Adding asparagus into salads and side dishes is a common practice – and for a good reason. Asparagus, scientifically known as Asparagus officinalis, is super healthy, easy to prepare, and most importantly, delicious! And as one of our favorite components in dinner tables, the idea of slipping a morsel to your furry friend is very likely. But can dogs eat asparagus?
Yes, dogs can eat asparagus. Asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, so pups usually won’t develop issues from eating it. In fact, asparagus benefits canines just as much as their human companions. But again, much like other vegetables, asparagus can have a negative side depending on how you feed your dog.
So yes, if you were thinking of sharing asparagus with your canine, then there’s nothing wrong with it. But just before you toss that tidbit to your furry friend, hold on! Learning a thing or two on dogs eating asparagus will help. So, should pups eat it raw or cooked? What happens when dogs eat asparagus? How much asparagus should you give your dog? How do you serve asparagus to dogs? Well, this article answers all of these questions and many more. Let’s get started straight away!
Is Asparagus Safe For Dogs?
Yes, asparagus is safe for dogs to eat. Unlike some human foods, asparagus doesn’t contain anything harmful to fur babies. But again, be careful with what section of the plant you give to your dog as some parts are toxic.
You see, there’s generally nothing wrong with sharing asparagus with dogs. This vegetable makes a healthy treat for pups. But it comes with a caveat – only feed dogs the edible parts to avoid causing health issues.
Yes, while generally safe for consumption, not all parts are good for you and your canine. So, what part of asparagus should you avoid? Well, the only toxic part of this treat is what’s commonly known as the asparagus fern.
Asparagus fern basically is the leaves. That’s the part that produces red berries you see after the plant matures. Neither the fern nor the berries are safe for humans or dogs. After ingestion, the toxins in these parts will cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
But asparagus fern is the inedible part of the asparagus. It’s one of the parts we usually throw away when preparing the vegetable, so it’s unlikely your dog will eat it in the food you prepare.
But again, dogs are super-curious animals. They are always eager to know what will happen when they do what. In other words, always ensure that you dispose of this part away from their reach.
If you are growing asparagus in your garden, get a reliable fence. It will prevent your dog from sneaking into the farm. If that’s not part of your plans, at least invent a way to keep your dog off the plantation. It’s one way to elude trouble.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Asparagus Stalks?
Yes, dogs can eat raw asparagus stalks. Asparagus stalks are high in fiber, so your dog’s digestive system will benefit a lot from them. But beware – too much fiber can cause digestive complications for dogs. Hence, always keep the intake level in moderation.
Asparagus stalks are low in calories. That should tell you that your dog won’t become obese from eating them. But that doesn’t mean large quantities are safe for pups. Not at all. Like any other food, moderation is essential when talking of asparagus stalks.
Large asparagus intake results in your dog ingesting too much fiber. That makes gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and bloat very likely. So yes, as much as a small amount of dietary fiber prevents constipation, too much of it triggers constipation.
Again, asparagus stalks are just too tough for dogs to eat. That’s not much problem for dogs who chew their food thoroughly. However, for canines that love to gobble down their food, it can put them at the risk of choking.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Asparagus?
Yes, dogs can also safely eat frozen asparagus. Frozen asparagus will help dogs cool down during the hot middays of the summer. But much like the fresh variety, regulate the amount of frozen asparagus your dog eats.
When temperatures soar, dogs need something to help them cool down, just like their human companions. Unfortunately, dogs can’t eat most human summer treats. These treats are just too high in sugar and contain ingredients harmful to dogs.
Now, if you are wondering whether you can chill asparagus and use it as a summer treat for your dog, then you can. Frozen asparagus is just as healthy to dogs as the fresh treat but with the added advantage of cooling down your dog.
However, there are two areas you need to be careful when it comes to frozen asparagus. The first is the amount they eat. You probably know that, so we won’t go into details. The second is the size of the stalks you offer.
Frozen asparagus feel more rigid than fresh ones. As such, pups are more likely to choke on them. To avoid that, we recommend that you always cut the stalks into smaller sizes that are unlikely to hurt dogs.
Is Raw Asparagus Safe For Dogs?
Yes, raw asparagus is as safe for dogs to eat as for humans. With proper rinse and chopped down to small sizes, your dog will definitely be happy to munch on these delicious veggies in their raw form.
We all know of some foods only eatable by dogs in cooked form. But that’s not the case with asparagus. Your dog will delight in eating raw asparagus just as much as they enjoy munching on treats eatable only when raw.
In fact, asparagus is the richest in nutrients when consumed raw.
But the uncooked form has a downside – dogs are more likely to choke on raw asparagus than one that has gone through cooking. Hence, if you have to offer this treat raw, cut it into small and more manageable sizes.
In addition, raw asparagus can carry bacteria and other dangerous microbes that can attract health complications when ingested. To play it safe, always wash asparagus every time before you offer them to your dog.
Will Cooked Asparagus Hurt Dogs?
No, cooked asparagus won’t hurt dogs. But ensure that you don’t use salt or any other ingredient dangerous to dogs in the preparation. Without any of these components, cooked asparagus is healthy for dogs. In fact, most pups prefer it that way.
So yes, your dog can also eat cooked asparagus. Cooking will soften asparagus, making it easier for dogs to chew and friendlier to swallow. Again, cooking will kill bacteria and other dangerous microbes that could make your dog sick.
However, how you do the cooking matters a lot. It will dictate the nutritional value of the food and whether or not dogs can safely eat it. As such, always pay attention to all precautions when cooking asparagus for dogs.
For instance, only do light cooking. You can consider steaming or boiling for a few minutes. Either of these will kill bacteria, soften the spears, and at the same time retain the nutritional value of the food.
