Can dogs eat broccoli? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat raw or cooked broccoli but just like any other human foods, in moderation.
Broccoli is a storehouse of essential nutrients for both humans and canines, it is high in fibre, vitamin C, and is low in fat. Let’s just say it is one vegetable that should make your dog’s food list.
In this article we’ll talk about how much broccoli dogs can eat safely, the parts that are safe for consumption, ways of preparing broccoli and more.
A little On Broccoli Origin
Table of Contents
- A little On Broccoli Origin
- Broccoli Health Benefits for Dogs
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Raw?
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Cooked?
- How about Steamed?
- Cooked Vs. Raw Broccoli, Which Is Best?
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stems/Stalks?
- What About Broccoli Leaves?
- Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Sprouts?
- Can Eat Broccoli Florets?
- How about Broccoli Rabe
- Broccoli Recipes for Dogs
- Can Dogs Eat Too Much Broccoli?
- Dogs and Broccoli Consumption: Risks/Possible Side Effects
- What If My Dog Won’t Eat Broccoli?
Native to the Mediterranean, the plant known today as broccoli was engineered from a cabbage relative by the Etruscans, a civilization in today’s Tuscany in Italy. The Etruscans were considered to be horticultural geniuses.
The name “broccoli” is a derivative of the Italian word “Broccolo” meaning “the flowery crest of a cabbage” and the Latin word “brachium” meaning branch or shoot.
Broccoli Health Benefits for Dogs
It should be noted that dogs don’t need to rely on legumes to live a healthy life, but an occasional serving of a veggie like broccoli can have some health benefits, here are some:
- The minerals and vitamins in broccoli can boost your dog’s immune system
- Helps with heart function and could aid in preventing heart disease
- Promotes healthier skin and bones
- Could help with digestion
Overall, Broccoli contains many essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients that help with various functions of the body. Here are some:
Vitamin B6 Pantothenic acid
VB1 Vitamin A
You can serve broccoli to your pooch raw, cooked, steamed or any other way you would like but there are some things you should watch out for. Here we will address some frequently asked questions when it comes to serving broccoli to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Raw?
Yes, dogs can eat broccoli raw. Preparing raw broccoli for your pooch is quite simple, either chop it up into small pieces and serve, or blend into a paste for your dog to easily consume.
Before you serve your dog some broccoli, make sure to thoroughly wash with running water to rinse out the dirt, insects, and bacteria. If you have concerns about herbicides or pesticides on the broccoli, you can wash a second time. But this time, in a bowl of water containing baking soda, then rinse with clean, running water.
If you are serving broccoli to a small dog remove the hard stalk or stem of the vegetable as these parts can easily get lodged in the esophagus and cause choking. Large piece can also block their intestinal tract.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Cooked?
Yes, your dog can eat cooked broccoli. It is safe, easy to chew and often a recommended method of consumption.
When cooking broccoli for dogs, keep things as simple as possible. Avoid using seasonings, spices, butter, and oils. The ingredients they contain can upset your dog’s stomach and the additional ingredients can add up the calories.
Before serving the hard stalk or stem to your dog, make sure it is properly boiled to soften it. Then, cut into smaller pieces to prevent choking.
How about Steamed?
Dogs can eat steamed broccoli. Just like cooked broccoli, steaming helps to soften the vegetable for easy consumption. It is also one way to be certain that the nutrient depletion from heat is minimal.
A properly steamed broccoli or any other vegetable at all while not raw anymore should be crisp and bright, not soggy and dull.
Cooked Vs. Raw Broccoli, Which Is Best?
Vegetables like broccoli contains more nutrients uncooked. Served raw, your dog will enjoy more of the plant’s nutrients. He can still gain adequate nutrients from steamed or boiled broccoli as long as you do not overcook it.
Now we’ll address which parts are safe for consumption. All parts of broccoli are edible. But with dogs, you want to be careful when serving certain parts to prevent food hazards like choking and indigestion.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stems/Stalks?
Your dog can eat broccoli stems. For ease of digestion and to prevent choking, make sure you peel the outermost skin before steaming, cooking or serving raw. If you must serve uncooked broccoli stem to your dog, make sure to chop into small pieces for easy chewing.
What About Broccoli Leaves?
Your dog can eat the leaves of the broccoli plant. It is nutrient-packed and also has a milder flavor compared to parts of the plant such as the florets. You can make it into a smoothie alongside other healthy dog-friendly vegetables and fruits. You can also puree broccoli leaves and pour a bit over your dog’s meal.
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Sprouts?
Broccoli sprouts are rich in nutrients that are not only beneficial to humans but also to dogs and other animals. You can add some pureed sprouts to a meal or steam some for easy consumption, just like broccoli stems, broccoli sprouts are rich in protein, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and folate, etc.
So, dogs can eat broccoli sprouts. If you have some right now, you can feed it to your dog!
Can Eat Broccoli Florets?
Like every other part of the broccoli plant, the florets are nutritious and as such fit for canine consumption. While florets contain equal amounts of nutrients present in the stalk and other parts of the plant, it has a considerably higher concentration of protective phytochemicals, carotenoids, and sulforaphane.
It should be mentioned however, that florets are rich in isothiocyanates, a compound that can become toxic to your pooch if consumed in large quantities. That’s why they should be given to your dog in moderation.
