Are Brussel Sprouts Good for Dogs & Puppies to Have?
It is no secret that Brussel sprouts are not a lot of people’s favorite. It one of those treats that has an unusually high amount of leftovers after Thanksgiving dinner. Most kids are sure to say no to it. The adults are not left out. There is a very long list of Brussel sprouts haters everywhere you go. However, Brussel sprouts are an enormously nutritious vegetable that comes with lots of health benefits. They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and essential vitamins. Individuals who consume the recommended amount of Brussel sprouts regularly can benefit immensely from the numerous nutrients it contains.
But how about dogs? Can dogs eat Brussel sprouts? Are Brussel sprouts safe for dogs? Are Brussel sprouts as nutritious to dogs as they are to humans? Well, read on as we answer these questions and several others.
Can dogs eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, dogs can eat Brussel sprouts. Properly washed, well prepared, and lightly cooked Brussel sprouts should appeal to your dog. They might not go crazy over it, but they’ll eat it to their satisfaction if prepared the right way. And yes, Brussel sprouts are safe for dogs. They don’t contain any significant amount of natural toxins (if any) that may cause harm to your dog.
However, there are a lot of caveats you need to be aware of before chopping up Brussel sprouts for your dog. One of such caveats is feeding your dog Brussel sprouts in moderation. As nutritious and potentially beneficial as Brussel sprouts may seem, too much of it could cause health problems to your dog. But what exactly could go wrong?
One of the obvious side effects of giving your dog too much Brussel sprouts is flatulence. The flatulence can be especially problematic both to dog owners and the dog itself. And then there’s the vitamin A toxicity issues. Brussel sprouts contain considerable amounts of vitamin A. When taken in moderation, the problem of toxicity is improbable to occur.
However, too many Brussel sprouts mean too much vitamin A which can result in toxicity. Your dog may also have to deal with other digestive problems as well. To avoid any of such issues, stick to the recommended amount of Brussel sprouts for dogs. That you can finish a bowlful of Brussel sprouts without problems doesn’t mean it’s safe to give the same amount to your dog. If you’re in doubt about the appropriate amount of Brussel sprouts to feed your dog, seek the counsel of a veterinarian.
What’s the Best Way to Prepare Brussel Sprouts for Dogs?
There are a lot of ways to prepare a Brussel sprout treat for your dog. You can opt for sautéing, roasting, or cooking with seasoning to make them taste even more pleasant. However, the best approach to preparing Brussel Sprouts is going simple. No seasoning, no sautéing, no roasting; just plain lightly boiled Brussel sprouts. You reduce the risk of your dog suffering from any side effects of being fed Brussel sprouts when you feed them a simple Brussel sprouts dish without any seasoning whatsoever.
Also, when preparing Brussel sprouts for your dog, ensure it isn’t overcooked. Cooking shouldn’t even be the term to use. What you should do instead is steam. Don’t steam it for too long so it doesn’t lose some of the nutrients your dog would potentially benefit from. A Brussel sprout’s cancer-fighting properties would be significantly depleted depending on how long it sits on the fire.
While cooking makes Brussel sprouts lose some of their nutrients, you shouldn’t give your dog raw Brussel sprouts either. Sure, they’ll get all the nutrients it contains in all its glory, but you’ll have to deal with much flatulence afterward. Also, if you feed your dog with raw Brussel sprouts, it would be harder for them to digest than a lightly steamed one.
Another essential thing to note is going for organic Brussel sprouts. Whether you’re eating your sprouts yourself or feeding them to your dog, the organic option is always the best. Genetically modified Brussel sprouts and those cultivated using chemicals of different kinds represent a health risk to your dog. Stay away from this kind. Also, some Brussel sprouts may have been sprayed with pesticides to keep pests away. While this is done for a good reason, the pesticides may stick to the vegetable’s body long after it was sprayed. While it is advisable to avoid Brussel sprouts that have been exposed to chemicals of any kind, such may not always be possible. An excellent way to lessen such chemicals’ effects is to peel off some skin from the Brussel sprouts. After peeling off the outer skin, you should wash the vegetable thoroughly before chopping it up.
What Breed of Dogs Can You Feed Brussel Sprouts?
Just about any breed that eats it! Whether it is a German Shepherd, a French Bulldog, or a poodle, feeding your dog with Brussel Sprouts shouldn’t pose any significant risk if you stick to moderated quantities. While there’s no evidence that Brussel sprouts pose a considerable health risk to puppies, it is better to avoid feeding your younger dogs with them. If you have an older dog that feeds close to puppies, you might want to separate them whenever you want to feed the bigger ones with Brussel Sprouts. In as much as most dog breeds would gladly eat well prepared Brussel sprouts, some breeds of dogs may find it more unpalatable than others. Nonetheless, you can still get them to eat it. If your dog is pregnant or currently has suckling puppies, you should check with your veterinarian before feeding it with Brussel Sprouts.
How Do You Get Your Dog To Take Brussel Sprouts?
