Can dogs eat cabbage? Cabbage, or collard or red cabbage, is a leafy, cruciferous vegetable. It is a common ingredient added to many recipes and stews, and is one of the quintessential comfort foods. It is inexpensive and easy to make, as well as being packed with vitamins and nutrients. But…
Can my dog eat cabbage? The answer is yes.
Benefits of cabbage for dog health.
If you want to start adding more vegetables to your dog’s diet, leafy greens are a good place to start. Not only is cabbage safe for dogs to eat, but it can be prepared in a variety of ways. Whether offered alone as a green treat, chopped and served with their kibble, or even baked and stuffed with other pet-friendly ingredients (or even their own food), dogs can eat kale along with their “parents.”
Better yet, cabbage can also provide your dog with a number of health benefits. Cabbage is a rich source of important vitamins, such as vitamins K, C, B6, B1. It is also full of healthy fiber and essential minerals such as manganese, copper, and potassium. Red cabbage, in particular, is believed to have strong cancer-fighting properties. Although dogs get most of the nutrition they need from their regular diet, it never hurts to offer healthy human foods like cabbage from time to time (unless your veterinarian advises against it).
In addition, cabbage has high levels of powerful antioxidant compounds called phytonutrients. The polyphenols in cabbage make it the cruciferous vegetable with the most antioxidants, which can help support both human and canine health. Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the blood, which contributes to the prevention of diseases such as cancer. They can also help your four-legged friend boost its immune system naturally, and may even reduce your dog’s risk of developing certain diseases or health conditions, such as heart disease.
Another benefit is that cabbage has been shown to promote a healthy gastrointestinal system in dogs and aid in proper digestion as a result of its high fiber content. It can even have a positive impact on the skin, as it helps keep it free of irritation. Eating cabbage promotes healthier skin from the inside out for both humans and dogs, making it an excellent snack for pets suffering from dry or rough skin.
Of course, dogs are carnivores by nature, so while vegetables may be healthy for them to eat from time to time, meat should still make up the majority of their diet.
Dangers of cabbage for dogs
One of the main dangers of cabbage for dogs is the same as for humans: if we eat too much of this leafy green vegetable, it can cause stomach upset and symptoms such as excessive gas and flatulence.
So, even if something is healthy for dogs, it doesn’t mean they should be allowed to eat everything they want. Always consult with your veterinarian before offering cabbage or any other “people food” to your dog, as they can guide you based on their individual health status. As a general rule, always offer a small amount of a new food such as cabbage and monitor your dog for about 24 hours for symptoms that may not agree with him, such as watery stools.
A serious danger of allowing your dog to eat too much cabbage is that it can actually cause hypothyroidism, although your dog has to eat a lot of cabbage for that to happen. Cabbage contains thiocyanate, which is a naturally occurring compound that impacts the thyroid gland. However, thoroughly cooking cabbage (e.g., boiling or steaming) before offering it to your four-legged friend is one way to effectively remove this compound from cabbage.
Although dogs can eat cabbage of any color or form in moderation, it is always best to cook cabbage because it will be easier for your dog to chew and digest and will provide protection against the slight risk of causing hypothyroidism. And, of course, whether you are preparing purple, napa, savoy, red or any other type of cabbage, always be sure to omit any spices, seasonings or other additives that may not be palatable to the dog-trust us, your dog probably won’t mind the natural “mild” taste of cabbage or any other vegetable.