Make a salad with some lettuce in it or put some lettuce in a sandwich you’re preparing, and you might just find your furry friend right there next to you wanting to eat with you! Believe it or not, dogs actually like to eat lettuce, even in its plainest form and without anything else to eat along with it.
For us humans, lettuce is one of the healthiest and most nutritious vegetables out there, but is it the same for dogs? Can dogs eat lettuce? And is lettuce good for dogs?
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Can Dogs Eat Lettuce?
YES, dogs can eat lettuce and it’s completely safe for them to do so.
Be it any form of lettuce, from Icebergs to Romaines, dogs can eat them all equally well and lettuce doesn’t pose any sort of toxicity risk to your dog whatsoever.
However, feeding your dog lettuce isn’t something you’re going to want to do very often, because lettuce isn’t exactly the easiest of vegetables for your dog to properly chew on and digest.
How Can Dogs Eat Lettuce?
First of all and before you do anything else, thoroughly and carefully wash the lettuce first to make sure any leftover chemicals and bacteria are gone with the wind.
When it comes to eating lettuce, just like we have our preferential parts when it comes to any food, dogs also have the same.
Some dogs absolutely love the crunchier parts of the lettuce more than the softer parts (like the leaves), other dogs have it the other way around, while other dogs love it all!
Give some lettuce to your buddy and find out what they like most for yourself, as no two dogs are the same when it comes to stuff like this.
Giving Dogs Lettuce Salad
Some dog owners prefer to give their dogs lettuce within the context of a salad.
However, one thing that must be said is that some people like to give their dogs leftover salad which contains lettuce.
This is WRONG and should NOT be done, because the dressing isn’t always safe for your dog to eat and might cause a lot of complications and health issues.
And, most dressings just contain a whole lot of extra calories that are not beneficial to your dog in any way, shape or form, and will just make them more prone to obesity.
This is why it’s always best to feed your dog lettuce as it is, in it’s plainest most simple form, or include it in the context of a salad but make sure that all ingredients included are safe for your dog to eat.
Whole Lettuce For Dogs Or Small Pieces?
Also, when it comes to portion size, you must always keep in mind that dogs have a hard time properly consuming and digesting vegetables if eaten in whole pieces.
If you give your dog vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or potatoes in whole pieces, they will have a hard time consuming and digesting them properly, and will be at risk of health dangers, most importantly of which is choking and intestinal blockage.
So, cut the lettuce down into small pieces and give those to your dog.
Why Steamed Lettuce Is The Best Option For Dogs
Some dog owners also like to steam the lettuce, especially if their dogs are sensitive to raw vegetables, since steaming the lettuce makes it much easier for your dog to properly digest it without any complications.
Steaming the lettuce is also the most recommended way when it comes to feeding your dog lettuce, because of the fact that the majority of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the lettuce are preserved this way, won’t be lost and your dog’s body will be able to properly absorb them.
The problem with dogs eating raw lettuce is that most dogs have quite a hard time properly chewing lettuce leaves before they swallow them, which ultimately means that their bodies won’t be getting all the nutritional value that lettuce has to offer.
When not properly chewed before swallowing, the lettuce your dog eats will most probably make its way out of their body the same way it made its way into their body, not benefiting them much in the process.
Sure, by steaming it you’re going to be “depriving” your dog from that awesome crunchy feeling they get from eating some parts of the lettuce – but think about it, is it really worth it to give your dog that crunchy feeling while depriving them of valuable nutrients and minerals they could have got?
So, to ensure your dog’s getting all the benefit lettuce has to offer them, steam the lettuce before you feed it to Fido.
Don’t worry about your dog being bothered because the lettuce has got soft all of a sudden, most dogs won’t care much about this issue and will just be happy you gave them the lettuce to eat.
How Much Lettuce Can Dogs Eat?
Go easy on the lettuce and don’t give your dog too much of it, because that will likely lead to diarrhea and a host of other digestive issues in your dog’s system.
Start off by giving your dog small amounts of lettuce, such as adding a small spoonful of tiny-cut, shredded pieces to one of your dog’s meals.
If your dog eats the lettuce without later getting diarrhea or starting to vomit, you can keep giving them this leafy green from time to time.
Before adding any new food to your dog’s diet, it’s always a best practice to talk to your veterinarian and make sure your dog doesn’t have any condition that prevents them from eating lettuce.
Why Is Lettuce Good For Dogs?
- Has vitamin A
- Has vitamin C
- Has vitamin K
- Contains folate
- Contains beta carotine
- Has a very good amount of fiber, which helps your dog ease constipation if they’re suffering from it and helps keep your dog’s bowel movements as smooth as they can be
- Is very low in calories, which makes it virtually impossible for your dog to eat too much of and get overweight