The short answer is, Yes, they can!
Ever feel bad about feeding your dog the same food every day? Think your pooch could do with a bit of 'people' food?
Riced, steamed, roasted, pureed, and even raw, cauliflowers are making waves in the health food world right now. Depending on how cooked, cauliflower can vary from crunchy and chewy to creamy and smooth in texture. It has a mild flavor that goes well with any number of sauces and seasonings. You love it, but is it OK to give it to your dog?
Dogs need a protein-rich diet, heavy in meat. Vegetables should be a small portion of their diet. If you check the breakdown of nutrients on a dog's dry food bag, vegetables and fruits are often listed as the last items. In other words, dogs can enjoy cauliflower and other vegetables, but in small amounts. Cauliflowers are loaded with vitamins, minerals, soluble fiber, and antioxidants. Fiber helps with digestion and in keeping your dog's bowel movements regular. It also helps to keep their teeth clean. Vitamins help combat inflammation and symptoms associated with aging. Best of all, cauliflower is low in calories, making it an excellent treat for dogs. Give your dog small to modest portions when introducing it, even if it is healthy food.
On the flip side, too much of it can irritate the intestine's lining, creating gas and loose stools. Keep this in mind when feeding your dog cauliflower, or you could be stuck with a stinky animal!
While humans enjoy munching on raw vegetables, this may not be true for dogs.
Dogs tend to swallow raw pieces of vegetables, and this may cause choking and problems with digestion. Compared to humans, dogs have a smaller digestive tract, so it is best to cook the cauliflower before feeding it to them. Your dog will benefit most if you steam the cauliflower, rather than boiling or frying it. The leaves and florets can be whole, bite-sized pieces, or they can be pureed. Stems are a big no-no, though.
There is no need for seasoning as a dog's taste buds are unlike humans. Dogs don't need salt in their diet. Salt in their food can lead to diarrhea, dehydration, and even salt poisoning. Onions and garlic should be avoided entirely as they are quite toxic to dogs.
Here Are Some Serving Ideas
Dogs can eat cauliflower
- Cooked as an ingredient in a homemade meal that is balanced with a good serving of protein
- Mashed or pureed as a treat
- Minced or chopped finely and sprinkled on top of their food.
Sweet Potato And Cauliflower Casserole For You And Your Dog
This nutritious recipe from chef Kiki Kane is packed with the goodness of vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potato, bean, and natural sweetness of apples and carrots. A delicious treat for you and your dog to enjoy!
- Total time: 30 minutes
- Makes: 4 serves
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower, fresh or frozen
- 2 carrots
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 apple
- 1 can low salt drained and rinsed kidney beans
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread coconut flakes on a lined pan till they are toasty brown, about 5-10 minutes
- Wash, peel, and roughly chop the apple, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
- Steam the veggies till they are soft, then leave them to cool
- Drain and rinse the kidney beans a couple of times to remove as much salt as possible.
- Pulse veggies and beans in a food processor till they combine. Add coconut oil and pulse till it all comes together
- Serve topped with toasted coconut.
What Vegetables Can I Feed My Dog?
Besides cauliflower, there are many other vegetables that your dog can eat. One of these is broccoli, which has more fiber and more nutritional value than cauliflower. It also has higher levels of vitamins A, and K. Cabbage and Brussels sprouts are safe for your dog too. Keep in mind these vegetables are better cooked rather than eaten raw for your dog.
Dogs like the sweet flavor of carrots and sweet potatoes. Many people give their overweight dogs sweet potatoes as snacks or mix it with their dog's food. It helps the dog feel full, especially if they are on a diet. Sweet potatoes have very high levels of vitamin C, essential for a healthy immune system. There is evidence that vitamin C helps relieve stress and can help fight diseases like arthritis and glaucoma. It's also been shown to help them recover faster from injuries. Dogs love to chew things, and you can feed this love by creating chew sticks of dehydrated sweet potatoes.
When it comes to snacks, edamame is perfect for dogs. High in fiber, these beans are a good source of proteins, which is great for extremely active dogs. Doggy treats high in calories, and fat should be avoided. Particularly if your dog is on a diet, toss a few edamame beans to keep it happy. The high fiber content in these beans will keep it feeling full for longer.
Shelled, raw edamame is best to give your dog. Avoid giving them the baked edamame you find on supermarket shelves. These contain oil, salt, and other seasonings, which is not suitable for your dog.
As with other vegetables, feed your dog edamame in moderation. Too much and your dog's digestive system will revolt. It can cause abdominal bloating and create excess gas. If you notice any side effects, take it off the menu and go back to your dog's regular diet.
Not only are cucumbers non-toxic to dogs, but they are also beneficial to them. The high water content in them provides extra hydration to your dog. Especially if it doesn't drink much water or needs excess water in its diet.
They make a great snack to take on a long walk or a special treat on a hot day. They taste good, give an extra boost of hydration, and are free of calories.
Asparagus and green beans are other vegetables that are safe for your dog to eat.
Vegetables Dogs Can't Eat
The list of vegetables that dogs can eat is long. There are, however, some vegetables that they should not eat at all. Vegetables such as onions, garlic, leek, scallions, shallots, and chives are all poisonous to both dogs and cats. Avoid feeding them these and anything that contains any of these.
Potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. are thought to contribute to arthritis and joint inflammation in dogs. While the research remains unclear, to be safe, many dog owners avoid them altogether in their dog's diet.
Dogs are not designed to require vegetables in their diet. Their digestive system works best on a carnivorous diet. The bulk of your dog's food should be meat with very small amounts of fruit and vegetables. If your dog is eating high-quality food, there is no need to supplement it with additional food. Even if it is a healthy plant-based food, it may overwhelm your dog's system despite all the benefits.
You can share some vegetables with your dog, but remember to keep the portions small. After all, dogs don't need them in their diet to thrive.