabi, they can also get diarrhea and vomit, which is not pleasant for either you or your dog. Some dogs will also suffer from extreme thirst because this paste is so spicy. Simply put, your dog's digestive system is not equipt to handle and digest spicy foods, and both you and your pooch will know it!  

On the off chance your dog does like wasabi, or a form of wasabi like crunchy and salty wasabi peas, still refrain from feeding it to your dog. 

Training Dogs to Avoid Wasabi


Just as with any foods a dog should not consume, you should keep any wasabi you have in the house away from your dog. This includes keeping the wasabi in the fridge and on a high shelf that your dog cannot reach.

If you happen to order in food, like sushi, which often comes with wasabi, make sure you keep an eye on your dog while you are eating it. Dogs can snatch food very quickly, so keep them away from it! If you happen to leave the room and your food is in reach for your dog, they will probably take the food, including the wasabi. If you have to leave the room, either make sure your dog comes with you or take your food and wasabi with you to where you are going. This will ensure they cannot swipe the wasabi while you are gone. 

If your dog does happen to sneak the wasabi from your plate, don't panic. Wasabi is not toxic to dogs, so rushing them to the vet or animal ER is not necessary unless they eat an obscenely large amount of wasabi. If they have a reasonably small amount, your dog will experience some mouth discomfort and may have some vomiting or diarrhea for the night. Although this will not be fun for anyone, it is hardly life-threatening. If you are nervous your dog is having a terrible reaction to the wasabi, give your vet a call so you can seek their professional medical advice. 

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Safety Tips for Keeping Dogs Away from Wasabi:

  1. Make sure you keep wasabi away from them.
  2. Keep any leftover wasabi out of their reach.

Written by a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/15/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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