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Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

VET APPROVED

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

The fact that dogs are omnivorous means you’re at liberty to supplement your dog’s regular food with veggies now and again (unless your vet has advised against it). That said, it’s important to do your research first because not all vegetables are safe for dogs. Fortunately, the nutritional powerhouse broccoli is a dog-friendly vegetable as long as it’s offered in small amounts and only to adult dogs.

In this post, we explore both the benefits and dangers of offering dogs broccoli. We’ll also share some tips on how to prepare broccoli for dogs.

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Is Broccoli Healthy for Dogs?

First of all, it’s important to take into account that as long as a dog is fed a complete and balanced commercial food formula—many of which actually contain vegetables—you don’t really need to give them extra vegetables. Reputable brands formulate their recipes to contain all the nutrients dogs need.

However, there’s nothing wrong with offering safe vegetables occasionally for a vitamin, antioxidant, and fiber boost. Broccoli, for example, contains important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid. It’s also packed with fiber, which is good for the digestive system.

Broccoli should only be offered occasionally and in small amounts, though, due to the presence of isothiocyanates. On that note, let’s look into the potential risks of feeding broccoli to dogs.

broccoli
Image Credit: PDPics, Pixabay

Risk Factors

One of the risk factors of feeding broccoli to dogs is that it can upset their stomachs when they eat too much of it. This happens because broccoli contains compounds called isothiocyanates, which are present in cruciferous vegetables. Puppies shouldn’t eat broccoli because their digestive tracts are more sensitive and less developed than those of adult dogs.

Large amounts of broccoli can even be toxic to a dog, so it’s crucial to only feed it in small quantities; according to PetMD, foods other than your dog’s regular balanced food formula should only make up 10% of the overall diet.

That said, every dog is different, so this is just a general guideline. Your dog’s size is a factor that should be taken into account in this area (more on this below). In addition, the broccoli stem is a potential choking hazard, so it’s better to either cut these into very small pieces or avoid feeding them to your dog altogether. They can also get stuck in the digestive tract.

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Preparing Broccoli for Dogs

You can give your dog plain raw (cut into small pieces), steamed, or cooked broccoli florets, but these should always be offered without seasonings and prepared without butter or oils. Based on guidelines from PetMD, here is how much broccoli is safe for dogs of different sizes:

Size of Dog Pieces of Broccoli Size of Pieces
Extra Small (2–20 pounds) 1–2 1/2-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick
Small (21–30 pounds) 3–4 1-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick
Medium (3–50 pounds) 5–6 1-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick
Large (51–90 pounds) Handful 1-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick
Extra Large/Giant (91+ pounds) Large handful 1-inch wide by 1/4-inch thick

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Which Other Veggies & Fruits Are Safe for Dogs?

If all this broccoli talk has you curious about other fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs in moderation, here are some options:

puppy eats carrot
Image Credit: Juris Vigulis, Shutterstock

Vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Garden peas (not tinned)
  • Mangetout
  • Green beans
  • Sweetcorn off the cob
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • De-stringed celery

Fruits

Final Thoughts

Unless your vet has advised not feeding it to your dog for health reasons, broccoli is fine in moderation and when offered in suitable amounts for your dog’s size. However, it can be a choking hazard and cause gastric irritation or even toxicity in large amounts, so appropriate preparation of broccoli for your dog is all-important.

If you’re unsure whether or not feeding broccoli to your dog would be a good idea, please run it by your vet first.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Auntmasako, Pixabay

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