Giving your dog fruits and vegetables adds variety and flavor to their food. Vegetables provide many additional vitamins nutrition.
Some dogs love vegetables like my Beagle. He will eat just about any vegetable I give him, so long as it’s cooked.
One day I had cooked broccoli, and he was very interested in it. I had never given him broccoli before. I didn’t just assume it would be safe for him, so I had to do a bit of research. I learned a lot!
Can my dog eat broccoli?
Yes, but it causes stomach irritation in some dogs. Most dogs can eat broccoli in moderation. Broccoli contains “isothiocyanates.” Which is what can make your pooch’s stomach upset. Too much broccoli can be bad for them and even lead to death.
It isn’t all bad, though! Broccoli does have many vitamins, and nutrients dogs can benefit from. Don’t let the dangers scare you away from this vegetable unless your pooch has a sensitive stomach.
Dangers of Giving Broccoli to Dogs
Before you give your pup a serving of broccoli, there are some things you should know.
Don’t give your dog broccoli before you read this.
Broccoli Can Kill Your Dog
Broccoli has a chemical in it that can make your dog sick and even cause death when too much is ingested. Some dogs may simply experience stomach discomfort and have gas, diarrhea, or vomiting.
The isothiocyanates found in this vegetable are toxic to dogs. Veterinarians recommend you limit a dog’s intake of broccoli to 5% to 10% of what they consume for the day.
If your dog has an upset tummy after eating broccoli, then stop giving it to him!
If he had a large serving and is noticeably sick, you should keep an eye on him. If he has significant diarrhea or vomiting, you should consult with a vet ASAP to be on the safe side.
What are Isothiocyanates?
Isothiocyanates, which are plentiful in broccoli, are chemicals found in broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. They give the vegetables their distinctive smells that we often associate with these foods being healthy for humans.
Dogs have different digestive systems than we do. They cannot break down isothiocyanates, which can lead them into trouble if they eat too much broccoli.
This can be problematic since isothiocyanates can release a rich odor that attracts dogs and make them want to eat. A good example would be the smell of sauerkraut. My dog loves the smell of sauerkraut, but they are high in Isothiocyanates as well, so I don’t ever feed any to him.
Some dogs don’t chew their food very well and could choke on the florets. Broccoli should not be given in the raw or frozen form. It should be cooked and have enough moisture in it for the dog to easily chew and digest.
Some dogs don’t chew. They inhale their food. Raw broccoli is bad in this case. Cooking the broccoli also adds flavor. Not many dogs will like it raw, but I know some that do.
My dog ate too much broccoli.
What do you do if you think your dog ate too much broccoli? Monitor his systems and try to judge the amount of broccoli ingested. Too much broccoli will cause an upset stomach, gas, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating. It can be very serious and lead to death.
The even worse news is that broccoli can kill your dog. Suppose your pup eats a significant amount of this vegetable. In that case, they may experience severe upsets or health problems as serious as death.
If your dog is experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, take him to an emergency vet immediately. Or consult an online vet, at the very least.
Symptoms from Recommended Amount
Suppose the dog’s symptoms are less severe, and only the recommended amount of broccoli was ingested. In that case, your dog should be ok but monitor him closely.
If your pooch has eaten too much broccoli, the excess Isothiocyanates will likely pass through his urine. If not, the only other way of escape is through vomiting and diariah. If that happens, your beloved pooch’s body is rejecting it for a reason.
Use your best judgment. Know one knows your pooch like you do, and if you think that something is seriously wrong, listen to your gut and get help!
If your pooch seems fine and you trust he didn’t consume too much, then don’t worry about it. Just comfort him through it.
5 Benefits of Feeding Broccoli To Dogs
Don’t let the dangers scare you off completely! Broccoli is rich in nutrients that can be beneficial to your dog’s health. As long as you limit the amount of broccoli you give him, he should be perfectly fine.
Benefit #1 Helps Bones & Joints
Our list’s first benefit is Vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential to your dog’s bones and joints health. Broccoli contains a large amount, 110 mcg, about 150% more than most other vegetables!
This is beneficial for older dogs who have started to lose bone density and don’t get much exercise. As dogs age, their bones become weaker and brittle. The vitamin K in Broccoli can help to strengthen their bones.
Less brittle bones mean fewer injuries and more mobility for your pup! Vitamin K may also reduce arthritis pain since it can take away pressure from their joints.
