can dogs eat broccoli

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Reveal The Potential And Threats Here!

Can dogs eat broccoli? We may wonder if it is impossible since dogs are carnivores who will choose meat in a heartbeat. But in fact, you can feed broccoli to your dogs. Some dog owners decide to add broccoli to their dog’s diet for its exceptional health benefits. It is one of the cruciferous vegetables that provide them with lots of vitamin C, which will help strengthen the immune system.

However, giving them broccoli is not without risks. While the florets have a soft texture, the stems possess a choking hazard that will be an occasional treat you may not be aware of. Considering this matter, you must know which types and parts of broccoli are safe to eat.

In addition, knowing a better answer to the question “can dogs eat broccoli?” will help you to decide whether to include the veggie in their meal or not. Hence, bear with us and kindly read the article to the end to find out the advantages and disadvantages of this veggie for your dogs.

Is Broccoli Good For Dogs?

While questioning “can dogs eat broccoli?” we also have to consider whether broccoli is good for dogs or not. Fortunately, this green veggie is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that will promote some health benefits, meaning that they are good for dogs!

can dogs eat broccoli
Is Broccoli Good For Dogs

Besides being able to be added to their food menu, you can also make them healthy snacks. Pet parents usually offer raw or cooked broccoli as they both are nutritious.

But please, remember that you cannot add any seasoning, like salt, to the cooked broccoli as it can upset their stomach. This cruciferous veggie can trigger gas production; thus, you may expect more farting in your pup after consuming broccoli.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Broccoli For My Dog?

Since broccoli is rich in nutrients, it surely offers numerous health benefits for humans and animals. In this opportunity, we will specifically tell you the health benefits of broccoli for your dogs. What are those? Let’s dive in!

1. Improve Immune System And Vision

In addition to its mineral contents, broccoli is a fantastic source of antioxidants and vitamins, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C. This terrific trio helps to fight free radicals and improve the immune system in your dogs.

Besides, it contains sulforaphane, a chemical compound that protects the retina from free radical damage.

can dogs eat broccoli
Improve Immune System And Vision

2. Maintain Heart Health

Broccoli contains fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins that can strengthen blood vessels, eventually maintaining a healthy heart for dogs.

Those nutrients also help regulate blood in the body and reduce blood cholesterol. Hence, the blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body and vice versa can be better.

Additionally, sulforaphane possesses anti-inflammatory properties, reversing damage to blood vessel linings usually caused by severe blood sugar issues.

can dogs eat broccoli
Maintain Heart Health

3. Strengthen The Bones

Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, are high in calcium. It is an essential mineral that promotes strong bones for your dogs. Generally, 100 g of broccoli has around 45 mg of calcium.

However, we remind you again that dogs can only eat broccoli as healthy snacks, which is approximately 10% of their daily meals. You can provide the broccoli by dividing the quantity into their breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

can dogs eat broccoli
Strengthen The Bones

What Parts Of The Broccoli Plant Are Safe For My Dog To Eat?

All parts of broccoli are safe to eat. But, there are some issues regarding the stalks for small dogs. Broccoli stems are not recommended for small dogs to eat raw as a whole because there are high risks of choking hazard lurking behind it.

Like cruciferous vegetables, the stems have a tough texture that may be difficult to chew, so your dog will likely swallow them immediately. It is extremely dangerous because choking can clog the airways, making it difficult for your dog to get oxygen. Besides being hard, the rugged texture can also obstruct the esophagus.

can dogs eat broccoli
Parts Of The Broccoli Plant Are Safe For Dog To Eat

Therefore, cutting broccoli into bite-sized pieces is highly possible to make it easier for them to eat. And most importantly, prevent choking. You can also boil or steam it beforehand to soften the texture.

Suppose you are still worried about giving broccoli stems. In that case, it is better to offer florets that have a softer texture and are easier to chew. But bear in mind to give them in small quantities as it contains isothiocyanates. What is that? How much broccoli can dogs have?

can dogs eat broccoli
The Broccoli Plant Are Safe For Dog To Eat

How Much Broccoli Can Dogs Have?

Even though we can confidently answer the question “can dogs eat broccoli” with a YES, the key to safely giving your dog broccoli is proportion. Do not offer more than 10% of an overall daily meal if you do not want your canine companions to experience stomach upset.

can dogs eat broccoli
How Much Broccoli Can Dogs Have

It is because broccoli contains isothiocyanates, a natural chemical compound that may harm the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Some cases refer to diarrhea, excessive gas, and blockages after consuming broccoli.

If you worry that your dogs will lack vitamin C because they don’t eat broccoli, you better know they can produce their own. So, broccoli is only an addition to meet the daily intake.

can dogs eat broccoli
Broccoli is Only an Addition To Meet The Daily Intake

What Are Some Feeding Suggestions For This Veggie?

