Broccoli is great for us. It comes packed with a lot of good stuff. But can dogs eat broccoli? Is broccoli good for dogs? These are only the first of the many questions any dog owner will have when their fido is begging for a piece of it.
A lot of people enjoy having broccoli. And if you are a dog owner, whatever you are having your dog will want to eat it as well.
So, can a dog have broccoli?
The answer is a solid yes!
Though many fruits and veggies are not suitable for dogs, broccoli is an exemption. It is good for your dog in many ways but there are some ground rules.
We’ll be discussing that and more in the rest of this post. Be sure to read them so that you don’t have any doubts when it comes to your dog and broccoli.
Can’t read the whole thing? No problem, just take a look at the frequently asked questions!
Health Benefits of Broccoli for Dogs
Broccoli brings a lot of good things to the table.
It is a reliable source of Vitamin A, C and K. It also comes packed with folate and manganese.
If you have a dog that has cholesterol, then don’t worry as broccoli has very low fat and comes with a lot of dietary fiber.
All the things we mentioned above are essential stuff for your dog. These can keep your dog healthy but you should also know when to stop (discussed below) as more of it is not a good idea.
Another thing to note is that broccoli is rich in antioxidants. Some studies have concluded that broccoli has the ability to fight allergies and even cancer.
Broccoli is also known to protect your dog against the attack of bacteria and viruses.
If you have an older dog, you should consider including broccoli in its diet every now and then. That is because it has the potential to postpone aging. It can also boost your dog’s immune system and prevent a lot of simple infections.
The health benefits of broccoli for dogs is now being noticed by a lot of people. Even major dog food manufacturers now included broccoli in their products. Also, to make things even sweeter, this green veggie doesn’t cost a lot as well.
How Much Broccoli Can a Dog Eat?
It is important to figure out how much broccoli your dog can eat without creating any issues.
The amount of broccoli that is suitable depends on the weight of the dog. If you have a large dog breed at home, then you might get away with a slightly bigger portion. If you have a small dog at home, then the quantity you can give comes down significantly.
We know that it is not very helpful. That’s where the thumb rule comes in.
It is a common rule that broccoli should not make up for more than 5 to 10% of your dog’s diet. By keeping the quantity within this range, you can be sure that there won’t be any adverse effects.
It should also be noted that broccoli is not a food that is meant for dogs. So do keep it only as an occasional treat. Every now and then is fine, but every other meal might be a bit too much.
How Can I Serve Broccoli to my Dog?
Now that we have answered that important question of ‘Can dogs eat broccoli?’ it is important that we figure out how to serve these green veggies to your dogs.
There are a few good ways to serve broccoli to your dog. You can either do it raw, cooked or just steamed.
But how you do depends mainly on your choice and also on the type of dog you have.
If you have a small dog, then you can give broccoli either raw or steamed. It will also double up as a chew toy which also adds some fun to your dog’s meal.
But broccoli is not a great chew toy for bigger dogs. That is because they can be a serious choking hazard and it is not recommended to give your dog broccoli along with the stem. So if you have a large breed at home, be sure to remove the stem before giving it to your dog.
At first, we suggest you give small pieces of broccoli to your dog to see if they like it and also to see there is any adverse effect.
We like to season our food. But it is not a great idea to season your dog’s broccoli. Adding some extra salt could cause intoxication without you even knowing it. So be sure to not add anything in the name of seasoning.
You can also try adding another veggie and making a salad. But whatever you do be sure to keep in mind that broccoli should not make up for more than 5 to 10% of your dog’s meal.
Does Broccoli suit Every Dog – Is it Bad?
Some dogs may not react well to broccoli. If that’s your dog then you probably shouldn’t force broccoli.
Even in normal cases, regular consumption of broccoli in large quantities will lead to the formation of isothiocyanate. This isothiocyanate can do some serious gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.
This isothiocyanate is present in the head part of the broccoli. Since many of us leave the stem part to prevent choking, the chances of isothiocyanate poisoning is a bit higher as well.
In cases where the amount of broccoli is more than 25% of your dog’s diet, isothiocyanate poisoning could even lead to death. This is very lethal so be sure to feed very limited amounts of broccoli to your dog.
