Do you want to bring your dog to Japan? Well, it doesn’t take any airplane ticket or hotel bookings to get there.
Alternative ways are available today, such as letting your dog listen to Japanese songs, exposed them to Japanese art, or having them wear kimonos as a form of Japanese culture appreciation.
However, dogs may not understand the language that we do, and instead, they want to get it straight through their taste buds.
Yes, dogs can eat sushi. But can they also experience the sticky sweetness of Moshi?
It’s time for us to find out! So, pack up your things, bring your passport, and relax!
This article is your quick getaway to the beauty of Mochi — a Japanese delicacy, and understand how this food can develop or peril your dog’s health, and find ways to ensure safety when you feed this food to your dog!
What is Mochi?
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from short-grain sweet rice if you’re unfamiliar with this food.
It’s usually shaped into bite-sized, cylindrical pieces and covered with a layer of Koshi an (a seaweed).
“Mochi” is a Japanese term that means “pounded rice.” In Japan, Mochi is a traditional food served on special occasions.
In Hawaii today, the term “mochi” usually refers to those spherical ice cream treats that are covered with chocolate and wrapped in a layer of edible nori (seaweed).
These confections can be found at most supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the state.
The process involves mixing ground glutinous white rice flour with hot water until the mixture turns sticky.
The dough is then cooled to room temperature before being pressed through a molder to create the desired shape. Hence, Mochi is best served when warm.
Food family of Mochi
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of food, Mochi belongs to the family food of “confectioneries.”
This category of food includes other sweets like cakes, waffles, ice cream, and pudding.
As a famous Japanese delicacy, Mochi is available in different flavors. These include green tea, chocolate, and honey-flavored varieties.
Each flavor Mochi has its nutritional composition to offer your dog, so make sure you pick the right one for them.
Mochi is packed with nutrients that are beneficial for dogs, which makes it a healthy treat. It’s also high in fiber and contains no cholesterol or saturated fat.
Mochi is typically low in sodium, but some flavors can contain higher amounts of salt than others.
The flavors of Mochi are shaping our tongues and palates. But, can our dogs enjoy this delight, too?
Can dogs eat Mochi?
Yes, dogs can eat Mochi. But considering that this food is sweet and can be high in calories, it should only be given to dogs occasionally.
Mochi has nutrients that your dog may benefit from. For instance, a small piece of Mochi in the morning can help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy.
Mochi is a healthier alternative to other kinds of treats, but make sure you still offer them in moderation.
Dogs should only eat about five pieces at max for an entire day’s worth of food intake. Otherwise, your dog may experience some digestive issues, which include gas and vomiting.
So, what are the other things to consider when feeding Mochi to your dogs? The following section answers that question. For a memorable feeding, we list down the best ways:
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Mochi
Bake your own Mochi
It’s best to bake your own Mochi using natural ingredients, such as glutinous white rice flour, sweet rice, and brown sugar.
Some people prefer to use organic ingredients for their Mochi to avoid pesticides used in commercial farming of these items.
Also, it’s best to choose unbleached or stone-ground flours over bleached ones since the latter may contain additives harmful to your dog’s health.
Feed Mochi as a treat
Mochi is usually eaten as an appetizer or dessert in Japan. However, you can also use it to train your dog and reward good behavior simultaneously.
It’s best to give Mochi during training sessions to attract their attention more than regular treats do.
If possible, make them sit and stay for a few minutes before you give them the treat.
Pair with fruits and vegetables
Have your Mochi with fruits and vegetables to complement its taste. For instance, you can pair it with sliced apples or oranges for healthy snack-time treats.
These two kinds of fruit contain antioxidants that are beneficial for our health and those of our dogs.
You might want to avoid pairing Mochi with dairy products because these can cause digestive problems for your dogs.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Mochi
Mochi is not only sweet, but this food also comes with health benefits for your dogs. Let’s get to know this food more as the list below shows health reasons why dogs can eat Mochi:
Mochi is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Mochi is rich in B-complex vitamins, such as niacin or vitamin B-12. It also contains iron that efficiently carries oxygen to your dog’s blood throughout the body.
Also, Mochi has Vitamin C, which helps in reducing the risk of allergies for a better immune system. Nevertheless, Mochi contains Vitamin A, which can improve your dog’s eyesight.
Mochi has antioxidants that protect your dog from free radicals.
Antioxidants are beneficial for human health as well, but these nutrients also benefit our canine companions.
These include beta-carotene and selenium found in this food treat. Because of this, antioxidants enhance your dog’s immune system in fighting against heart disease or cancer.
Mochi has healthy fibers.
Fibers are carbohydrates that can help your dog’s digestive system, including the small intestine.
They also reduce constipation problems since these nutrients aid digestion by adding bulk to bowel movements.
Plus, dietary fiber is beneficial for diabetic dogs since it helps regulate levels of glucose or sugar in the bloodstream.
Mochi can reduce obesity and promote a healthy weight.
This kind of food is low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol, making it a good choice for dogs concerned with weight.
Mochi also has complex carbohydrates beneficial for our canine companions since it provides them energy without causing sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar levels.
Possible Concerns When Eating Mochi
Earlier, we discussed some health benefits after your dog eats Mochi. Now, let’s stretch our awareness as we list down some possible health concerns your dog may suffer from:
This is a condition in which your dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed, causing abdominal pain. This medical problem may be triggered by overeating fatty food.
Still, it can also happen due to increased amylase or lipase enzyme levels that break down carbohydrates and fats, respectively.
