Rutabaga is a turnip-like root vegetable. In the human diet, this vegetable goes under many names, including Swedish turnip, winter turnip, and even ‘ugly turnip.’
In appearance, this vegetable is large and often used in soups and stews, or simply as a mashed condiment.
Now, this vegetable may be a favorite in human cuisine, but should your dog eat it? Is rutabaga something that should be included in your dog’s diet, or you should keep it away?
Can Dogs Eat Rutabaga?
Simply said, yes. Dogs can eat rutabaga safely because it can support dog’s overall growth.
Will your dog love it? Probably yes. Rutabaga is one of those vegetables that dogs love no matter how you might serve it to them.
As a winter vegetable, rutabaga is best served during colder days, when you need to enrich the dog’s meals a bit.
As a cross between turnip (which is also beneficial for dogs) and cabbage, rutabaga comes with benefits of both.
Unlike other vegetables that are safe for dogs such as cucumber, rutabaga can be stored for a long time.
The best way to keep rutabaga fresh for a longer period is to store it in your pantry.
If you are thinking about freezing dog food in general check this article for more information on proper freezing.
Is Rutabaga Ok For Dogs
Rutabaga is a great source of calcium which is beneficial to dogs’ bones and teeth.
Next to a fair amount of calcium, rutabagas are also low in calories which makes them a great occasional treat.
Not only that dogs love them, but they are also easy to serve as you can serve them:
Commercial dog food is already packed with fruit and vegetable and it’s up to you to choose the high-quality brand.
To make this process easier and faster, learn how to read pet food labels and choose food that is enriched with fruit and vegetables. Although fruit and vegetables are great for dogs, they should make not more than 10% of a dog’s total meal.
This is why commercial dog food is specially designed to meet all of the dog’s nutritional needs.
All in all, feeding your dog with extra fruit and vegetable should be an occasional thing.
In other words, dogs (just like humans) may get sick of food that is safe for them if taken in large amounts.
For example, you may love ice cream or blueberry pie, but if you eat a whole pie and choose to eat over dozen of ice cream scoops, you may expect some stomach disturbances if not diarrhea.
A similar outcome you may expect in dogs is if they eat too much human food. To avoid similar situations, you should know how much your should feed your dog and how often.
It is beyond helpful to know which human foods and which should be off-limits no matter what.
If you have a larger size dog, make sure that you know what bloat is.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Rutabaga?
The short answer is yes. Dogs can eat both war and cooked rutabaga. Make sure you wah rutabaga properly as your first step.
Once rutabaga is washed properly, peel it and cut it into small pieces. As such, rutabagas are ready to be served raw to your Fido.
Always serve rutabaga in moderation.
How To Serve Rutabaga To Your Dog?
As mentioned above, you can serve rutabaga to your dog raw as long as you prepare it right. This means that you should first wash it carefully, peel it, and cut it into small pieces.
How small pieces? Think about baby carrots’ size, and at least twice smaller. You can serve it also cooked.
Wash it, peel it, cut it into small pieces, and cook until tender. Once tender, mash rutabagas and mix them with your dog’s food.
This can be a great way to make a dog’s meal a bit interesting. Your dog may choose to prefer raw rutabaga over cooked ones, and both are fine.
Either option will be more than fine because your dog will get enough nutrients from both variants.
What Is The Best Way To Serve Rutabaga To Your Dog?
The best way to serve rutabaga to your dog is to boil it. You can still serve it in other ways as well, like serving it raw. However, if you want to make the best rutabaga experience possible for your dog, serve it boiled.
In this form, you can easily mix it with dry dog food. Do not add any artificial flavors or seasoning, because dogs do not need it.
You may not want to eat sweet potatoes without salt, but your dog won’t mind tasting them without salt. Plus, salt is dangerous to dogs.
Nutritional Value Of Rutabaga
Being a responsible dog owner is feeding your dog the best way possible. You don’t have to know everything about dog nutrition, but you should know the basics.
As for the nutritional value of rutabaga, here are the most basic nutrients:
- Calories 143Kcal
- Carbs 33 grams
- Protein 4 grams
- Fiber 9 fiber
- Vitamin C 96.5 mg
Now, let’s discuss more on the health benefits of rutabaga for dogs.
Is Rutabaga Bad For Dogs
As mentioned above, rutabagas are a great source of calcium and folate, which makes them a nice addition to dogs’ overall nutrition.
Next to this, rutabagas are low in calories, which makes them a great treat for your dog. That being said, no, rutabagas arent’ bad for dogs as long as they are served properly.
To get the maximum out of this vegetable, serve it to your dog raw, baked, mashed, or dehydrated.
While you are here, let’s go through a short list of vegetables that are dangerous to dogs.
What Vegetables Are Toxic To Dogs?
Some vegetables are perfectly safe for dogs such as cucumber, as long as it’s served in moderation and occasionally.
On the other hand, some vegetables may be really tiny but may lead to deadly outcomes.