Benefit #2 Helps Older Dogs Fight Cancer
As it turns out, dogs naturally produce Vitamin C on their own. This means that while humans have to consume a daily dose of the stuff to live healthy lifestyles, our canine friends don’t need as much!
But studies show that dogs have difficulty producing Vitamin C as they age. So, dark leafy greens like broccoli can help them get the nutrition their bodies need.
With the help of Vitamin C, aging dogs can also fight off certain diseases and cancers. Broccoli can be good for older dogs who don’t have gastric issues.
If your pooch has a sensitive stomach, maybe choose a different veggie!
Benefit #3 Lowers Cholesterol
Even though your pooch may appear to be in good health, studies show that the dog’s cholesterol level can rise as they age.
Broccoli is a good way to help your pup maintain healthy levels of this important lipid in their body and decrease cardiovascular disease and cancer risk later in life.
High cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia, is often overlooked in pets. Research shows that a diet high in fiber may be the answer.
Hyperlipidemia is when your blood lipids become too high, and you are at risk for heart disease, stroke, or both.
Broccoli’s soluble fibers can help dogs poop!
Benefits #4 Promotes a Healthy Heart
Potassium is good for your pooch’s heart!
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps regulate the body’s acid-base balance. It also plays a role in muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and reducing cramps or spasms.
Dogs need about 1% of their total caloric intake to be from potassium. The average adult dog should have around 2,000 mg per day, while puppies require closer to 3,000 mg per day.
If you’re looking for a way to help your pup get more potassium into his diet without having to go out and buy expensive supplements, then look no further!
Broccoli is one of the best sources of this important mineral, with over 400mg per cup (cooked). You can easily add it into your pup’s food by steaming it or adding it raw as a side dish! Just make sure not to give them too much.
Benefit #5 Reduces Imflamation
Inflmation is a reaction to injury or infection that causes blood vessels and surrounding tissue to swell. It can even occur internally near a dog’s digestive system. Which can lead to stomach problems, bloating, and diarrhea.
Inflammation also is a problem in older dogs with joint issues.
Inflammation will not only cause pain but also limits the ability of a dog to move.
Sulforaphane is a compound that’s found in broccoli and other cruciferous veggies. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in dogs with arthritis, leading to less pain in their joints.
If you want to stay healthy and keep your senior dog’s joints moving freely, try adding more sulforaphane-rich foods into your diet. One serving of broccoli a day should be safe & healthy!
7 Tips For Feeding Broccoli To Dogs
Want to feed your dog broccoli? Do it the safe way and follow these 7 tips. Use them as a guide.
Tip #1 Limit Broccoli To less than 10% of diet
Veterinarians recommend that you keep your dog’s broccoli intake less than 10% of their daily diet. Anything more can become toxic. It’s important to limit the amount of Broccoli your Dog consumes.
This is especially important if you have a dog that loves to eat! Like Beagles.
The total amount of broccoli ingested should never exceed 25% of his food intake, or it could become lethal.
Tip #2 Don’t Feed Raw or Frozen Broccoli
Broccoli should never be given raw or frozen. It can be a choking hazard in dogs that eat too fast, and many dogs do!
Prepare the broccoli by steaming it on the stove or in the microwave. The frozen broccoli that comes in microwavable-safe bags is the perfect kind to use. You can just pop them in the microwave, set the timer, and bam–cooked broccoli, your dog, will love!
Tip #3 Add it to a Doggy Smoothies
Did you know that dogs love smoothies!? The nice thing about smoothies is that you don’t have to make one specifically for your dog. You can make a healthy smoothie that’s rich in nutrition–good for both you and your pooch.
If you are going to make a smoothie, you both enjoy, then make sure the ingredients are safe for canines. Many human supplements and vitamins are safe for dogs, but the dosage will vary. Do your research beforehand.
One this is for sure, a little bit of broccoli added to one won’t hurt at all. You and your pup will get the benefits of broccoli–albeit in a more sneaky way.
Tip #4 Remove the florets
The florets can be found on the tip of the broccoli stalk. When I was a kid, I thought they looked like trees, and I’d sit at the table and play with my food!
Well, they’re not trees–they’re florets. It’s such an adult word…I know!
In any case, most humans don’t eat the broccoli stalk. They eat the florets. It’s mostly because it’s more flavorful and has more nutrients. Your dog will likely prefer the broccoli “trees” as well.
