Can Dogs Eat Broccoli

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Sharing a meal with your canine friend is always fun, but many of you wonder if it’s dangerous when dogs eat broccoli. We know that this nutrient-rich vegetable is beneficial for our overall health, but feeding your dog human food always causes a bit of concern. Before you toss a piece of broccoli your dog’s way, there are a few things you should know.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Yes, dogs can certainly eat broccoli, in moderation, because the low-calorie and high-nutrient nature of this leafy green vegetable, can benefit your dog’s overall health. This vegetable is rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E, in addition to various minerals, such as potassium, copper, and manganese. While the dietary fiber in broccoli is very important for humans, it is less critical for a dog’s overall digestive system. [1]

Many dogs are on a strictly meat-based diet, which is very high in protein, but there is no danger in letting your dog have a stalk or two of broccoli. Dogs are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both plants and animals, so there is no danger in letting your dog eat broccoli.

A dog squinting and looking into the camera while sitting in a park next to a broccoli

Can dogs eat broccoli? Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Can Dogs Eat Raw Broccoli?

No matter how you cook your broccoli, your furry friend should be able to safely consume it. Raw broccoli tends to be more fibrous, which can potentially cause blockage in their digestive system, so limit the amount of raw broccoli that you give to your dog – only 1 or 2 stalks for a special treat. Furthermore, the extra fibrous nature of raw broccoli makes it more of a choking hazard, specifically if you have a puppy. In this case, be sure that you chop up the vegetables before serving it to your canine companion. [2]

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Broccoli?

Cooked broccoli is easier to eat for your pup, and can also be added into their normal food if you want to make this vegetable a regular part of their diet. The process of cooking broccoli may also lower the potency of isothiocyanates found in broccoli, which is potentially dangerous to your dog’s overall health. That being said, there is still a decent amount of fiber found in cooked broccoli, so it can still cause gastrointestinal issues if eaten in excess. [3]

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stems?

Although these are usually the least popular parts of this vegetable for people, broccoli stems are probably the safest parts to feed your pooch. These parts of the vegetables do not contain isothiocyanate, the chemical that can potentially cause stomach irritation when broccoli is a large part of a daily diet. This chemical is only present in the florets, so your dog can eat all the stalks it wants without having to worry. As mentioned above, the stems are also high in fiber, so they should be chopped up or given to your dog in moderation to ensure safety. [4]

Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?

When dogs eat broccoli, it can be good for their digestive tract and may help to slow down the aging process. Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, many of which are just as beneficial for dogs as they are for humans. With certain bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, and oral health-boosting antibiotic properties, broccoli can help reduce inflammation in older dogs whose joints might be aching, while also helping to keep their teeth naturally clean and infection-free! The fact that this vegetable is so low in calories is also a bonus when dogs eat broccoli since it can help keep them from getting overweight! [5] Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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