When it comes to vegetables, among the least popular once with people is cauliflower. (Besides people who are on a very limited diet or those who creatively use cauliflower to make it as pizza dough, you don’t hear about cauliflower being eaten all that frequently).
Even its green lookalike, broccoli, has quite a bit more taste to it – something which makes people think about feeding their dogs broccoli first before cauliflower crosses their mind.
But, your dog doesn’t think like you and I do. To dogs, a cauliflower head can be one heck of a tasty treat! Go figure, huh? If only us humans could think like that, we’d be able to stick to a diet for more than 3 days. 🙂
Back to the subject at hand now – a question needs to be asked before: can dogs eat cauliflower? And is cauliflower safe for dogs to eat?
Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
YES, dogs can eat cauliflower, and there’s no reason for you to believe it isn’t safe to do so.
However, and just like it is when it comes to most vegetables known to mankind, you must feed your dog cauliflowers in moderation and only on occasions, which we will talk about in just a moment.
Just know that it’s perfectly safe to feed your dog a little bit of cauliflower if they show you interest in some.
How Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
First of all, it must be made clear that the only part of cauliflower your dog should be eating is the cauliflower head. Don’t feed your dog any of the leaves or stems that come with it, only feed them the cauliflower head.
Before you give your dog any cauliflower to eat, you must make sure you carefully and thoroughly wash the cauliflower.
After you wash it and make sure it’s completely clean and rid of any chemicals that might be on it, it’s recommended that you grill it for around 5 minutes on both sides.
Ways Of Cauliflower Preparation
If you don’t feel like grilling it, boiling or steaming the cauliflower will be just fine.
Just keep in mind that your dog absolutely loves a good crunch when it comes to food they eat, and grilled cauliflower will give them exactly that. So it just comes down to how much time you’re willing to spend to make your dog happy!
Between steaming the cauliflower and boiling it, the better option would be to go with steaming, because that makes sure to retain the nutrients in the cauliflower, while boiling it would make it lose most of its nutritional profile.
Feeding Your Dog Raw Cauliflower
You can also feed your dog raw, fresh cauliflower, just be sure to carefully wash it and get rid of all the chemicals on it like we talked about above.
However, the problem with feeding your dog raw cauliflower is that it can be fairly difficult for your dog to properly chew and digest.
For some dogs it’s a piece of cake, but for other dogs it’s a hard task. If your dog falls within the latter category, then it’s best that you cook, boil or steam the cauliflower for them before they eat it, as that will help a lot.
It’s best that you don’t give your dog a whole cauliflower piece to eat all at once, but that you cut it into small pieces so it’s easier for your dog to digest them.
Hey, if you’re even up for trying out some new creative things, you could have a look at some recipes online that make good use of cauliflower in them. With the right recipes, you could have yourself a new tasty treat for your dog in no time.
With that being said, you shouldn’t try to get overly-creative yourself and add any seasonings or toppings on the cauliflower you want to feed your dog by yourself – as 9 times out of 10, these seasonings or toppings will be very harmful to dogs.
How Much Cauliflower Can Dogs Eat?
The best portion size of cauliflowers to feed your dog would be 1-2 florets, with it being best that you stick to just 1 floret if you’re just starting to feed your dog cauliflowers.
Generally, the smaller your dog’s size is, the smaller florets you want to feed them.
Feeding your dog too many cauliflowers at a time can give them gasses, so be prepared for that just in case! 🙂
And, just like there’s the possibility of your dog getting isothiocyanate poisoning if they eat significantly more broccoli than they should, isothiocyanate poisoning is also a risk when your dog eats significantly more cauliflower than they should, because cauliflower (just like broccoli) also contains high levels of isothiocyanates as well.
However, don’t panic too much about this, because it’s almost physically impossible for dogs to eat enough cauliflower in a given time to cause isothiocyanate poisoning. Usually, the worst that will happen is your dog letting out much more farts than you’re comfortable being around.
The best case scenario is one where you know exactly what your dog’s overall diet is all about, and make sure that cauliflower makes up less than 5% of their day to day diet.
Is Cauliflower Good For Dogs?
Here’s why dogs should eat cauliflower:
- Excellent source of vitamin C
- Excellent source of vitamin K
- Excellent source of vitamin B6
- Rich in the mineral folate
- Rich in the mineral choline
- Prevents the formation and spreading of cancer cells in the body
- Great source of fiber
- Packed with phytonutrients
- Packed with antioxidants
- Helps improve the condition of your dog’s teeth, especially if you feed your dog raw cauliflower, as all that crunching that your dog will be doing greatly benefits their teeth.
- Reduces the risk of and helps with the healing of inflammation
- Helps reduce the aging process
Also, who said that cauliflower is just a snack/treat you can offer your dog? Besides being a treat they’ll love to have from time to time, cauliflower heads are also great toys for them to play with.
All that digging in, ripping apart and crunching away on that cauliflower head is just as entertaining for them as it is tasty!
Torn Between Broccoli And Cauliflower
Even though broccoli and cauliflower look very much the same, except for a few small details here and there and the obvious difference in color, if you’re torn between giving your dog a treat from either, we’d advise you stick with broccoli.
When compared to cauliflower, broccoli has been found to have higher levels of dietary fiber as well as the very beneficial pigment called carotene.
So, while you could perfectly feed your dog either of the two vegetables completely fine, we just thought this was an important point to make clear.
Cauliflower And Hypothyroidism
Another controversial subject comes to mind when you want to feed your dog cauliflowers, and that’s the problem of hypothyroidism.
There haven’t been enough studies done on this subject as far as dogs are concerned, but there is controversy that surrounds cauliflowers and people that suffer from hypothyroidism, where it’s believed that vegetables such as cauliflower make the hypothyroidism problem worse.
So, this leads some people to believe that cauliflowers, and just like they can do to humans like you and I, can also make the problem of hypothyroidism for our dogs worse off as well.
Again, there haven’t been enough studies done on this subject for us to completely de-bunk or confirm this problem, so it’s best that you talk with your veterinarian about this issue first if your dog suffers from hypothyroidism.
If your dog doesn’t suffer from hypothyroidism, on the other hand, then you’ve got nothing to worry about – as long as you stick to everything we talked about in this article, that is.