Dog owners frequently wonder which foods are safe to feed their dog, and fruits and vegetables are no exception.
While many fruits and vegetables are healthy for humans, they may not always be healthy for dogs, and often times a seemingly harmless food for humans can be disastrous to a dog’s health.
People typically associate dogs with being carnivores and are rather surprised to learn that dogs are lovers of fruits and vegetables as well.
Fruits and vegetables can be a healthy and tasty treat for your pet, which will supply them with a beneficial range of vitamins and nutrients.
However, dog owners should exercise caution before feeding their dog any new type of fruit or vegetable for the first time, because certain types of fruits and vegetables can be toxic to dogs.
One vegetable that dog owners frequently ask about is broccoli, and whether broccoli is safe for their canine friend.
In this article, we will explore the health benefits and risks when it comes to feeding your dog broccoli.
We will cover whether broccoli is safe for a dog to eat, how much broccoli is okay to feed your dog, whether broccoli is safe for all breeds, whether it’s okay to serve broccoli stalks to your dog, and the safest ways to feed your dog broccoli.
Is broccoli safe for dogs to eat, or is it bad for them?
According to veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein, broccoli can be a safe food to feed to your dog as long as it is fed in small quantities.
Broccoli should be used as a treat on an occasional basis, instead of including broccoli in your dog’s everyday diet.
While broccoli provides a range of health benefits to your dog, such as the inclusion of important vitamins and minerals, too much broccoli can cause negative side effects and even be fatal.
Therefore, it is important to be fully aware of the information below before feeding broccoli to your pet.
How much broccoli is safe for a dog to eat?
The safety of broccoli consumption for dogs is dependent on a few different factors. Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the amount of broccoli that is fed to your dog.
While a small amount of broccoli is considered safe, feeding too much broccoli to your dog can cause severe health problems for them.
Dr. Jerry Klein is the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club. He says that the isothiocyanates present in broccoli can potentially cause a severe gastric irritation for a dog.
However, broccoli is still considered by veterinarians to be safe for dogs to consume, along with the amount given to them is less than 10% of their daily diet.
Is broccoli safe to eat for all breeds?
Overall, any breed of dog, including a French bulldog, can consume broccoli safely. The key consideration when feeding broccoli to different breeds of dogs is related to the size of the dog.
Any amount of broccoli over 25% of the dogs daily limit is considered to be toxic, according to Dr. Jerry Klein.
It is important to keep in mind that what these percentages mean depends largely on the type of dog.
For example, a larger dog, such as a Labrador retriever, will be able to eat more broccoli than a smaller breed, such as a French bulldog, without exceeding this limit.
It is wise to consult your veterinarian to find out how much broccoli is safe for your specific dog to eat.
Does broccoli provide any health benefits for dogs?
A healthy diet for a dog is well-balanced nutritionally and low in fat. According to veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold, “Adding fruit and vegetables to your pet diet will help ensure that they’re getting plenty of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to help them stay strong and healthy and boost their immune system. Pet treats can also be high in calories, so fruits and vegetables can provide a healthier alternative.”
The health benefits of broccoli for dogs are high fiber and vitamin C content and also low-fat and calories.
However, Dr. Kelly Ryan, the director of veterinary services at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, says that dogs don’t need a lot of fiber, so it is wise not to overfeed broccoli your pet.
Broccoli can also provide a lot of potassium calcium and iron for your dog.
Broccoli has health benefits that may help fight diseases in dogs. Specifically, broccoli contains sulfur compounds that have been shown in studies to reduce cancer, particular cancers within the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and prostate. Broccoli may also help reduce melanoma.
The reason why broccoli is able to help fight serious diseases in dogs comes down to its detoxifying properties.
For example, cancer cells, as well as any chemotherapy or radiation your dog may be undergoing contain a lot of toxins.
Vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage can help rid your dog of these harmful toxins, thereby cleansing their body and promoting healing.
Are broccoli stalks safe for dogs to eat?
Any part of the broccoli is considered safe for dogs to eat, including the stalks and stems. However, it is important to keep in mind that broccoli stalks and stems are much tougher and harder than other parts of the broccoli.
This means that the stalks and stems can be more difficult for your dog to chew and digest.
Dr. Jerry Klein says, “Broccoli stalks have been known to cause obstruction in the esophagus, especially in small dogs.”
Because of this, Klein suggested that you should cut the broccoli stems up into small pieces and also supervise your dog while they eat them.
It is also important to note that the majority of isothiocyanates are found in the head of the broccoli, therefore feeding your dog broccoli stems reduces the risk of them getting sick from this toxin.
What is the best way to feed/serve broccoli to my dog?
