Do you love to eat broccoli and want to feed the same to your dog? Or you are a dog owner who wants to feed his dog a green vegetable with a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals? Are you going to cook food for your loved four-paws family member and want to add some green in the food? Or you have a dog who loves to eat commercial food with green topping? You want to consider broccoli in your dog’s food but the biggest question to get an answer is can dogs have broccoli?
Yes, dogs can have broccoli it’s similarly beneficial for them as it is for humans. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that longs to Brassica genus of plants. Basically its a type of flower with, a thick central stalk, grayish-green leaves, and green florets. Purple varieties are also available in the market. Whatever its color is broccoli is considered to be one of the most nutritious green vegetables that are equally beneficial for humans and animals. Thre are four types of broccoli available in the market and all of these belong to different nations and regions the most common one in the USA is broccoli head which is simply called broccoli.
- Broccoli Head (Broccoli)
- Broccoli Rabe (rapini)
- Chinese Broccoli (Kai lan/gai lan)
- Italian Heirloom (Romanesco broccoli)
It’s a cool-season crop that demands fertile well-drained soil to grow/flourish. Technically seeing there are two types of broccoli as per its appearance, one is with a solid head and other forms many smaller heads or florets. These two are called heading and sprouting and both are commonly found in our mainland USA. The central thick stalk of broccoli measures about 10 inches average in length while flower on the head side spread about 4 to 10 inches maximum. Both the fleshy flower and heads are edible. Dogs love to eat both either you feed in raw form or cooked.
The hybrid mixed breeds are not very common but available, especially in the cold season.
Besides being fibrous and flavorful as well as rich green color the tops of broccoli may contain more nutrients then the stalks this is the reason humans like tops more. When you are feeding your dog you can feed both in small pieces or threshed form because knowing that broccoli seeds and florets had the highest proportion of bioactive compound does not means to ignore the stalks which are less fruitful.
There are many varieties of broccoli but the most commonly known and used is broccoli head, Which is most beneficial and popular because of its shape and benefits. The good thing is fresh broccoli remain available throughout the year, it’s an all-season vegetable but the peak season is from October through April. It’s cholesterol-free, low in carbs and fats.
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA, the nutrition facts for 1 cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli are:
- Calories: 31
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sugar: 1.5 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 135% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 116% of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 14% of the RDI
- Potassium: 8% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 6% of the RDI
- Selenium: 3% of the RDI
Micronutrients in Broccoli
This green vegetable is bursting with minerals and vitamins, its an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C and Vitamin K that plays an important role in bone health and wound healing which is the utmost need of dogs. It’s also a vegetable that is known as a good source of vitamin B folate and Vitamin A, as well as other B vitamins, potassium, and manganese.
Protein in Broccoli
It contains a significant amount of protein, but when you are cooking food for your dog at home or which is based on the broccoli its essential to include another protein source like meat or chicken to give your dog a boost that he needs. Keep in mind depending on more than one quality protein source always make the food more beneficial as well as balance.
Carbs and Calories in Broccoli
It is an excellent vegetable to add in the food of overweight dogs, it gives a feel of fullness and one cup of chopped broccoli contains only 31 calories and 6 grames of carbohydrates, that means your dog will not get anything that can push him to gain weight.
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|1||Maintains Bone Health in Dogs|
|2||Good For Brain Brain of Growing Dogs|
|3||Improve and Maintain Vision|
|5||Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer in Dogs|
|6||Boost the immune System|
|7||Rich in Fiber|
|8||Excellent Anti-Aging Vegetable for Dogs|
|10||Repair Skin and Provide Healthy Coat|
Below we discuss all of these in detail, we are sure once you read all the benefits and then you will surely consider starting cooking foods with broccoli to keep your dog healthy, active and playful as well as to keep him young for many of coming year.
1. Promote Healthy Bones and Joints
This green vegetable is a good source of vitamin K and calcium the two which are known as essentials to keep the bones healthy. It contains many other nutrients/contents which are supportive of healthy bones and joints. It promotes good bone and joint health as well as in dogs it prevents bone-related disorders which are common in aging dogs.
It also contains zinc, vitamin A and C as well as phosphorus which are also necessary for healthy bones. If you ever own aged dogs then you are well aware that how difficult it is to keep the old friends in good health especially their bones and joints but broccoli is an effective solution that you must include in your dog’s food on daily basis. In the long term use, it really brings awesome results.
2. Good For Brain of Growing and aged Dogs
Basically, it slows down the aging process and its nutrients along with bioactive compounds low down the mental decline in aging dogs and support healthy nerve tissue function and brain.
While in the growing dogs it provides all the essential elements that dogs need to develop a healthy and responsive brain. In the dogs, it also eliminates the chance of stoke like events.
