Spring is the season of asparagus, making it an ideal addition for omelets and salads. If asparagus is a regular choice for you, it could be tempting to slip a bit to your furry best friend… But can dogs eat asparagus? Let’s take a closer look.
Can dogs eat asparagus?
Yes, this vegetable is non-toxic… But it’s not the ideal snack for dogs. Asparagus can cause tummy upset and pose some choking risk. It’s best if you avoid raw asparagus and their plant, and offer it only cooked.
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
Asparagus are not only tasty but also very nutritious! Many of the same health benefits it brings humans also apply to our pups. Asparagus provides:
Insoluble fiber for supporting regular bowel movements and soluble fiber to feed the good bacteria in the colon. This makes asparagus an excellent prebiotic that helps grow and maintain healthy gut flora.
Vitamins and minerals
Asparagus provides vitamins A, C, E and K. Regarding minerals, it contains potassium, copper, calcium, iron and phosphorus.
Asparagus also contains polyphenols and flavonoids.
These nutrients bring a lot of benefits. Essential vitamins and minerals support the immune system’s function, help maintain a healthy coat, strong bones and more. The antioxidant properties help to flush free radicals from the bloodstream.
What should I be aware of when offering asparagus to my dog?
There are some benefits, sure… But should asparagus be included in your dog’s diet, or is it not worth the risk?
First thing to have in mind: Raw asparagus is very stiff, making it very difficult to chew – so there is a choking hazard. If given raw, asparagus is also difficult to digest, so it can cause some digestive problems like vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Second thing: asparagus fern (the inedible part of the plant) is toxic to pets. If you’re growing asparagus, make sure you keep your dog away from the garden.
Plain cooked asparagus is safe to feed to your dog in small amounts. However, you might find there are better, easier vegetables choices for your canine companion, like carrots or cucumber.
In conclusion, while asparagus is not toxic, it isn’t the ideal vegetable to share with your best friend. We recommend offering other more pet-friendly vegetables that are easier for them to eat and digest!
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