Lettuce is one of the healthiest vegetables we humans can include in our diet.
However, we know that some food that is good for us isn’t necessarily good for dogs.
How about lettuce? Is lettuce something dogs should eat?
Dogs love to eat, that’s a fact. To the point that they can end up eating something they shouldn’t and that’s bad for them. Therefore, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what you can and can’t give your dog.
We’ve already explored a lot of food in order to see what’s safe and what’s not and today we’re continuing! Today’s question is the following:
Can Dogs Eat Lettuce?
The answer is – yes! Lettuce is completely safe for dogs to eat and it’s doesn’t present any toxicity risk whatsoever.
There are a lot of forms of lettuce, for instance Iceberg and Romaines, and the good news is that dogs can eat them all without problem.
But, as with everything else, the key to a balanced diet is moderation! Now, let’s see how lettuce should be given to dogs and what benefits could come from it.
Why Is Lettuce Healthy For Dogs?
As mentioned, lettuce is one of the healthiest and most nutritious vegetables for us. Luckily, it’s equally healthy for dogs! We’ll try to explain why.
Lettuce is very rich in vitamin A, C and K – just like kale and cabbage! This vegetable contains folate and beta carotine as well.
On top of that, lettuce has a lot of fibers in it which is very helpful in case of constipation. They also play a role in keeping the bowel movement in order. Last but not least, the calorie level is very low, which means that your dog can get a lot of benefits without getting overweight!
Besides being healthy, lettuce can be very tasty and a lot of dogs seem to love it. Check out the video below of this cute dachshund drowning in lettuce and see for yourself!
How Do I Serve Lettuce To My Dog?
There is one thing you never should forget when serving lettuce, or any other vegetable of that kind for that matter! Any idea what it could be? Yes, you guessed it – washing it! After you’ve done that there are a couple of ways you can give lettuce to your dog.
As every dog is different it’s normal that every dog has its preferences when it comes to food and taste. Thus, some dogs prefer the crunchier parts of the lettuce, while others enjoy the softer parts, in particular the leaves, much more. Of course, some dogs love all the parts.
If your dog has never had lettuce before, try giving him or her both the softer and the crunchier parts and see what works best. Is your dog refusing to eat? Lettuce may just not be something for your dog and that’s fine!
3 Things To Keep In Mind When Giving Lettuce To Your Dog
1. Don’t give dogs leftover lettuce salad! This isn’t safe as dressing can be very dangerous to your dog and cause various health problems. Another bad thing about dressing is that it contains a lot of calories your dog won’t benefit from in any way.
2. Serve lettuce in it’s plainest form, without any spices or additives. If you wish to make the meal a bit more interesting you can include lettuce in a salad with other vegetables, but make sure that all ingredients are safe for dogs.
3. It’s best to cut the lettuce in small pieces, as too big pieces can create problems in digestion. If you give your dog whole vegetables they will have a hard time consuming them and they can become choking hazards. Intestinal blockage is also possible if they don’t digest the vegetables properly.
Raw VS Steamed Lettuce
Lettuce can be served both raw and steamed and both ways are healthy. However, what is better when it comes to dogs?
Actually, steamed lettuce seems to be the better alternative. Here’s why:
- When you steam the lettuce, most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in lettuce are preserved. This way the dog’s body gets to absorb them all and enjoy the healthy aspects of the lettuce.
- Steaming makes the digestion process easier and complication-free. This is especially a good way to go if your dog is sensitive to raw vegetables
- Consuming the vegetable is easier when it’s steamed and ensures that it’s properly chewed before swallowing.
When eating raw vegetables, it’s most probable that your dog won’t chew it properly, if at all, before swallowing. This results in the lettuce coming out of the body the same way it came in – without leaving any benefits your dog could benefit from.
So, even if your dog loves the “crunchy feeling” that comes from eating vegetable like lettuce, steaming it would still be a good idea from time to time in order for your dog to get the important nutrients and minerals.
How Much Lettuce Should Dogs Eat?
We know that we keep repeating ourselves, but – moderation is the key! This is especially important if your dog has never had lettuce before. Start with giving small amounts of lettuce and slowly increase if you see that your dog seems to like it and no complications occur.
However, even if your dog likes and benefits from lettuce, don’t overdo it! Too much lettuce can lead to diarrhea and other digestive problems, so keeping it in normal amounts is the best way to go.
The great news is that lettuce is not only safe for dogs to eat, but also very beneficial. Because of its vitamins, fibers and its low calorie level it makes a perfect, healthy option for your best friend.
However, if your dog doesn’t seem to like it, don’t force it! There are other healthy foods it can benefit from. On the other hand, if lettuce is something your dog enjoys, wash it, cut it in small pieces and preferably steam it for best results. Bon appetit!