As enormously nutritious as Brussel sprouts could be, some dogs may turn away their face from it. Some will eat it only in tiny bits, while others would be delighted to have as much as you throw at them. The key to getting your dog to eat Brussel sprouts is easing them into it. Unlike other kinds of food your dog eats daily, vegetables like Brussel sprouts need to be introduced into their diet gradually. Don’t rush it. Gradual introduction plays two crucial roles:
- It will ensure that your dog gets used to the smell and test of Sprouts gradually until they are accustomed to it.
- It helps you spot out any irregularities that may arise due to feeding your dog with Brussel sprouts.
When introducing your dog to Brussel sprouts, start with tiny amounts. You can do this by mixing them up with other food. Skip a day or two between feeding them with the vegetable. A two to three days spacing might be optimal to give you enough time to properly access whatever effects the vegetable might have on your dog. Extend the introduction phase for over a week or two if possible. Some dogs will need a lot of time to get used to the vegetable. When you’re sure that your dog has gotten used to the taste and smell of the vegetable, you can increase the quantity and start adding it to your dog’s meal plan.
As long as you feed them the right amount of the vegetable, there shouldn’t be issues. However, there are usually some outlier cases. Every dog is unique in its way and may also have its own unique set of allergies. While you introduce your dog to sprouts, observe them closely. If they exhibit any form of unusual behavior, then you should stop the Brussel sprouts diet immediately and consult a veterinarian.
What Does Your Dog Gain from Consuming Brussel Sprouts?
A lot! Like earlier stated, Brussel sprouts are nutrient-rich vegetables. They may be low in calories, but they’re high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Brussel sprouts contain vitamin B, C, and K and plenty of folates, manganese, and dietary fiber. Your dog stands to benefit a lot from being fed with it. An average-sized Brussel sprout ( 21 gram serving of Brussel sprouts) contains around:
- 66.6 milligrams of Potassium
- 11.8 milligrams of phosphorus
- 7.6 milligrams of Calcium
- 4.4 milligrams of sodium
- 0.3 milligrams of iron
- 4.2 milligrams of magnesium
- 7.6 (31.8 kJ) of calories
- 29.5 mcg of vitamin K
- 163 IU of vitamin A
- 13.0 mcg of vitamin C
- 12.5 mcg of folate
- 8.5 mg of choline
Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts to Dogs
With all the nutritional hype, how exactly can Brussel sprouts be useful to your dog? Let’s take a closer look at some ways.
As we’ve seen above, Brussel sprouts have lots of vitamins. Vitamins A, C, and K are particularly prominent. The vitamin K in Brussel sprouts is useful in ensuring your dog has strong, healthy bones. It also helps ensure optimal blood clotting functions. Vitamin A, on the other hand, is considered a crucial vitamin for dogs. It is very important for improved skin health in dogs. It is also useful for optimal neurological functions as well as enhancing the health of muscles and nerves. Brussel sprouts also contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, a necessary immune system booster for dogs. Vitamin C also helps fight cell damage and help reduce several forms of inflammatory conditions in dogs.
In addition to vitamins A, C, and K, Brussel sprouts also contain the B range of vitamins. Among the prominent B range of vitamins, vitamin B1 or thiamine is particularly useful. Vitamin B1 is essential in the process of metabolizing carbohydrates for energy in your dog’s body. Vitamin B1 is also helpful in enhancing your dog’s nerve and organ functions.
Another incredibly important vitamin in the B range of vitamins is vitamin B6. As it turns out, Brussel sprouts also consist of vitamin B6 in reasonable amounts. The B6 in Brussel sprouts helps maintain your dog’s blood sugar level. In other words, it helps guide against diabetes in dogs.
Another important benefit your dog stands to gain by being fed Brussel sprouts is improved digestive and gut health, thanks to dietary fiber. The dietary fiber contained in Brussel sprouts can also help improve your dog’s blood sugar levels. Consequently, this means it can assist in preventing diabetes and heart diseases.
Apart from vitamins and dietary fiber, Brussel sprouts also contain appreciable amounts of essential minerals. The first mineral on the list is calcium, which is very important for strengthening your dog’s bone and teeth. Another essential mineral that Brussel sprout contains is potassium. Your dog needs potassium for certain heart functions and proper absorption of water by their body cells. It also helps to facilitate an appropriate functioning of your dog’s nervous system, brain functions, and strengthening of their muscles. Brussel sprouts also contain manganese, an essential mineral that also helps build stronger bones and healthy cartilages.
Antioxidants are essential in helping a dog stay healthy. They play a crucial role in fending off diseases and several cancerous conditions. They are found in appreciable amounts in Brussel sprouts. As long as you don’t overcook your Brussel Sprouts during preparation, then your dog is sure to get an enormous amount of antioxidants after feeding on it.
Brussel sprouts are rich in several essential nutrients and represent a good source of nutrition for your dog. It offers a bit of everything, from carbs to vitamins, and can help keep your dog in an optimally healthy condition. However, Brussel sprouts should only be treated as a treat. In other words, it shouldn’t be fed to dogs as a day to day food. Instead, it should be considered an effective supplement that should be offered to dogs occasionally.
The information shared in this article is sourced from reliable sources. However, it should not be regarded as a greater authority than the advice of a professional veterinarian. A veterinarian who has access to your dog will likely understand your dog’s unique case and know whether being fed Brussel sprouts would potentially be beneficial or counterproductive.