Can Dogs Eat Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale and Cauliflower?
These four vegetables are some of the healthiest and most praised vegetables for us humans. Rich on various vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients they make a healthy choice in our nutrition. Is is the same for dogs? Do they get the same benefits from them? Let's take a closer look!
Broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower – these four green, leafy vegetables are called “cruciferous vegetables”.
They are all considered to be very healthy for us humans so it’s normal that we wonder if we should share some with our dogs. Considering the fact that dogs break down food differently some benefits may not be the same.
In this text we’re exploring which benefits could come from dogs eating these vegetables, but also what some possible downsides could be.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Let’s start with the famous broccoli, considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables for us humans! What’s the situation in the dog world?
As we all know, broccoli is one of the healthiest things to eat for us humans as it contains many important vitamins and nutrients. Therefore, you might think that giving some to your dog could be beneficial as well. So….Is it as healthy for dogs as it is for humans?
Do dogs need vegetables as much as we do?
The truth is that dogs don’t need green, leafy vegetables as much as us humans. However, this doesn’t mean that giving some broccoli, or some other safe vegetable, to your dog is necessarily bad.
Can I give my dog broccoli?
The answer is yes! Giving your dog broccoli is completely safe, and can even be healthy, if given in moderation. It can be served plain, cooked or raw.
Is Broccoli Poisonous For Dogs?
Broccoli isn’t poisonous for your dog, but gastrointestinal symptoms are possible. In theory, your dog can also receive the nutritional values of broccoli. Poisoning is possible only if your dog has a large amount of broccoli, due to Isothiocyanate. Read more about which foods you should definitely avoid in your dogs diet here.
However, apart from this possible threat, broccoli seems to be very appealing because of its many benefits. Let’s take a look at these benefits!
Benefits That May Come From Broccoli
What are some good effects from broccoli?
Broccoli provides the dog with fiber and vitamin C. It is also very low in fat and calories and can therefore be good for additions to your dog’s regular food. This is just the start of it!
Broccoli has a high level of cancer fighting antioxidants, anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory agents. It is also protecting against dangerous bacteria and viruses, and all that while boosting the immune system. Broccoli can even repair DNA in the cells and be a natural anti-aging product. Last but not least, it can help to clean their teeth!
These are the reasons why dog food companies are more and more starting to incorporate broccoli into their products. Some examples of these products are broccoli-flavored wet food with brown rice and beef and treats made of chicken liver, sweet potato and broccoli.
Are there some downsides to broccoli?
There is one downside to broccoli which can be a gastric irritant for dogs. Namely, the head of broccoli contains an ingredient called Isothiocyanate which can be toxic. This is why you should limit the consumption of this, in other aspects, healthy vegetable. Since the head is the part of broccoli containing harmful ingredients, the stems are the safest part to eat for the dog. As a result of too much broccoli gastrointestinal problems may occur.
How do I know how much broccoli I should give my dog?
The key thing that decides how much broccoli you should give your dog is the size of your pet. The smaller your dog is, the more careful and realistic you should be when deciding on the amount. Broccoli shouldn’t take up more than 5 to 10% of your dog’s food intake.
The most important thing to remember when giving broccoli to your pet is that it should be given in small and moderate portions. As you know, dogs tend to overindulge in something, so you have to be the one who decides how much it should eat. As beneficial as broccoli can be in reducing various health problems, it shouldn’t be over consummated.
Conclusion On Broccoli
As we can see, broccoli is very healthy for dogs as well! Vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy agents are only some of the beneficial ingredients hiding in broccoli. Served either cooked, steamed or raw, just make sure to give it to your dog in small portion in order to avoid intoxication problems!
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?
Yes! Cabbage is not only safe to eat, but very healthy as well. Your dog can eat all types of cabbage without any problems.
Why Is Cabbage So Healthy?
Cabbage is rich on antioxidant properties, which canines can benefit from as well as humans. Antioxidants work against free radicals that want to harm the body. That’s why cabbage can prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Another benefit from cabbage is that it helps with your dog’s digestion and its skin. It is also very rich on vitamins and is helping your dog in maintaining the gastrointestinal system in order.
Check out this funny video of dogs eating cabbage in all its different forms!
Are There Any Downsides To Cabbage?
As we all know, cabbage is a real gas inducer. Therefore, when introducing cabbage to their food for the first time you should do it in steps and in small amounts. Giving your dog too much cabbage at one time turns rarely out to be a good idea. How should I serve cabbage to my dog? Cabbage serves well as an addition to your dog’s meal. You can either chop it up or sprinkle some on top of its food. Everything in moderation – the golden rule when it comes to organic food!
