Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Is This Veg Delicious or Dangerous?
Asparagus is really one of the highlights of spring. Tossed in a pasta dish, grilled on a BBQ, or boiled in the salad, it’s a versatile veg that’s really popular. But what if your pup manages to gobble up a stem from your plate or a dropped one from the BBQ? Can dogs eat asparagus? Are they healthy?
The short of it is that yes, dogs can eat asparagus. In fact, they offer lots of healthy nutrients and are low in calories. But how you prepare the asparagus to give to your dog is really important. Read on to find out everything about giving your pup these delicious green spears.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Asparagus?
Yes, it’s safe for dogs to eat asparagus but you need to think about how you serve them up. Raw asparagus can be very fibrous and difficult for doggos to digest. Before you give your dog asparagus, try boiling the hard end to soften it a little and make it easier to chew on.
Asparagus stalks can also be a choking hazard – especially for small dogs. We recommend cutting up asparagus into bite-size pieces so your pup can easily gobble them up.
If you’re thinking about growing your own asparagus in the garden, you might want to build a fence around your veg plot. Although your dog can eat raw asparagus, asparagus that hasn’t been harvested at the correct time will go on to grow little red berries. These berries are poisonous to both humans and dogs and can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, make sure you harvest your veg before it turns into an asparagus fern.
But Is Asparagus Actually Good for Dogs?
There are a number of health benefits to feeding your pooch raw and cooked asparagus.
High in Fiber. Lots of dogs benefit from a high-fiber diet. Asparagus contains a lot of fiber which helps with gut health and to keep your pup regular.
Overweight dogs especially benefit from eating more fiber. It makes them feel fuller for longer so they’re less likely to go looking around for something else delicious to eat!
Be careful, however, that your dog’s diet doesn’t contain too much fiber. Too much of the good stuff can make them gassy and cause digestive problems.
Antioxidants. Asparagus contains many really good antioxidants for your pup to eat. These include Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, glutathione, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
Whilst raw asparagus and cooked asparagus are good for dogs to eat, some of the nutrients will reduce in the cooking process.
Risks of Feeding Your Dog Asparagus
If you’re thinking of adding asparagus to your dog’s diet as a healthy snack, there are a couple of extra things to think about.
When we cook asparagus, we often add oil, ham, salt, and other ingredients to enhance the flavor. These are all things your pup doesn’t need as part of a healthy diet. What’s more, some things we may add such as onions and garlic are actually toxic to dogs.
Before cooking asparagus for yourself, separate some of the veg to simply cook without salt before feeding it to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Asparagus?
Canned asparagus stalks are great to have in your kitchen for an emergency salad. However, these tend to contain a high level of salt which can be bad for your dog. Pups don’t need extra salt in their diet and this could cause some long-term and short-term health problems. It can also upset your dog’s digestive system.
Feeding asparagus to your dog is actually quite simple. Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions!
Smoothies and Pupsicles. Dogs love eating different textures so why not try whisking up some asparagus with a little plain, natural Greek yogurt and sweet potatoes for a healthy snack? You could try freezing it for a doggie ice cream on a hot day.
Have you got a dog that loves to chew? You could freeze a pupsicle inside an indestructible dog toy for some chewing fun?
Doggie Soup. Why not boil up some asparagus and other healthy foods in unsalted bone broth? Your pup will love it!
Added to Regular Dog Food. Adding healthy veggies that have a low-calorie count (like broccoli) is a great way of adding variation to your dog’s diet. They’ll enjoy the difference in texture.
Occasional Treat. Pups love being rewarded for good behavior or when they’ve learned something new. So why not reward them with a bit of asparagus instead of an overly processed treat? It’s certainly healthier!
How Much Asparagus Should Dogs Eat?
Dogs should be getting all the nutrients and vitamins they need from a balanced diet. Whether your choose kibble, regular wet food, or fresh food for your pup, it needs to be created by a doggie nutritionist.
But, you can still give your dog the odd healthy ‘human’ treat. It’s best to stick to the 90% rule. This means that 90% of your dog’s diet should come from regular food and 10% can be healthy snacks.
As with other food you introduce to your pup, it’s good to do it slowly. Monitor your pup eating raw asparagus for the first time to make sure they don’t have any reactions. Just give them a little bit of the softer stalk and slowly introduce more if you don’t notice a problem.
So, Can My Dog Eat Asparagus?
Yes. It’s totally fine to give your dog small amounts of asparagus. You need to make sure you give them the softer parts of raw asparagus or cook it so they can easily digest it. Entire asparagus stems could pose a choking hazard so it’s best to cut them up into edible pieces.
Dogs shouldn’t be getting all the nutrients they need from asparagus. But when paired with a healthy diet, asparagus can be a great and nutritious addition!
Want to find out more about what you can/can’t feed dogs? Check out our blog on can dogs eat pork next!