It contains sulforaphane that is very supportive for brain functions, this is a basic content that makes the mind of dogs sharp and gives them the ability to decide quickly and it also supports the brain function after an even of reduced oxygenation to the brain. The most researches regarding this vegetable are conducted on animals so the data is authentic and many researchers are sure that this is the most beneficial vegetable for the brain.
3. Improve and Maintain Vision
Like many other green vegetables, broccoli is a good source of lutein, an eye supportive that is yellow-orange carotenoid naturally protects the plant cells from damage. It also contains another carotenoid that benefits eyesight which is beta carotene that is converted into vitamin A which is vital to the eyesight of dogs, it can improve the eyesight and can protect the eyes from many of possible diseases and dysfunctions.
It’s rich in vitamin c that protects the structure of dogs’ eyes, the biggest benefit that dogs can have from broccoli is the prevention of cellular damage due to the hight amount of lutein adn zeaxanthin.
4. Good Anti-Oxidant
Its antioxidant contents are the main boons for the dogs because it keeps the body free from toxins. Antioxidants are the molecules that neutralize cell damage caused by free radicals, which generally results in reduced inflammation in dogs. Secondly, its high in glucoraphanin which is converted during digestion into potent antioxidants called sulforaphane. Antioxidants play a vital role in the health of dogs, the end result keeps them active and playful and energetic for day to day activities.
Your dog can get maximum benefit if you include it in his daily food or feed him along with other food three times a week.
5. Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer in Dogs
Good health of the heart is also necessary for the dogs especially in the last years of their age when the not much active and they need supportive from food and medicine to keep the heart healthy and working. Several studies on animals prove that broccoli may support heart health in a variety of ways. Its antioxidants suppress the free cells and inflammation and it also takes care of elevated bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels which are known as major factors for most of the heart diseases.
Cruciferous vegetables contain many bioactive compounds that reduce the chances of cancer and the same benefits your dog will get from broccoli because it belongs to the same family of vegetables.
6. Boost the immune System
Dogs need a strong immune system that helps to stay healthy, and they need it because they experience a variety of foods and weather that can cause problems for them and even their hygienic condition may become challenging for them some times.
Vitamin C content of broccoli supports a healthy immune system, the immune system of dog requires a multitude of nutrients to function properly and to stay regulated. This major content from broccoli plays a vital role to keep the immune system up and functional. Vitamin C the essential nutrient for the immune system of dogs and broccoli is fully loaded with it. The quantity of vitamin C that it contains is sufficient to prevent certain infections.
7. Rich in Fiber
This vegetable is rich in fiber that may aid to control blood sugar and offer many other benefits like, Fiber in dog’s food promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. It speeds up the elimination of waste through the colon and it maintains the optimal PH in intestines. It’s also supportive of the overall health of dogs.
8. Excellent Anti-Aging Vegetable for Dogs
Broccoli helps to slow down the aging process in dogs. We believe that aging is an unavoidable natural process and it cannot be stopped but with a good and balanced diet its possible to slow it. Two major factors that play a critical role in aging are the stress of antioxidant and metabolic function can be regulated with broccoli. It improves the diet quality of dogs and prevents many aging diseases by increasing antioxidant genes. Sulforaphane is mainly responsible to slow down the aging process and its a major content in broccoli.
9. Curb Apatite
One cup of chopped broccoli only has 31 calories while the same amount of cooked broccoli has 54 calories, So it offers a lot of energy with few calories which helps to maintain a healthy weight. Its a necessary vegetable for chubby dogs who gain more and now they remain less active in the day to day activities. Adding broccoli in your dog’s food gives him a feeling of fullness and it helps to maintain a healthy diet. While in the same time in the shape of broccoli you are feeding your dog all the required minerals and vitamins that can support to get the energy to perform routine activities.
It contains fiber that has qualities to curb the weight, as it absorbs water and expands, your dog feel full and slow down the digestion process that ultimately reduces the intake. It makes easier to eat less.
10. Repair Skin and Provide Healthy Coat
There are many factors and ingredients that play a vital role in the overall health of the skin and coat of your dog. Whether you own a dog that is prone to skin issues or you want to ensure healthy skin and shinier coat of your dog. The broccoli is the ultimate solution, it has healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids that dogs need to for healthy skin and coat. Change of season also effect the coat and skin of dogs that can be dealt with broccoli.
Ways to Serve Broccoli to Dogs
There is no standard method to feed broccoli to dogs, as an owner it depends on you that how you feed your dog this green vegetable. Few of suggestion that works most of the time is
- Offer broccoli to your dog as a topping on homemade food
- Make topping of commercial food with semi-cooked broccoli or raw broccoli
- Cook it at home and mix in commercial food to make the food more healthy and tasty
- Offer broccoli to your dog in raw shape/fresh in small pieces, in the start you may need little effort to feed it but once your dog starts eating he will love to eat it
- Make a recipe at home base don broccoli and another protein source
- Cook it and freeze in shape of treats to offer something different to your dog
- You can feed it as standalone but in steamed or roasted form
Brocolli Treats for Dogs
When you have finally decided to feed broccoli toy our dog but cannot cook at home on a regular basis then broccoli treats are a solution that you can have. The best way is to make a soup type dish with broccoli and chicken or meat and freeze that in the shape of small cubes. Use that cubes for treats and your dog will love to eat that treats as well as such treats provide all the benefits thay you want for your dog from broccoli. For most the owners it becomes easy to feed healthy ingredients in the shape of treats so we suggest you try it at home first and then you may consider some of the good options available in the market.
