With spinach being such a healthy superfood for humans, you may be wondering…can my dog eat spinach? And are there benefits or risks to feeding my dog spinach? Let’s talk about why you should be feeding your dog spinach (plus how to feed it and how much)!
Spinach Heath Benefits for Dogs
Spinach is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, on top of being low calorie and full of fiber. That’s a lot of nutrition for a little leaf!
Vitamins: Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C and E, which can help improve their coat condition, boost energy levels, and support joint health. Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, can help protect your dog from free radical damage.
Minerals: Spinach also contains iron, calcium, magnesium, which are both great for your dog’s overall health.
Fiber: This leafy green is full of insoluble fiber, meaning fiber that doesn’t get digested. This helps to keep their digestive system healthy, while keeping them full after meals for longer!
So if you’re looking for a way to give your pup a nutritional boost (while keeping their calories in check), adding spinach to their diet can be a good option. Just make sure to feed it in moderation!
Risks Associated with Feeding Your Dog Spinach
Are there any risks associated with feeding spinach to dogs on a regular basis, such as an allergic reaction or gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or vomiting?
While spinach can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, it is important to note that there are some risks associated with feeding it to them in large quantities. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any new food so you can make sure they can tolerate the nutrients.
When it comes to risks of feeding your dog spinach, there are two compounds you should know about:
- Oxalic Acid: Spinach can be high in oxalic acid, which can bind to calcium and other minerals in the dog’s digestive tract, potentially leading to health problems or nutrient deficiencies.
- Nitrates: Spinach may also contain high levels of nitrates, which can be harmful to dogs in large amounts.
How much spinach can a dog safely eat per day?
As with any new food that you introduce to your dog, start off feeding spinach to your dog in small amounts, slowly working up to ensure they don’t have any adverse reactions.
Your dog can benefit from including a bit of spinach in their diet everyday. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals that your dog needs!
Generally, dogs shouldn’t eat more than 1 cup of raw spinach leaves per day.
How to Serve Your Dog Spinach
As with humans, there are numerous ways you can feed spinach to your dog! Whichever your method, make sure you wash the leaves well first.
Raw Spinach: While raw spinach can be a little more difficult for dogs to digest, it can be done! Just be sure to chop up the leaves before serving to prevent choking hazard.
Steamed Spinach: Steaming is the best way to serve this leafy green to your dog! Steaming makes it soft enough to prevent any choking hazards (unlike with raw), while also keeping all the nutrients in the leaf (unlike with boiling).
Pureed: Puree the raw or steamed spinach with a splash of water to make a potent nutrient booster that you can pour into their food!
Frozen: You can even freeze the pureed spinach into a block (or Kong or lick mat) for a fun and healthy enrichment idea. Be sure to mix the spinach with a flavorful food that they like (hello, peanut butter) to keep them engaged with the frozen treat! (These dog breath mints are my favorite way to feed spinach).
Mix It Up: Another way that you can feed your dog spinach is by mixing it with other foods, such as cooked eggs, peanut butter, watermelon puree, or just their regular food. (We love using spinach in these dog-friendly egg muffins or even in dog omelettes!) This can help make sure that they get all of its benefits without having too much at once!
What are some alternative leafy green vegetables that dogs can eat if they’re not fans of spinach (or if you want to mix things up a bit)? Dogs can also eat kale, romaine, arugula, and iceberg lettuce. (Rhubarb’s personal favorite is cabbage!)