Can Dogs Eat Okra? Everything You Need to Know
Okra (otherwise known as ladies’ fingers or gumbo) is a very popular veggie, used in many dishes worldwide. It’s a particularly popular vegetable in the southern United States, the Caribbean, Africa, India, and many countries in southern Asia.
Okra is versatile and very delicious – a bonus is that it’s also healthy for humans. But what about our pups? Can dogs eat okra? Is it healthy? Are there any precautions you need to take?
We’ve covered many fruits and veggies in this series of blogs, including can dogs eat edamame, radishes, and dragon fruit – and now it’s okra’s turn. So, let’s find out if you can feed okra to your dogs!
In Short, Can Dogs Eat Okra?
Yes, dogs can eat plain okra. It’s a healthy veggie full of nutritious properties such as vitamins C and B, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, and calcium. They’re also low in calories and make a great healthy snack for pups.
Like all veggies, moderation is really important. Dogs should get all their daily nutrition from specifically formulated canine food and there are a couple of negative side effects to feeding your pooch too much okra.
Benefits of Feeding Okra to Dogs
There are lots of benefits of feeding okra to dogs. Here are a couple of the biggest ones:
- High in nutrients. Okra contains lots of nutrients that can benefit your dog’s immune system and general health. It’s also full of antioxidants which are good for your pooch.
- Helps with digestion. Okra, like many veggies, is high in fiber and is great for your pooch’s digestive system. It can also help dogs feel fuller for longer, which can help with weight loss.
- Low in calories. Okra is naturally low in calories and can make a great snack or treat for dogs. They’re certainly a better option than calorie-high shop-bought treats which can easily help them to pile on the pounds.
- Adds variety at meal times. Many dogs love a bit of variety in flavors and textures when it comes to their food. Adding some chopped okra on top of their meals may go down a treat!
Negatives of Feeding Dogs Okra
Whenever you think about adding something new to your dog’s diet or changing it, it’s important you discuss it with your vet. They know your pup’s health better than anyone and can advise on whether it’s a good idea or not.
Even though cooked okra is healthy and a good veggie to add to most dogs’ diets, there are some risks that pup parents should be aware of.
- Choking hazard. It’s important to cut up okra into bite-size pieces for your dog to eat. Okra can have a weird, slimey consistency which might be difficult for dogs to eat. Raw okra is hard and may get stuck in their throat.
- Stomach upset. Eating too much of anything might upset your pooch’s stomach. It’s best to feed them a small amount of okra and monitor them for any issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or lethargy. The high fiber content in okra could also cause a problem if your dog eats too much.
- Allergies. Although unlikely, some dogs may be allergic to okra. This is why it’s best to feed your pooch a small amount to begin with and increase it if you don’t notice any adverse effects.
- Pesticides. Always wash any fruit or veg you give your pup before feeding it to them. Pesticides can have negative effects on your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Okra Seeds?
Yes! Okra seeds are small and dogs can eat them. They add extra crunch to your pup’s meals and some nutritional value too.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Okra?
Yes, absolutely. Cooking okra is a great way to feed this veg to dogs. It softens the veggie and makes it easier for dogs to chew. Just make sure you only feed dogs plain okra (so no salts, garlic, onions, or other seasonings). These can be unhealthy or even toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Fried Okra?
Frying okra automatically increases the fat and calorie content of the vegetable – which isn’t good news for dogs. It’s best to only feed dogs plain, non-fried okra as this is the healthiest.
Can Dogs Eat Boiled Okra?
Boiling or steaming okra is the best way to prepare this vegetable for dogs. It doesn’t increase the calorie content and shouldn’t contain salt or any other seasoning.
Can Dogs Eat Roasted Okra?
Plain, roasted okra is OK to give your dog. However, usually, when we roast veg we use oil, spices, and seasonings which could be bad for dogs or even toxic. If you do roast okra for your pooch, use the least amount of oil possible and no seasonings. Wait for the okra to fully cool before feeding it to them.
Can Dogs Eat Pickled Okra?
Pickled okra contains lots of salt and sugar which are two ingredients that aren’t good for dogs. In fact, if a dog eats too much salt, it could lead to salt poisoning, which can be very serious.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Okra?
Yes, feeding your dog raw okra is an easy way to give this veggie to your pup. Raw okra is quite crunchy, so make sure you cut it up into bite-sized pieces so your dog can easily eat them. Larger pieces might be a choking hazard, so always cut them up.
How to Feed Okra to Your Dog
There are lots of ways you can feed okra to your dog. Here are a couple of our favorite ones:
- Added to their meals. Chop up cooked or raw okra and add them to your dog’s meals for extra flavor and texture.
- On a lick mat. Boil some okra and whisk it up with other veggies (such as avocado) and spread it on a doggie lick mat. They’ll love spending their time licking up every last bit!
- As a treat. Replace regular treats with chunks of okra as a reward for good behavior or during training sessions.
How Much Okra Can Dogs Eat?
Okra should be given to dogs in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Generally speaking, 90% of a dog’s diet should be formulated canine food. The other 10% can be healthy treats.
Start with a small amount and monitor your dog for any reactions. Also, always talk to your vet before adding anything new to their diet.
What Other Veg Can Dogs Eat?
It’s not just okra that can be a good treat for pups. There are loads of great veggies that dogs love. Here are a couple more ideas for you to think about:
So, Can Dogs Eat Okra?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to feed your dog okra. Just make sure it’s plain and doesn’t contain any additional ingredients or seasonings that may be toxic to dogs. Try giving them a small amount of the veg first to check if they like it and gradually increase over time.
Even if your pup does love okra, it’s important to feed it to them in moderation and shouldn’t replace their regular, balanced doggie food.