Question: Can dogs eat broccoli?
Answer: Yes, dogs can eat broccoli. The vegetable is actually a great protein source that is safe for dogs to eat as a treat. Dogs should not eat a lot of broccoli since the vegetable cannot be the core of a dog’s diet. Your dog should continue to eat their favorite dog food and only enjoy broccoli as a treat.
This article completely explains the safety of feeding broccoli to a dog. You are going to find everything about broccoli and its nutritional value to your four-legged friend.
Here are some of the topics we are going to be covering:
So without much being said, let`s dive in.
Broccoli is a vegetable belonging to the cabbage family and its scientific name is Brassica oleracea var. italica. The plant is a rich source of crucial nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium.
Nutritional studies have actually revealed that broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak so it is actually a great snack to include in your dog`s diet.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
However, caution should be taken when feeding broccoli to your dog because studies have revealed that the florets of the plant contain traces of isothiocyanates which can cause gastric irritations in animals like dogs.
Raw Versus Cooked
Raw vegetables are the best choice from a nutritional perspective. Vegetables tend to lose much of their nutrients when being cooked so if you want to get the best nutritional value from a veggie it would be a good option to serve it raw.
However, raw vegetables are also difficult to digest and for animals like dogs this challenge is greatly enhanced.
That is why veterinarians generally advise to slightly cook vegetables like broccoli before serving them to a dog.
Are Broccoli Stalks Safe For Dogs?
Broccoli stems or stalks are not a good dietary option for dogs because for the most part they are difficult to digest and they can result in chocking.
The stalks can cause an obstruction in the esophagus and this effect is much more enhanced in small dogs.
How Much Broccoli Can Your Dog Eat?
Broccoli is considered to be a dog treat so it should not be the core of a dog`s diet. Animals like dogs cannot be vegetarian.
The amount of broccoli you should feed your dog should be very small compared to their actual dog food.
Animal nutritionists and Veterinarians seem to agree that treats like broccoli should not exceed 10% of their daily food intake.
So you should watch the recommended amount of food your specific breed should be eating per day and use that information to calculate the amount of treats you should be giving them.
How To Prepare Broccoli For Dogs
Here are some brief tips for preparing broccoli for dogs:
Cut It Into Small Pieces
Make sure that you cut the broccoli into small pieces before serving it to your dog. Large pieces can cause chocking and they can also be difficult to digest.
Slightly Cook The Vegetable
Raw broccoli is considered by nutritionists to be highly nutrient but it is very difficult for dogs to digest so it is a great option to slightly cook the vegetable before serving.
Remove The Stalks
The stalks and stem of a broccoli plant are difficult to digest so they can cause an obstruction in the esophagus of dogs and this effect is mostly observed in small dogs.
Do Not Add Any Seasoning
Serve Small Amounts
Dog owners should avoid feeding their fury children a lot of broccoli. Animal nutritionists and Veterinarians recommend that treats should not exceed 10% of a dog`s daily food intake.
Why Should Dogs Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli has a lot of health benefits for humans and dogs and it is considered to be a great source of many crucial nutrients required for body function and growth.
However, recent in vitro and experimental animal studies indicate that broccoli, its extracts and the glucosinolate-derived degradation products might also have undesirable effects, especially genotoxic activities.
The relevance of genotoxic activities to humans are still not known but their effects on animals like dogs have been verified through vitro and experimental animal studies.
Furthermore, a qualitative comparison of the benefit and risk of broccoli consumption benefit-risk assessment shows that the benefit from intake in modest quantities and in processed form outweighs potential risks.
Here are some of the key dietary benefits of feeding broccoli to your dog:
Rich In Protein
Broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak so it is of great nutritional value to your dog. Protein is crucial for repairing worn out body tissues and it is also used to make enzymes.
May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Studies on the physiological effects of broccoli consumption have revealed that broccoli may actually help to reduce the risk of cancer and this is true for both humans and dogs. The study revealed that:
Epidemiological studies suggest that broccoli can decrease risk for cancer. Broccoli contains many bioactives, including vitamins C and E, quercetin and kaempferol glycosides and, like other members of the Brassicaceae, several glucosinolates, including glucobrassicin (3-indolylmethyl glucosinolate) and glucoraphanin (4-methylsulphinylbutyl glucosinolate).
Great Source Of Crucial Nutrients
There are many crucial nutrients present in broccoli. The vegetable is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium.
A report on the chemical and biological characterization of nutraceutical compounds of broccoli stated that:
Numerous epidemiological studies indicate that Brassica vegetables in general, and broccoli in particular, protect humans against cancer since they are rich sources of glucosinolates as well as possessing a high content of flavonoids, vitamins and mineral nutrients.
This goes to show how broccoli can actually help to keep your dog healthy by providing some very essential nutrients required for their growth and well being.
Broccoli is rich in dietary fiber which improves digestion and prevents constipation in animals.
Builds Strong Bones
The vegetable is a great source of vitamin K improves bone health and increases bone mineral density.
Rich In Antioxidants
Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants which are very essential for body function and preventing life threatening diseases like cancer.
Studies have revealed that broccoli contains high levels of a compound called glucoraphanin. This compound is converted into a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane during digestion.
Summary: Should You Feed Broccoli To Your Dog?
Yes, it is definitely okay to feed broccoli to your dog since the vegetable is safe for the animal to ingest.
Broccoli is safe for dogs to eat and pet owners can either serve it raw or cooked without adding any seasoning like salt.
Seasoning like salt or flavor enhancers like garlic and onion are not safe for dogs to ingest since they are poisonous to the four-legged animal.
You should also avoid feeding your dog some broccoli stalks because they can block the esophagus and result in chocking.
But apart from these precautionary measures, it is completely safe to feed broccoli to your dog.
The vegetable has a lot of health benefits and studies have actually revealed that it contains more protein per calorie than steak.