Cabbage is one of those vegetables that you can enjoy in a wide variety of popular recipes and dishes. And while you may love the taste and texture of cabbage, you might be wondering if it's a healthy food item you can feed to your dog. When your pup is staring up at you, salivating for a taste, it’s hard to say no. But before you drop a leaf into their bowl, it’s a good idea to check that your furry friend can safely eat this vegetable.
The short answer is yes, you can feed your dog cabbage. However, there are some caveats you need to consider first. While cabbage is chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, it can also have some mild adverse effects on your pup's health and nutrition if feed to them incorrectly.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
Is Cabbage Safe For Dogs To Eat?
Yes, cabbage is safe to serve your pup but you don't want to take what's on your plate and give it to your dog. Preparing cabbage for your dog to consume should be done differently than how you would do it for your own dish. You wouldn't dress your dog in people clothes instead of their dog id tag, and likewise you shouldn't feed your dog people food - it should be prepared especially for them.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Cabbage For Dogs?
Cabbage is a healthy dietary supplement that provides fiber, vitamins B1, B6, C, and K, and minerals such as copper, manganese, and potassium. There are also many antioxidant benefits that can help fight against cancer and heart disease. This natural boost of your dog's immune system is a valuable ally in helping your pup stay healthy and happy.
Since cabbage is high in fiber, this veggie has been shown to promote good gastrointestinal health and digestion in dogs. There are even positive health benefits for your dog's skin to keep it clear and without rash or irritation. So if your pet has dry skin or rough patches, cabbage can be a good natural treatment to fight these uncomfortable symptoms.
What Are The Dangers Of Serving Cabbage To Dogs?
Before you serve your pet any sort of human food, you should ask your veterinarian whether or not it's something they would endorse. But as an overall guide for serving cabbage to dogs, the biggest concerns are the same as those we might have for ourselves when eating this veggie, as too much of it can upset the stomach and cause an excess of gas and flatulence.
So if you decide to let your dog try some cabbage, always start with a small amount first. See how they react to the food initially. Be on the lookout for the symptoms mentioned above along with any changes in the animal's stool. In some extreme cases, a dog could develop hypothyroidism due to the existence of thiocyanate in cabbage, but this would mean that your dog is eating only cabbage for weeks at a time. Hypothyroidism is a serious condition that should be avoided.
Is Cooked Or Raw Cabbage Best?
Raw cabbage is fine once in a while, but if you plan on making cabbage a regular part of your dog's diet then you should be cooking it first. Boiling or steaming the cabbage for your pet is a good idea for a number of reasons. For starters, cooking the cabbage removes the thiocyanate from the vegetable, making it healthier and safer for your pet to consume. It also softens the cabbage so that your pet can eat it easier, and lowers the risk of choking (just like when feeding your pup asparagus). Keep in mind that any prepared cabbage for humans that might be found in coleslaw, kimchi, or sauerkraut should not be given to your dog or your pet could experience symptoms of discomfort or excessive gas (as mentioned earlier).
How To Feed Your Dog Cabbage
You have a number of options with respect to choosing the right way to serve cabbage to your pet. Whether it's green cabbage, purple, savoy, or one of the many other choices that are available, you can feed it to them on a regular basis, but always do so as an addition to their normal diet. Just like any other snack your dog may have, such as bell peppers or watermelon, it's a good idea to make it a treat and not a staple.
Prepping via steaming or boiling can make cabbage edible for your dog, but don't do much else to it. Forget about adding ingredients like herbs and spices, cream, or anything else that you would normally consume. No matter how good you might think it tastes, it’s not a great idea for your dog to be eating those additives.
As for the cabbage itself, you can feed your dog pretty much any type out there as they all contain the same vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Another thing to remember is that you don't want to serve your dog whole leaves, cooked or otherwise. Even cooked cabbage leaves can pose a choking hazard, so be sure to cut up the leaves before you put them in your dog's bowl.
Feeding cabbage to your dog may not be something every pet owner decides on, but if your pet has an interest in consuming the vegetable then, by all means, allow your pup to enjoy it. Just be sure you're prepping it carefully and properly so your dog can get all the benefits from the cabbage, be it an occasional snack or a routine part of your pet's diet.
Looking for more great pet tips and insights? Check out the Two Tails Pet Blog.