Can Dogs Eat Kimchi?


Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, such as cabbage, radishes, and scallions, along with various seasonings.

It is known for its spicy and tangy flavor and is often enjoyed as a side dish or added to other dishes for extra flavor.

But can dogs eat kimchi? As a responsible dog owner, it’s important to know what foods are safe to feed your dog.

Quick Answer

Dogs should not eat kimchi. While it’s a probiotic-rich food full of beneficial bacteria that are good for humans, it may cause digestive upset in dogs due to its spicy and fermented nature.

Additionally, kimchi contains a high salt content that is not suitable for dogs and can lead to sodium ion poisoning. It’s best to avoid feeding kimchi to dogs and opt for dog-friendly treats and food instead.

In this article, we will explore whether kimchi is safe for dogs and if there are any potential benefits or risks associated with feeding it to them.

Key Takeaways

  • Not Recommended: Kimchi is not recommended for dogs, especially if it contains ingredients like garlic, onions, and spicy peppers, which can be toxic to dogs and cause digestive issues.
  • High Salt Content: Kimchi has a high salt content, which is not suitable for dogs and can lead to sodium ion poisoning. Dogs are more sensitive to salt, and excessive consumption can be harmful.
  • Homemade Low-Salt Version: If you still want to feed kimchi as an occasional treat for your dog, it’s recommended to make a homemade low-salt version free of toxic ingredients like garlic, onions, and spicy peppers. However, it’s best to consult a veterinarian before introducing kimchi into your dog’s diet.
  • Occasional Treat, in Moderation: In some cases, a small amount of traditional Korean kimchi in moderation may be considered safe for dogs as an occasional treat, but it should not be a regular part of their diet.
  • Potential Health Benefits: While kimchi’s main ingredients are non-toxic for dogs, it’s important to be cautious due to the presence of potentially harmful ingredients. Some sources suggest that fermented foods, in general, can offer health benefits for dogs, but this should be done sparingly and with consideration of the specific ingredients.

Is Kimchi Safe for Dogs To Eat?

Homemade Kimchi with its share of good bacteria is a probiotic that has a host of health benefits for humans. While kimchi is generally safe for humans to consume, it is not recommended to feed it to dogs.

There are a few reasons why kimchi may not be suitable for your canine companion:

  • Spicy Ingredients: Kimchi typically contains spicy ingredients like chili peppers and garlic, which can be harmful to dogs. Spicy foods can cause digestive upset, and irritation, and even lead to more serious conditions like pancreatitis in dogs.
  • High Sodium Content: Kimchi is often high in sodium, which can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Excessive sodium intake can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even kidney problems in dogs.
  • Fermentation Process: The fermentation process used to make kimchi can produce gases and increase the risk of bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort in dogs.

Potential Risks of Feeding Kimchi to Dogs

Feeding kimchi to dogs can pose several risks, including:

  • Upset Stomach: The spicy and fermented nature of kimchi can upset the digestive system, cause diarrhea, and vomiting, and could make your dog sick.
  • Allergic Reactions: Dogs are more sensitive and may be allergic to certain ingredients in kimchi, such as garlic or chili peppers. Allergic reactions can manifest as skin irritations, itching, or even more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing.
  • Pancreatitis: The high fat content in kimchi, along with the spicy ingredients, can trigger pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Take a look at the list of processed human foods that your dog should avoid.

Alternatives to Kimchi for Dogs

If you’re looking to add some flavor to your dog’s meals, there are safer alternatives to kimchi that you can consider:

  • Plain Vegetables: Dogs can enjoy a variety of plain, cooked vegetables like carrots, green beans, and peas. These vegetables are low in calories and provide essential nutrients without the added spices or seasonings.
  • Dog-Friendly Herbs: Some herbs like parsley, basil, and oregano can be added to your dog’s meals for a burst of flavor. Just make sure to use them in moderation and avoid any toxic herbs like garlic and onion.
  • Commercial Dog Food Toppers: There are commercially available dog food toppers that can enhance the taste of your dog’s regular meals without compromising their health. These toppers are specifically formulated for dogs and are often made with natural ingredients.
  • Boiled eggs: Good old boiled eggs are a good and healthy snack for your dog. Avoid adding any condiments to the eggs or processed dishes like deviled eggs.


In conclusion, it is not recommended to feed kimchi to dogs. The spicy ingredients, high sodium content, and fermentation process can pose potential risks to your furry friend’s health.

It’s always best to stick to a balanced and nutritionally complete diet specifically formulated for dogs.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or if they have accidentally consumed kimchi, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat fermented foods like kimchi?

No, it is not recommended to feed dogs fermented foods like kimchi. The fermentation process can produce gases and increase the risk of bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort in dogs.

Can dogs have spicy foods?

No, dogs should not consume spicy foods.

Spicy ingredients like chili peppers and garlic can cause digestive upset, irritation, and even lead to more serious conditions like pancreatitis in dogs.

Are there any Health benefits Of feeding kimchi to dogs?

There are no specific health benefits of kimchi to dogs. Dogs have different nutritional needs than humans, and their diets should be tailored to meet those needs.

Feeding them kimchi can potentially cause digestive issues and other health problems.

Can kimchi be toxic to dogs?

While small amount of kimchi itself is not toxic to dogs, certain ingredients commonly found in kimchi, such as garlic and chili peppers, can be toxic to dogs.

It’s best to avoid feeding kimchi to your furry friend to prevent any potential health risks.

What should I do if my dog accidentally eats kimchi?

If your dog accidentally consumes kimchi, monitor them closely for any signs of digestive upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to seek veterinary attention. It’s always best to prevent your dog from accessing foods that are not safe for them to consume.

Can dogs eat other Korean foods?

While some Korean foods may be safe for dogs to consume, it’s important to research and ensure that the ingredients used are safe for dogs.

It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet.

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