While the straightforward answer is yes, there is a lot for you to discover about if your dog can eat broccoli. Like with many other types of dog food, there are several key things you should pay attention to.
There are plenty of pros and cons including cruciferous vegetables in your dog’s nutrition, let’s explore them one by one.
What are the Benefits of Dogs Eating Broccoli?
We are well aware of how healthy broccoli as human food. The same goes for dogs, as broccoli is high in vitamins and minerals. Besides this, it is also rich with soluble fiber. Each of these nutrients will positively affect your dog’s overall well-being.
Vitamin C Benefits
Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient in the human diet. Dogs, on the other hand, are capable of self-producing Vitamin C. However, as time goes by and dogs become older, this process slows down. As broccoli is rich with Vitamin C, it can be quite a healthy snack for your canine pet.
Like in humans, regular levels of Vitamin C in nutrition is essential for preventing various types of diseases.
Vitamin K Importance
Much like Vitamin C, Vitamin K plays a key role in your pet’s health. This Vitamin is necessary for keeping your dog’s bones healthy. While younger dogs have naturally stronger bones, as they become older, it is necessary to include Vitamin K in their nutrition regularly. It will keep your best friend’s bones healthier despite his age.
Among various vegetables, broccoli has a high Vitamin K presence per half a cup.
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium. The ones that come straight to mind are avocados and bananas. But not many people are aware that broccoli has plenty of potassium as well.
Why is this important? It is essential for your lovely pet to have a regular heartbeat and keep his heart healthy. Arrhythmia has been linked to low potassium levels. If you add small quantities of broccoli to your dog’s diet, you will ensure your dog’s longevity and prevent various heart issues in the long run. This is especially important if you are the owner of a dog with a shorter snout.
Soluble Fiber in Digestion
Consuming soluble fiber in small quantities is highly recommended for dogs. It is extremely helpful to your dog’s digestive system, but more importantly, it will keep his cholesterol levels low.
The good news is that broccoli is high in soluble fiber, which only adds up to the list of benefits of broccoli. Low cholesterol levels ensure that your dog’s cardiovascular health is in order. It greatly reduces the chances of him developing a heart condition, or in extreme cases, have a stroke.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Sulforaphane
Broccoli is rich with both these nutrients. Both of these are anti-inflammatory, making the veggie a perfect choice for dogs suffering with joint problems and arthritis.
Sulforaphane is also good for chronic inflammation which can lead to a wide range of health problems. Adding broccoli from time to time to your dog’s bowl is a great way to reduce it.
How to Prepare Broccoli for Your dog?
Before your dog can eat broccoli, it requires you to take a couple of steps first.
Chop broccoli in small pieces, especially the broccoli stalks. This will make it easier for your dog to chew and swallow broccoli, greatly reducing the risk of choking. This is especially important for smaller dog breeds. It is best to either steam or briefly cook broccoli. Doing this will make the veggie softer, which will also reduce the chance of dog choking with it.
Pay attention not to overcook the broccoli, as it will make it lose on its quality. Furthermore, never prepare broccoli with seasonings or any other types of spices. This will unnecessarily increase calorie intake for your dog. Simply serve the veggie completely plain.
How much Broccoli is Enough?
It is crucial to moderately include broccoli in your dog’s diet. Broccoli florets feature a lot of isothiocyanates, a compound that is bad for dogs in large amounts. It can cause a lot of irritation in the digestive system which can sometimes be severe.
The best way to make sure that you know what you are doing is to follow the treat rule. Broccoli should not exceed 10% of your dog’s nutrition. Feeding him a small amount of broccoli occasionally will have a much better impact on his health than going over the limit.
Also, introduce broccoli to your dog’s diet gradually. Making a big change immediately will impact his digestion. Pay attention to how his tummy reacts to it.
Are There any Dangers for Your pet?
Overall, broccoli is safe for dogs, if it is prepared correctly and given in the right quantities. Simply follow the previously-mentioned treat rule and always be next to your pet.
No matter how well you prepare broccoli, it still remains a choking hazard. It is suggested to always be near your pet when you are feeding him broccoli.
Final Thoughts on Dogs Eating Broccoli
If steamed or cooked broccoli is one of your table scraps, remember that it is safe for dogs to eat them. Simply slice it up and serve to your best friend. The variety of health benefits it brings makes it a great treat that should definitely end up in his bowl.
Remember to keep it within 10% of your dogs diet and he will experience the benefits of this popular veggie.
Before you decide to start feeding your dog broccoli, it is a good idea to pay a visit to your veterinarian first. He will help you safely introduce broccoli in your dog’s diet. If you do it on your own and you notice anything odd, it is advised to visit the veterinarian immediately.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to also read our in-depth article about which fruits you can feed your dog.