Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

February 18, 2022 by The Spot Pack
An image of a dog laying on the floor with broccoli in front of him. This image also has text on the image asking the question can dogs eat broccoli and also has the Spot Pet Insurance logo on it.

Dogs can eat many of the same foods that humans can. When your dog gets their paws on something they’re not supposed to, there can be consequences. That’s why it is so important to consider your dog’s health before you accidentally feed them any human foods they are not supposed to have.

Can my dog have broccoli? Broccoli is a popular food for humans to eat. It’s also considered highly healthful for people. You might wonder if it has those same health benefits for your dog. 

We are here to help you learn if dogs can safely eat broccoli. You will also read more about broccoli’s potential health benefits for dogs, what those look like, and how you could feed your pup this veggie. You will also learn more information regarding the hazards associated with feeding your dog a piece of broccoli. Here’s what you need to know. 

Can dogs have broccoli? 

Your dog can have broccoli. It will not harm them (in most cases — more on that later), provided that you ensure it does not provide a choking hazard. There are still some things to keep in mind.

It’s okay to sneak your pet a piece of cooked, unseasoned broccoli every so often. However, you do not want to get them into the habit of consuming it regularly. This is because broccoli’s florets contain isothiocyanates. If your dog consumes isothiocyanates too frequently, they might experience gastric irritation. 

If you notice that your pup is not tolerating broccoli well, leave it out of their diet. You could also see a vet if they are intolerant to other foods.

Now that you know dogs can eat broccoli, you might wonder if any health benefits are associated with feeding your dog broccoli, especially considering it’s a holy grail health food for human beings. 

Is broccoli good for dogs? 

The best diet you could give your dog is a veterinarian recommended food. Everything that dogs need should be contained in their kibble, so you technically do not need to give your dog broccoli. That said, some people like to give their canine companions broccoli and other safe vegetables as a substitute for traditional dog treats. In small quantities, this is fine. Stop giving your pet broccoli if you see that they suddenly change or appear unwell after giving it to them.

Broccoli is safe for dogs, but it doesn’t have the same health benefits for dogs it does for humans. That said, broccoli still has some nutritious offerings for your dog. 

Broccoli is low in fat and high in fiber and vitamin C. 

Broccoli contains vitamin C, which is beneficial for dogs

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for your pup. They need it to survive and function properly. If your dog is not getting enough vitamin C, they could be in a more vulnerable position for several reasons. 

Vitamin C is responsible for scavenging free radicals in your pet’s body that could ultimately harm them. That makes it helpful in reducing inflammation and potentially slowing your pet’s cognitive aging. Dogs synthesize vitamin C in their livers to help produce these effects.

However, supplementation could offer your pet additional health benefits in many cases. If you have any more questions, reach out to a trusted veterinarian for more information. 

Broccoli contains fiber, which is beneficial for dogs

Like how fiber is beneficial for human beings, dog parents will find it has many positive effects on their furry friends. When choosing to incorporate fiber into your dog’s diet, be sure to consider the quality of the fiber. For instance, your dog should be getting high-quality ingredient fiber instead of fillers that do not offer any nutritional benefit. 

There are multiple types of fiber: soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and turns into a gel-like substance during digestion. That said, soluble fiber can create gasses when it ferments in the dog’s colon. Be mindful about how much soluble fiber your dog’s diet has; if there is too much of it, the result could be either gas or diarrhea. 

Insoluble fiber will absorb water when it moves through your dog’s digestive tract. In doing so, it helps food move more quickly through your dog’s digestive system and bulks up their stool.  

Including the right amount of fiber in a diet plan could benefit your dog. First of all, it helps aid your dog’s digestion. Fiber is typically fermented into fatty acids, thanks to the good bacteria inside the dog’s intestine. The fatty acid will then prevent harmful bacteria from overgrowing. 

Broccoli does not contain large amounts of fat

Giving your dog large amounts of fat could have real consequences on their diet. That’s why you don’t want to feed your dog too many cashews or too much cheese. However, broccoli does not contain a large amount of fat, making it a relatively good treat for your pup. 

