You might wonder if dogs can eat whatever you have for dinner. After all, it will save you preparation time and allow your furry friend to explore more foods. But, not everything that we eat is safe for our pets’ consumption. Some foods are perfectly fine for us but toxic for animals.
Green cabbage, for example, is an inexpensive and common vegetable used in a wide variety of meals. It’s a healthy and satisfying source of fiber and nutrients! But the question is – can my dog eat green cabbage?
The short answer? Yes! Your dog can eat green cabbage but in moderation.
Can Dogs Eat Green Cabbage?
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are relatively safe for dogs. Green cabbage has a significant amount of natural compounds that are not only safe but ideal for canine consumption. But, keep in mind that a dog’s digestive system is different from ours. There are a few precautions to take when feeding your pup green cabbage.
Health Benefits of Green Cabbage for Dogs
Green cabbage is a terrific source of fiber and nutrients such as vitamin C, B1, B6, and K. Fiber helps move food along the digestive tract, reducing constipation and stomach aches.
Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that helps boost the immune system in humans as well as dogs. It can strengthen your dog’s bones, improve their skin, and maintain healthy blood vessels. Dogs with dry or rough skin may benefit from eating vitamin C-rich foods as it promotes the production of collagen, which makes skin more supple.
Other important minerals such as potassium, manganese, and copper are also found in green cabbage. Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, green cabbage contains an antioxidant called sulforaphane. Studies show that sulforaphane may protect against heart disease. It also helps to lower blood pressure, making green cabbage a truly healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
Polyphenols, another antioxidant, are also found in green cabbage. These compounds protect against free radicals and help prevent life-threatening diseases.
Dangers of Green Cabbage for Dogs
One downside of giving green cabbage to your dogs is that it causes gas to build up in the digestive tract, which can lead to flatulence. Though it may not be serious, this can make your dog uncomfortable and lead to a lot of smelly farts. A more serious risk is green cabbage contributing to hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones.
When your dog eats too much green cabbage, the thiocyanate in the plant may suppress the function of the thyroid gland. Though they would have to consume a lot of green cabbage daily for this to happen, it may be better to err on the side of caution. The good news is that thiocyanate levels can be decreased by cooking your cabbage before feeding it to your dog.
Cabbage for a Canine? Good Addition to Your Dog’s Diet?
We would say so! Green cabbage is a wholesome addition to your dog’s diet. But, make sure your dog still eats a balanced diet if you feed them plenty of cabbage. Dogs and humans have quite different macronutrient requirements. Dogs need more protein than we do. Meat should still make up the bulk of their diet, but adding veggies such as cabbage will do wonders for their bodies.
You should typically shred or cut up cabbage and cook it lightly before serving. It’s best to skip the salt, spices, and seasonings. Dogs don’t need these additives, and some of them can be quite bad for their health. Serving the veggie plain or alongside their usual food will do nicely.
If your dog is a particularly picky eater, you can cut up the cabbage into tiny bits and sprinkle it onto their regular meals. That way, they get their much-needed fiber and still enjoy their usual, tasty meal.
Vegetables Dogs Can & Can’t Eat
Aside from green cabbage, dogs can safely consume other vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, carrots, celery, and peas. Other types of cabbage, such as red or purple cabbage, are also healthy and safe for dogs to eat. Other veggies, though healthy for humans, might cause problems for your pooch.
For instance, spinach is high in oxalic acid, which may lead to kidney damage. Other foods you should avoid are wild mushrooms, onions, garlic, leeks, and chives.
Related Article: Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Dogs Can Eat Green Cabbage But in Moderation
Green cabbage is certainly a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet because of its beneficial nutrient and fiber content. But, you should be wary of giving them too much since it may lower their thyroid hormone levels and cause serious problems. Moderation is the key. Try to offer a small amount first and check your dog after 24 hours for any unpleasant reactions like diarrhea.
Loose, watery stool is a sure sign that their food didn’t quite agree with their sensitive stomachs. Prolonged periods of diarrhea warrant a visit to the vet, so make sure to monitor their bowel movements after you give them new food.
Cabbage Can Give Dogs Gas
Yes, green cabbage can improve your dog’s digestion. Unfortunately, it can also give them gas. Green cabbage may also cause some bloating and discomfort as it would for humans, so it might be a good idea to cut down on the cabbage if you notice your dog passing gas more frequently.
Dogs Can Eat Green Cabbage (Lightly Cooked Is Best)
Cooking green cabbage will reduce the levels of harmful compounds in it, making it safer for your dog’s consumption.
Cooked Cabbage Is Better Than Raw Cabbage
Many may think that raw vegetables are better since their nutrients are still intact and they have more water, but raw is simply not always the best. Raw green cabbage will contain more thiocyanate, which may cause hypothyroidism in dogs. Cooking destroys most of the thiocyanate in raw cabbage.
Will Raw Cabbage Hurt My Dog?
When given occasionally and in small amounts, raw cabbage is not likely to cause serious damage to your dog. Whenever you give your dog anything new, you should always start by giving them very small amounts and observing them for any adverse reactions such as allergies, indigestion, or loose stools.
Eating vegetables might give their poop a greenish tinge though, so don’t worry if you notice unusually green-colored stools.
How Much Cabbage Can a Dog Eat?
A safe amount of green cabbage would be around an eighth of a cup for every 20 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Shredded cabbage is always a good option, especially for smaller dogs who may not be able to chew large pieces. Be sure to remove the tough stem part as well to avoid choking or digestion problems.