Question: Can dogs eat eggplant? Or is eggplant bad for dogs?
Answer: If you’re a fan of eggplants over at home, it’s only a matter of time before your dog catches on to you and wants to try eating some of it.
But, and as is the case with many other human foods we’ve covered so far on this website, there seems to be a great deal of controversy about whether eggplants are actually safe for you to feed your dog.
Eggplants And The Nightshade Family
If you were to ask people you know about this issue, or run a quick search online about it, the amount of inaccurate information being thrown around is beyond ridiculous, mainly because of the issue that feeding nightshade vegetables to dogs has gotten a very bad reputation over the years.
(Fun fact: Did you know that eggplant’s scientific name is Solanum melongena, and that it’s also known by the name of Aubergine?).
Some of the vegetables that fall under the “nightshade vegetables” category (also known as Solanaceae) are eggplant, potato, tomato, as well as some peppers – and anything that falls under the “nightshade vegetables” category often gets labeled as “bad for dogs”.
How can this not be what everyone thinks at first, especially when they know that this is the same family that tomatoes come from? And we all know all about how tomatoes are bad for dogs.
However, this isn’t very true at all. Not all vegetables from the nightshade family are bad for dogs, which is what we’ll be explaining in this article.
So, let’s cut out all the noise and set the record straight once and for all, shall we?
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?
As a matter of fact and despite what many people will tell you, YES you can safely feed your dog eggplant and it’s not toxic or poisonous to your dog, as long as:
- You abide by certain rules which we will be covering in this article
- You know for a fact that your dog isn’t allergic to eggplants
- Your dog doesn’t suffer from any kind of kidney problems, because eggplants contain high oxalate levels that can worsen this condition in dogs
- Your dog doesn’t suffer from any inflammation problems, such as arthritis, because eggplants are inflammatory and could worsen such conditions and contradict with any anti-inflammatory medicine you currently have your dog taking
So, given that your dog can tolerate eggplants well and doesn’t suffer from any conditions mentioned above, you’re free to feed it to them!
How Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?
First off, let’s talk a bit about what kind of eggplants you should focus on feeding your dog.
If possible, try to only feed your dog organically grown eggplants, because eggplants which have been grown otherwise are usually filled with pesticides and other bad stuff you don’t want even close to your dog’s system.
Organically grown eggplants might set you back a little extra in financial terms, but it’s worth every last penny because you’re investing it all in your dog’s longevity.
Thoroughly Cooking Eggplant For Dogs
Now, to ensure that any eggplant you give to your dog is safe for them to eat, you have to properly cook it first. Giving your dogs raw eggplants to eat is never a good option. (Don’t slack off on this, your dog’s health depends on it!)
With that being said, keep in mind that you’re going to have to thoroughly cook the eggplant for your dog (and not do half the job and call it a day) in order to ensure that any potentially harmful elements for your dog found in the raw eggplant have been destroyed.
If you don’t thoroughly cook the eggplant before you feed any of it to your dog, then the health risks that we talked about when dogs eat raw eggplant will still be present.
You can choose to bake, grill or boil the eggplant you want to feed your dog, just as you would do if you wanted to eat it.
Say No To Frying!
Now, many people like to fry eggplant before they eat it, and consider feeding some of that leftover fried eggplant to their dogs. However, never fry the eggplant if you want to give some of that to your dog, as fried food should never make its way inside your dog’s tummy.
Anything that has been fried poses a huge health risk to your dog, even serious and life threatening ones.
What About All Those Add-Ons?
As for the way you and I are used to eating eggplant in various forms, be that a mix on its own or in a sandwich, we’re used to including other food (or ingredients) along with it in order to make it taste better, such as tomatoes, garlic, etc …
But, when it comes to feeding eggplant to your dog, never do that. The usual ingredients that go along with eggplant the way we’re used to eating them are almost always going to be harmful to your dog, so stick to feeding them only the eggplant itself.
It’s not like your dog cares too much whether or not you serve them the eggplant with a million and one ingredients with it or on its own, anyway, they’ll be more than happy with the eggplant itself (supposing they like this vegetable to begin with).
Why Is Eggplant Good For Dogs?
- Eggplants contain an anthocyanin phytonutrient called nasunin which improves brain function and helps fight against brain damage
- Eggplant contains chlorogenic acid which is extremely helpful in fighting cancer, viral infections, harmful bacteria and bad cholesterol levels.
- Eggplant helps improve heart functions, overall blood flow and circulation and reduces the risk of your dog developing cardiovascular disease
- Eggplant is an excellent source of dietary fiber
- Eggplant is rich in vitamin B1, B6, and vitamin K
- Eggplant is rich in manganese, copper, folate, pottasium, niacin, calcium and iron
- Eggplant contains a ridiculously low amount of calories, and is a much better option to feed your dog than the exponentially more starchy potatoes that fall under the same vegetable family.
If you’re interested in finding out what other vitamins and minerals eggplant contains, hence how your dog can benefit from eating eggplant, check out this article
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant Leaves?
This is something you have to be very careful about, as NO, dogs should never be allowed to eat eggplant leaves.
Eggplant leaves can make your dog very sick, even potentially leading to their death.
When Should I Stop Feeding My Dog Eggplant?
Given the fact that eggplant is a human food and not a food made for dogs to eat, not all dogs will react the same way after eating it.
The digestive systems of some dogs will gladly accept it, while digestive systems of other dogs will aggressively reject it, and digestive systems of other dogs will fall somewhere in between.
Some of the most common symptoms that dogs display after they eat eggplant and which show that your dog’s digestive system doesn’t handle eggplant very well are:
- Digestion problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Development of rashes on certain areas in the body and increased scratching due to itchiness
So, if you see your dog is going through any of these, then don’t feed them eggplants anymore.