Brussels sprouts are one of those strange, polarizing vegetables that people either love or detest with a passion. While they’re not everyone’s favorite, dogs seem to love the taste of brussels sprouts! But can dogs eat brussels sprouts safely? And do they have any health benefits for your pup? We take a look at the pros and cons of feeding raw and cooked brussels sprouts to dogs.
These tiny veggies that look like mini cabbages are a perfectly healthy option to add to a dog’s balanced diet. They’re packed full of vitamins and minerals, plus natural fiber and antioxidants.
But while brussels sprouts aren’t toxic to dogs, you should only serve them in moderation to avoid your dog getting gastrointestinal issues. Too many brussels sprouts can give your dog unpleasant diarrhea – and farts that can clear a room in seconds!
If you’re not sure whether you should add brussel sprouts to your dog’s diet, or how many you should serve to avoid any stinky side effects, always consult your veterinarian for advice.
Benefits of brussels sprouts for your dog
The humble brussels sprout has a range of health benefits for both dogs and their owners. They’re a cruciferous vegetable from the same family as broccoli, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower – which are all well known for being nutrient-rich.
They’re packed with nutrients
Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber – brussels sprouts notably contain vitamin K which helps your dog’s bones, blood, and heart stay healthy.
These veggies also contain antioxidants which improve blood circulation, can reduce inflammation, and protect against harmful free radicals in your pup’s body.
Let’s take a look at what brussels sprouts contain that make them a nutritious choice as a vegetable for your dog.
- Vitamin A – this supports your dog’s vision, nervous system, lungs, and heart, ensuring your dog has a long and healthy life.
- Vitamin B1 and B6 – these B vitamins ensure your dog has good blood circulation and a healthy heart.
- Vitamin C – this gives your dog’s immune system a good boost!
- Vitamin E – this is an antioxidant which protects your dog’s cells against harmful free radicals
- Vitamin K – great for ensuring your furry friend’s bones and blood are in top shape.
Two of the most important minerals contained in brussels sprouts are:
- Potassium – this supports your dog’s muscle and nerve health
- Manganese – enables your dog to easily digest the proteins and amino acids contained in their meaty diet
As important for your dog as it is for you, fiber is critical to maintain a healthy colon and keep digestion flowing smoothly.
But too much fiber can have unwanted results – especially for your dog! More on that below 🙂
An antioxidant known as kaempferol can also be found in brussels sprouts. This can help to reduce any inflammation that your dog may be suffering from in their skin or joints.
Unlike fruits, vegetables tend to be very low in calories, and brussels sprouts are no exception. If your dog is obese or you’re worried about their weight – rest assured that these tiny but mighty veggies won’t pack on any extra pounds!
The downside of brussels sprouts for dogs
While brussels sprouts are tiny powerhouses of goodness that are tasty treats for your canine friend – there’s a downside…
If you eat a lot of brussels sprouts yourself, you might notice things can get a bit….gassy! This is because brussels contain high levels of fiber, together with a compound called isothiocyanate, which helps your body move food and waste through your body. Excess bacteria build up during this process, which then leave your body in a gaseous form. And it’s the same for your dog…
Do brussels sprouts make dogs fart?
If you feed your dog too many sprouts, prepare for the extreme flatulence that follows. This isn’t toxic for your dog, but their gas may also be accompanied by an upset stomach, bloating, or diarrhea which can make them uncomfortable.
If your dog has eaten a lot of sprouts, call your vet if they have symptoms of diarrhea or ongoing gas that lasts more than a few days.
How many brussels sprouts should you feed your dog?
The amount of brussels sprouts you can feed your dog depends on their size and breed. As mentioned above, if your pup’s brussel sprout serving is too much, your entire family will need to live outside for a couple of days until the air clears!
For small breeds, half a sprout will be plenty, and larger dogs can generally have up to 3 brussels sprouts without any stinky side effects.
Preparing and serving brussels sprouts to your dog
If your canine friend is new to brussels sprouts, try them out on a small piece of the vegetable first, to see if there’s any interest.
Remember to always serve brussels sprouts plain to your dog – without any additional butter, oil, or seasonings. Your dog will find them tasty enough on their own.
Always look for fresh, firm, green brussels sprouts at your supermarket or fresh product market. Make sure you wash them thoroughly, and cut off any stems before feeding them to your dog. Cutting them in half before serving makes this vegetable easier for your dog to eat.
Can dogs eat raw brussels sprouts?
Dogs can eat raw brussel sprouts, but it’s much better to cook them for your furry friend. Raw sprouts can be difficult for your dog to digest.
Can dogs eat cooked brussels sprouts?
Cooking brussel sprouts is the best way to serve this vegetable to your dog. Whether you boil, microwave, bake, or steam them – make sure you always cook these vegetables without any seasonings added for your pup.
How do you cook brussels sprouts for dogs?
The best methods of cooking brussels sprouts for your dog are steaming, baking, boiling, or microwaving.
Steaming locks in the most nutrition, while boiling takes the longest and loses a lot of the valuable nutrients in the vegetable.
Brussels sprout cooking methods:
- Microwaving – halve the brussels sprouts and cover with water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and then microwave on high for around 5 to 8 minutes (depending on the power of your microwave oven). Check the brussels sprouts every two minutes by poking them with a fork to check if they’re tender enough to serve your dog. Make sure you cool them down before serving!
- Steaming – put your halved brussels sprouts in a steamer over a pot, and cover with a lid. Cook on high for around 5 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender when you prod them with a fork.
- Boiling – add your brussels sprouts to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a gentle boil for around 10 minutes – or until they are tender.
Overcooking sprouts will turn them a disgusting grey colour, and they will lose most of their nutritional benefits – so make sure you keep an eye on them during cooking, especially when boiling or steaming.
How to serve brussels sprouts to your dog
Give your dog plain, cooked brussels sprouts as an addition to their balanced diet, or as an occasional treat.
You can also add them to dog smoothies, or bake them into your pup’s favorite homemade dog biscuits for an extra fiber and vitamin boost.
What other vegetables can dogs eat?
Now you know that brussels sprouts aren’t toxic to dogs – you might be wondering what other vegetables you can feed them that are tasty and nutritious. Here’s a quick list of safe vegetables for dogs:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
If you think your dog has eaten a vegetable that might be harmful (such as onions or garlic) – make sure you call your vet and get instructions on what to do next.
In summary – can dogs eat brussels sprouts?
So, can dogs eat brussels sprouts safely? The answer is yes – but feed cautiously and in moderation!
While brussels sprouts are healthy with many nutritious benefits for your dog, they can also cause excess smelly gas, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal discomfort if your dog eats too many.
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