Can Dogs Eat Msg? – Dangers To Consider

Our pets can sometimes be sensitive to some of our spices, food preservatives, and flavor enhancers. In general, their digestive system might not be able to tolerate some ingredients, which can cause them intestinal complications, allergies, or even some toxicities.

Msg, also known as monosodium glutamate, is used as a flavor enhancer for some foods or even as a preservative for canned foods. This substance is found in Asian foods providing a richer, more pleasant flavor to foods such as noodles, soups, and more. . 

Msg is very harmful to dogs; it harms their health in several aspects by different mechanisms. And even though health organizations have identified it as safe, it can severely damage your dog’s well-being. So if you ever notice the presence of Msg in your dog’s canned or dried food, immediately get rid of this feeding source and try to find another.  

Is Msg Toxic to Dogs?

Msg is commonly found in manufactured dog food to increase the palatability of the feeding. This can be a little ironic since Msg can be the reason your dog is always hungry and seeking food. Additionally, Msg is definitely toxic for several organs in your dog’s body, causing injury and damage to these organs. 

In the first place, Msg is toxic for the brain because it has a high ability to alter some neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Moreover, it is also toxic to your dog’s liver, kidneys, and thymus, causing several adverse effects on these organs. Now, in general, Msg doesn’t have a fast occurring impact on your dog’s health, rather than an accumulation of harmful effects that show up after a long time of Msg consumption.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Msg?

Just like not all humans are allergic to peanuts, not all dogs are allergic to Msg. In fact, allergies are not specific to an entire species, rather than just to certain individuals who are sensitive to a particular substance. So if you think about it, yes, your dog might have a Msg allergy which can only be detected by some visible symptoms like swelling in the face, redness of the skin, and itchiness. 

In general, allergies occur due to a malfunction in your dog’s immune system. This happens when your dog’s body is tricked into believing that a particular substance is harmful to it, so it treats it as a deadly pathogen. Therefore, it causes a huge immune-mediated reaction which is visualized as inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, and redness depending on the site that is most affected by this substance. For this reason, dogs that are allergic to Msg can show various symptoms, which you will be able to detect every time your dog has his manufactured meal. 

Another factor that can cause your dog to show various symptoms of certain nutrition is food intolerance. This event may seem like it’s a food allergy, as it exhibits similar symptoms, but in fact, it is not. Food intolerance complications occur due to the introduction of a new feeding that contains certain additives which are not familiar to your dog’s digestive tract. For this reason, your dog may show similar allergy symptoms due to the presence of Msg as a food additive in his food. 

Can Msg Cause Seizures in Dogs?

The most commonly known effect of Msg on dogs’ health is the fact that it can cause seizures. Apart from the toxic effect it exhibits on several systems and organs of your dog’s body, it is highly effective in generating nervous system seizures. This event is characterized by abnormal and uncontrolled muscle movement, which can be seen as twitching, tremors, and stiffness. 

As mentioned before, monosodium glutamate has a highly hazardous effect on the nervous system, especially the brain. Glutamate itself is an essential excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain which is responsible for the feeling of excitement and happiness. Therefore, the ingestion of large amounts of monosodium glutamate can cause a huge load on the nervous system, as it will become over-excited and stimulated, leading to uncontrollable muscle contractions that form the seizure. 

So if you are wondering if your Msg containing dog food can cause seizures and abnormal nervous system reactions, it can. Therefore when you’re picking your dog food, make sure to check the ingredients and additives and ensure that it doesn’t contain harmful substances like Msg. This is essential as Msg can cause severe adverse effects upon long-term consumption. 

How Much Msg Can Kill a Dog?

Generally, the amount of Msg present in any dog food or natural products is never enough to kill your dog instantly. As mentioned before, you will not be able to visualize the effect of Msg on your dog’s health immediately, but you will see one amplified reaction after the consumption of Msg has accumulated for a long time. For this reason, we can’t say an exact amount that will kill your dog, but we can understand that the lethal effects are prominent after long-term consumption. 

You might wonder about the mechanism that causes Msg to kill your dog, and for this, we can say that the most common way is by causing seizures. The over-excitement in the nervous system is able to permanently damage your dog’s brain and lead to death. This can occur if your dog undergoes a seizure for over 5 minutes with no proper emergency approach. 

Some theories imply that a sufficient amount of Msg can cause instantaneous adverse effects directly visible on your dog. This occurs when over a tablespoon of Msg is administered to your dog with their food. Generally, dog food portions will not contain as much as a tablespoon of Msg. In fact, the whole bag might not contain this much. For this reason, it is unlikely that the Msg in your dog food will cause immediate nervous system damage rather than a long-term accumulated effect.

Symptoms of Msg Poisoning in Dogs

Msg poisoning is generally very easy to detect. This is because most of the symptoms are nervous system-related, thus showing very obvious signs. Additionally, there are also some other adverse effects caused by the toxic effects that Msg exerts on some organs, like the liver, kidney, and thymus. Therefore, there will be several visible indicators that will let you know that something is wrong. 

General signs of poisoning include restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. These signs are mostly present in all kinds of poisoning, like lead-based poisoning. This occurs when your dog eats or licks some paint, which contains high amounts of lead, causing hazardous adverse effects. 

But Msg poisoning can be easily differentiated from other types of poisoning because it has special symptoms and signs since it can damage the nervous system. When the nervous system is injured, compulsory movements of skeletal muscles occur. These can be seen as tremors, incoordination, and finally, seizures.  

Does Msg Stop Dogs from Eating Poop?

Msg may have a beneficial effect in preventing your dog from eating his feces, but it is definitely not the best solution or approach. This is because you can follow several other methods to stop your dog from eating poop. Therefore if the question is: “which is the best way to stop my dog from eating poop” Msg is undoubtedly not the answer. 

Ironically, Msg is sometimes administered with food to prevent coprophagia when in fact, it is one of the reasons that causes continuous hunger. Msg basically works on making the food more pleasant so that your dog will be addicted to it, and eventually, it will prevent the feeling of fullness. And in fact, hunger is the main reason for the coprophagia behavior; thus, Msg will surely not solve the problem. 

So if your dog is suffering from coprophagia behavior, or you even noticed that your dog eats other animals’ poop, Msg is not the solution for you. Generally, you can supply your dog with vitamins and supplements that will enhance his gut health and general well-being. This will boost the feeling of fullness in your dog and prevent this unfavorable attitude. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Consumed Too Much Msg?

Msg poisoning is no joke because it can lead to your dog’s death. If you’re dog ate too much Msg, you need to make sure to deliver your pet to the vet the moment you notice the possibility of Msg poisoning. This is necessary because your dog might get a chronic seizure which will eventually kill him if not treated properly.

As we mentioned before, your dog’s food doesn’t contain much Msg, which will lead to an immediate toxicity effect. But the situation is different if you noticed that your dog got access to a large amount of Msg from a certain source. This could be if you realized that your dog has reached your spice cabinet and indulged a huge amount of this material.

In such cases, your dog’s health is in a critical position. If you ever notice signs of Msg poisoning, keep your dog in continuous access to water, and try to get him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do if you have no reach to a vet; for this reason, you have to be extra careful about the presence of Msg anywhere in your house. 


After all, we should always be careful about the kinds of food that we provide for our pets. If you are concerned about your dog’s health, always check the ingredients found in your dog’s canned food and search for any harmful food additives or taste enhancers. Ensure that your dog stays away from any harmful, poisonous material and always improve your dog’s health by supplying him with beneficial supplements.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!