Can Dogs Have Asparagus?
Dogs often enjoy fruits and vegetables as a treat. But a dog’s body is different from human bodies so some of the food we eat is not good for them. So maybe you are wondering, can dogs eat asparagus?
The tasty asparagus vegetable is loaded with nutrient content such as minerals and vitamins. It’s one of those super healthy foods for humans, but is it a healthy snack for dogs too? And should dogs eat raw asparagus or cooked asparagus?
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Dogs can eat asparagus as it is not toxic for them. However, there are some things to consider before you start giving asparagus to your canine.
Risks Of Feeding Your Dog Asparagus
When thinking about giving your dog asparagus, here are a few things to consider first. While it is not toxic to them, it can cause a few issues.
No matter what food you give your dog, there is always the risk of causing an allergic reaction. Just like people, every dog is different and can have a reaction to something that others can eat just fine.
But it is one of those things you just don’t know until they try it.
However, let’s talk about the most common issues there are when it comes to dogs eating asparagus.
Digestive Issues with Dogs and Asparagus
One of the downsides to giving your dog asparagus is dogs might have difficulty digesting asparagus because the asparagus stalks (also called asparagus spears) are tough.
In some cases, it can lead to gas, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you notice this is happening with your dog, try cooking the asparagus slightly before giving it to your dog. Cooking asparagus will make it more tender.
Cooked asparagus makes it easier to chew and easier to digest. Meaning it is easier on a dog’s stomach. If you do cook it first be sure not to use any butter or cooking oil. Simply steam, boil or grill the healthy vegetable.
You should note that when you cook food such as asparagus, it decreases the nutrient. The more it is cooked, the fewer health benefits it has.
When considering feeding for health benefits it might be smarter to go with a veggie that is a little easier to digest in its raw form.
It should also be noted that too much asparagus can lead to your dog having an upset stomach or stomach pain. That would be due to too much fiber in your dog’s digestive system at one time.
Just like humans, dog’s reaction to asparagus may vary. After all, there are some foods that my husband loves and indulges in, while I stay away because they upset my stomach. And vice versa.
Is Asparagus a choking hazard for dogs?
Raw asparagus can be quite tough. Meaning it can very difficult to chew. The larger the stalk the tougher it will be.
This can make for a choking hazard for dogs. If a dog has a hard time chewing something, it will often just try to swallow it whole.
To avoid the risk of your dog choking on the asparagus, you should cook or chop it up into small pieces before you offer it to your dog.
Also, make sure you do not offer asparagus to your dog when he is hungry. Wait until he has eaten his regular meal.
This will give him enough time to chew the tough vegetable properly. You do not want to risk having him choke on it.
Toxic Asparagus Fern
The other thing you should worry about when it comes to asparagus and dogs is the asparagus fern. That is the inedible part of the asparagus plant. It is also toxic for a dog.
If you happen to grow your own asparagus, you should consider adding a fence around it to keep your dog away from it. You would not want him to eat the toxic asparagus fern.
If a dog was to eat the fern part of the plant, it will cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you suspect your dog has eaten any part of the fern, you should contact your vet right away.
Health Benefits of Asparagus For Dogs
Asparagus is known for being a vegetable that is loaded with great health benefits for people. But a lot of those same benefits carrier over to dogs as well.
As pet owners, it is good to know just what benefits the foods we feed our dogs have.
When it comes to asparagus, there are so many health benefits it is hard to list them all. But here are a few of the top ones:
Low Calories & Fats: That makes it a great healthy treat to give to your dog to keep their weight under control.
Fiber: Asparagus is super high in fiber. Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. That makes it a great food to help with digestion and keep things moving with regular bowel movements. However, dietary fiber can be a double-edged sword. As too much of it can also trigger digestive issues.
Vitamins: Asparagus has lots of different essential vitamins in it such as vitamins A, K, B, C as well as vitamin E. Each has its own benefits.
Vitamin A is good for vision and the immune system. Vitamin K is good for helping blood clot properly. The B vitamins such as vitamin b6, vitamin b1 help with your dog’s heart, nervous system, as well as their coat health.
We all know that vitamin c is great for the immune system.
Antioxidants: There are also powerful antioxidants in asparagus. They help to flush out free radicals and toxins.
Folic Acid: this is needed for red blood cell growth and DNA formation.
Potassium: Is needed to help nerves, muscles, and even the heart to work properly.
Should You Feed Your Dog Asparagus?
While we have talked about the risks vs the benefits of giving your dog asparagus, there is still the question of should you feed your dog asparagus?
That is one you will have to answer for yourself. However, you should keep in mind that any treat even if healthy should not replace a well-balanced diet. You want to avoid nutritional imbalance.
You should always go by the rule of thumb that treats and snacks should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s normal dog food.
How To Feed Dogs Asparagus
If you choose to feed your dog asparagus the best way to start is to slowly introduce it to him first. As with any new food, it should never just be given in large quantities to start with.
It is a good idea to always start with just a few smaller pieces or small amounts for a few days to see how your dog handles it.
If he doesn’t seem to have any problems with it at all, then gradually increase the amount you feed him.
It should never be given in whole. Always be sure to cut it into bite-size pieces.
Consider slightly cooking the asparagus as it makes it easier to chew and digest. Never cook it with spices or oils. It should only be steamed, boiled, or grilled.
Do not however feed your canine companion canned asparagus. It is loaded with too much salt and additives that are not good for your dog’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
So, can dogs eat asparagus or not? Yes, but only if introduced and fed correctly. And, overall, sure, there is no harm in giving your dog a nibble or two while you’re preparing food for your family.
However, a high quality dog food will give your pet the nutrition they need, so there is no need to supplement it with anything.
Asparagus is a great food to add to your dog’s diet. It is very low in calories, fat, and has tons of other great nutrients. But like most foods, too much of a good thing can become bad. So always remember the old adage “you are what you eat.”
And when it comes to asparagus, too much of it can definitely cause digestive upset. So do yourself a favor and don’t feed your dog this veggie in large quantities all at once.
As dog owners, you should also be mindful of the toxic part of the plant.
Make sure your dog does not eat any of the toxic asparagus fern. If he does, it will cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you decide to give your dog asparagus, always be sure to cut it up into small pieces for him. And slowly introduce it to him first. And always cook it slightly if you are going to feed it to your dog.
That will make it more digestible for him. Remember, like most things in life moderation is the key. Too much of anything can be bad for you!
After you check out this info on asparagus, here are a few other posts you may want to check out.