can dogs eat broccoli

Bitter, sweet, and crunchy, people have a love-hate relationship with broccoli.

But love it or hate it, a lot of research points to broccoli being a nutritious vegetable for us humans.

There is a lot to gain when we eat the vegetable on our plates and eat it.

But what about broccoli for dogs? Can my dog eat broccoli?

That’s why, in this blog, we’ll answer the question, “Can dogs eat broccoli?

To do this, we’ll talk about how to serve broccoli, the broccoli benefits for dogs, and as well as its risks.

After reading this blog, I want you to be well-informed about how broccoli can affect dogs by eating them.

This helps you decide whether broccoli should be your dog’s new addition to its diet or not.

Now, without further ado, let’s start!

can dogs eat broccoli

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

So, can dogs eat broccoli?

Yes, dogs indeed can eat broccoli!

Broccoli is a safe and healthy vegetable that you can give to your dog.

In fact, in one of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) articles, they recommend feeding broccoli to dogs!

This nutrient-dense vegetable gives a lot of health benefits to your fido. More of these benefits are in the later sections of this blog.

how to serve broccoli to dogs

How Can You Serve Broccoli to Dogs?

The vast internet will give you a lot of ways to give broccoli to dogs.

But does it really matter how you prepare and give the vegetable to them? Let’s find out.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Broccoli?

Can dogs eat raw broccoli?

Yes, they can!

Like us, our dogs can eat raw broccoli as is when you serve it to them.

You can buy broccoli at your nearest supermarket or go to a farmers market in your local area too.

Broccoli can be served to your dog as a side to the cooked dog food.

When served raw, your dog can taste the vibrant freshness of the plant, which will add variety to its food.

Just make sure to wash the broccoli well to make sure that the vegetable is free from dirt.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Broccoli?

If they can eat it raw, can dogs eat cooked broccoli?

And the answer is still yes! Dogs can eat cooked broccoli too!

In fact, we from TopDogTips see cooking the vegetable first as the best way to prepare and serve your dog broccoli.

Cooking broccoli softens the vegetable and makes it easy in your dog’s stomach, regardless of its age.

This process prevents gas buildup in your dog’s stomach or interferes with bowel movements.

The downside of cooked broccoli for dogs is that you may risk losing some nutrients during the cooking process.

Ms. Deborah Kuzrock, RD, puts it this way:

Boiling and cooking vegetables in high temperatures or water decreases their nutrient level. Water soluble vitamins like Vit C and B vitamins are often lost during these cooking methods.

Also, according to her, “minerals like potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc may be reduced by up to 60-70 percent.”

One way to retain the nutrients in Broccoli is to steam the vegetables rather than boiling them.

With steaming, the lower temperature and shorter cooking time won’t reduce the nutrient loss in the vegetable.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stems?

Another concern of most dog owners when they want to feed their dogs with broccoli is the stem.

Can dogs eat broccoli stems?

Yes, dogs can eat them too!

In fact, vet experts would prefer feeding your dog the stems over the broccoli’s florets.

Unlike the florets, broccoli stems will less likely upset your dog’s stomach.

But since some broccoli stems can be quite chewy, you need to cut these stems into small pieces first before serving them to your dog.

is broccoli good for dogs

Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?

Looking for a reason to give your dog broccoli?

Think about its health benefits!

Broccoli is good for dogs because it’s rich in essential nutrients that dog needs.

But exactly how broccoli helps to improve your pooch’s health?

Below are 6 broccoli benefits for your dog.

Broccoli Contains Antioxidant

When it comes to your dog’s health and wellness, free radicals are your dog’s worst enemies.

These unstable elements inside your dog’s body can cause damage to its cells that lead to chronic diseases.

Worst, they also cause cancer to your beloved pets.

This is where broccoli can become useful for your dog’s health.

One of the broccoli benefits for dogs is its strong antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are substances that prevent free radicals’ cellular degeneration.

Since antioxidants suppress the effects of free radicals, they also limit cancer development in dogs.

In a 2014 study, researchers discovered that broccoli contains high levels of sulforaphane and other flavonoid compounds.

These compounds are known to directly or indirectly regulate the free radicals in your dog’s body.

Broccoli is also high in Vitamin C, a known vitamin to sweep free radicals and improve the dog’s immune system.

All of these antioxidants at play help the body get rid of free radicals by:

  • Removing carcinogens in the body
  • Increase in programmed death of cancerous cells
  • Inhibition of blood vessels that allows tumor growth

Broccoli Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Another benefit of broccoli for dogs is its intense anti-inflammatory properties.

This is possible because the sulforaphane in broccoli doesn’t just act as an antioxidant but also as an anti-inflammation too.

While this compound is not a direct treatment for the inflammation, it helps stop the swelling from the affected body of your pooch.

Some of the diseases that can trigger chronic inflammation are:

  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Cancer

Broccoli Contains Prebiotics

Your dog’s body is a whole ecosystem that contains trillions of good and bad bacteria.

