Last Updated: March 31, 2023
Generally, dogs aren’t so picky about food and will gladly gobble down anything fed to them but still, the thought – Can dogs eat broccoli? crosses every concerned dog owner’s mind.
Besides feeding your dog a vet-recommended diet, you might want them to reap some added nutrition from vegetables and one such vegetable is broccoli.
This nutrition-packed Tree of Doom is high in fiber, potassium, Vitamin K, C, and B9 which is approved safe for the dogs by an experienced vet Dr. Linda Simon.
To help your dog gain maximum benefits from broccoli, serve it slightly blanched or bitesize raw florets.
Treat your dog with this green snack to add some healthy tasty variation to their diet.
In this article we have discussed in detail the benefits of broccoli for dogs and if it can be given raw or cooked form.
We have also discussed if broccoli leaves and stalks are safe for dogs to eat.
Let’s dive in!
Can dogs eat broccoli?
Stop doubting yourself and let your dog relish the taste and health benefits of broccoli without overcooking or deep-frying it.
Broccoli is a healthy vegetable that you can definitely serve your dog but in limited quantity.
Renowned vets have approved that broccoli florets, stalks, and leaves are safe for dogs to be consumed as snacks but not as their main diet, so feed in a moderate amount.
This superhuman food is a powerhouse of essential nutrients, fiber, and has low fat.
However, if you want your dog to gain maximum dietary benefits, feed them only the fresh green broccoli chopped in bitesize raw, steamed, or roasted.
Can dogs eat raw broccoli?
The only way to help your dog get the rewarding nutritional benefits of broccoli is to prepare it correctly.
Dogs love broccoli and chewing the stalks like a bone is great for their oral and gum health.
Most pet nutritionists and veterinarians recommend feeding broccoli to dogs raw, or blanched but never overcook the vegetable to prevent vaporizing the nutrition.
Green fresh broccoli is the best to serve your dog raw as weekly snacks.
Wash and chop broccoli into chewable sizes and serve in limited quantity i.e. 10% of your dog’s diet can include broccoli.
Dr. Linda says “While not something vets tend to see in practice, it is theoretically possible for broccoli to cause toxicity. This is if more than 10% of a dog’s diet is made up of broccoli. Overfeeding broccoli can lead to food poisoning because it contains a compound called isothiocyanates, which are present in a range of cruciferous vegetables and can cause stomach upset.”
So serve broccoli to your pooch in a small amount.
Can dogs eat broccoli stems/stalks?
Another most frequently asked question is can dogs eat broccoli stalks or if it is nutritious or not?
There is nothing wrong with feeding the broccoli stalks to dogs as chewing the raw stems strengthens their gum health but at the same time can lead to choking hazards and is also tough on their stomach to digest.
So what is the best way to feed your dog broccoli stem safely?
If you are feeding broccoli stalks to small dogs, consider chopping them into small pieces.
Dr. Linda says “While a rare complication, the stalk can potentially lodge in the food pipe if not properly chewed. This is more of a risk when raw broccoli is fed.”
So make sure that you soften the stalks by boiling or slightly blanching to make it easier for the dogs to digest and absorb some surprising health benefits.
Can dogs eat broccoli leaves?
Every part of broccoli holds some nutritional benefits and the leaves are no exception.
Green broccoli leaves are a potent source of essential minerals and vitamins good for your growing dog.
However, feeding too much of the raw leaves can upset their stomach and cause bloating.
So, take a handful of freshly separated broccoli leaves and wash them thoroughly under running water to clean off pesticides and pests if any.
Now you can either cut the leaves into small bitesize pieces and mix it with dog food or with half a bowl of salad mix to serve your dog.
Can dogs eat cooked broccoli?
Yes, dogs can definitely eat cooked broccoli.
When cooking; boiling, roasting, or baking broccoli is the best option.
But make sure not to fry it in butter or oil as too much fat consumption can cause stomach upset or pancreatitis.
