Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Health Benefits Of Asparagus For Dogs Explained
Many pet owners frown when you bring up the notion of feeding a domestic animal vegetables. This is largely due to the fact that many animals are carnivores by nature. Knowing this, we tend to feed them a diet of meat and biscuits. But does that mean that this is all they can, or even should eat?
Besides being tasty and tremendously healthy, asparagus is also relatively cheap when compared to some of the more expensive dog treats out there. When prepared correctly, it is also very healthy for your pet.
I like to treat my dog to the very best. This includes her dog shampoos and other grooming items. If I put so much consideration into how her outsides look, it stands to reason I care even more about her insides. I want to feed her the healthiest, most delicious diet I can because a healthy dog is a happy dog.
What Is Asparagus & Where Does It Come From?
Asparagus has been enjoyed by different cultures for thousands of years. The use of “sparrow grass” dates back to as far as 3000 BC in ancient Egypt. It was very popular among the Greeks, Romans, Spanish and Syrians for its delightful taste, texture and the health benefits.
As a plant, the perennial green is commonly known as a spring vegetable and is best thought of as the ‘flowering part’ of the plant. The leaves and stems (the parts we eat) tend to grow in groupings of up to 15 at a time. They are best picked when they are ripe, which is when they are between 25 and 32 mm in length.
Although it is now universal, this crunchy veggie is native to the western coastlines of Europe and is commonly grown in Spain, Ireland, Britain, and Germany. It is also cultivated in China (actually the main supplier in the world), Peru, Mexico and even Italy and France.
This vegetable is a rich source of vitamins and minerals – a lot more than most tend to realize. Here’s a short list of some of the healthy goodness that’s contained in asparagus.
- Vitamin E Zinc Beta-Carotene.
- Vitamin K Iron Riboflavin.
- Thiamin Potassium Rutin.
- Niacin Copper Amino Acid.
- Vitamin C Magnesium Protein.
- Vitamin B6 Calcium Dietary Fiber.
When compared to a multivitamin pill – you’ll notice the similarities in nutrition and note the difference in price.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
The short answer to this is yes – they can, but you should do it in a very specific way. For instance, it’s important to note that the ferns of the asparagus (the leaves of the plant themselves) are toxic to dogs. While they may not kill your pet, they can cause severe intestinal discomfort and diarrhea. However, if you’re not physically growing the plant in your garden or home, you don’t have to worry.
While a dog can eat asparagus raw, it can present a choking hazard, so it is really not advised. It is much better to grill it for easier digestion.
The vegetable contains a large amount of natural antioxidants which help to flush out toxins from your dog’s system. Antioxidants are very important for keeping your pet healthy and preventing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
One side effect of feeding asparagus to your dog is that it will most likely cause your dog’s pee to smell a bit strange – but don’t worry, this is totally normal. As the antioxidants get to work on flushing out those pesky toxins, they pass through your pet’s urine thus causing the strange smell. So be sure to walk your pet often if you choose to feed them these stalks.
Health Benefits of Asparagus for Dogs Explained
As I mentioned briefly in the previous section, most of the health benefits in asparagus are ascribed to the plant’s rich antioxidant properties which help flush out toxins from the bloodstream. This makes the vegetable an incredibly helpful diuretic and particularly useful for maintaining your dog’s overall health and wellness.
The variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in asparagus helps to increase your dog’s immunity and can help improve organ function. On top of this, regular consumption of the vegetable can help promote healthy skin, teeth, eyes. and coat as well.
Feeding your pet an antioxidant-rich diet helps to reduce free radical damage to keep him healthy on a cellular level. That being said, feeding your dog asparagus isn’t going to radically enhance their lifestyle. It’s important to note that it’s a nice but not so necessary addition to their diet.
How to Cook Asparagus for Your Dog
As I mentioned before, I prefer lightly grilling asparagus before serving it to my dog since it makes the vegetable more easily digestible. I tend to include it in vegetable bakes or stews quite often, so I don’t always serve it to my pet by itself.
However, if your pet seems to like a single vegetable at a time, then by all means feel free to feed them as you like. But remember it is best to cook any vegetables you feed your pet to reduce a choking hazard.
In short, feel free to feed your pet asparagus anyway you like, so long as you ensure that you’ve minimized the choking hazard (if serving raw, chop into smaller pieces) you should be fine.
I for one have always loved asparagus and since feeding it to my dog she does too! However, if you notice foul urine odor or see your dog in pain after feeding him the veggie, take him to the vet immediately.
In small amounts, vegetables can be beneficial for your dog because they contain important nutrients. Some other vegetable options to feed your pet are spinach, broccoli and kale as long as you remember to feed it to them in moderation.
Feeding your pet vegetables is a healthier and cheaper addition to meat or kibble as they are healthy, tasty and a cheap. It’s for this reason they are a great enhancement to a canine diet. Asparagus is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is well loved, and it’s easy to see why. It is yummy and inexpensive, so both you and your pet can enjoy this nourishing natural wonder.