If you have ever wondered if that little piece of dropped asparagus is safe for your pup then this post is for you! Asparagus is safe for dogs to eat and is packed with vitamins, but it’s important to understand the risks before feeding.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat asparagus, but as with all human food watch your dog carefully when they do eat it. Asparagus is not toxic to dogs and they have many nutrients that our pups can benefit from. So fear not if your dog picks up that lone piece dropped on the floor!
Asparagus is one of the healthiest foods for us humans. Yet, our canine friends’ bodies aren’t the same as ours. So, it may not be unusual for you to start asking, “Can my dog eat asparagus, or are there things I should consider before feeding it to my pup?”
In this article, we’ll answer your question and educate you a little bit more on this topic so that your dog is always healthy and happy.
Asparagus Health Benefits For Dogs
Asparagus, like many other vegetables, has many vitamins and natural properties that are good for our dogs. As you probably already know, asparagus is pretty tough. This structure is because it is so high in fiber which helps our pup’s digestive system.
Asparagus is also high in vitamins A, C, E, K, and B9 and has many beneficial minerals. It has potassium to help muscle function, it has copper to support bone health, it has iron to help a dogs oxygen supply, and it has calcium to also help strengthen bone health.
With so many things good about asparagus you may be thinking your dog should have some with every meal! But, there are some considerations I go through below that should be reviewed before feeding your dog asparagus.
Risks Of Feeding Asparagus To Dogs
We have all been there, we cook this lovely asparagus and one is not cooked enough or we dare our sister to eat one raw (okay, maybe just me), take a bite, only to realize it’s tough skin is a lot tougher than we thought. We gnaw a piece off and the skin still strings out – gah! Well, this same problem can happen with dogs.
Raw asparagus and even other tough veggies can be very indigestible for dogs. To avoid this, you can cook this vegetable, blend it, or ferment it. But, the process of cooking will reduce the nutrient content.
Another consideration is whether your dog is allergic to asparagus. With any new food item, you give your dog, start with a small amount and see how their reaction is a couple of hours later. If they are still their same ole’ floppy selves, then it should be safe for them! Just be sure to cut the pieces small to avoid choking.
Finally, while dogs can eat asparagus spears, the fern or top leafy portion of the vegetable is toxic to dogs. So if you grow your own asparagus, just be sure that this is trimmed off before feeding it to your dog and make sure they do not have the opportunity to nibble on it in the garden.
How Much Asparagus Can Dogs Eat?
As with many human foods, we recommend following the 10% rule. This means that asparagus and other non-typical dog foods should not make up more than 10% of their diet by calories. If you have a small dog, this could look like only 1 to 2 teaspoons a day, while a large dog could have up to 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
How To Feed A Dog Asparagus
Dogs can eat asparagus stalks raw or cooked. Here are some ideas for how to feed your dog this healthy vegetable!
After chopping the asparagus, simply boil or steam the pieces, then give it to your little pup. Remember not to add any oil or butter when cooking asparagus for your dog as they might make him sick.
Still, you should take a moment to consider that, when vegetables are cooked, some of their nutrients are reduced. So, if your dog has trouble chewing raw asparagus, you could replace it with other vegetables that are easier to eat.
- Fresh: Asparagus can be enjoyed fresh as-is! Use them as individual treats or hand over a few small pieces or one large stock. You can also drop them on top of their usual food for extra nutrients at meal time. (Or even use them to spruce up these dog-friendly banana splits or pup cups)!
- Cooked: Because asparagus is so tough, this is probably the safest way to serve it. While you lose some nutritional value, you could steam it or bake it until soft and then top on their food or include it in a KONG or West Paw Toppl. You could also dehydrate asparagus and serve it as a treat stick. This is great for dental health!
- Pureed: Finally, a pureed asparagus snack might sound strange to a human but can be great for dogs. You can simply blend the asparagus with a bit of water (or kefir) and drop a spoonful in their bowl or in a kong toy. The puree can also be frozen for a more involved, entertaining treat (like in a stuffed KONG)!