Can dogs eat spinach?
This guide is a complete answer to this question.
I am going to be covering everything about the safety of feeding spinach to dogs and also explain some of the dangers associated with that.
Let`s get started.
Can Dogs Eat And Have Spinach?
Yes. Dogs can eat spinach and it is definitely safe for them to have an occasional treat of the vegetable provided that it is being served in reasonable quantities.
Spinach and vegetables cannot be the core of your fury friend`s diet since dogs are carnivores and their bodies have been designed to favor meat consumption.
In the next section I am going to be fully explaining the health benefits of spinach, the disadvantages of feeding it to your dog and how to serve it once you decide to allow your dog to enjoy the veggie.
Are Dogs Allergic To Spinach
Dogs are not allergic to spinach and there is no problem with allowing them to enjoy the veggie treat once in a while.
Spinach actually has a lot of health benefits for your dog and if incorporated well in your the animal`s diet, the vegetable can help with keeping them fit and healthy.
Raw Vs Cooked Spinach
Dogs can safely eat raw or cooked spinach but it would be a good thing to serve the vegetable slightly cooked.
Raw spinach can cause some digestion problems for your four-legged friend because their bodies are not adapted to having a pure vegetable diet.
Serving slightly cooked spinach will ensure safe digestion but make sure that you do not overcook the vegetable.
Vegetables like spinach lose a lot of their natural nutrients whilst cooking so slightly cooking them will preserve their nutritional value.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach Stems?
Dogs can basically eat all parts of a spinach but there is one problem with stems.
Spinach stems contain a high amount of fiber and as you might already know, fiber is not easily digestible.
Adding a high amount of fiber to your dog`s diet can affect their digestion although the nutrient is completely safe when served in proportionate amounts.
How Much Spinach Can Dogs Eat
All dog owners should understand that they should be giving their fury children very little treats.
The nutritional requirements for a dog`s body are totally different from humans and for that reason, treats should not be the core of the canine`s diet.
Vets and animal nutritionists have suggested that treats should not exceed 10% of a dog`s daily food intake.
Dog parents and pet owners can use this rule of thumb as a guideline to determine the amount of treats they should be giving their four-legged children depending on the dog`s size and daily food intake.
But from this rule, we can all agree that the amount of spinach you should be giving your dog is very little considering the fact that you have to leave room for other treats for diet diversification.
Health Benefits Of Spinach To Dogs
Spinach is a very good source of vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium.
The vegetable has been proven to boost the immune system, energy levels, and vitality.
There are so many health benefits linked to this vegetable and here is a quick breakdown of some of those perks:
1.Prevents Oxidative Stress
Spinach contains antioxidants which help to remove oxidizing agents from the body`s system and prevent oxidative stress.
2.Improves Eye Health
Many green leaf vegetables including spinach are rich in two antioxidants which are very important for good eye health.
The antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin. The nutrients help the eye with detecting contrast better and help to maintain a sharp vision.
Nutritional studies have suggested that spinach contains two components, MGDG and SQDG, which are believed to slow down cancer growth.
4.Moderates Blood pressure
Nitrates have been proven to moderate blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks.
Spinach naturally contains a high amount of these nitrates which are very crucial for moderating blood pressure.
The Cons Of Giving Spinach To Dogs
Scientific studies have suggested that spinach contains a very huge amount of oxalic acid or oxalates which cause kidney damage and problems by blocking the body`s ability to absorb calicium.
This causes some sudden metabolic imbalances due to a low level of blood calcium.
Oxalic acid reacts with calcium to form calcium oxalate which has to be excreted through the kidneys and if excreted in large amounts it can cause kidney damage or kidney failure.
But all of this is not reason to fear giving some occasional veggie treat to your dog.
Many sources actually agree that for these effects to be observed, the dog will have to eat spinach that is equal in amount as its own weight.
So if you just control the amount of spinach your give your dog there will not be any problem.
Nutritionists and Vets suggest that treats should not exceed 10% of your dog`s diet so you can try to work from that and determine the right amount of spinach to give your dog. Also remember to leave room for other treats.
How To Give Spinach To Dogs
Spinach is very difficult for dogs to digest when served raw and it can also lose most of its nutrients when boiled.
The best way to give your dog spinach is to serve it steamed as this will help maintain the vegetable`s nutrients and also make it easier for your four-legged friend to digest.
Also remember to rinse the leaves with clean running water in order to remove some pesticides that can have a negative effect on your dog.
Spinach Dog Treat Recipe
Here is a quick summary of a very simple spinach treat recipe that you can try for your dog.
Grain-Free Carrot And Spinach Treat Recipe
This recipe uses pumpkin puree, peanut butter, eggs, almond flour, carrots and baby spinach as the main ingredients.
Make sure that you use peanut butter with no salt, sugar or any additives as our four-legged friends are allergic to many additives in many peanut butter brands.
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup peanut butter no add salt, sugar, or additives
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1-2 Carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 cup baby spinach chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In an electric mixer, beat together pumpkin puree, nut butter, and eggs until well combined.
- Add in flour gradually, approximately a half cup at a time. Mix until incorporated.
- Add in spinach and carrots. Mix until incorporated.
- Knead dough into a ball. Either roll the dough out and use cookie cutters to create shapes, or use your hands to shape into small heart or flat, circular dog biscuits. (If rolling dough out to use cookie cutters, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour to make the dough stiffer/easier to roll out & cut. Dip cookie cutter in almond flour to prevent sticking. You can also use a knife to cut rolled dough into squares).
- Place treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes or until treats turn golden brown on the edges.
Recipe And Image Source: theproducemoms.com
Is Spinach Safe And Good For Dogs?
It is completely safe for dogs to eat spinach as they are actually not allergic to the vegetable.
Some scientific evidence has been brought forward to prove that spinach contains oxalic acid which limits the body`s ability to absorb calcium and cause kidney damage and failure.
But this is not a reason for concern as many studies have also proven that the dog will have to eat spinach that is equal to its body weight before such effects are observed.
So if you just control the amount of spinach your dog eats and occasionally give it to them as a treat there will not be any problems.