Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

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can dogs eat broccoli

Dog owners commonly ponder about the toxicity of foods. The questions about the safety of different foods increased after various news and press covered the toxicity in them. The most important foods are chocolate, grapes and raisins, and peanut butter. Exposure to the dangers of these foods has encouraged pet owners to ask about the safety of other foods such as broccoli.

Learn more about what dogs can and can’t eat in this article: The Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can’t Eat.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

The answer to the question, “Can dogs eat broccoli?” The answer is, “Yes.” Dogs often love the crunchy texture of broccoli and can enjoy this as a healthy snack.

Broccoli also makes a good low-calorie treat for overweight dogs. Not only is broccoli low in calories, but it has approximately 91 to 95% water and is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C.

Broccoli (Daucus carota) dates back to the 6th century B.C. in Europe. It is in the cabbage family and grows as a green plant with a large head and stalk that is eaten. The word broccoli is Italian and comes from the Italian plural of broccoli, meaning flowering cabbage. Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked and is commonly boiled, steamed, microwaved or stir-fried.

Please note: Any food can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. What may not bother one dog may bother another dog. The same can happen in people. Some foods can bother some people and not others.

The Dangers of Broccoli to Dogs

When researching the safety of broccoli for dogs, there are two considerations that impact the danger.

  1. Pancreatitis or gastrointestinal upset in dogs that aren’t used to broccoli or broccoli cooked with seasonings and butter.  Too much oil, fat, or seasoning can lead to gastrointestinal upset or pancreatitis.
  2. Risk of choking from eating large pieces of Broccoli or very the stemmy parts. This is more common in small dogs but can occur in any dog.  Some dogs are not good at “chewing” their food and the danger of choking can occur.

However, be aware that just because your dog can eat an occasional small piece of broccoli, doesn’t suggest it is safe to give him your leftover salad or meal.  For example, salads often include additional ingredients, such as onions, garlic or even raisins, which can be toxic. However, it is generally okay to give your dog a piece of broccoli.  Learn more about Grape and Raisin Toxicity in dogs.

Do Dogs Need Broccoli

There is nothing in broccoli that dogs require. What dogs do need is a high-quality AAFCO approved dog food. Learn more about what dogs require in their diet with this article: Nutrition in Dogs.

The Safest Way to Give Broccoli to Dogs

The safest and healthiest way to give broccoli to your dog is to give small pieces of fresh cut or cooked broccoli. Make sure the broccoli is washed thoroughly to remove pesticides, fertilizers and potential contaminates such as E. coli or listeria.  Cooked broccoli is a healthy option and best when unseasoned and steamed. Excess butter or seasoning can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs.

If your dog shows any sign of illness after eating broccoli, please call your veterinarian or closest veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

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