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Can Dogs Eat Turnips? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide

Written by: Beth Crane

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat_turnips

Can Dogs Eat Turnips? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Safety Guide


Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Turnips are hardy root vegetables similar to parsnips and potatoes. Dogs can eat turnips in moderation; they can provide some health benefits and dietary fiber, and they are fine for your dog as long as it doesn’t suffer from thyroid problems. As with any new food introduced into your dog’s diet, check with your vet before serving turnips, just in case they have any health problems that turnips could affect.


Are Turnips Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Yes, turnips are safe for dogs to eat. They can be prepared in many ways, and the whole turnip can be eaten, including the skin and greens! However, turnips aren’t suitable for some dogs. For example, dogs with thyroid problems should avoid turnips, as they can reduce thyroid function due to the natural goitrogen content. Too many turnips all at once can also cause gastrointestinal problems due to fiber overload; feeding your dog a small portion of turnips at a time is best. Also, dogs can eat turnips cooked or raw, but raw turnips can be quite hard for your dog to eat.

sliced turnips
Image Credit: Piqsels

What Benefits Do Turnips Provide Dogs?

Turnips are versatile and full of nutrition. They are low in calories and are a tasty option for dogs who need to watch their weight. The turnip root and the greens are nutritious for dogs and provide several essential vitamins and minerals. Turnips and turnip greens can be a good source of:

  • Calcium: It is important for healthy bone growth and density, heart health, tooth health, and nervous system function
  • Folate: Folate is essential for the correct function of your dog’s metabolism, including DNA synthesis and the production of red blood cells
  • Fiber: It supports beneficial bacteria in the gut, reduces instances of diarrhea or constipation, regulates the bowels, and manages a healthy weight.
  • Vitamin C: This reduces free radicals in the body, contributes to healthy collagen levels, reduces cognitive aging, and helps to control inflammation.
  • Vitamin A: It supports healthy bone growth, contributes to the correct functioning of the reproductive system, and supports the immune system.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is an essential nutrient needed to produce proteins that make your dog’s blood clot; clotting prevents your dog from bleeding out if injured.

Turnips are also believed to be a diuretic, meaning that they help stimulate kidney function to regulate excess fluid.

chow chow dog eating
Image Credit: Ivan Marjanovic, Shutterstock

How to Cook Turnips Safely for Dogs

Turnips can be cooked in several ways and can be served raw. Any way you prepare turnips for your dog will be a satisfying and delicious addition to their diet; they can be served mashed, baked, or fried. If you decide to serve turnips fried, only use a very small amount of oil. Too much oil (or any dietary fat) can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas caused by pancreatic enzymes essentially digesting the pancreas itself. This causes ongoing pain, inappetence, and vomiting. In addition, turnips cooked in lots of oil could cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and flatulence.

Dogs can safely enjoy raw turnips, but they should be either grated or cut into small chunks. Raw turnips are hard, and while your dog will be able to chew them, they present a choking hazard. However, grating turnips is a good idea, and you can grate it over your dog’s normal dinner as a tasty nutritional boost. Crafty owners can even bake turnips into dog treats!

If you’re cooking turnips, ensure they’re not cooked or served with additives such as garlic, onion, salt, or spices. Garlic and onion are both toxic to dogs, and spices like bay leaf and cloves are also dangerous.

What Other Root Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

The relations of the turnip, such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, are also nutritious. Vegetables are good for dogs to eat as they provide different vitamins and minerals, as well as variations in taste and textures to help keep your dog’s diet varied but healthy. Root vegetables are also higher in sugar than other vegetables, so give them in moderation to avoid weight or dental problems.

bernese mountain dog eating
Image By: Kristesoro, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Turnips are versatile root vegetables that can be safely shared with your dog from your dinner table, providing that no additional ingredients like salt or spices have been added. Turnips can be given to dogs raw, if grated or cut into small chunks. Mashed, fried, or grilled turnips can all be served safely to your dog as part of a balanced diet, but mainly as a treat.

Dogs can even eat the greens of the turnip, along with the skin. While turnips are beneficial for dogs to eat due to their high nutrient content, they should only consume them in small amounts to avoid gastrointestinal. If your dog has any health conditions, such as a thyroid problem, turnips should be avoided.

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