Who doesn’t like spring rolls? They are tasty, juicy, and offer a burst of fresh flavors. But are spring rolls dog-friendly? Is it safe to share some spring rolls with your canine friend?
Can dogs eat spring rolls? No, dogs cannot eat spring rolls. While a bite or two may not be harmful to a large dog, depending on the ingredients, some spring rolls can be particularly hazardous, especially for smaller pups.
In this article, we will talk about dogs and spring rolls. We will cover the common ingredients and the cooking method. Finally, we will give tips on what to do in case of accidental ingestions.
What Are Spring Rolls?
Spring rolls are rolled and dip-fried appetizers and a staple in Asian cuisine. There are many spring rolls recipes, and each is slightly different than the others. However, the basics are the same – spring rolls are made of a wrapping filled with a mixture of spiced veggies and served with a sauce or condiment.
The wrapper can be made of rice or some other grain, while the filling allows more creativity and inclusion of just about any vegetable. The sauce is usually soy sauce, ketchup, or mayo.
Why Are Spring Rolls Bad for Dogs?
Like processed foods, spring rolls are not a natural part of the dog’s diet. Even if we put aside the processing and cooking part aside and focus on the raw ingredients, there are issues and risks.
Namely, some ingredients found in the filling, wrapping, or sauce are directly harmful, while others are troublesome in the long run. To make things simpler, let’s review the different parts of the spring rolls dish and their risks for dogs.
Issue number 1: The wrapping
The wrapping can be made out of rice flour or any other grain mixed with water. While rice is perfectly safe, some grains can be troublesome for dogs. Namely, it is not uncommon for dogs to be allergic to grains and respond to their presence with a bout of diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and gassiness.
Issue number 2: The filling
The filling is the riskiest part of the spring rolls. This is mainly because there are so many filling variations, and each holds different risks.
Too much fiber
The bulk of the filling consists of veggies. While some veggies are perfectly safe and even beneficial for dogs, if fed in excess, they pose a risk. Namely, dogs are not equipped to digest high amounts of dietary fiber and may experience stomach issues.
Onion and garlic
To improve the taste, many spring rolls feature garlic and onion. Like all Allium family members, garlic and onion are toxic to dogs. They contain compounds that damage the red blood cells, get them eliminated from circulation, and eventually trigger life-threatening anemia.
An array of spices
It is the spices that make spring rolls so irresistible. However, the dog’s stomach is not capable of processing spices. In small amounts, spices can cause irritation and, in more severe cases, bleeding GI tract ulcers.
Issue number 3: The sauce or condiment
The most commonly used sauces are soy, ketchup, and mayo. All of these sauces are troublesome for dogs for separate reasons.
Soy sauce is loaded with salt. A tablespoon of soy sauce is enough to cause severe and potentially life-threatening salt poisoning in dogs. There are some other risky ingredients in soy sauce, but the salt content is the main issue.
Contrary to popular belief, ripe and red tomatoes are safe for dogs. However, ketchup is not safe. Many ketchup recipes include xylitol – an artificial sweetener that is extremely toxic to pets. Not to mention the presence of artificial additives and preservatives in ketchup.
Mayo is high in fats, and sadly the wrong types of fats. Eating fatty foods can cause an episode of acute pancreatitis, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. In the long-run, mayo contributes to weight gain, thus predisposing dogs to various diseases and aggravating pre-existing conditions.
Issue number 4: The deep-frying method
The main cooking method for spring rolls is frying. Frying is not healthy for dogs, just like it is unhealthy for people. The issue with frying is similar to that of mayo – it puts the dog at immediate risk of developing pancreatitis or weight gain in the long run.
The only cooking methods that are safe for dogs are boiling, steaming, and baking. However, when it comes to dogs, the less processed the food is, the healthier.
What Happens if A Dog Eats a Spring Roll?
What happens after a dog eats spring rolls depends on several factors, including:
- The spring rolls recipe (the exact ingredients it included)
- The number of consumed spring rolls (the more rolls, the worse the outcome)
- The dog’s size (larger dogs can eat more without experiencing issues)
- The dog’s overall health (dogs with pre-existing conditions are more fragile).
Based on these factors, you can expect anything from a mild stomach upset to severe and potentially life-threatening intoxication.
If your dog ate spring rolls, you need to evaluate the situation (consider the factors) and call your trusted veterinarian for further guidance. Based on the info you provide, the vet will instruct you to stay at home and carefully monitor the dog or rush to the office for in-person evaluation and stabilization.
It goes without saying that you must not self-treat your dog. Always consult with the vet before medicating your dog. Even over-the-counter meds can be harmful to dogs if used inadequately.
Summing Up: Spring Rolls for Dogs
All in all, dogs cannot eat spring rolls. The first issue is the ingredients. While some ingredients are safe, others are troublesome if consumed in excess, and there are those that are directly toxic.
The second issue with spring rolls is the preparation method. Deep-fried foods are risky for dogs on several levels – from stomach upset to weight gain.
Luckily, just because dogs cannot enjoy spring rolls does not mean they are missing too much. The modern pet market offers an array of dog-friendly treats. Or, you can get creative and bake your dog some homemade and safe treats.