Do you like broccoli and wonder if your dog will, too? Are you caught up between wanting to feed your dog a healthy treat and not wanting to cause a “reaction”? Is broccoli good for dogs?
Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable as human food, and people are constantly advised to eat it. So, it’s only natural that dog owners are getting curious. However, there are many vegetables that are good for us but cause dramatic side effects on our pets.
So, if you’d like to find out whether to feed your dog some broccoli or not, keep on reading.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
While it’s not a vegetable that we recommend every day in every meal that dogs eat, the health benefits of broccoli are something that all dog owners should know, as broccoli can be a healthy addition to your dog’s daily diet. Here are the most important nutrients:
It’s no surprise that broccoli is high in dietary fiber. The right amount of fiber is beneficial for your dog because it helps its digestive system work properly. Fiber also helps in weight management, which is something that most dogs need, despite the obliviousness of their well-intentioned pet parents. Finally, fiber protects your canine companions from high cholesterol.
One of the biggest health benefits of broccoli is that it has the highest amount of vitamin K in vegetables and celery. Vitamin K is the most important among all vitamins for bone health. It increases bone density and promotes bone strength.
So, this vitamin is important for younger, more active dogs to help them keep up with their lifestyle. On the other hand, older dogs need vitamin K because their bone density decreases with time.
Do we even need to say why vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for humans and pets? It’s a vital antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, vitamin C is an immune system booster that increases the number of antibodies that fight viruses and infections.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B-9, is essential for pregnant dogs because it prevents birth defects and miscarriages. Plus, it helps metabolize amino acids or omega 3 fatty acids. Finally, we recommend broccoli for dogs with folate deficiency.
Broccoli is so rich in nutrients that it has a variety of healthy minerals, the most important of which is potassium. It supports the heart health of your canine companion by regulating its heart rate. Moreover, this electrolyte helps maintain its nervous system and regulate muscle contraction.
Another imperative mineral that must be a part of your dog’s diet is calcium, which is found in vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Neither humans nor dogs produce calcium naturally, which is why it’s important to take it through food or supplements.
Calcium aids their growth and supports their teeth and bones. Furthermore, it’s paramount to your dog’s ability to contract and lengthen its muscles.
Vitamins are necessary, but they need minerals like iron to make up a balanced diet. It carries oxygen to the brain and the rest of the dog’s body. Also, it aids the cognitive function of the brain and enzyme functions, which fight toxins and diseases.
Is Broccoli Toxic to Dogs?
Broccoli isn’t toxic to dogs when given in moderation. That being said, this nutrient-rich vegetable can be a cause for concern sometimes.
For example, the chunkiness and crunchiness of steamed broccoli stalks can make them a choking hazard, especially for small dogs. So, it’s better for dog owners to monitor their dogs while they’re eating this vegetable. Also, we recommend cutting it into small pieces.
More importantly, as one of the cruciferous vegetables, dog broccoli florets contain isothiocyanate, a naturally occurring compound that can cause side effects such as gastric irritation in dogs.
It becomes toxic and causes serious gastrointestinal distress when the amount ingested is more than 10% of a dog’s diet and fatal when it’s more than 25%.
How Much Broccoli Can a Dog Eat?
Dogs can eat a small amount of broccoli to get the benefits while avoiding the potential harms or side effects. Treat broccoli intake as a snack that should take no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Any more than that can risk gut irritation.
When you feed a dog too much broccoli in large quantities, meaning around 25% of their food intake, it becomes toxic and can cause death. The percentage also depends on the dog’s size, age, and breed. For example, 10% of a golden retriever’s diet looks different from that of a pooch.
The reason why it’s only safe for dogs in small quantities is that broccoli contains isothiocyanate, a compound that exists in broccoli florets. It highly benefits humans, but dogs can’t handle it at all.
So, portion control is key when it comes to feeding your dog cruciferous vegetables and potentially problematic fruits because even though dogs are omnivores, we can’t feed them human foods without proper research.
What Vegetables Can a Dog Eat?
Our omnivore companions can eat meat and vegetables, just like us. However, not all vegetables are good for dogs, so here are the most popular ones:
Most pet parents have fed their dogs some green beans at some point. Green beans are packed with vitamins, including B-6, A, C, and K. Also, they’re a good source of protein and iron for your canine friends. In addition, they are the perfect low-calorie fibrous food for an overweight dog.
Another nutrient-rich fruit contestant among vegetables for dogs is peas. Whether it’s green, snow, garden, or English peas, it’s all good for dogs. Peas provide dogs with vitamins A, B, C, and K. Additionally, they contain manganese, thiamin, and protein, so they’re like a whole meal in themselves.
Carrots are pretty popular in small dog foods, so it’s safe to assume that they’re good for dogs. These crunchy snacks are great for your dog’s teeth. Also, they’re rich in potassium, biotin, and fiber. Finally, a carrot is the best source of vitamin A.
Who doesn’t love cucumbers? Not your pet. Cucumbers are a great way to boost a dog’s energy levels without any fats or oils. So, if you have an overweight dog, you know what to do. Also, they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, including copper, magnesium, and biotin.
What Vegetables Are Bad for Dogs?
Dogs are omnivores, so they generally can eat fruits and vegetables. That being said, there a few vegetables that are popular human foods that you should never give dogs to eat as dog food.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic make food tasty for people, but they do cause us some digestion problems sometimes. However, their effect on a dog treat is much more dramatic.
Onions are toxic for dogs since they contain N-propyl disulfide, which damages red blood cells in dogs by preventing them from carrying oxygen throughout the body, leading to hemolytic anemia.
Garlic is also toxic in large quantities and damages red blood cells. In addition, it causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Corn on the Cob
Unsalted and unbuttered corn can be a tasty treat that your dog eats on a hot summer day. However, you can feed them corn on one condition, which is that you remove it from the cob.
While it sounds silly at first, most dogs love corn so much that they gulp the whole cob or gnaw on large pieces, leading to a choking hazard or gastrointestinal obstruction, which is an emergency, as the cobs are too large to safely pass through the tract. This is especially the case with small to medium dogs that tend to have too much attitude for their size.
So, if you want to feed your dog some corn, give them a few unsalted and unbuttered kernels and keep them away from corn cobs, no matter how much they beg and drool.
Raw and Green Potatoes
Ripe potatoes are a pretty popular ingredient in dog food because of their many nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and iron. However, you should never give your dog raw and leafy green potatoes, as they contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison. In fact, solanine is toxic for people too.
Cooking potatoes doesn’t eliminate solanine completely, but it reduces it to a safe level for people and dogs. So, make sure to only feed your pet baked and boiled potatoes with no additives. Nonetheless, A Sweet potato is safe for dogs in small quantities to avoid obesity or high blood sugar levels.
Mushrooms always cause a lot of debate because there are just so many varieties, and some are toxic, while others are safe for pets. Generally speaking, commercially-bought mushrooms are fine.
On the other hand, wild mushrooms are scary because there are many toxic varieties. Mushroom poisoning causes kidney failure, severe gastrointestinal upset, tremors, seizures, and death.
So, basically, stay away from mushrooms that you can’t identify and keep your canine companions away from them.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? – The Final Thoughts
To sum it all up, yes, dogs eat broccoli and many other fruits and vegetables. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, provided that the portions are in moderation.
We hope you found the article informative. Please tell us your thoughts in the comments. I personally believe that it’s important to know which veggie or vegetables are safe for your dog and which aren’t to avoid unnecessary trips to the vet. In brief, cooked broccoli for dogs is really beneficial, but in small quantities. So, give your dog some unsalted, chopped up raw broccoli and keep an eye on them.