The stalks won’t harm them, but they just don’t taste as good. Maybe cut off the stalks and save them for a smoothie?
Tip #5 Wash Raw Broccoli
I know you are a well-aware citizen of the 2020s. You know how harmful pesticides can be. I have to put this tip in here for the younger generation, who may not understand the importance of washing vegetables before they are consumed.
I won’t get into the organic vs. non-organic debate.
ALWAYS wash raw vegetables before consuming them or giving them to your pooch. The pesticides or other chemicals on the outside of broccoli can be harmful.
I find that when I wash my vegetables, they last much longer too!
Tip #6 Add To His Food
If your dog is like mine, then he’s a picky eater. He doesn’t like dry kibble or wet dog food. Maybe I spoiled him, I didn’t think I did, but that’s where we’re at. It’s hard to get him to eat his dog food.
That’s where I think broccoli can come in. I have to come up with something extra to mix in with his food. He needs the extra flavor for some reason.
Mixing a small amount of cooked broccoli with a dog’s kibble or wet dog food can work wonders. It adds great flavor that many dogs enjoy.
Just be sure to follow the advice we’ve gone over, and limit his intake of broccoli to 5% to 10% of his daily food intake.
Tip #7 Serve Broccoli With Other Veggies
We know that broccoli can be dangerous. A way to feed broccoli to your pooch while limiting the risks associated with it is to give him mixed veggies.
You can buy a frozen bag of mixed veggies like most grocery stores. Just be sure it doesn’t contain onions. Onions are a whole other topic. It can be deadly for dogs, even more deadly than broccoli. The dangers of feeding veggies to pups. Who knew…
Mixing broccoli and carrots into my dog’s food is what I do. I use fresh, organic vegetables. I wash them by hand and steam them on the stove. (sometimes I microwave them). He loves it.
Does broccoli make dogs fart?
Yes, broccoli is probably causing your dog to have gas. The isothiocyanates found in broccoli can be toxic to dogs in large quantities.
It upsets their stomachs and can cause gas, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog has gas, stop giving him broccoli or reduce the amount you give to him.
If he is farting up a storm and smells worse than usual, it’s likely from the isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, and sauerkraut. It’s what causes that unusual smell.
The odor the isothiocyanates releases can be catastrophic when coming out of your dog’s rear end. So, if you want the torture to end, stop giving him broccoli.
Help, my dog ate too much broccoli
If your dog ate too much broccoli, it could be fatal. Keep an eye on him, and if he is vomiting or has diarrhea, you need to consult a vet immediately. The isothiocyanates found in broccoli can be fatal in dogs if they eat too much.
If you are unsure how serious the problem is, you should consult an emergency vet. Especially if he is in severe distress.
If he has gas and it’s just his tummy that’s upset, there is a chance your dog will be fine–but go with your gut on whether you should go to a vet or not.
You can also consult with an online veterinarian if you are unsure if it’s an emergency or not. I know that being a parent to a four-legged creature comes with uncertainty at times.
We want to do what’s best for our buddies but don’t want to overreact either. That’s why I love telehealth vets!
How much broccoli can I give my dog?
Veterinarians recommend a daily serving of broccoli is under 10% of the daily food intake. Lower is better as the isothiocyanates found in broccoli can kill a dog in high amounts. If 25% of his food for the day is broccoli, then your pooch will be in trouble.
I recommend that you limit intake to 5%. That serving size will be different for different breeds and sizes.
I’d go on the safer side of things and limit it to 1/2 cup. Don’t take my advice though, use your best judgment based on your dog’s weight and food intake.
Can a dog eat broccoli stems?
Yes, dogs can eat broccoli stalks in moderation. They should be washed and cooked, not raw. Raw broccoli stems can be a choking hazard and should be avoided.
Broccoli stems aren’t as flavorful and rich in nutrients as the florets. Still, they are totally acceptable for your pooch to consume. I just don’t know many dogs that like them.
Whew! Who knew that giving broccoli to your dog would be so complicated! Now you know that, yes, your dog can eat broccoli, but you have to be careful.
Dogs have sensitive stomachs. I’m not sure the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to broccoli.
I guess letting your dog try some and waiting to see how he reacts to it would be a good way to go.
There are plenty of other vegetables, other than broccoli, that are rich in vitamins and nutrients.
If broccoli doesn’t work out, you could try a veggie that doesn’t have as many isothiocyanates as broccoli, like carrots.