Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Yes, And It’s Good For Dogs, Too – Forbes Advisor – Earn Charter

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Broccoli is a health food powerhouse that’s rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. And yes, dogs can eat broccoli.

Whether your dog snuck a piece of broccoli behind your back or you’re looking for a healthy snack for your pooch, you can rest assured that this green cruciferous vegetable is harmless and even healthy for most dogs to eat.

However, there are a few exceptions. Here’s what you should know before feeding broccoli to your dog.

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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Yes they can. “Broccoli is a great healthy snack for dogs,” says Dr. Danielle Rutherford, V.M.D., associate veterinarian with Westside Veterinary Center in Manhattan. “It can be fed raw or cooked, and it’s a healthy addition to meals, which can add bulk as a low calorie topper to make dogs feel more full.”

However, your dog can eat too much broccoli, leading to stomach upset. Broccoli florets contain a compound called isothiocyanates that can cause gastric distress in dogs. Because of this, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends giving broccoli to dogs in small amounts.

Potential Hazards of Broccoli for Dogs

Along with the isothiocyanates, the high fiber content in broccoli can cause gas and bloating in dogs, as well as an upset stomach. It’s best to start feeding your dog broccoli with a very small amount to see how your pooch handles it.

Another potential hazard comes from feeding broccoli stalks, or stems, to dogs. These can be a potential choking hazard, the AKC warns. When giving broccoli stems to your dog, cut them up into small pieces and monitor your dog’s intake to make sure they don’t become lodged in the esophagus.

Broccoli that’s been prepared for humans may contain salt, fats and other seasonings that are potentially harmful to dogs. Only feed raw or cooked broccoli to dogs that’s plain with no added seasoning or flavoring.

When Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Broccoli

Broccoli also contains glucosinolates, which are compounds that can inhibit thyroid function. If your dog has a thyroid condition, ask your vet if it’s safe to feed it broccoli.

In light of the potential to cause gastric distress, exercise caution about giving your dog broccoli if it has a sensitive stomach or is prone to gas. And if your dog is on a prescription diet for a health condition, you should always consult your vet before feeding it anything other than its prescribed food.

Can Puppies Have Broccoli?

Growing puppies have very specific nutritional needs, and they also don’t have fully developed digestive systems. Fiber-rich broccoli could cause more pronounced digestive issues in puppies than in adult dogs. It’s generally not a good idea to give broccoli to puppies.

How Much Broccoli Can a Dog eat?

“I would recommend limiting the broccoli to no more than 10% of your pet’s normal daily meal intake,” Rutherford says.

Keep in mind that 10% of a diet will look different depending on the size of the dog. For a tiny Yorkie, that’s only one or two pieces, whereas a Saint Bernard can handle a large handful of florets.

How To Safely Feed Broccoli to Dogs

Follow these tips to safely feed broccoli to your dog:

  • Thoroughly wash fresh broccoli to remove pesticides, bacteria and other contaminants.
  • Cut raw broccoli into bite-size pieces before serving.
  • If cooking, steam or lightly boil the broccoli to retain the nutrients.
  • Let cooked broccoli cool before giving it to your dog.
  • Serve broccoli for dogs plain, with no added fats or seasoning.
  • Feed it in small amounts and discontinue if your dog shows signs of gastric distress.

Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?

When fed correctly, broccoli is a highly nutritious and healthy snack for dogs. With its high fiber and plant protein content, it’s a filling, low-calorie, low-carb treat option for dogs that need to limit their calorie intake.

Health Benefits of Broccoli for Dogs

While dogs should get most of their daily calories and nutrients from a well-balanced, high-quality dog food, broccoli has a number of health benefits that can enhance your dog’s diet when given in moderation.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are chemicals in fruits and vegetables that neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation and cell damage. Broccoli contains the antioxidants lutein and sulforaphane.

Fiber

Dogs need both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber to promote gut health and good digestion, and broccoli is a good source of both.

Soluble fiber ferments in the gut and feeds good bacteria, which promotes a healthy colon and may help prevent cancer and diabetes in dogs, according to the AKC. Insoluble fiber, which doesn’t dissolve, helps dogs feel full and also helps to keep their digestive system regular.

Vitamins and Minerals

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins C and K, as well as folic acid. It also contains minerals and electrolytes, including:

  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chromium

Other Vegetables Dogs Can Eat

Broccoli isn’t the only vegetable that’s safe and healthy for dogs to eat. Here are more safe vegetables to feed your dog:

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs eat raw broccoli?

Dogs can eat raw broccoli. Be sure to wash it first to remove pesticides and other contaminants and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces.

Can dogs eat broccoli stems?

Broccoli stems, or stalks, can be a choking hazard. You can feed broccoli stems to your dog if you cut them into small pieces first.

Can dogs eat cooked broccoli?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked broccoli that doesn’t have any added fats or seasonings.

Can dogs eat broccoli and cauliflower?

Broccoli and cauliflower are both cruciferous vegetables, along with brussels sprouts and cabbage, all of which are safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

Can dogs eat steamed broccoli?

Yes. Steaming is a good way to cook broccoli for your dog without depleting it of nutrients.

Can dogs eat broccoli and cheese?

Some dogs can safely eat cheese in moderation, but some dogs can’t tolerate dairy products and become sick from eating them. Also, cheese is high in fat that can cause dogs to gain weight if fed too much. If your dog can tolerate cheese, they can eat small amounts of broccoli with it as long as it doesn’t contain any added fats or seasonings, like butter or salt.

Can dogs eat broccoli sprouts?

Yes, dogs can eat broccoli sprouts, which are just baby broccoli plants. They contain a higher concentration of nutrients and antioxidants than mature broccoli plants, including 100 times the amount of the antioxidant sulforaphane, which may be effective at reducing inflammation and helping to prevent cancer.

Can dogs eat frozen broccoli?

Frozen broccoli could pose a choking hazard to dogs. It’s best to let it thaw and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces before feeding it to your dog.

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