Also, never serve your dog broccoli soup loaded with milk, cream, or cheese as most adult dogs are lactose intolerant and can suffer from gastroenteritis.
Not only this, broccoli seasoned with garlic and onion is a strict No as they are highly toxic and when fed in large amounts they can lead to a type of anemia known as Heinz body anemia.
How often can I give broccoli to my dog?
Broccoli is a safe vegetable dogs can eat unless it does not exceed 10% of their daily intake.
Vegetables and fruits aren’t essential for dogs to fulfill their daily nutritional needs, only a vet-recommended diet is enough for their healthy growth.
But if you want to feed your dog some added nutrients of broccoli, start slow by introducing a few tiny florets to see how your dog is reacting or whether having any problem after ingesting.
If everything seems fine serve your dog broccoli thrice a week as snacks diced in bite sizes to avoid choking hazards and to support smooth digestion.
How much broccoli should I feed to my dog daily?
The quantity of offering broccoli to your dogs depends a lot on their age and sizes.
If your dog is small, be extremely careful about the amount and the feeding gap to ensure it is not bothering their health.
Remember, excess of anything is detrimental to your dog’s health, so is broccoli.
This flavonoid green is also rich in fiber, whose excess consumption can cause diarrhea in dogs.
To keep it safe, feed 1/8 cup of broccoli to miniature dogs, 1/2 cup to small dogs, for large dogs keep the amount to a cup, and 2 cups for giant dogs.
What are the health benefits of broccoli for dogs?
Feeding your dog a few tiny florets of raw or blanched broccoli has uncountable health benefits only if served in the right amount.
A powerhouse of flavonoids, including a cup of broccoli to your dog’s diet or as directed by the vet, can reap some rewarding health advantages.
- Rich in Vitamin C, broccoli can boost your dog’s immunity to fight seasonal flu, diseases, and also aid in fast recovery from injuries.
- Balanced consumption of broccoli is great for your dog’s skeletal health. A potent source of Vitamin K, broccoli helps to strengthen bone health in dogs and is especially recommended for senior dogs to deal with age-related bone problems.
- Consumption of broccoli is also quite beneficial for your dog’s cardiac health as its adequate potassium content helps to regulate their heartbeat and pacify irregular beating.
- Broccolis are a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties which are great for aging dogs in relieving skeletal and joint pains and also slows down the abrasion process.
- The antioxidants present in broccoli can reduce cell damage and potentially prevent chronic disease development in dogs.
Go ahead and include broccoli in your dog’s diet as recommended by your vet.
Be cautious, and follow our guide to make broccoli a safe and healthy veggie snack that your dog will gobble gladly without side effects.
Are there any hazards of giving broccoli to dogs?
After busting myths and presenting facts on can dogs eat broccoli, many pet parents are curious if feeding broccoli has any adverse health impact on dogs.
Thankfully, this cruciferous vegetable is comparatively healthier and safer for dogs.
You can feed raw tiny florets or steamed stalks to soften the texture for easy swallowing and digestion.
Also, always mind the quantity, as an excess amount of broccoli florets, stalks, or leaves can lead to choking hazards in small dogs and cause stomach upset due to the presence of isothiocyanates and some potent plant chemicals.
Can dogs eat broccoli rabe?
A member of the Brassica family, Broccoli Rabe is almost a doppelganger of broccoli and is widely used in Italian cuisines.
Coming to the question if dogs can eat Broccoli Rabe, then yes, you can surely feed them this vegetable high in calcium, magnesium, essential vitamins, and some detoxifying properties but only after consulting a vet.
Also known as Rapini, Broccoli Rabe is vet-approved for both puppies and adult dogs but feeding raw can lead to hypothyroidism due to a high level of goitrogen.
So always serve this vegetable steamed for easy digesting and maximum nutrient absorption by your dog.
Can dogs eat dried and frozen broccoli?
Fresh broccoli is a safe vegetable dogs can eat but store drying or freezing broccoli is the best way to feed your dog healthy nutrition when it is seasonally unavailable in the market.
