Asparagus is a vegetable that is dense with nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies. Yes, it can make your urine smell weird, but the tradeoff is that asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. The benefits don’t stop there.
You also get a healthy dose of protein, fiber, iron, copper, calcium, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, phytonutrients, and folate.
Asparagus is considered a superfood. With so many benefits, asparagus should be a regular addition to our daily diets.
For many people, dogs are a part of our families. We love our canine family members and want them to be as healthy as we are.
We may be tempted to give them healthy snacks like asparagus so that they can reap the benefits of this nutrient-dense food also.
Vegetables can make a great snack for dogs, but dogs can’t always eat the same thing as humans. Some vegetables, like onions, can be toxic for dogs. So what about asparagus?
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
If you are thinking about giving your pooch asparagus, have no fear. Dogs can safely eat asparagus. In fact, asparagus can be good for dogs because it is so healthy and full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
This is great news, especially since dogs can also benefit from all those nutrients and such in asparagus just like humans can.
Feeding asparagus (or any vegetable) to a dog should be a treat that is giving every once in a while, not a meal that is given daily.
Dogs can get all the nutrients they need from their dog food, especially if it has a stamp of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Vegetables should be a snack or a supplement to their dog food. You are able to make your own dog food using fresh vegetables and meats if you choose to, but if you do this, your dog should not be eating dog food.
It is important to note that feeding your dog asparagus has benefits as well as drawbacks and they both should be taken into consideration before tossing an asparagus stalk in Fido’s bowl.
Asparagus can have some unwanted side effects and depending on how you cook it, can be a pain for dogs to eat.
In some cases, it may be better to give your dog a different vegetable for a snack, but with a little effort and patience, you can turn asparagus into a good, comfortable snack for your dog.
What Health Benefits Do Dogs Get From Asparagus?
Asparagus is a superfood. It will provide your dog with quite a few benefits including:
- Your dog will get extra vitamins and minerals which is especially helpful if they aren’t eating a good quality dog food.
- The fiber in asparagus can help them if they have constipation.
- According to Dr. Ian Billinghurst, dogs often live in an almost constant state of dehydration which can affect their kidneys and bladder. Asparagus, like many vegetables, can act as a source of water for your dog.
- Phytonutrients are only found in vegetables. Phytonutrients aid in combating many diseases and conditions. For dogs, phytonutrients are helpful because it can act as a worm deterrent.
Diabetic dogs can get a major health benefit from the fiber in asparagus. According to WebMD, a high-fiber diet can help to normalize their blood sugar. If your dog has diabetes, it is safe for him/her to eat asparagus.
Can Puppies Eat Asparagus?
Puppies grow fast and their bodies need twice the amount of calories that adult dogs do, which means they need twice the amount of nutrition.
Vegetables can be a good, healthy snack for puppies. Asparagus can be a tough vegetable to chew (see more about this further down) so puppies may not be able to chew raw asparagus well enough to eat it.
Asparagus should be cooked so that it is soft and given to your pup is small, bite-sized, chewable pieces.
What Parts of Asparagus Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs can eat any part of asparagus that humans can eat. The fern of the asparagus is off-limits to dogs as well as humans. It is inedible for humans and is poisonous to dogs.
If you grow asparagus, it is important to keep your dogs away from it because eating the fern could have severe consequences for your dog.
Raw, Canned, or Cooked? What Ways Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
Although it isn’t recommended, dogs can eat raw asparagus. Some people choose to give their dogs raw asparagus because the heat from cooking it can take out a large amount of the nutrients.
Keep in mind that raw asparagus might be tough for dogs to chew, especially if you have a smaller breed of dog.
It can also be tougher for your dog to digest raw asparagus instead of cooked asparagus. You could chop the asparagus into smaller, more manageable pieces and then it may be easier for your dog to chew but the best policy is to cook the asparagus before you feed it to your dog. This will make the asparagus softer and more of a treat for your dog than a task.
Asparagus can be cooked in a number of healthy ways to give to your dog. Steaming the asparagus is one of the best ways to cook asparagus. While the heat will still kill some of the nutrients, this is the method of cooking that will most likely retain the most amount of nutrients.
It will need to be steamed thoroughly to make sure it is soft enough for your dog to chew. Steaming is also a good way to keep most of the flavor in the asparagus.
According to Charlotte Libov, Everyday Health, asparagus is high in nutrients, including folate. Since folate is highly soluble in water, steaming is recommended over boiling.
Microwaving isn’t recommended. Although this is a good way to retain the nutrients, chances are it won’t really make the asparagus soft enough for your dog to eat.
