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Can dogs eat broccoli?

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, it can be difficult for us dog owners to remember what they can share with their doggy best friends and which ones could prove fatal. So, where do broccoli come into this? Can dogs eat broccoli?

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Dogs are omnivores, they benefit from many different fruits and vegetables for the same reasons as us humans do, these foods are low in fat and sugar, but high in vitamins and fibre. Broccoli, however, isn’t among the most ideal vegetables for dogs. It does pack plenty of vitamin C and healthy fibre, but it also contains isothiocyanate (a potentially dangerous ingredient). If a dog eats too much, it can cause severe abdominal pain and digestive issues.

Is Broccoli Healthy for My Dog?

Yes, but small quantities. Dogs can and will benefit from the nutrients in broccoli, including vitamin K, calcium, and potassium. Vitamin K promotes strong bones and higher bone density, and in combination with broccoli’s many nutrients, it can be a substantial benefit for growing dogs such as puppies.

Can I give my dog too much Broccoli?

The general rule of thumb is, dogs shouldn’t get more than 10% of their daily calories from broccoli. This obviously varies quite a bit depending on the size and activity level of your dog.

Can Eating Broccoli Be Dangerous for My Dog?

The main concern with broccoli is the naturally occurring compound we mentioned earlier called isothiocyanate, which can cause mild to severe irritation to the digestive tract. Isothiocyanate is also present in other cruciferous vegetables, like kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, although broccoli is particularly rich in the compound. A small amount of this is actually pretty harmless, but if a dog eats more than 10% of their calories from broccoli, isothiocyanate can cause gut irritation. The real danger starts if a dog eats large quantities of broccoli, around 25% of his daily calories. At that high concentration, isothiocyanate can become a deadly toxin.

How Much Broccoli Can my Dog Eat?

As mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to follow the 10% rule. A dog can eat 10% of his calories from fruits, veggies, and treats. Start out slow with broccoli to make sure your dog can digest is easily. We recommend observing for signs of stomach issues, such as gas or diarrhoea. 

If broccoli agrees with your dog, feel free to feed them a small amount if you want to. However, remember to keep within the 10% rule and you’ll be safe in terms of stomach irritation caused by the naturally occurring isothiocyanate.

If you do give your dog broccoli, make sure to chop it into smaller pieces and to cook it before serving. Broccoli can be fibrous, so test the pieces to make sure they are soft and easy to chew. We recommend only serving it as an occasional treat and in small quantities.

However, in general we reccomend it’s best to opt for more dog-friendly green veggies for your four-legged friend, such as spinach or even seaweed.

Serving Ideas

You could also mix chopped broccoli with other veggies and stuff them in a Kong Classic, then freeze and feed as a treat. We actually wrote a whole blog about what you can do with a Kong Classic

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