Can Dogs Eat Parsnips And Turnips?Medically Reviewed
If you're introducing a raw diet to your dog or just want to mix things up a bit knowing what you can and can't feed your dog is vital! This article focuses on two really healthy vegetables for us - parsnips and turnips. But are they healthy to dogs as well?
Parsnips and turnips are both super healthy vegetables for us.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants – just to name a few benefits!
Naturally, you’re wondering if your dog too can benefit and if it’s safe to share some?
Dogs love to eat, nothing new there! Most dogs will eat anything they come across. However, not all food is “dog-appropriate” and sometimes it can end badly with your dog eating something it shouldn’t and that’s bad for dogs. So, it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to know what you can and what you can’t give your dog.
Today we’re taking a look at parsnips and turnips and we’ll answer if these two vegetables are safe for your dog to have. Let’s start with parsnips!
Can I Give My Dog Parsnips?
Yes, dogs can safely have parsnips! And not only are they safe for dogs to have, they are really healthy as well. Turns out this vegetable isn’t only beneficial for you, but your dog as well!
However, there are still a couple of things you should think about when serving parsnips to your dog. Even though it’s a safe and healthy vegetable, dogs and people aren’t the same so you shouldn’t assume that you and your dog need the same amount of vegetables.
We’ll get to the particulars in a bit, but first let’s see what makes parsnips so beneficial!
Why Are Parsnips Healthy?
So, what is it that makes parsnips so great?
- Rich in vitamins, especially Vitamins B6 and C
- Rich in minerals
- Contain antioxidants that help fight cancer and have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties
- Great source of fiber
- High in folic acid, which boosts metabolism and keeps the nervous system healthy
- Contain potassium, very important for the skeletal, cardiac and muscle performance
Like this wasn’t enough, parsnips fed in moderation are believed to be very beneficial for dogs with kidney disease, thanks to vitamins B6 and C in parsnips.
How Do I Serve Parsnips?
Parsnips can be served both raw and cooked. However, it’s important to remember that dogs tend to swallow their food, instead of chewing it properly, which is why it can be smart to “do the chewing for them”. This means cutting raw parsnips in smaller pieces or blending them until it becomes a puree.
However, unless the chunks are too big to swallow whole, biting through raw parsnips will be good for their teeth and gums, it will actually help break off tartar build up.
Cooked or steamed parsnips is a good alternative as well, as it makes digestion easier. When it comes to the peel of parsnips it’s safe as long as it’s clean. Furthermore, most of the nutrients are there, so it would be a shame to peel it off.
You can also choose if you want to serve only parsnips or mash them together with something else your dog likes. Finally, don’t overdo it when giving parsnips to your dog. While it’s very healthy in moderate amounts, there’s absolutely no point in giving too much vegetables to your dog. Since dogs are on the carnivorous side of omnivores and therefore need more meat and protein sources in their diet than vegetables – occasional veggie treats are perfectly enough!
Now, let’s see what the deal is with turnips…
Can I Give My Dog Turnips?
Yes, turnips are safe for dogs to have. However, it’s very important to only feed small amounts of turnips to your dog. If you do that, turnips can be really beneficial to your dog – just like parsnips.
And just like when giving any vegetable or human food to your dog, there are certain things you should keep in mind. If you do that, both you and your dog can enjoy the occasional turnip. But before we get to that, let’s see what makes turnips beneficial!
Why Are Turnips Healthy?
Yes, this is another healthy vegetable, but why? Turnips are:
- Rich in dietary fiber
- Vitamin C and B6
- Source of magnesium
- High in folic acid
- Rich in various antioxidants
- High in water content
And just like parsnips, turnips are helpful with dogs that suffer from a kidney disease as they act as a natural diuretic, which means that they help create urine through increasing kidney filtration and thus they stimulate kidney function. All in all, a very healthy vegetable!
How Do I Serve Turnips?
Rule number one – serve in moderation! This is especially important with turnips, as too many can lead to digestion problems.
When it comes to different ways of serving, you can feed your dog both raw and cooked turnips. The rules are pretty much the same as with parsnips. If you decide to serve them raw, facilitate the digestion as much as possible by putting the turnips in a blender or chopping it up in small pieces.
If you decide to serve it cooked or steamed, the digestion will be easier. Also, greens of turnips are better steamed and cleaned, but they’re in general safe to eat as long as you wash the turnips before.
Another important thing to have in mind when it comes to turnips is that they shouldn’t be given to dogs with a thyroid condition. Namely, just as cauliflower, parsnip contains goitrogen – a substance that tends to suppress the thyroid function. So, if your dog falls down under this category, parsnips should be avoided.
Otherwise, turnips are completely safe to give your dog. If you want to discover more healthy vegetables, check out the video below!
Good news – both turnips and parsnips can safely be consumed by your dog. And even better, they’re really healthy as well! Both of these vegetables are rich in vitamins B6 and C, fibers and antioxidants. The antioxidants have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, and they also help in fighting cancer.
Parsnips and turnips can be served both cooked and raw. If served raw, it’s important to either chop them up or blend them into a puree. Cooked vegetables are easier for digestion. When it comes to parsnips, the peel should be left on as it’s where most nutrients are. And another very important thing when it comes to both vegetables – always wash them before feeding them to your dog!
Finally, turnips shouldn’t be given to dogs with a thyroid condition as they tend to suppress thyroid function. The bottom line is – both of these vegetables are really healthy to dogs, as long as you serve them in moderation and occasionally!
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr Joanna de Klerk, BVetMed (hons) MScTAH.
Joanna graduated from the prestigious Royal Veterinary College in London and works as a veterinarian for dogs, cats and horses. She has a particular interest in nutrition, pain management, neurological disorders and welfare. She has written two books 'Tales from a Young Vet' and 'Tales from a Wild Vet'.