Raw vs. cooked cabbage
When it comes to us humans, we are aware of the fact that raw vegetables are usually healthier because of all the healthy ingredients that need to be absorbed. However, when it comes to dogs, and cabbage in particular, lightly cooked or steamed is a better way to go, because of the compound Thiocyanate. Scroll down to learn more about Thiocyanate!
Why should I limit the intake of cabbage if it’s so healthy?
Potential bad smell isn’t the only reason to control the intake of cabbage. Another reason is the natural compound Thiocyanate mentioned above. Raw cabbage contains this compound which can over time suppress the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism. If you cook the cabbage a bit before giving it to your dog it may prevent this of happening.
However, you shouldn’t overdo it even if you cook the cabbage. Also, note that hypothyroidism doesn’t happen overnight; it takes a fairly large amount of raw cabbage during a longer period of time for this to happen. In other words, there is no reason to avoid cabbage, just don’t overdo it.
Conclusion On Cabbage
Yes, your dog can eat cabbage as it is a very healthy vegetable with many benefits. Cabbage can often be found within dog food because of its many perks. Just make sure to moderate the intake, lightly cook it and avoid spices. If you follow these instructions, the only downside may be bad smell.
Can Dogs Eat Kale?
Kale is another healthy, green and leafy vegetable we humans find very beneficial. However, humans can utilize the nutritional aspects of Kale better than a dog can. This is because vegetables have more time to be broken down and absorbed by humans than by dogs.
So is kale safe to give to my dog?
Like with broccoli, in small portions and combined with their regular food, kale is harmless for your dog. But the real question is whether dogs need it or not?
Your dog’s body will probably not completely break it down, so the same nutritional benefits will probably not be obtained. This doesn’t mean that your dog is missing out on something; pets usually don’t require the same kind of nutrients as we do. However, kale isn’t without benefits and can actually be good in small portions!
Benefits That Can Come From Kale
Kale is a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C and K. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and copper. It’s also said to improve your dog’s vision and eye health.
It also helps your body fight cancer, for example colon cancer. Like all this wasn’t enough, kale is very low on calories and is suitable for additions to the regular dog food, without having to worry about your dog’s weight.
Is Kale Toxic To Dogs?
Kale isn’t toxic and shouldn’t cause any negative effects, unless your dog is allergic to it. However, if your dog eats a lot of it, it may experience some digestive troubles, such as diarrhea.
Conclusion On Kale
To sum it up, kale isn’t toxic and can be healthy in normal amounts. Full of vitamins, fibers and minerals it is a perfectly safe vegetable for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
The last of the four vegetables we’re taking a look at in this text is cauliflower. By appearance it is pretty similar to broccoli and it has also some similar benefits. Let’s take a look!
Is it safe to give cauliflower to my dog?
You’ve probably figured it our by now. The answer is – yes! This vegetable is not toxic in any way and the only downside may be bad smell after its intake, as with cabbage. Once again, don’t overdo it, small portions are perfectly fine! Too much of the good can in this case lead to digestive problems.
What Benefits Can Come From Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is, as many vegetables, rich in different vitamins, including antioxidants. They can help in keeping your dog healthy and can sometimes even reduce inflammations. They are also said to help with arthritis which many older dogs suffer from. However, don’t expect it to cure it and do miracles, it can only help to a certain point!
On top of that, cauliflower has isothiocyanates and phytonutrients in it, which are said to be helpful in preventing cancer and some other diseases. Most importantly, this vegetable is very low in calories and therefore makes a great snack for your pet.
How Do I Serve Cauliflower?
Cauliflower can be served plain. Just cut it into pieces in order to prevent choking. If you’re choosing between cooking and steaming, the latter will probably be a better alternative as you want to retain as much as possible of the nutrients. Boiling and frying may release some of the best benefits of this vegetable.
One question you still may have is:
What do I do with the leaves and the stem?
It’s recommended to remove the stems, as there are no benefits from it. The leaves, on the other hand, are fine. They are surprisingly very tasty and don’t present any concern.
Cauliflower VS Broccoli
As we now know, both of these vegetables are very healthy for your dog. You can serve both of them to mix it up a bit, but if you had to choose a healthier – which would it be?
Tough call, but it seems that broccoli is a bit healthier than its cousin! The biggest difference between the two lies in the level of vitamin A and K, which is a bit higher in broccoli. It is also richer on fiber and many other nutrients.
One category in which cauliflower wins would be the calorie level, which is a bit lower than in cauliflower. This is great because you don’t want to overwhelm your dog with too much calories on the side of their regular dog food.
Conclusion On Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale And Cauliflower
As we can see, all four of these green vegetables are perfectly safe for your dog to eat! Not only are they safe, but they have many benefits to them which make them a great addition to their regular dog food. Even though dogs don’t break down vegetables the same way we do, these ”cruciferous vegetables”, as these four are called, have their many perks and advantages. Once again, don’t overdo it and let your dog enjoy the benefits!
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