Boiling the asparagus is the least recommended way to cook asparagus for your dog. Boiling the asparagus makes it softer and easier to eat. This is also an easy way to cook the asparagus.
The downside is that boiling the asparagus can also take away a lot of the nutrients. In fact, this method kills the most nutrients over any other cooking method.
According to registered dietician Elaine Magee, boiling water leeches away water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, B1, and folate.
Unless you plan on giving your dog asparagus soup (which, technically would be safe for your dog, but may give him/her diarrhea), boiling may not be the best option.
It is not recommended to give your dog asparagus that has been cooked in vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is bad for dogs in the same way that oil is bad for humans.
It is high in fat and cholesterol, and a very unhealthy substance to consume. A diet that is high in fat could cause your dog to have pancreatitis.
If you want to cook the asparagus in oil, opt for olive oil instead. Dogs can eat olives (not a lot) and olive oil in moderation. Not only will the oil be good to cook the asparagus, but it can also help to give your dog a healthy coat.
Baked asparagus is an option, but the intense heat can kill a lot of the nutrients. While this method is still better than boiling, it isn’t a recommended way to cook asparagus for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Canned or Pickled Asparagus?
The short answer to this question is yes, they can. The asparagus itself is good for the dog–it will be soft and easy for your dog to chew.
The soup/juice contained in the can or jar is a different story. In canned vegetables, the sodium content can be very high. High amounts of sodium can have quite a few side effects on dogs such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Extreme dehydration
- Salt poisoning
Pickled asparagus holds the same answer as canned asparagus. Yes, your dog can eat it relatively safely, but pickled vegetables tend to have a high sodium content just like canned vegetables, or possibly even more.
It is best to avoid giving your dog pickled asparagus at all, but if you do, a good suggestion is to rinse off the juice as much as possible before feeding it to your dog.
Side Effects of Asparagus on Dogs
Asparagus is relatively safe for your dog, no matter what breed, size, or age, but it can still have a few unwanted side effects.
You can determine if the side effects are worth dealing with for the sake of you and your pooch. In some cases, the side effect could be mild and harmless. Others could be more serious.
The Side Effects of Feeding Raw Asparagus to Your Dog
Raw asparagus may offer the most nutrients, but it can have some very nasty side effects. Not only is raw asparagus hard for your dog to eat, but it is also hard for your dog to digest.
Eating raw asparagus can cause your dog to suffer from bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea so it is recommended that you cook the asparagus before feeding it to your dog.
Asparagus Can Cause Smelly Urine
Asparagus can cause smelly urine in dogs just like humans. The culprit behind this is asparagusic acid. This acid is only found in asparagus.
Joseph Stromberg of Smithsonian.com states that when we (meaning humans and dogs alike)eat asparagusic acid, our body converts it into a substance that contains a lot of sulfur-containing compounds.
These compounds can include dimethyl sulfide, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl sulfoxide, and dimethyl sulfone. These compounds emit a very foul, unpleasant odor.
If your dog is housebroken, this may not be a big problem unless your dog constantly uses the bathroom in your yard.
Eventually, the scent will begin to linger around outside. Because of this, you may want to sparingly feed your dog asparagus. Watch this YouTube Video for more information from Dr. Eric Berg about why asparagus makes urine smell bad.
Asparagus Ferns are Toxic
Asparagus is not toxic to dogs but many people don’t realize that there are many species of the asparagus plant.
An asparagus fern is not the same as the asparagus that we eat. These ferns are extremely toxic to dogs.
If you have these ferns in or around your home, make sure you put them out of your dog’s reach.
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Asparagus?
Dog allergies are common and can cause a dog to have some very annoying symptoms. According to Susan Wynn, the former President of the American Holistic Veterinarian Association, common signs of food allergies in dogs include itchy rear end, constant licking of their ears and feet, and constant shaking of the dog’s head.
Allergies to asparagus aren’t very common, although not impossible. If your dog is having side effects after eating asparagus, it is most likely intolerance rather than allergies.
Healthy eating is important for people to be able to live their best lives. This type of eating has become so popular these days that people are even adopting healthy eating habits for their dogs.
We often want to provide the best nourishment possible, so we give our dogs healthy snacks of vegetables.
Asparagus is a superfood that can be eaten by dogs. It contains a very large amount of nutrients that their bodies can use and can be beneficial to dogs when it is fed to them in the right way.
When feeding asparagus to your dogs, give them the proper sized portions cooked in the right way and your dog can stay healthy and happy.