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. 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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris February, 2015

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

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Dee December, 2014

I’m panicking about broccoli as my dog had a lot last night. I didn’t realize it could be harmful. How soon would you notice the effects?

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James December, 2014

Hi Dee. It’s likely you would have noticed something wrong by now. Keep a close eye on them for another 24-hours or so but your dog is probably fine.

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Nikki November, 2014

My dogs are on a raw food diet. They have raw vegetables and minced turkey. What additional vitamins and minerals can I add to balance this out?

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Taz December, 2014

A steak! Dogs are carnivores not omnivores.

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WendLBurg January, 2015

Taz, you are actually wrong in this regard. Dogs and wolves are omnivores. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores. You may want to do some reading up.

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Al September, 2014

My dog ate broccoli and declared herself a vegetarian.

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Eve March, 2015

My 11 year old dog is a vegetarian, not by choice, but because of medical reasons. Her system cannot process meat or fats, not even chicken. We nearly lost her a couple of times before she was properly diagnosed. She’s been on a vegetarian diet for more than 6 years and she’s healthy, happy and oh so energetic!

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Chip April, 2014

One piece of broccoli will certainly not kill a dog. I had some leftover steamed broccoli from dinner last night and gave at least 10 pieces to my 15 pound Cairn Terrier and, though probably a bit gassy today, is perfectly fine. I even called the vet after reading this article and they said there is nothing to worry about. Every dog is different, so if you see drastic changes to your pooch after a bit of broccoli, call your vet or a pet emergency hotline.

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Richard March, 2015

I had to look this up about brocoli after my long coat Chihuahua gobbled up a piece that flew off my plate. The broccoli didn’t stand a chance.

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