Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Is It A Super Food For Them Too?
Everyone knows broccoli is really healthy for humans. Full of vitamin C, fiber, and minerals, the health benefits of these little trees are endless. But can dogs eat broccoli? Is it just as good for them as it is for us? How much broccoli can dogs safely eat? We’re going to answer all of your broccoli-doggie-related questions so you know exactly how to feed this vegetable to your pup!
Is It Safe To Feed Your Dog Vegetables In General?
Most people think that dogs are carnivores (mainly because of their wolfy ancestors) but dogs can actually stomach many fruits and vegetables (such as watermelon, pineapple, and asparagus). In fact, plant proteins can give them lots of added minerals and vitamins which they don’t get from meat alone.
But not all veggies and fruits are safe for pups (keep them away from onions, for example) so it’s really important you check before feeding your dog leftovers from your dinner table!
What Are The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Broccoli?
Broccoli (part of the cruciferous vegetables family) is really high in fiber, which is necessary to keep your pup’s digestive system healthy and active. It’s also low in calories and can be a great, nutritious snack. Broccoli is a really good source of vitamin K and C. Vitamin K is crucial for bone density and strength, which can help active dogs later on in life. Vitamin C helps to boost your doggo’s immune system and is also anti-inflammatory – both of which are really important for your pup’s wellbeing.
As well as vitamins, broccoli is packed full of minerals and nutrients, such as lutein which can support heart and eye health.
So, all in all, broccoli is pretty good for your pup. But there are a few things to consider.
Concerns About Feeding Your Dog Broccoli
So, we know that broccoli is good for dogs. But, like with everything to do with your dog’s diet, moderation is key. Too much broccoli can negatively affect their digestive system. The florets of broccoli contain isothiocyanates, which – in some cases – can cause potentially severe gastric irritation. This can include gas, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.
Another thing to think about is that broccoli could be a choking hazard, especially for small dogs. When you feed your dog broccoli (be that the stem or broccoli florets) it’s best to cut them up into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Broccoli?
Yes! Dogs can eat both raw and cooked broccoli. Both are nutritious snacks and which you feed them really depends on what they prefer or whether you have time to cook it! A great thing about broccoli (and many other veggies) is that it can be frozen so it keeps longer. Cooking frozen broccoli is perfectly safe to feed your pup too!
What Shouldn’t You Feed Your Dog?
With regards to broccoli, of course, not just in general. When dogs eat broccoli, it’s important they don’t eat any added salt or flavorings. Avoid things such as salad dressings, spices, or sauces that humans might add to make this veggie a little more delicious.
How Much Broccoli Can You Feed Dogs?
Our canine companions should be getting most of their nutrients from their well-balanced, primary dog food. About 10% of their diet can be healthy treats and snacks. More than this could lead to weight gain or a stomach upset. Because broccoli contains isothiocyanates, more than 10% could be potentially dangerous.
Broccoli is a really tasty treat for dogs, but it’s important that pet parents don’t give them too much.
How Should You Serve Up Broccoli To Your Pooch?
We know that there are plenty of health benefits to broccoli. But how can dogs eat broccoli? This cruciferous vegetable is really versatile and best served as an occasional treat. You can feed a dog raw, cooked, baked, or steamed broccoli depending on how you’re preparing your own meal. Here are a few other serving suggestions:
A Yummy Broccoli Smoothie
Really. Not something you’d likely order in a cafe, but making veggies into a smoothie is a great way for dogs to eat them. Try mixing it with fruits such as blueberries, watermelon, or banana to make it a little sweeter, or with other veggies such as carrots and spinach.
You can puree the fruits and veggies together and add them to your pup’s regular food or freeze them in ice cube trays as a treat on a hot day. A great way to feed broccoli to your dog is to put the smoothie inside a cute, interactive toy and freeze it. Your dog will have hours of fun trying to lick it out!
As a Side Dish
Cooked broccoli is a great way to add a different texture to your pup’s regular food (especially if they eat kibble). Make sure you cut it up into small chunks so it mixes in well (particularly important for fussy eaters) and this will also reduce the possibility of choking.
Adding small amounts of cooked vegetables to your dog’s dinner can be a great way to transition them onto fresh dog food too (if that’s something you’re thinking about doing)! For some pups, the difficulty with a fresh diet is seeing veggies and pulses in their dinner bowl. Starting to add safe vegetables to their regular food can really help.
As A Crudité (Without The Sauce, Of Course)
Dogs love eating broccoli, especially raw. Cut up into small pieces, both the stem and florets can be a healthy, crunchy snack for your pup to chew on.
How Can You Introduce Broccoli To Your Pooch?
Whenever you introduce a new food to your dog, it’s important you do it slowly and little by little. Give them a small piece of broccoli to begin with and monitor them to make sure they don’t have any kind of reaction. If they don’t, give them a little more next time! Remember not to overfeed your dog with broccoli and if you’re unsure how much, check with your vet or canine nutritionist.
So, Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?
Can dogs eat broccoli? Yes! Broccoli is a healthy treat for dogs and a veggie that contains lots of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. There are lots of ways to feed your pet broccoli but it’s important you don’t feed them too much to avoid any stomach upsets. Your dog is sure to love the variety that these little trees bring to dinner and snack time!
Does your dog like broccoli? How do you feed it to them?