No doubt you can feed raw broccoli to your dog but keep in mind only a few breeds like to eat in raw shape when it offered along. It’s better to chope it and offer in shape of topping or mix with any other food, your dog will eat that food easily. Maybe some of the dog refuses to eat raw broccoli for them you can use a supplement powder, just add that on broccoli and your dog will start eating that food.
They love to eat cooked broccoli, in fact, cooked broccoli becomes tastier and when you add cooked broccoli in commercial food, it makes that food tastier and it smells nice. We find that dogs like the appearance of cooked broccoli and they finish the meal with broccoli in no time.
Even when your dog is not eating or liking his commercial kibble you can mix cooked broccoli in the food of your pup and your dog will love to eat that meal.
Dogs can eat Broccoli Stems. In cooked form its great source of energy for them, your dog may refuse to eat stems in raw/fresh/uncooked form because majority breeds do not like thick green vegetable stems but when you offer it in chopped or thrashed from they will definitely love to eat it. If your dog is not liking it then do not try to feed it in raw form.
Yes, they can, because it becomes soft and easy to chew. But there are such rare cases when you can offer steams broccoli to your dog. Like when you are eating steamed broccoli and you can offer the same to your dog. But when you are only cooking for your dog then prefer to make a complete recipe instead of steamed broccoli.
Yes, they do if stalks are chopped or thrashed. In the raw shape, your dog may not like stalks because they are a little hard to chew as compared to the head but they offer some benefits. You may offer them broccoli stalks in cooked form. Dogs do not like to eat raw broccoli stalk until they are chopped into small pieces or cooked well.
Broccoli rabe is just another kind of broccoli that is similarly nutritious and dogs live to eat broccoli rabe. Many are in the view that this king of broccoli is easy to feed to your dog because it comes in the shape of leafs and can be cooked and chopped easily as well as can become an ingredient in any homemade dog food.
Broccoli sprouts are three- to four-day-old broccoli plants that look like alfalfa sprouts, but taste like radishes, you can add them in any homemade dog food and even can use at a topping of your dog’s commercial kibble. As compared to fully grown broccoli, dogs love broccoli sprouts more. Yogurt and broccoli sprouts are a great combination to feed and our four-paws family members love to eat it.
If you are going to feed broccoli as standalone food then mixing it with cheese is a great idea that your pooch will love too. Yes, dogs can eat broccoli and cheese, you can also use cheese in broccoli recipes that you cook at home for your dog.
Well, if you try to feed the frozen broccoli as a standalone food then definitely your dog will not eat that. Prefer to freeze that in cooked form and, like make a soup of broccoli with chicken and freeze as treats, and it will be premium treats for your dogs which are full of energy.
Yes, dogs can eat uncooked broccoli, they like it in the small form either chopped or threshed. Broccoli as a topping makes the dog food more tasty and healthy.
Broccoli has an ample amount of sugar so it cannot be fed on a daily basis but good to feed on an occasional basis.
Yes, it’s bioactive contents support healthy joints and also prevent arthritis and many other bones and joint diseases. Its a good and healthy food for dogs suffering from arthritic problems. In aging dogs, it’s just like a blessing.
Yes, they can, it’s not harmful for dogs. But if you include some other protein source as well that can make the soup more delicious and healthy.
Yes, they can but broccoli leaves are not nutritious as compared to the head stems and stalks. Broccoli’s head is a more nutritious part.
Eventually, the sulfur compounds end up forming trisulfides that result in bad smell during cooking.
It’s natural with some dogs, they do not like to eat greens and mostly when its fresh and in raw form if you are cooking with gravy and you dog refused to eat then try a dry recipe and your dog will definitely like that.
When not to feed broccoli to your dog?
Its a safe vegetable for a dog that you can feed in small quantities on a regular basis but you must stop feeding raw broccoli when your dog is sick and suffering severely. Because it gives the feeling of fullness and that can reduce the intake of your dog and in a result, the recovery of your dog may take time. It’s not harmful on the other side it provides very few calories, in the recovery stage and during a disease dogs need more calories so stop feeding in such a situation other then your dog suffers from any stomach issue.
The other condition is diabetes, its rich in sugar that may cause a problem for diabetic dogs. You can feed broccoli to your diabetic dog but on an occasional basis.