The short answer to this simple question is yes. But the longer one takes a bit more understanding and explanation. Fruits and vegetables are great treats, but also the main dish for dogs. Let’s not forget, fruits and veggies are high in minerals, vitamins, and other healthy nutrients. Broccoli is one example of human foods that dogs can eat.
What you need to understand that same as humans, dogs have their daily nutritional requirements. What you feed your dog affects these requirements, in a good or a bad way, depending on you and your dog’s diet.
Some fruits and veggies are considered nutritional powerhouses of goodness for your dog. Before we get to the topic can dogs eat broccoli, we need to talk about how safe the veggie is, what is its nutritional value, and how to prepare broccoli for a dog.
Is broccoli safe?
Broccoli is generally considered safe for dogs. There are not any nutrients that can be toxic for your pooch. However, as with all human foods, moderation is the key. You cannot feed your dog broccoli on a daily basis in a raw form.
You have to remember, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, which means it is not easily digestible in raw form. Consuming raw broccoli can cause problems for your puppy’s stomach.
In small quantities, and not too often, broccoli is safe for your dog. Provided of course, you cook the broccoli. Think of broccoli as a healthy treat for your dog, and a good alternative to the high-calorie snacks.
Nutritional breakdown of broccoli
We know broccoli is considered a superfood because it is nutritionally dense. It is a nutritional powerhouse, and dogs also need their daily dose of minerals and vitamins. The good thing about broccoli is that it is low in fat but high in vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli packs about 2g of protein per cup, 6g of carbs, and less than 0.5g of fat. That makes it quite good for your pooch.
Broccoli is also a good source of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, folate, iron, zinc, selenium, and more.
All of the vitamins and minerals found in broccoli can improve the immunity of your dog. They also serve as protection against heart disease, maintain your dog’s bones health, improve skin health, and improve digestion.
Are there any side effects?
When it comes to feeding your dog human fruits and vegetables, you should always remember the 10% rule. That means treats, in this case, vegetables, should be just 10% of his daily diet.
If you overfeed your dog with broccoli, there are possible side effects. Here are some of those.
- Feeding your dog too much and too many cruciferous vegetables can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, flatulence, and more. If that happens, reduce frequency and portion size
- Broccoli contains isothiocyanates, which can cause an upset stomach. If this substance is consumed in more than a quarter of your dog’s daily diet, it can be fatal. Just keep the portion sizes reasonable, and you won’t have troubles
- Too much fiber from any vegetable can cause diarrhea in dogs, and broccoli is no exception
- Cook broccoli to reduce any chances of a choking hazard
How to feed your dog broccoli
Now that we know the answer to the question can dogs have broccoli, we have to talk about how to feed broccoli to your dog. Well, it is rather simple.
As mentioned previously, dogs cannot consume raw broccoli. It can cause problems in the stomach. That means you have to cook it. Simply steaming or cooking broccoli is great and enough in most cases.
However, we want to give you a couple of recipes for tasty treats for your dog.
You can prepare this recipe in 30 to 40 minutes, including preparation and cooking time.
The ingredients are the following:
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- ½ cup of softened butter
- 14-ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets pureed
- 2 cup of whole wheat flour
- ½ cup of milk
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and then line it with a baking sheet and paper. Mix the ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure to puree the broccoli first. Stir thoroughly
- Knead the dough into a ball and then use a roller to flatten it
- With a shot glass, you can carve dog treat cookies. You can use any other object or carve the cookies as you wish
- Place the cookies onto the baking sheet, and then bake for 10 to 15 minutes
- Put the treats in the fridge after to cool down
Broccoli and chicken
You can think of this dish as a meal, not just treats. Given that it has rice and meat, broccoli is just an addition here. This homemade dinner is perfect if you want to switch things up every now and then.
- Boil diced chicken, and brown rice until they are nearly cooked. Add broccoli, and then simmer until the chicken is completely cooked
- Remove the dish from the heat and allow it to cool. Portion size depends on the size of your dog. Just keep the ratio 2:1, as in 2 cups of rice and 1 cup of chicken, with some broccoli in between
Which parts of broccoli can dogs eat?
As we said previously, the answer to the question can dogs eat broccoli is yes. But which parts can they eat? And how much they should eat. Broccoli should not take more than 10% of your puppy’s daily diet. More than 25% is considered toxic.
As for which parts, dogs can eat the stalks and florets of broccoli, but also dried broccoli, and steamed broccoli.
In fact, steamed broccoli is the best way to serve the green vegetable to your dog.
How to prepare broccoli?
As mentioned, cooked broccoli is the safest option for your dog. If you want to give your dog only broccoli, prepare the veggie in the following manner.
- Wash the broccoli thoroughly
- Cut the heads off into bite-sized chunks
- Throw away the stems, as they increase the risk of choking, especially in small breeds
- Pop the broccoli into a steamer and cook. Do not overcook the broccoli, you want to keep some of the crunchiness