That is why you should know which human foods are safe for dogs and which should be avoided no matter what.
For example, one of the most toxic fruits and vegetables for dogs is grapes and onions.
Check below fruits and vegetables that are toxic to dogs. You may love them, but it doesn’t mean that you should share them freely with your Fido.
Following fruit and vegetable should never be served to your dog. They are so toxic that if you suspect that your Fido might ingest them, make sure that you contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline.
Health Benefits Of Rutabaga For Dogs
The health benefits of rutabaga for dogs are beyond expected. This winter vegetable is rich in many nutrients that your dog might benefit from in no time.
Rutabaga is so packed with various nutrients that your dog will feel an energy boost as soon as he ingests it.
All in all, serving this vegetable in a fair amount and as an occasional treat will do wonders for your dog’s health.
Check the biggest health benefits that come with rutabaga:
- Fiber. Food that is rich in fiber supports gut and keeps bowel movement in order.
- Vitamin C. Extra vitamin C can boost a dog’s immunity, which means that your dog won’t get sick easily. Plus, vitamin C supports dog’s skin and fur in terms of infection.
- Low calories. Rutabages are low in calories, which makes them perfect treat if you put extra care on dog’s weight.
Next to these features, rutabaga comes with strong anti-inflammatory properties.
In practice, this means that rutabaga might help senior dogs with their joint issues.
Since rutabaga helps with the digestive tract, it serves as a tool to prevent colorectal cancer in dogs.
Is Too Much Rutabaga Bad For My Dog?
Simply said, yes. As mentioned earlier feeding your dog too much rutabaga or any other health food, may lead to strong digestive issues. To protect your dog, keep serving rutabaga in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Rutabaga Skin
Rutabaga can be served to dogs either raw or cooked. Overall, this is a nutritious vegetable that will boost the dog’s overall health.
As for the rutabaga skin, you don’t want to go to have this rutabaga piece in his meal.
When it comes to fruit and vegetable dogs should enjoy just the inside, without the seeds and skin.
Always wash and peel rutabaga before your serve this delicious vegetable to your dog.
Can You Eat The Skin On Rutabagas?
Humans can eat rutabagas skin. Rutabaga skin is edible and as such safe to consume.
It comes with a stronger flavor compared to the inside. Rutabaga is usually covered in wax, while larger pieces might have tough skin that is often bruised, which is why many choose to remove it before the cooking.
Now, you may ask – why is rutabaga waxed? If you have never worked with rutabaga before, you should know that rutabaga found in the grocery stores usually comes with paraffin wax.
In fact, rutabagas are coated in paraffin wax to keep them drying out in storage. It is common for this vegetable to remove the peel before using it.
Once again: if something is healthy and edible to you it doesn’t mean that it is instantly edible to your dog as well.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Too Much Rutabaga?
If your dog eats too much rutabaga, you can expect some disturbances.
Even the healthiest food in large amounts is dangerous, both for humans and dogs. Not only that it may lead to stomach disturbances, but it may lead to severe diarrhea.
Digestive issues aren’t a big deal if they are a once-in-a-time occurrence, but if it becomes frequent your dog may be in trouble.
If you notice diarrhea as a frequent occurrence in your dog, contact your veterinarian.
To avoid digestive complications and other possible health issues, use rutabaga only as an occasional treat served in a small amount.
What Other Vegetables Can my Dog Eat?
Now that you know which fruits and vegetables are toxic to dogs and how to serve rutabaga to your dog, let’s learn more.
Do you know what other vegetables you should serve to your dog from time to time? If not sure, check this short list below:
- Broccoli.This vegetable is packed with vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and fiber.
- Carrots. This vegetable is rich in beta carotene and promotes teeth health.
- Celery. This famous vegetable is great source of vitamin A, B and C, and can promote dental health.
Are Rutabagas Still Good For My Dogs Even If It Has Been Stored For Quite A Long Time?
Rutabagas are best served fresh, but they are more than handy to store them in the long run.
They can be kept for several months as long as they stay in a cool and humid environment.
When you store vegetables properly, you are actually keeping your dog far from unhealthy and rotten food.
How to store rutabagas properly? Cut the tops one inch above the roots, and place them in a cold and damp root cellar up to 32 degrees.
The Bottom Line
Treats are a great way to provide diversity to a dog’s nutrition and enrich his overall diet.
Fruit and vegetables don’t have to be full meals for dogs, but you should look at them as an occasional treat.
Rutabagas are great vegetable addition to enrich your dog’s diet. You can even freeze them and serve them as a great summer treat.
Just avoid feeding your dog with this vegetable directly from the freezer as you don’t want your dog to have a sour throat.
Once you get a dog it’s important to keep his weight in balance. Serving healthy treats should help you keep his weight in balance and his joints strong.
Obesity in pets is on the rise across the States, and you do not want your dog to be part of this negative trend.
To keep him lean, provide high-quality food, know how much food to serve and when, and keep treats in moderation.