Can dogs eat broccoli florets then? Yes, they can but make sure you only buy and feed them broccoli with green or purplish florets, not the yellowing ones.
How about Broccoli Rabe
Just like broccoli, broccoli rabe is rich in anti-oxidants. It also contains anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory agents. All of these can boost your canine’s immune system and protect him against unwanted allergies. So, yes, your dog can eat broccoli rabe.
Broccoli Recipes for Dogs
Want to make broccoli even more delicious for your canine? You’re in the right place! We’ll share two tasty broccoli recipes your dog will enjoy.
Beef, Rice, Broccoli Stir-Fry
- 2 cups steamed brown rice
- ½ cup steamed and shredded carrots
- ½ cup steamed and chopped broccoli
- 1tsp coconut oil
- 1lbs minced beef
- Cook the rice separately in the steamer
- In ½ of water, steam the broccoli and carrots on a stove until soft. Then, drain water and set aside.
- Put the coconut oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and minced beef to cook over medium-high heat. Allow it cook until browned.
- Add the chopped broccoli and carrots and mix well
- Add the rice and mix it with the ingredients in the pan
- Allow the combination cook for 5 minutes and then serve slightly warm
- When fully cool, pack the rest into bags or Tupperware and refrigerate for another day.
Chicken, rice and Broccoli
This is a basic recipe that contains the following ingredients (chicken breast, rice and broccoli)
- Boil white or brown rice alongside some chicken breast until they are almost cooked
- Chop the broccoli up and add it to the chicken and rice
- Let it cool off for a bit then serve to your pup
Can Dogs Eat Too Much Broccoli?
Pet owners are advised to limit their dog’s broccoli consumption to no more than 10% of his daily vegetable consumption diet (this varies based on dog size of course). Letting broccoli form the entire 25% of the required fruits and veggies may be detrimental to your dog’s health.
Put simply, a dog’s broccoli consumption should be moderate, just like any other human foods served to him. Anything above the recommended daily allowance can cause gastric irritation that could be fatal at times. This is because broccoli contains isothiocyanates, a compound that becomes toxic for dogs if consumed in large quantities.
Dogs and Broccoli Consumption: Risks/Possible Side Effects
Like other human foods, broccoli should be given to dogs in moderation. If your dog has never had broccoli before you should introduce it in small quantities, and observe his reaction. Some dogs may be allergic to broccoli.
Since dogs can’t tell us how they feel, it is important to watch out for signs of allergy or intolerance.
Broccoli intolerance or excessive servings of broccoli can cause the following symptoms;
Like most cruciferous vegetables, broccoli can cause flatulence and bloating in dogs if consumed in large amounts.
If your canine begins to excessively pass gas, cut down on the portion and the frequency of his servings. If bloating worsens even with smaller amounts, you should consider removing broccoli from his diet altogether.
Diarrhea or constipation
Diarrhea or constipation may occur when canines are overfed with broccoli. Both can occur when your dog is fed excessively with any vegetable containing too much fiber. Stop all broccoli treats if you notice your dog has a loss of appetite and runny stools.
Isothiocyanate toxicity occurs when broccoli is consumed in large amounts, and can cause stomach issues such as explosive diarrhea. Although the compound is present in all broccoli parts, it is more concentrated in some areas like the florets.
Isothiocyanate poisoning can become a real problem if broccoli forms over a quarter (25% of the recommended vegetables and fruits) of your canine’s dietary intake. Again, moderation is key when feeding broccoli to your dog.
Other symptoms can include
Scratching, dragging bottom across the floor, excessive sneezing, breathing issues, and fatigue. If you notice that your dog develops any of these symptoms, see a vet immediately.
What If My Dog Won’t Eat Broccoli?
If your dog doesn’t like broccoli there are plenty of other vegetables loaded with healthy nutrients.
If your dog doesn’t enjoy broccoli at all, cauliflower is a great alternative.
Just like broccoli, cauliflowers are low in calories and packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants – all required for optimum immune function.
Like broccoli, it contains isothiocyanates which if consumed excessively may cause gastrointestinal issues for your dog. Cauliflower may also cause flatulence and other broccoli side effects. So, watch the amount you feed to your dog no matter how much he likes it.
Carrots are safe and healthy foods for canines. The best part? Carrots contain nutrients needed by your furry friend for improved overall health including lots and lots of fiber, vitamins such as beta carotene and minerals.
In many commercially-produced dog foods, these ingredients are sadly lacking and so fail to meet the needs of our pets. Carrots to the rescue! The nutrients contained in carrots can supplement your dog’s main diet and help keep him in excellent condition both mentally and physically.
Like you would with broccoli and cauliflower, you can serve carrots cooked or uncooked. But remember to cut into small sizes when feeding it to your dog. You can also juice or blend the carrots for easy consumption if you have a picky eater or an aged dog with teeth problems.
Broccoli is packed with nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Dogs can eat raw or cooked broccoli but only in moderation.
The best method of preparation is steaming the broccoli to soften it up for easy consumption.
Broccoli is the perfect treat, but it shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pooch’s daily diet. Overfeeding Broccoli can cause gastrointestinal issues, and could be fatal at times.