My dog has had too much broccoli, what should I do?
If your dog has had more broccoli behind your back, you can sense some discomfort right away.
The following symptoms after a broccoli snack will confirm the same:
- Low Appetite
- Pale gums
If you find any of the above symptoms, then you should act quickly.
The first thing you should do is to make sure your dog has enough water in its system. Usually, drinking lots of water can take care of these symptoms.
If you still find these symptoms after 24 hours, then it is a really good idea to take your dog to your veterinarian. The faster you react the safer it will be for your dog.
Of course, you can prevent all this by taking a little extra care and make sure that the broccoli is only 5 to 10% of your dog’s meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can dogs eat broccoli? Is it safe?
Yes, broccoli is perfectly edible and safe for most of the dogs out there.
If you are not sure about it, we suggest you give small pieces at the beginning and see if there are any reactions. If not, you are good to go.
Just be sure to give them the right amount in order to avoid any side effects (discussed below).
2. Can dogs eat cooked broccoli?
We might be tempted to share our plate of broccoli with our lovely dogs. But that might be a bad idea.
We love seasoning and spices because we need it to taste good. These extra additions may not treat your dog’s digestive system well.
To prevent any mishap from happening, it is a good idea to just steam-cook your dog’s broccoli before feeding them that.
3. Is it ok for my dog to eat raw broccoli?
Raw broccoli might be a good idea for us (not really).
But for dogs, it is a lot harder to digest these green veggies in their raw form. It may also lead to slight reactions like constipation.
So it is better to avoid raw broccolis and give your dogs steamed ones as it is a lot easier to digest.
4. Can dogs eat broccoli stems?
Broccoli stems will look like veggie bones to dogs. They will love playing with it and can also eat them.
You can steam the stem and feed them to your dogs without any problems. Be sure to cut them into small pieces so that they don’t become a choking hazard for your dog.
It is also advisable to remove the outer skin of the stem as it is tougher than the rest of the stem.
5. Can dogs eat broccoli stalks?
A lot of people would not prefer the stalks as food for dogs but it is the exact opposite.
They are full of nutrients like iron, magnesium, potassium and is also home to some vitamins. These nutrients are essential to your dog.
If you steam the stalks as they are a bit hard. In their steamed form, they will make an excellent snack for your fido. Be sure to keep the quantity in check.
6. How much broccoli should I give my dog?
This is another common and important question that needs to be answered.
The amount of broccoli you give to your dog must not make for more than 5 to 10% of your dog’s meal. This is very important and if the quantity exceeds this limits, then it could lead to some serious adverse effects.
This will also change with the size of your dog. If you have a large breed, then your dog might handle more broccoli. If you have a small dog, then it might be wise to stop with a small piece or two.
Whenever in doubt, it is always a good idea to ask your veterinarian about the amount of broccoli that is safe for your dog.
7. Are there any side effects of eating broccoli?
If your dog has consumed more broccoli than it should, then there is a good chance it will have a few side effects.
A couple of the obvious ones are vomiting and diarrhea.
Your dog might become a bit lethargic or super hyperactive. There might also be some cases of pale gums and your dog not willing to eat anything else.
You can try feeding your dog some excess water in order to make these symptoms stop. But if these don’t stop after 24 hours, it might be the time to get an appointment with your veterinarian.
8. Can puppies have broccoli?
There are no rules that puppies should not have broccoli. Technically, they can.
But we know that broccoli comes with a lot of fiber.
Puppies’ digestive system is not equipped to deal with all the fiber content present in broccoli. As a result, the pup could have some diarrhea and other side effects.
We see no need for broccoli as you could get all the puppy’s needed nutrients from its regular food itself. So we recommend you to not give any broccoli to your puppies.
Here’s a funny compilation of dogs playing with their broccoli.
That brings us to the end of this post.
We have answered the most important question, ‘Can dogs eat broccoli?’
The answer is a sound yes. Broccoli is an amazing veggie that is perfect for a snack.
With so many benefits ranging from anti-aging to preventing cancer, this green vegetable is a great choice for food for your lovely pet. Just be sure to keep it in the recommended 5 to 10% of your dog’s diet.
If you have already fed your dog broccoli, how did your dog like it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear them.