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Before sharing your veggies with your dog, you may ask yourself if dogs can eat broccoli and if it is good for dogs?
The short answer is yes: broccoli is a safe, tasty treat for our canine friends. It may even have some health benefits. But there are a few things you'll want to consider when serving this vegetable to your dog.
Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?
It's hailed as a superfood for humans because of its high nutritional value, but broccoli may benefit dogs in a number of ways, too.
It's chock-full of fibre, which can aid in digestion and weight management. And it's loaded with vitamins — including A, B, C, D, E and K — that may help promote overall wellbeing. Broccoli also contains lutein, a nutrient that supports eye and heart health, and other antioxidants that curb inflammation.
While dogs are omnivores, vegetables like broccoli can be a healthy addition to their meal plan. However, cruciferous vegetables have a reputation for causing gas, so it might make your dog a bit gassy.
What Are the Concerns?
Speaking of gas, this side effect of eating broccoli may be a cause for concern. Excessive gas may indicate that your dog has a digestive issue. So if your dog is farting a lot, give your veterinarian a call to rule out anything serious.
Additionally, here are three other concerns to bear in mind when giving your dog broccoli…
1. Portion Control
The saying “too much of a good thing” also applies to broccoli. Although it's OK for dogs to eat, consuming too much broccoli may cause your dog gastrointestinal distress, according to The World Small Animal Veterinary Association. They explain that this veggie should make up no more than 10% of your pup's daily meals in order to avoid any health complications. Broccoli contains isothiocyanate, a naturally occurring compound that, along with fibre and complex sugars, can cause mild-to-extreme digestive distress, including gas, stomach upset, diarrhoea and blockages.
2. Choking Hazard
Broccoli stems are edible, but they can pose a choking risk to dogs, especially small ones. To prevent choking, cut broccoli into bite-size pieces before sharing it with your dog. Additionally, you may want to stay close by while they're enjoying their snack to keep an ear out for any signs of distress.
3. Harmful Bacteria
Symptoms of Salmonella infection in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after eating broccoli, stop feeding broccoli and contact your vet right away for treatment options.
So, can dogs eat broccoli? Absolutely, so long as it's in moderation. Broccoli should be regarded as a nutritious snack — not a meal. Offer this veggie alongside a well-balanced dog food formulated for your pet's specific nutritional needs.
Christine Brovelli-O'Brien, Ph.D., is a professional member of the Cat Writers' Association (CWA), a STEAM educator and a devoted cat parent. She writes about pets, education, women's health, and STEM-y stuff. Find and follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien
Reviewed by Dr. Hein Meyer, DVM, PhD, Dipl-ECVIM-CA