Giving your dog the occasional human food from the table is natural, but if dogs eat eggplant, it may cause a bit of concern for many dog owners. Eggplant is a rather misunderstood vegetable, so if your pooch snatches a bite from your plate, it is important to understand what the possible effects and risks may be.
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?
In small amounts, eggplant is safe for dogs, but as with any type of human food, it is important to practice moderation. Eggplant belongs to a family of plants known as nightshades, which can potentially be toxic to both humans and dogs. Therefore, one should always take more precautions with this type of food, as allergic reactions in your dog are more common. Other vegetables, like spinach or zucchini, won’t have nearly the same likelihood of an allergic reaction as your pup eating eggplant. That being said, eggplant can be very beneficial for dogs, so you shouldn’t forbid the use of it entirely.
Eggplant has much more than potentially toxic ingredients, however; it is a rich source of dietary fiber, which is important for the digestion of both humans and dogs. This vegetable is also a good source of B vitamins, potassium, vitamin K, and various polyphenolic compounds, which can protect your dog from chronic diseases. Clearly, there are benefits and potential risks, but responsible pet owners can easily incorporate eggplant into their dog’s diet if they so choose.
Feeding Eggplant to Your Dog
The best way to feed your dog eggplant is to introduce it very slowly into their diet. Giving just a piece at a time, monitor your dog’s reaction, particularly if there is any gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea or vomiting. Also, you want to cook the eggplant before giving it to your pup, as the raw flavor is rather unpleasant and fibrous. When you cook the eggplant, it is best to keep it simple, without flavoring or spicing the eggplant before letting your dog have a bite. If your dog seems to like it and respond well, then you can feel free to give a bit more, or even make it a regular part of their diet, due to the undeniable health benefits it holds.
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant Leaves?
While there is a small risk of allergic reaction when eating the vegetable itself, there is a much larger risk if your dog eats the leaves. These leaves contain a much higher concentration of those toxic elements and could result in severe side effects for your dog, even death. If you are growing eggplant in your garden, be sure to keep your dog away from the leaves at all costs.
Allergic Reactions to Eggplant in Dogs
Some of the common side effects of an allergic reaction to eggplant in dogs include rashes, itching, stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog is experiencing serious symptoms, is struggling to breathe normally, or is experiencing swelling of any kind on the body, seek out medical attention immediately.