Not all fat is necessarily bad for your dog. However, a large amount of fat could have several consequences for your pet, like obesity problems or acute pancreatitis. In addition, dogs that have fat can go rancid, which could hurt your dog’s ability to maintain their levels of other vitamins. 

How do you feed your dog broccoli? 

You can give your dog raw florets of broccoli or cook it so they can munch on something slightly softer. Cooking broccoli to make it softer reduces the risk of the broccoli floret being a choking hazard. You might notice that your dog has a preference.

When preparing broccoli for your pet, be sure that the pieces are small enough in size to be digestible for your pet. In addition, always monitor your pup when you are giving them broccoli. That way, if your dog does choke on a broccoli floret, you can help them quickly and seek assistance.

The florets of broccoli you are feeding your pet should never have any additional seasonings added. That includes salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and more. Many common human seasonings are toxic for dogs to ingest. If you have already seasoned your broccoli, you should not feed it to your dog from the table that gets them into the bad habit of jumping up on the table for food, anyway. 

Instead, the best preparation is to cook your dog’s broccoli in warm boiling water. 

As mentioned earlier, broccoli does not agree with all dogs. If you have noticed that broccoli does not seem to be a favorite of your canine companion, cut it from their diet. There are a lot of other delicious vegetables (and fruits!) you could add to your dog’s diet. These will be a better match for your dog’s unique digestive system and might even offer other unique benefits. 

Ask your vet if you need recommendations about which vegetables you can give your dog or how to properly prepare them to ensure your pet does not get sick. If you are feeding your dog additional fruits and veggies because you are concerned that they are not getting the nutrients they need, inquire with a vet. They might suggest that you switch your dog’s food to something more nutrient-rich. 

Are there any hazards associated with giving dogs broccoli? 

Are there any potential setbacks associated with feeding your dog broccoli florets? We have already addressed that you should avoid giving your dog seasoned broccoli, as many seasonings and additives are toxic for your canine companion. 

However, a few additional hazards are associated with giving your dog broccoli. 

Don’t use broccoli as a substitute for dog food

Too much of a good thing is, well, too much — at least in the case of giving your dog broccoli. Ensure that your dog does not have too much broccoli, as it’s best given to a pup in moderation. If you overfeed your dog broccoli, you could end up negating the health benefits associated with it in the first place. 

If your dog is getting more than 10 percent of their daily calories from broccoli, something is wrong with your diet plan for your pup. If this is the case, it is time to consult a trusted veterinarian for help in developing a healthier diet plan. A vet will know which other fruits or vegetables (or better yet, actual food that was formulated specifically for dogs) you can substitute in place of the broccoli. 

You should not be using human foods to substitute dog food. If your dog is facing a nutrient shortage because their dog food does not suit their needs, it is time to change dog foods or ask your vet for ways to supplement with products designed specifically for canines. 

It’s okay for dogs to have human foods (within reason) as a treat, but it is not a good plan for the long term. It could lead to more dietary problems down the road.

Be aware of the isothiocyanates

Although broccoli is considered safe in moderation and relatively small quantities, the florets do also contain an ingredient that could harm your pet. The vegetable contains isothiocyanates, which could result in either mild or severe gastric irritation. Of course, this varies depending on your dog’s individual tolerance. 

For broccoli to be considered toxic for dogs, you would have to feed them more than 25 percent of their daily intake. If you stay under 10 percent, you should be okay. 

Keep in mind that the smaller the dog you have, the less broccoli you can feed them. This is because a smaller dog will feel the impact of isothiocyanates sooner than a larger one. 

If you really want to be safe, consider just staying away from broccoli. Instead, give your dog another vegetable that you know agrees with them and does not have any associated potential setbacks. Of course, it is up to you and your vet. You will make the right decision for your pet. 

Spot Pet Insurance can help you be the best pet owner you can be

There’s no secret that being a pet owner can be really, really difficult! However, it’s still one of the most rewarding things you can do. Still, sometimes your dog gets themselves into sticky situations by eating something they’re not supposed to. That’s why at Spot Pet Insurance, we help give pet owners the resources that they need to be the best parent they can be. 

 

Sources: 

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? | AKC 

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? | The Spruce Pets 

The effect of vitamin C supplementation in healthy dogs on antioxidative capacity and immune parameters | NCBI 

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