Since Mochi is a carbohydrate food, overeating may lead to gastrointestinal problems. This can happen when your dog’s body cannot produce enough enzymes to digest the carbohydrates in Mochi or if it lacks any digestive enzyme, for that matter.
Mochi has a sticky texture which makes it hard for dogs to digest. If a dog overeats Mochi, it may suffer from intestinal blockage, which can cause severe health problems or even death to your furry friend. Plus, this food is not advisable for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Mochi is not for Puppies.
Puppies do not have the solid digestive system that adult dogs possess. Hence, Mochi should only be given to them when they are already at least one year old or if their parents allow it since this may cause intestinal problems in young pups.
Feeding Mochi to the wrong age of dogs may also stunt their growth.
Signs your dog is sick from eating Mochi
Your dog’s actions are louder than words. They may not complain whether they suffer from sickness, but their unusual actions communicate it.
If you notice any of the following symptoms after your dog eats Mochi, then it is time to bring them to a veterinarian immediately:
Mochi contains carbohydrates that provide energy for dogs, but it can cause unusual tiredness if consumed too much.
This happens when they are not able to digest the carbohydrates in Mochi.
This is a sign of gastrointestinal problems where your dog’s body cannot correctly digest caused by a lack of a digestive enzyme.
Here, constipation may also occur when there are too many fibers. As a result, your dog may suffer from diarrhea or dehydration.
Blood in stool
Mochi is not advisable for dogs with sensitive stomachs since it has a sticky texture that can cause bowel obstruction, resulting in blood coming out from the body through your dog’s feces.
This causes severe health problems and may lead to death if left untreated. Your dog may also suffer from nausea and vomiting if the blockage is in their small intestine.
If your dog frequently vomits after eating the treat, it is a sign of gastrointestinal problems where dogs have difficulty digesting or swallowing food due to inflammation from pancreatitis.
This also happens if they eat something that gives them an upset stomach, like spicy foods or chocolate.
The sticky texture in Mochi may cause your dog’s body to build up toxins that can lead to seizures, paralysis, and other neurological disorders.
This is a sign of pancreatitis where the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing abdominal pain. Dogs suffering from this will also show symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Mochi?
The most practical way to do this when your dog gets sick from eating Mochi is to bring them immediately to a nearby veterinarian.
The vet will ask about your dog’s health history and recent behavior before diagnosing what illness he suffered from.
Most significantly, your vet requires comprehensive details when your dog suffers from an emergency condition like poisoning caused by eating Mochi.
The vet may give your dog some medications depending on the severity of his symptoms, including fluid replacement, anti-nausea medicine, painkillers, or antibiotics.
Your vet may also conduct blood tests to know the state of your dog’s liver function and check for pancreatitis.
Avoid similar foods from this family.
Besides Mochi, Daifuku is a Japanese delicacy that your dog can eat but also be careful and avoid this food.
This Daifuku is a round piece of Mochi filled with red bean paste or other sweet fillings inside it which your dog can easily swallow without chewing.
Japanese rice cakes, otherwise known as Mochi in Japan, are also not advisable for dogs to eat because they have a similar sticky texture as Mochi.
Rice cakes have about the same carbohydrate content as Mochi that can cause your dog’s stomach discomfort.
Lastly, ice cream is not advisable for your dog to eat. The carbohydrates in Mochi can cause a similar effect on dogs, just like humans, when they consume too much sugar that causes them to have hyperactive behavior and increased urination.
How to Make Mochi Safe To Eat
Without actions, our wisdom grows null and empty. That’s why, to make every concept we learned happen, we dedicate this section for you and your dogs!
Thus, here are practical ways on how to make Mochi safe to eat:
Create a table diet
Instead of giving Mochi as a daily meal, let’s turn it into a treat. Also, make sure to create a table diet for your dog by providing balanced food consisting of proteins and other nutrients that can be found in meat or eggs.
Foods high in fiber
Give foods with high fiber content to your dogs, such as green leafy vegetables and fruits. This will help the food pass easily through your dog’s digestive tract without causing any blockage or other gastrointestinal problems.
Be patient with feeding Mochi to dogs.
It is not advisable to give Mochi as a regular meal because of its sticky texture that can cause bowel obstruction if dogs swallow it whole, resulting in blood coming out from the anus.
Level of Mochi stickiness
It is straightforward to make your own homemade Mochi by using glutinous rice flour (sweet or regular) and hot water to create the dough, then flattening it into a patty before putting any filling inside like red bean paste.
This can be done at home with less sticky texture compared to store-bought Mochi.
Bringing your dog to Japan doesn’t take a thousand miles away. Not only sound, art, or clothing, but you can also get your dog closer to Japanese culture by feeding Moshi!
Looking back, dogs can eat Moshi. Moshi is a Japanese rice cake made from short-grain sweet, usually shaped into bite-sized, cylindrical pieces and covered with a layer of seaweed.
This food is suitable as a treat since Moshi is rich in vitamins and minerals, has antioxidants to protect your dog from free radicals, and has healthy fibers for better weight and digestion.
We advised having this food fed occasionally. Otherwise, possible concerns like pancreatitis, gastrointestinal issues, or intestinal blockages may arise, resulting in your dog’s fatigue, unusual diarrhea, blood in stool, and vomiting.
So, you have to bring your dog to the nearest vet. Nonetheless, for safe feeding, you have to create a table diet, feed foods high in fiber, and check the level of mochi stickiness.
In the end, your Japan trip will be much more memorable by putting your dog’s health first above all!