Dogs are carnivores, but they enjoy some vegetables too, including broccoli. However, some dog owners have no idea how to prepare this veggie for their beloved companions.

Here, we will offer some feeding suggestions, like cooked and broccoli smoothies, for you to make a delicious dog snack. Check them out!

1. Raw Broccoli

It is the simplest way to prepare broccoli for dogs. You only need to chop broccoli according to the size of the florets. Then, wash and drain. Cut back the stems to make it easier for them to eat them.

Cutting is also essential to prevent choking events that harm your dog. Serve on a plate along with other foods, so the nutrition is more balanced. Good luck!

can dogs eat broccoli
Raw Broccoli

2. Cooked Broccoli

Assuming you have tried to give it raw, but your dogs resist because of the hard texture, you probably need to try this one. Boiling or steaming broccoli is a mainstay because it can soften the texture, primarily the stems.

Cook the broccoli for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the florets. The bigger, the longer. Check the texture with a fork to see if they are cooked. If so, lift and drain.

can dogs eat broccoli
Cooked Broccoli

For the cooking process, it is strictly forbidden to add any seasoning, such as salt. Consuming extra salt in the diet will make the dogs experience severe thirst, leading to sodium ion poisoning.

3. Smoothie Broccoli

If you are still wondering, “can dogs eat broccoli?” you may want to try this recipe to make it easier for them to eat broccoli the first time. It will taste even better because of the mixture of several other ingredients.

Start chopping the broccoli into smaller pieces. Add vegetables or fruits, green beans, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or watermelon. Tubers like sweet potatoes are also okay. They will add natural sweetness to the smoothies. We assure you that they will love it!

Broccoli For Dogs: Do’s and Don’ts

After a YES of “can dogs eat broccoli,” it is time to find out the do’s and don’ts before you offer this veggie to your lovely pet. Do not let yourself make a fatal mistake that endangers the health of your beloved dogs.

The Do’s

  • You can give your dogs steamed or boiled broccoli as they have a soft texture compared to the raw ones. This will make it easier for your pets to chew, swallow, and digest the broccoli without hurting their throats.
  • You can offer raw broccoli as long as they have been washed. In addition, cut the veggie into pieces to make it easier to digest and avoid the danger of choking.
  • You can feed broccoli florets to your dogs. But remember the proportions.
  • You can make your pup a glass of broccoli smoothies. Actually, it is one of the best ways to prepare broccoli for your furry friends because it is effortless to digest.
can dogs eat broccoli
You Can Give Dogs Steamed or Boiled Broccoli

The Don’ts

  • Don’t give whole broccoli stems to your dogs, especially small dogs, as they carry a high risk of choking. We recommend cutting broccoli into small bite-size ones before giving them to your canine friends as snacks or side dishes.
  • Don’t give too much broccoli for their meals and snacks because broccoli contains some chemical compounds, like isothiocyanate that may cause stomach issues in your dogs. Can dogs eat broccoli? Yes, but portion control is the key. The maximum amount that is safe for your dogs to eat broccoli is 10%.
  • Don’t let dogs eat raw broccoli before washing it as it may contain Salmonella, a culprit that leads to bacterial infection. When exposed to this bacteria, your dogs may experience several symptoms like fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Call the veterinarian if that happens.
  • Don’t add any seasoning to cooked broccoli since it may lead to serious health problems.
can dogs eat broccoli
Don’t Give Whole Broccoli Stems to Dogs

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Dogs And Broccoli: The Risks

Broccoli seems safe to eat, but it hides potential risks for your furry friends. 

This green veggie contains isothiocyanates. It is a naturally occurring compound in cruciferous vegetables. There are no serious health issues related to this chemical in humans.

can dogs eat broccoli
Dogs And Broccoli

However, some problems occur in animals where it can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal irritation. Therefore, do not feed your dog too much broccoli. The milder, the better.

In addition, eating raw broccoli may pose another threat to your beloved pet. While the flower heads have a delicate texture, the stems are the opposite. There are some cases of choking that are dangerous for your dogs.

can dogs eat broccoli
Broccoli Contains Isothiocyanates

Food stuck in the esophagus can block the respiratory tract, which may cause death if not treated immediately. Hence, it is better to cut broccoli before giving it to them. Or, if your dogs love to consume it whole, steam the broccoli to soften the texture.

Another threat is a Salmonella infection, especially if you offer raw broccoli to your dogs. Salmonella occurs when you do not thoroughly clean the raw fruits and vegetables.

can dogs eat broccoli
Don’t Feed Your Dog Too Much Broccoli

Even though they are more resistant to this bacteria, it does not mean they are free of the risks. Several symptoms of Salmonella infection in dogs are:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Lethargy

If you notice one or more signs in your pets after consuming raw broccoli, call your veterinarian before it gets worse.

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