Overall, there is no one way to your dog broccoli that is considered to be the best, however, depending on your dog you may find that your dog reacts better to various different serving styles.
You can feed broccoli to your dog on its own, or mix it in directly with your dog’s regular food.
Either way, make sure to chop the food up into small pieces or serve the broccoli puréed. Broccoli should be served to the dog plain, as any extra ingredients, such as oil or seasoning, may cause irritation to your dog stomach.
When considering whether to serve your dog broccoli that is cooked or raw, it is okay for dogs to eat either one. However, steaming the broccoli can soften the stalks and reduce the dog’s risk of choking.
You may also want to get creative and find fun and interesting ways to incorporate broccoli into your dog’s diet, such as including the veggie in homemade doggie treats, as shown in the video below.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that serving raw vegetables to your dog can be difficult on their digestive systems, which can cause an increase in loose stools or gas.
Veterinarian Dr. Marty also states that the skin of raw broccoli contains a toxic substance and therefore it may be best to serve them broccoli that has been steamed or slightly cooked.
Are there any side effects of eating broccoli?
As noted above, broccoli contains isothiocyanates which can cause negative side effects if your dog consumes too much broccoli.
Additionally, depending on how you serve the broccoli and the breed of your dog, your dog may have its own unique reactions.
According to Dr. Jerry Klein, every dog is unique and some dogs tend to have a stronger reaction to broccoli than others, therefore, it is important to supervise your dog while they are eating broccoli and after to determine how they are reacting.
This is especially important to do the first few times that you feed your dog broccoli. The best way to approach this situation is to first feed them a small piece of broccoli, and if no negative reactions arise you know that you can feed them a little bit more.
Overall, you will want to introduce broccoli into your dog’s diet slowly says veterinarian Kelly Ryan as doing so will reduce the risk of your dog experiencing diarrhea or vomiting.
Dogs may be prone to experiencing gastrointestinal issues, such as gas and bloating, if they eat broccoli in excess. This is not only true for broccoli, but for all dark leafy vegetables, including cabbage and kale.
Another thing to be aware of when feeding your dog broccoli is choking. This is especially true when feeding your dog broccoli stems, and especially if the stems are raw. Smaller dogs are also more likely to choke on broccoli than a larger dog.
To avoid this, make sure that you are cutting the broccoli up into small pieces, or pureeing it. Steaming the broccoli until it’s soft is another great way to help prevent choking.
What should I do if my dog eats too much broccoli?
By keeping your dog broccoli intake to a minimum, you should be able to successfully avoid feeding them too much point where they would experience any negative symptoms.
However, monitoring your dog health closely when feeding them broccoli is important since eating too much can prove fatal.
If you notice that your dog is experiencing negative side effects or reactions after eating broccoli the first thing you should do is stop feeding them the broccoli.
Negative symptoms that signal you should refrain from feeding your dog broccoli include diarrhea and stomachache.
You can tell your dog has a stomach ache if they are lethargic, stop eating, move slowly, or walk with an arched back.
The best thing to do if you notice your dog experiencing any negative symptoms after eating broccoli is to consult with your veterinarian.
Why can’t dogs eat everything humans eat?
Because human beings frequently view dogs as members of their families, it is quite common for owners to want to include the dog in the family’s dining activities as well.
However, when doing so it is important for every dog owner to know which foods are safe for dogs to eat and which foods are not.
The reason for this is because some foods that are okay for humans to eat are not necessarily good for dogs.
According to the American Kennel Club, “Many of the foods, such as fruits and vegetables, that humans digest just fine can recap back on a dogs body, causing severe health problems.”
The American Kennel Club also points out that dogs don’t generally require a significant number of fruits and vegetables in order to be healthy as humans do.
For example, the isothiocyanates which are toxic to dogs and found in broccoli are actually healthy for humans. When a dog consumes too many Isothiocyanates, however, because of a gastric eructation. In some cases exceeding the amount of 25% can even prove fatal, according to Dr. Marty.
Overall, according to these experts veterinarians, it would appear that broccoli is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts.
However, it is important for dog owners to keep in mind that when feeding their dogs broccoli is best to serve the broccoli cooked or steamed, cut up into small pieces, and should not contain any oils for seasoning.
Dog owners should also keep in mind that the size of their dog is relevant to the amount of broccoli that their dog can safely eat.
While broccoli overall is okay for dogs to eat, it does include some levels of toxins which when eaten too often can cause health complications for your dog.
Take care to avoid any negative side effects by making sure to limit your dog’s broccoli intake, and always cut or steam the broccoli before feeding it to your pet in order to avoid choking.
Following these simple guidelines will enable you to feed broccoli to your pet as a safe, healthy, and low-calorie treat.