Even if you’re eating something as delicious as broccoli (excuse my sarcasm, please), yup you guessed it, your dog’s gonna be there looking at you with those eyes begging to have some.
And obviously, if you could ask them why in the world would they want to eat broccoli, you would (which is just as strange as some dogs wanting to eat kelp), but you can’t.
As you already know, fruits and vegetables are known to be awesome treats for dogs, but not all of them are safe to feed your dog.
So, what’s the lowdown on Broccoli and dogs? Can dogs eat broccoli? And is broccoli good for dogs?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
YES, dogs can indeed eat broccoli, but consumption should be limited to small amounts and on occasions, or else you risk giving your dog an upset stomach.
Just like too much cauliflower can hurt your dog’s tummy (which, by the way, we wrote a piece about how many cauliflowers dogs can eat the other day), a whole lot of broccoli all at once does the same.
With that being said, you should only give your dog the head of the broccoli to eat. Do not give your dog any other parts of the broccoli to consume, such as the broccoli stem.
The same way raw beans are very difficult for your dog to swallow and digest, some parts of the broccoli are also very difficult for your dog to swallow and digest, posing a very serious choking threat throughout.
How Much Broccoli Can Dogs Eat?
Now of course, the bigger your dog is in size, the more broccoli they can eat, and the smaller your dog is in size, the less broccoli they can eat, but there’s a general agreement about the fact that your dog’s consumption of broccoli should not be more than 10% of their overall diet, or else they might face health problems.
Broccoli contains a substance called isothiocyanate which can lead to health problems (such as gastrointestinal irritation) if dogs consume more than 5-10% of their diet from broccoli.
It must be made very clear that broccoli in and of itself isn’t poisonous, it’s actually very beneficial to dogs.
It’s just that eating too much broccoli (more than 10% of overall diet) can lead to intoxication from isothiocyanate contained inside the broccoli.
If dogs consume more than 25% of their diets from broccoli, the toxicity they get from isothiocyante could very well be fatal.
You also want to keep your dog’s intake of broccoli below the 10% mark to minimize the risk of stomach upset.
Who would want to make up a significant portion of their dog’s food from broccoli anyways?
The majority of your dog’s food should be coming from high quality dog food brands such as Orijen dog food. Green vegetables aren’t as important to your dog’s diet as they are to you and I.
If you weren’t too convinced about the Isothiocyanate poisoning in dogs we talked about above, then you should check out this article on Isothiocyanate poisoning for your dog and for yourself.
This is especially a problem when we’re talking about dogs eating broccoli because Isothiocyanate is mostly found in the broccoli head and not other parts of the broccoli (such as the stem), and we already established above that dogs should only be fed the broccoli head and not any other parts.
This means that the risk of your dog getting Isothiocyanate poisoning is higher than the risk of you and I getting it, because you and I eat the broccoli stem (which contains fewer Isothiocyanate), but our dogs only focus on the broccoli head (which contains the highest levels of Isothiocyanate).
This won’t be an issue as long as you stick within the realms of moderation when feeding your dog broccoli. So there’s no need to worry about this as long as your dogs overall diet includes 10% or less broccoli.
How Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?
First off, it should be made clear that the decision is up to you about whether to feed your dog raw broccoli or cooked broccoli. Either method of preparation is fine with dogs, so it’s a matter of what you prefer to do and/or how your dog prefers to eat this green vegetable.
As is the case when it comes to all the food you give to your dog, controlling the portion you give them is very important.
You want to keep it at giving your dog small pieces of the broccoli head, and not the whole head all at once.
You also want to give your dog just a small piece of broccoli and monitor what your dog’s reaction to eating the broccoli is like (if you’re giving it to them for the first time), and watch out for problematic signs such as nausea, vomiting, gas or diarrhea.
Whether you end up deciding to feed your dog raw, cooked or boiled broccoli, keep the salt (as well as any other seasonings/toppings) far away from the broccoli you give your dog.
Only give your dog the broccoli in its most natural form.
In many human foods we like to share with our dogs (such as shrimp), we often think about adding seasonings as if we were preparing it for ourselves – this is a very bad practice for feeding dogs and we should stop doing this as it only harms the health of our dogs.
Not only do your dogs not care if you put salt or not in their food, but salt can potentially intoxicate them without you knowing it, and the results can be serious even to the point of death.
Why Is Broccoli Good For Dogs?
Ever since we were young kids, we were always told to “eat our greens” because of how beneficial they are and all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they contain.
Broccoli is probably one of the most hated greens if you were to go out and randomly ask people, but it’s a very well known fact that broccoli is one of the most beneficial and nutrient-packed greens out there as well.
Here are some of the most important facts that make broccoli a super-food for you and Spot.
- A great source of vitamin C
- A great source of vitamin K
- A great source of vitamin A
- Rich in folate
- Rich in manganese
- Very low in calories and fat, which will minimize the risk of your dog getting overweight
- An excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps keeping your dog regular and improves your dog’s digestive system
- Rich in antioxidants that help fight chronic diseases and slow down the aging process in dogs
- Packed with oral-enhancing properties that help keep your dog’s teeth in check
- Contains bioflavonoids, which help fight inflammation and allergies.
- A very inexpensive snack for your dog that they’ll absolutely love you for!. Who said you have to break the bank to feed your dog treats and snacks they desire?
For all of these reasons and more, there’s a surge in a trend among dog food companies recently where they’re beginning to make use of broccoli more and more as an ingredient in their dog food products, be that dog treats, dog snacks or your good ol’ dry dog food bags.