Dried broccoli holds all the nutrients as the fresh ones and is also comparatively safer to feed raw to the dogs as the trace of plant chemicals is quite lower because of drying.
You can also freeze broccoli and serve your dog raw only after bringing it to room temperature as extreme chill can damage their oral nerves or cook it to avoid choking and easy digestion.
Can dogs have broccoli juice?
Concentrated broccoli juice is not so healthy for dogs because of some potent chemicals, so avoid giving smoothies and juices made of broccoli.
Instead, you can mix a few broccoli florets or stalks along with some fresh fruits and vegetables to make a healthy salad for your dog.
But make sure to serve this nutrient-rich diet occasionally to prevent stomach upset in your dog.
You can start feeding this salad in small quantities or mix some in your dog’s regular food to watch their reaction.
While making the salad, don’t forget to wash each broccoli floret as the presence of pesticides and pests can lead to severe toxicity in dogs.
Can I give broccoli that has turned yellow, to my dog?
Feeding yellow broccoli has no adverse impact but it lacks nutrients.
That’s why renowned vet consultant Dr. Linda Simon suggests feeding only fresh green broccoli to dogs as it is packed with all the nutrients.
If you want your dog to get maximum health benefits from broccoli, buy only the farm-fresh ones.
Broccoli that has turned yellow has hardly any health benefits for dogs and must be fed when it’s all fresh and green.
Yellow broccoli will also turn rough and have a strong flavor that automatically deters dogs from having it.
Can dogs eat broccoli with
Broccoli doused in cheese or cheddar soup is always a hazardous combination for dogs.
Dr. Linda Simon strictly forbids serving broccoli soup prepared in cheese. Any dairy product is extremely harmful to dogs as its consumption can upset their stomach.
Most dogs are lactose intolerant and can suffer from gastroenteritis if fed an excessive amount of dairy products regularly.
Hence to help your dog digest and absorb maximum broccoli nutrients without any side effects, serve it raw or blanched or as directed by your vet.
Butter is again a dairy product that should never be served to dogs in any form.
Renowned vet surgeon and consultant Dr. Linda Simon advises not to feed dogs broccoli fried or tossed in butter as ingesting excess fat can lead to pancreatitis or severe stomach bloating.
So keep away any dairy products from your dog’s diet list as these are naturally harmful to a dog’s health and slow down its metabolism.
To safely feed your dog broccoli, always serve it steamed, baked, or roasted.
Broccoli cooked with refined salt to enhance the taste is a big No for your dog.
Now you may wonder what can go wrong with the universal tastemaker?
Your dog’s food already contains the right amount of sodium that they need.
Extra salt is especially risky for dogs with cardiac disease.
Even if your dog is sound and healthy, avoid adding salt to their food and feed them broccoli either raw or boiled in plain water.
High in Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids, olive oil is a great nourisher for your dog’s skin and coat health.
So yes, you can definitely feed your dog broccoli sauteed in a little amount of olive oil to enhance the flavor.
Broccoli lightly fried in olive oil is safe for dogs to eat but in moderation.
The combination of broccoli and olive oil helps to regulate your dog’s digestive system while adding too much oil can lead to diarrhea and obesity in dogs.
Broccoli is a safe vegetable dogs can eat with rice which makes it a wholesome meal for lunch or dinner.
Boil a moderate amount of rice and broccoli together as per your dog’s size and age and feed this nutritious dish to your dog once or twice a week.
Both steamed rice and broccoli are a great immunity booster for dogs when served in the right amount and without seasoning.
You can also add some other greenies with broccoli for extra nourishment for your dog.
Always keep garlic and onions out of the reach of your dog as these are highly toxic for the canines.
Hopefully, you can easily guess what we are going to recommend.
Not only the strong flavor of garlic is unbearable for dogs but eating them can lead to health consequences like anemia.
So never feed broccoli to dogs seasoned with garlic because of the presence of N-propyl disulfide, a toxic compound for dogs that will damage their red blood cells causing Heinz Body Anemia.