Can I Give My Dog Broccoli?

Can I Give My Dog Broccoli?We all know that Broccoli is a healthy food that’s loaded up with many vitamins and nutrients. What’s less certain is if dogs can also benefit from eating it. Can broccoli actually be part of a well-balanced canine diet? Let’s see if giving this super food to dogs makes any sense.

Sometimes, out of love for our pets, we make diet assumptions which are true in theory only! It turns out that dogs don’t need vegetables, or broccoli, nearly as much we do. That isn’t to say that feeding your dog some broccoli, on occasion, is a bad thing.

While this healthy plant isn’t required eating, you can sometimes allow your best buddy to chow down on small amounts of broccoli. You just shouldn’t make it part of their regular meals. While broccoli itself isn’t poisonous, some dogs may develop gastrointestinal symptoms from eating this vegetable and we will explain why.

Can My Dog Eat Broccoli? Answer: On Occasion

Feeding some broccoli is fine when given to a dog occasionally and in moderation.

In fact, this cruciferous vegetable can be a great source of fiber and vitamin C for your pet. But a similar benefit can be obtained from a well-formulated dog food. Better yet, if you have a small dog, there’s a fantastic broccoli-flavored wet food with beef and brown rice. It’s a quality formulated snack made just for dogs and a more balanced way to introduce some broccoli to them. On the other hand, one surprising benefit of serving the pure vegetable is that it can naturally help to clean their teeth.

Important Broccoli Info

The head of broccoli contains an potentially toxic ingredient called Isothiocyanate which can be a gastric irritant. That’s the main reason why you should limit your dog’s consumption of this vegetable. The stems are probably the safest part for dogs since only the top flowery head contains that harmful chemical. There’s a chance that gastrointestinal problems may develop as a result of your dog eating too much broccoli.

Your four-legged friend’s size plays an important factor in just how much of this vegetable you should provide. In general, a single piece is probably fine. The smaller your dog is, the more cautious and conservative you should be. As a general rule, a broccoli portion should never exceed 5% of your dog’s daily food intake. Any more than that can possibly cause stomach and bowel problems. That’s why we recommend the broccoli-flavored wet food tray.

The Potential Benefits

Many people are tempted to give broccoli, or kale, to their dogs. As long as you can responsibly limit your dog’s intake, they too could possibly benefit from the high levels of cancer fighting antioxidants. Other important properties may include anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory agents. Broccoli, the famous flowering green super plant, is also said to offer protection against harmful bacteria and viruses as well as boost the immune system.

According to some research, broccoli can even help to repair DNA in the cells so perhaps it has beneficial anti-aging properties. No doubt it is healthy and probably on the same level as carrots.

Weighing Pros & Cons

All these wonderful properties found in broccoli would seem to help lessen the chances of your dog developing many common health problems. Of course, this is all theory. More dogs have probably gotten sick from eating too much broccoli than have been helped by it. You know how dogs like to overindulge! This is why we always attempt to bring out all the facts so that you can make an informed decision regarding your own dog.

Conclusion on Broccoli

Broccoli is a very healthy bioflavonoid which can potentially benefit your dog if you limit their servings of it. As with most human foods, this green plant definitely applies as well, moderation is very important. It shouldn’t really be part of your pup’s regular diet. Further, this vegetable’s stems are better suited for canines rather than the head portion due to the presence of Isothiocyanate. If your dog develops any stomach pains or diarrhea from eating broccoli, you should take note and stop feeding it to them at once.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Anton August 2, 2015

My 10 year old Cane Corso has been dealing with food allergies for over a year now. We’ve been following our veterinarian’s recommendations. We tried feeding kangaroo, rabbit and pork. He was doing okay with dry Kangaroo plus we added sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower for about 3 months. Yogurt is also added to his diet. However, now his ear swells up after each meal. I’ve tried to separate the each item in his diet and gave him only sweet potato. Unfortunately, his ear got to tennis ball size!

Now, we are on a single food trial. For 3 days, he was on a garbanzo beans diet and he was doing great. Today we added broccoli to his diet and within couple of hours his ear was size of the tennis ball again. We don’t know what to do. We went to number of vets and they don’t have solution. He suffers so much. He’s on steroids, oral and ear drops, and he doesn’t feel good after taking them. So my question is can broccoli trigger the ear allergies?

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Arachnae Fae July 25, 2015

My vet suggested feeding my overweight Pit Bull some broccoli. I started by mixing 1 cup of broccoli with 2 tablespoons wet dog food about 5 times per week. After about 4 months it gave her loose stools. She has always had a sensitive stomach. About 3 years ago she also got a Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) stomach infection which was very bad, we almost lost her. I will try it with just the stems mixed with chopped spinach see if that helps.

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Pru July 23, 2015

My Aussie eats a lot of broccoli. It is his go to treat instead of milk bones. The switch was made because of weight issues and he has not shown any signs of problems since. He eats any vegetable I prepare for dinner and also loves fruit. No onions, mushrooms or garlic.

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Rob February 7, 2015

I give my dogs broccoli on occasion as I like eating it raw. I give them the stems from the florets. They certainly don’t get enough to give them gastrointestinal problems.

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Sherry April 28, 2015

How much broccoli is considered 5% of a dog’s diet? 5 florets or 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup?

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Denise May 2, 2015

It depends on the size and weight of your dog in order to arrive at the 5% figure.

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Chris February 5, 2015

If your dog has Hypothyroidism, avoid raw broccoli. Unless cooked, it will affect thyroid function due to iodine uptake issues.
(Source: Dr. Barbara Royal, Page 91 of her book The Royal Treatment)

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