Can Dogs Eat Cabbage

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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When dogs eat cabbage, some pet owners worry about the effects it will have, so before feeding your canine companion this vegetable, it’s important to know what it contains and what it can do for your pup’s health.

Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

It is perfectly safe for dogs to eat cabbage, but as with any human food, it should be given in moderation. Cabbage is tough and fibrous and has a bitter taste, so it is less popular than other leafy vegetables, such as lettuce. However, cabbage is also packed with nutrients, making it far more nutritious than lettuce. If you are cutting up cabbage for a salad or stew, don’t be afraid to toss a leaf to your dog, but pay attention to their gastrointestinal reaction, appetite, and behavior, just to be sure.

You should remember that giving your dog human food should only be an occasional treat, and not a regular practice or a meal replacement; your dog should get all of the nutrients they need from their regular dog food. It is also important to vary your provision of human treats, as different fruits and vegetables can deliver a variety of potentially beneficial nutrients.

Close up of a green cabbage

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Feed Your Dog Cabbage?

If you choose to feed your dog cabbage, the best approach is to cook it, because there is an active compound in cabbage that can impact thyroid function in your pooch. When you lightly steam the cabbage, however, this compound is denatured, and will no longer pose any risk. This cooking will also soften the cabbage, which will lower the choking risk since cabbage is notoriously tough and fibrous. Do not flavor or spice the cooked cabbage before giving it to your dog.

If you are going to feed your dog raw cabbage, be sure that it is in small amounts and is chopped up into small pieces and sprinkled over regular food.

Health Benefits of Cabbage for Dogs

The benefits of cabbage for dogs include a boosted immune system, improved coat and fur quality, and optimized digestion. It is also known to help prevent cancer.

Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, cabbage can reduce your dog’s chances of chronic diseases, such as cancer and arthritis as they age.

Better Digestion

In moderate amounts, cabbage can help to stimulate the digestive system, thanks to a large amount of fiber, if your dog is suffering from constipation.

Coat and Fur Quality

The sulfuric compounds in cabbage are known to dry out oily skin and prevent inflammation and irritation of your dog’s coat and skin.

Boosted Immune System

Good vitamin levels, particularly of vitamin C, will boost your dog’s immune system, particularly because dogs can’t produce their own ascorbic acid.

Side Effects of Cabbage for Dogs

As with any human food, eating too much cabbage can be a shock to your dog’s gastrointestinal system, resulting in diarrhea, stomach upset or constipation. When first giving your pooch cabbage, start with a small amount and gauge their reaction before increasing the serving.

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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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