Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Broccoli is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables! Can dogs eat broccoli?  Yes, broccoli is a safe and nutrient dense food for dogs.  It is important to know how to prepare this wonderful vegetable and how much is safe for dogs to eat.

The component that makes broccoli so nutritious is the very one canines need to eat in moderation.  When asked, can dogs eat broccoli, know that it is a safe food however the size of the dog does determine how much they can safely consume.

In this article, Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?”, you will read about the following:

  • Nutritional Value of Broccoli for Canines
  • Best Way to Prepare Broccoli
  • How Much Can My Dog Eat?
  • Precautions When Serving Broccoli
  • Broccoli Alternative

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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? – Nutritional Value of Broccoli for Canines

Broccoli is full of useful vitamins and minerals for dogs. Although a good percentage of broccoli is water, it is also high in fiber.  One of the reasons broccoli is widely known as a super vegetable is due to having a pleather of antioxidants.

More reasons to give your dog broccoli:

  • Vitamin C: lowers inflammation in the body, builds immunity, antioxidant properties.
  • Vitamin K: supports healthy and strong bones.
  • Vitamin A:  necessary for healthy coat, skin, and eyes.  It is also necessary for building muscles.
  • Calcium: necessary for healthy teeth and bones.  Helps with healthy nerve, muscles, and hormone functions.
  • Folate:  aids in amino acid metabolism and red blood cell production.
  • Manganese: necessary for bone growth, thyroid function, and slowing the aging process.
  • High in antioxidants that aid in the prevention of cancer, pre-mature aging, heart issues and brain disorders.

One of the greatest nutritional values of broccoli is it prevents oxidative stress by reducing the buildup of free radicals.  This is important due to free radicals being an unstable molecule that can be created by external factors such as secondhand smoke, air pollution, and artificial scents.

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A vitally important compound in broccoli is called sulforaphane. It is the compound that naturally decreases inflammation in the body. It is one of the few nutrients that can cross the blood-brain barrier to reduce inflammation in the brain.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? – Best Way to Prepare Broccoli

You want to prepare broccoli in such a way that your dog can digest and absorb these powerful nutrients. It is good to be aware that your dog’s digestion system is a bit different then your human digestion. 

Broccoli can be served raw or steamed. Always serve without any additives such as butter, oils, or heavy spices. There are advantages to serving both raw and serving steamed broccoli.

Raw Preparation. Serving your dog raw broccoli. When possible, purchase organic broccoli to avoid your dog absorbing and processing unnecessary pesticides and herbicides. The advantage of serving raw broccoli is all the nutrients will be available, none will have been destroyed by heat. It can also be a convenient method of preparing this vegetable.

Raw broccoli, as most raw vegetables, has a layer of cell walls that need to be broken down in order for the nutrients to be absorbed.  Humans chew their food well and break down those cell walls, that is not always the case with canines.

When choosing to serve raw broccoli to your dog, be sure to chop up the florets and stems into tiny pieces.  Another option is to wash the broccoli and toss everything into a food processor. Serve right away or store in an airtight glass container in your refrigerator up to 48 hours. 

Steam Preparation.  Steamed broccoli makes chewing, swallowing, and digesting much easier for your dog. It softens the vegetables and breaks down the cell walls making the nutrients available right away for your dog. 

If it is possible, purchase organic broccoli for your dog to avoid unnecessary chemicals on this wonderful vegetable.  Wash the florets and stems, cut into pieces and place in a stainless-steel cooking pot.  If using a steaming basket, place the washed broccoli into the basket.

Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot.  On medium heat, bring the water to a boil.  Steam for a maximum of three minutes.  Remove from the heat.

You can steam vegetables without a basket as well.  You will want to make sure the vegetables are barely covered in water.  After you have steamed the broccoli for three minutes, remove from the heat.  Some of the nutrients will now be in water that the vegetables were sitting in; let the water cool and use it to moisten your dog’s kibble.

The steamed broccoli can be served once it is cooled.  Another option is to puree the broccoli and freeze it in small portions to use later.

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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? – How Much Broccoli Can My Dog Eat?

We know the answer to, can dogs eat broccoli, however as with most things, moderation is key.  Too much of this nutritious vegetable can be harmful for your dog.

Most dogs love broccoli, it could be that is has a distinct odor, or perhaps it is the unique flavor.  Always introduce new food to your dog slowly.  Give them a portion of what is safe for a dog and work up to the appropriate serving size.

Daily Portion Recommendations

  • 10 lb. dog = 1 small floret
  • 30 lb. dog = 2 small florets
  • 70 lb.+ dog = 3-4 florets /stems

If serving pureed broccoli to your dog, one floret equals 1 teaspoon.

Always monitor your dog after introducing a new food.  Watch for signs of discomfort, gas, diarrhea, or vomiting. It is important to remember that vegetables (including broccoli) should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily food intake.

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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? – Precautions When Serving Broccoli

Can dogs eat broccoli safely?  We know that it is safe, but it vital to remember that too much can be harmful to your dog.  A few precautions to be aware of before introducing broccoli to your canine.

  • Broccoli florets can cause gas in some dogs.
  • Large amounts of broccoli (over 25% of your dog’s daily intake) can be toxic to your dog’s system.
  • It is a cruciferous vegetable, which means too much broccoli can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • The florets and stems should be cut into small bites for your dog.
  • Preparation is required, as finely chopping raw broccoli and steaming broccoli is the best way to serve this nutritious food.
  • Too much sulforaphane has adverse effects for a dog.

Be wise and watchful when first giving your dog a new food.  Broccoli has many health benefits but needs to be eaten in moderation, emphasizing it is less then 10% of their daily food intake.

Broccoli Alternatives

If you thought broccoli had incredible health benefits for your dog; broccoli sprouts are even better!  These little sprouts from broccoli are more nutritional than full-grown broccoli sold at the market.

Grow Sprouts: Broccoli sprouts are the little green shoots that emerge after planting the seeds in soil.  You can snip them off, rinse and serve. Many markets sell bags of broccoli sprouts.

Jar Sprouting: Another way to harvest them is to sprout the seeds in a jar (right on your countertop) First add two tablespoons for broccoli seeds to a quart glass jar. Add enough filtered water so the seeds are covered and place a lid on the jar. Use a sprouting lid to rinse and drain the seeds twice a day. You will see new sprouts within the first twelve hours. They will be ready to use between 5-7 days.

Broccoli sprouts have a greater quantity of digestive enzymes making the nutrients easier to absorb.  When serving broccoli sprouts to your dog, keep it to less than 5% of their daily food intake.

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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?  YES (in appropriate serving sizes)! Enjoy the many health benefits of adding broccoli to your dog’s diet.

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