Are you considering giving your lovely four-legged friend veggies like broccoli as part of their diet? Or, did you perhaps catch him or her gnawing on broccoli, and now you’re panicking? Can dogs eat broccoli? Besides consulting your vet, you can find all the information you need to answer all those questions here.
What is In Broccoli?
First, let’s delve more into these mini trees! With its firm stalk and dark green large flowering head, broccoli has been around since more than 2,000 years ago. It’s well-known for having tons of minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins making it one of the most impeccable nutritional powerhouses. Raw broccoli alone already contains 89% water.
How long does it take to grow broccoli? If you’re interested in planning your own broccoli for a quick harvest next time, know that it takes up to 150 days for them to grow from seeds. Planting from transplants broccoli can take less: around 55 to 80 days.
How Does Broccoli Affect Dogs?
Broccoli seems like an excellent deal, but can dogs eat broccoli? We know we can, but it may be another story for our beloved furry friends. Here are good and bad effects from allowing your dog to consume broccoli:
Generally, both cooked or raw broccoli are pretty safe to eat for dogs. However, this is as long as there are no seasonings, in small quantities, and proper preparations.
When broccoli is given to them following the recommended rules, dogs can obviously benefit from the nutrients in broccoli. Vitamin K, for instance, boosts bone density. Growing puppies can take advantage of this vitamin, along with other broccoli’s nutrients, for their growth improvement.
Dr. Kelly Ryan, the director of veterinary services at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, elaborates that “broccoli contains a high level of fiber as well.” This soluble fiber can help to extract cholesterol from his or her body, while nutrients like potassium promote healthy heart condition as your dog grows and ages.
Broccoli florets have a specific molecule called isothiocyanate that works against dogs’ systems. This fact is pretty interesting, considering how that compound actually benefits humans, unlike our canine companions.
For your information, isothiocyanate gives an anti-inflammatory benefit for humans. In particular, many experts and health professionals have recommended broccoli for those suffering from inflammatory diseases and even arthritis.
While we humans are benefited from consuming broccoli a lot, it’s a different case when it comes to dogs. When consumed too much and regularly, isothiocyanate can instead cause your dog to feel mild to severe digestive issues like gut irritation. Isothiocyanate contains a strong gastric irritant that can make it harmful for dogs.
How much is too much exactly? The bottom line when it comes to giving your dog an occasional snack is that you better stick to less than 10% from his or her daily caloric intake. The 10% rule applies to broccoli and any other snacks.
Eating broccoli, which clearly has a high amount of isothiocyanate, can be deadly when you surpass this 10% rule. Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC Chief Veterinary Officer, states, “broccoli is considered safe in dogs if the total amount ingested is less than 10 percent of their daily intake; more than 25 percent is considered toxic.”
Besides the concern on isothiocyanate, the broccoli stalks can also pose a danger for your dog when not prepared properly. As you probably already know, this part of broccoli is thick and firm. If you don’t cut it into bite-sized pieces or if your dog doesn’t thoroughly chew on it, it can obstruct the esophagus. When this happens, your dog may choke pretty severely.
How to Feed Dogs Broccoli?
After knowing how broccoli affects dogs, now it’s time to understand the best way on how to feed them these veggies. Again, it all comes down to how you prepare it, how many the amount is, and how often you give them to your dog.
The 10% rule mentioned before actually depends on the size and body condition of your dog as well. Therefore, it’s essential to start small before gradually increasing its amount afterward. During these times, you should observe how they react to it. Do they show any signs like diarrhea or gas buildup?
It comes as no wonder as well that every dog is unique. Some can have a much more intense reaction to broccoli than others.
Always stay within that 10% rule just to be safe. That means that you have to pay attention to where you put your broccoli. Dogs love to sniff around, and you probably won’t always be around to watch over him or her. Put your broccoli away from their reach if they’re still uncooked and in large chunks.
This is how you can serve broccoli to your lovely furry friend:
- Clean the broccoli thoroughly. Remove any leaves, too. According to All Things Dog, “Your dog should not eat leaves from the broccoli.”
- Separate each floret, and chop them along with the stalk into bite-sized pieces.
- You can opt to boil, blanch, or steam the broccoli until they’re soft enough to chew. If you find it too bland, you can sauté them with a dash of coconut oil. This way, it’s more aromatic and tastier for your dog. Whenever you can, however, always opt for plain, unseasoned broccoli to be given to your dog.
- Place them on their plate, or mix it up with their daily treat. Remember: serve it in a small amount!
Now it comes to the main question again: can dogs eat watermelon? In a way, yes, they can! After reading our thorough information above, we’re sure you can prepare these veggies appropriately. Along with the professional advice from your vet, you’ll surely succeed in feeding your dogs this delicious treat.