Can dogs eat broccoli? If you’ve always been tempted to feed your dog a bite of broccoli, but you weren’t sure if it was safe or not, then you’ll find the answer here.
The answer is yes, dogs can eat broccoli, and it’s healthy for them, too. But, before you go ahead and give your pet canine a whole floret, there are a few things you need to know.
In this article, we’ll talk about why broccoli can be a healthy treat for your canine companion and why you must avoid it in some instances.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Yes, dogs can eat broccoli, and it’s entirely safe for them to eat. So if your pup has accidentally munched on a floret or two, there’s no need to panic.
Dogs are known as omnivores, but they are also facultative carnivores, which means their diets must comprise mostly of meat, but they can also digest plant protein well. Though dogs can eat fruits and vegetables without digestive issues, it doesn’t mean it should comprise their whole diet.
A dog’s balanced meal should consist of 90% commercial dog food and 10% snacks or treats, such as dog biscuits or fruits and vegetables.
Dogs can eat florets and broccoli stalks, but the latter can be a choking hazard since it’s hard to chew and digest.
Broccoli is Healthy for Dogs
Broccoli is a healthy human food, but does it benefit dogs? The answer is yes; broccoli is also a healthy snack for dogs.
It contains essential vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and K, folic acid, and high amounts of fiber.
Here are some of the health benefits of broccoli for dogs:
Broccoli has high fiber content, which promotes digestive health for dogs. It helps move the bowel and is a fantastic treat for dogs that suffer from constipation.
Vitamin K is essential for healthy bone density. As dog’s age, their bones become weaker and prevent them from being active at old age. Healthy Vitamin K levels in dogs can help them stay active longer.
Vitamin C can improve a dog’s immune system and provide anti-inflammatory effects.
Folic acid can help a dog maintain healthy cells.
Broccoli contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, chromium, and others that help support a dog’s overall health.
How Much Broccoli Can You Feed Your Dog?
While dogs can digest vegetables, their diets should contain at least 90% commercial dog food or meat, and no more than 10% other foods, such as snacks or broccoli.
There’s also another reason you shouldn’t feed your dog too much broccoli, and this is because a small molecule that can be hazardous to dogs is found in the floret.
According to AKC (American Kennel Club) Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein, broccoli contains essential vitamins and minerals that make it healthy for dogs; but it also includes a potentially harmful ingredient.
Small molecules called Isothiocyanates are present in the florets of broccoli, and they can cause mild to potentially severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. If you feed your dog broccoli that makes up 25% or more of its daily diet, broccoli can be considered toxic.
If your dog overeats broccoli, it can suffer from the following gastric problems:
- Excess Gas
Can Dogs Eat Raw and Cooked Broccoli?
Yes, dogs can eat raw and cooked broccoli. If you feed your dog raw broccoli, make sure you wash it properly first as it can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella.
Salmonella is more harmful to humans, but it can still cause harm to dogs. Some of the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in dogs include:
- Increased Heart Rate
If you feed your dog cooked broccoli, make sure there are no added oils or seasoning. Steaming or roasting raw broccoli without added ingredients is best for dogs since cooked broccoli is easier to chew and digest.
If your dog is suddenly passing gas after eating broccoli, don’t worry, as it’s normal for the vegetable to cause gas. But if it becomes excessive, and you can see obvious distress in your dog, contact your vet immediately as it can be a sign of digestive issues.
How to Introduce Broccoli to Dogs
Like any new food, you must slowly introduce broccoli to your dog’s diet. Your dog may like it, or it may not, but whatever you do, always feed your dog small amounts or a small nibble first.
Here are some tips for adding broccoli to your dog’s diet:
1. Cut up broccoli into small pieces. This makes it easier for your dog to chew on the florets, and it will be a good way to figure out if your dog will like it or not.
2. Steam the broccoli florets to make them easier to chew and digest for your dog. Do not add any oils, flavoring, or seasoning that could cause an adverse reaction in your pet canine.
3. Chill the broccoli to add another layer to the vegetable’s flavor.
4. Cut up small broccoli pieces and sprinkle over your dog’s regular food.
Can dogs eat broccoli? Yes, dogs can eat broccoli, and it’s a healthy snack or treat for them. It contains plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that support a dog’s overall health, such as Vitamin K, C, fiber, magnesium, Biotin, and more.
Broccoli is healthy food for dogs, but it should never make up more than 10% of its daily diet since the floret contains Isothiocyanates, which can be potentially hazardous.
Feed small amounts of broccoli to your dog as a treat, rather than a staple to its regular diet.