These colonies of bacteria thrive and interact with your dog’s system, contributing to its wellness or disease.

Focusing on the good bacteria, one way to improve their living conditions is with prebiotics.

Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that the colony of good bacteria consumes to thrive.

The colony, in turn, would give off compounds that help improve your dog’s overall wellness.

This is where the vegetable can help your dog because another broccoli benefits for dogs is that it is rich in prebiotics.

Broccoli stems alone have enough prebiotic fiber content to help support good bacteria colonies in your dog’s body.

Broccoli Prevents Leaky Gut

Another benefit of broccoli for dogs is that it can help prevent and reduce the risk of leaky guts.

Leaky gut in dogs is a condition where its intestinal linings allow the passing of substance where it shouldn’t be.

This means undigested food and digestive enzymes can spill out of the intestine.

At the same time, foreign substances, blood, and even pathogens can enter the delicate areas of the intestine.

Broccoli for dogs helps prevent the symptoms by reducing intestinal inflammation.

The vegetable also aids in maintaining a healthy gut lining the body.

RELATED: Leaky Gut in Dogs: Real Thing or a Myth?

Broccoli Detoxifies Liver

Dogs are sober from alcoholism, but they can suffer from many liver complications if you’re not careful of what you’re feeding your pet.

Fortunately, broccoli can also help you improve your dog’s liver condition.

One of the broccoli benefits for dogs that you need to know is its detoxifying ability.

Broccoli’s sulforaphane helps activate proteins that would facilitate the detoxifying process.

There’s also a study in 2014 that backs the detoxifying properties of broccoli through sulforaphane.

In the study, researchers recorded a 61% increase in detoxified carcinogens in the air.

Sulforaphane also helped reduce the free radical damage in the rats’ liver to improve its function.

Broccoli Improves Eyesight

Dog owners like us want what’s best for our fur baby.

And that includes taking care of their eye health, minimizing poor eyesight, and preventing eye complications.

If so, would you be surprised to know that broccoli can help maintain your dog’s eye health?

That’s right. Broccoli has carotenoids— beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin—that lower the risk of eye diseases.

Broccoli is also rich in Vitamin A, which helps minimize eye degeneration both for humans and dogs.

is broccoli bad for dogs

Is Broccoli Bad for Dogs?

Is broccoli bad for dogs?

And the answer is yes; broccoli can still be bad for dogs!

Even with all of its health benefits, broccoli can still pose some health risks if you’re not careful with how you feed your dogs with it.

So the question now is, when can broccoli be bad for dogs?

Let’s find out.

Choking Hazard

Yes, broccoli can be a choking hazard to dogs because of how hard some parts of the vegetable are.

The broccoli’s stalk is a huge choking hazard for dogs whether you serve it raw or cooked.

Even broccoli’s florets can be extremely firm and chewy for dogs, especially when you serve it raw.

That’s why it’s extremely important to chop the food into smaller dog bite-sized pieces before serving it to them.

Harmful Bacteria

Like most vegetables, broccoli can house dirt and bacteria on its surface.

Some of the common bacteria that thrive on a food’s surface are salmonella, E. coli, and listeria.

These pathogens can infect your dog and make them severely ill.

To prevent bacteria-causing illnesses in your dogs, you should wash the broccoli thoroughly if you want to feed it raw to dogs.

Alternatively, you can also cook the broccoli to kill the germs instead.

RELATED: Let's Talk: Raw Dog Food Diet, Dietary Concerns, Benefits, and Risks

Too Much Broccoli Consumption

While adding broccoli to your dog’s diet can be beneficial, too much of it can pose some serious health concerns to it.

Dr Jerry Klein, DVM, explains that broccoli plants contain isothiocyanate compounds on their florets, which harms dogs.

So depending on how much dogs eat broccoli, the vegetable can mildly or severely upset its stomach.

To prevent all of these from happening, regulate the amount of broccoli that your dogs will have in their diet.

You can also cook broccoli florets to reduce the gas build-up from the harmful compound.

And finally, switching from the plant’s floret to stems can also help decrease your dog’s isothiocyanate intake from broccoli.

how much broccoli can a dog eat

How Much Broccoli Can a Dog Eat?

If too much broccoli is bad for dogs, how much of this vegetable can we feed our pets?

Well, according to Dr Klein:

Broccoli is considered safe in dogs if the total amount ingested is less than 10 percent of their daily intake.

He also notes that if broccoli makes up 25% of the dog’s diet, then it’s considered toxic for them.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli: Conclusion

To sum this blog up, can dogs eat broccoli?

Yes, they can!

Broccoli is an extremely nutritious food that you must feed your dogs.

The vegetable is rich in antioxidants that help fight damage from free radicals.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, prebiotics, and carotenoids and is a great detox for your dog’s livers.

Ensure to properly prepare the broccoli by washing it first, chopping it into bite pieces, or steaming it to soften the vegetable.

But wait! Before you go…

Still curious about what other human foods are safe to consume for dogs?

Then feel free to check out the articles below to learn more about these foods!