Also, avoid using salt, pepper, onions, garlic, cheese, oil, or any other additives we often use on human foods. While they all make our foods more flavorful, these components are harmful to dogs. So yes, always remember to keep them plain.
What Does Asparagus Do For Dogs?
Asparagus will do much for dogs, ranging from promoting digestive health to keeping them safe from free radicals to improving their heart health. That’s because asparagus come enriched with nutrients essential for overall canine health.
When talking about the most nutritious vegetable treats for dogs, asparagus is definitely up there on the list. This spring vegetable comes steeming with essential nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, and K.
It’s also rich in fiber and has small traces of protein and fat. And that’s not all yet – asparagus also offers manganese, folates, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, iron, chlorine, and other minerals.
Your dog will definitely benefit a lot from each of these elements. Let’s take selenium, for instance. This mineral keeps canines from getting some cancers – and that means more years of spending with your adorable Fido.
Potassium improves the functionality of the nervous system, while vitamins strengthen the immune system and promote eye, teeth, and coat health. In other words, each of these elements plays an essential role in a dog’s overall health.
Will Asparagus Help Overweight Dog Lose Weight?
Yes, asparagus will help overweight dogs lose weight. This member of the lily family is high in fiber and low in calories, so it will keep your dog feeling fuller most of the time to help them lose weight.
Excessive calorie intake is the likely reason your dog is overweight. Obese could come from other causes such as medical conditions. However, excessive feeding is the leading reason dogs become overweight.
That’s why you need to regulate the number of calories your dog eats daily. Vets will tell you that dogs should eat about 30 calories per pound of their body weight. But that’s not cast in stone, so always get the truth from a certified vet.
Obesity won’t come the first or second day of surpassing the vet’s recommended safety level. But as overfeeding becomes habitual, your furry friend draws closer and closer to developing this condition.
Now, asparagus doesn’t contain many calories. To bring you into perspective, a cup of boiled asparagus offers just 20 calories, about a fifth the amount you get in a medium-sized ripe banana. Hence, asparagus will obviously not make dogs gain more weight.
Actually, asparagus is more likely to make dogs lose weight than gain it. The high amount of fiber will slow down digestion, reducing the frequency at which dogs need food. Consequently, dogs end up eating much less than they otherwise would have eaten.
And yes, it also takes a couple of days for a dog to lose weight. You can catalyze that by putting more emphasis on daily exercise. One thing to ensure, though; consult with the vet before you embark your dog on any exercise program.
Can I Feed My Dog Asparagus Daily?
Sure, you can feed your dog asparagus daily since the vegetable is healthy and low in calories. But that’s not the right thing to do. Asparagus will make dogs miss out on other essential nutrients from other treats.
As earlier pointed out, asparagus is one of the most nutritious vegetables, and there’s no doubt about that. It also doesn’t contain anything dangerous to dogs, meaning your dog can safely eat it day in day out without issues.
But we all know feeding dogs one type of snack every day is generally not a healthy practice, and that also applies when it comes to asparagus. You should not offer this fantastic treat to dogs daily – and for a good reason!
You see, even though it comes loaded with nutrients, asparagus doesn’t contain everything canines need to grow strong and healthy. Dogs still need other treats for nutrients not present in asparagus.
Feeding dogs asparagus and other treats will widen the variety of nutrients they obtain from nutrients. That will help them grow all-around healthy. So yes, always ensure that you use asparagus and other treats.
Again, it’s likely that your dog won’t be happy eating asparagus every day. Like humans, dogs don’t love the idea of feeding on the same thing regularly. They want to enjoy variety in the snacks you offer.
So, how often should you give dogs asparagus? Well, this vegetable should come occasionally! Yes, only feed your dog asparagus from time to time. Precisely, you can have it come once after a week or two. Actually, your pup will likely love it that way.
How Much Asparagus Can A Dog Eat?
This hugely depends on its daily caloric intake. As a general rule of thumb, you should never exceed 10% of the calories your dog is supposed to eat in a day in treats. However, for foods rich in fiber and low in calories, 10% is a lot. As such, only offer a few stalks of asparagus to your dog, preferably amounting to half a cup!
As you already know, moderation is essential when feeding your dog – not just treats – even their regular food. Excess of anything good can attract a negative outcome. And yes, that also applies to asparagus.
Now, vets generally agree that treats should only take about 10% of the total calories a dog needs to eat a day. But that doesn’t cut across all snacks, and asparagus is a case in point. Well, let me explain.
Let’s use the earlier stated rate of 30 calories per pound body weight. Assuming that you have a 40-pounder pup, that’s 1,200 calories on average per day. 10% of that is 120 calories, the proportion that needs to go to treats – Asparagus in this case.
With a cup of asparagus offering only 20 calories, you need 6 cups for you to hit the 10% mark. That’s definitely a lot of asparagus coming in the name of snacks. So yes, always offer about half a cup of this snack to avoid replacing your dog’s regular diet. You can as well discuss with the vet matters on quantity.
A lot of asparagus will give dogs undesirable effects. Upset stomach, bloat, diarrhea, and vomiting are a few of the many possible side effects. Either of these conditions may require a vet visit, which obviously means that you have to part with at least a few bucks.
How Should You Feed Asparagus To Dogs?
Regarding how you should feed asparagus to dogs, cut the spears into small sizes unlikely to cause choking. And as usual, offer a small amount the first time and increase the amount as your dog gets used to the treat.
When we say that you cut the asparagus into tiny bits, the ideal length will depend on the size of your dog. For instance, if you have a puppy, you have to cut much smaller pieces than you would for larger canines.
We recommend that you offer cooked asparagus to first-time eaters. That’s also the way to follow for quick eaters. But that doesn’t mean raw asparagus is toxic. No, not at all! It’s only that the cooked form is softer and less likely to cause choking or any other form of blockage.