Can Dogs eat Asparagus? A definitive Dog Diet
Can Dogs eat Asparagus? This is one of the most challenging questions amongst pet owners and dog parents. The short answer to this is yes. But you have to do it in the recommended way.
Asparagus is a yummy vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Not only is the veggie healthy for humans but also for dogs. This may sound quite ridiculous to a majority of the people who tend to feed their pets on a diet of meat, simply because they’re carnivores by nature.
This article has come up with the best guide to ensure you’re informed on feeding asparagus to your dog.
What is Asparagus & Where Does It Come From?
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that’s is grown in most parts of Spain, Ireland, Britain, and Germany, China, Peru, Mexico, Italy, France, and many more. This vegetable is usually in plenty during the spring season. In fact, this can be a good reason why asparagus is sometimes referred to as a spring vegetable.
The leaves and stems of this vegetable are edible when they’re ripe and a rich source of vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals.
What Are the Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Asparagus?
Like humans, dogs are also omnivores and so, they reap similar benefits from different fruits and vegetables.
Asparagus is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber helps the digestive system and supports immunity. It feeds the good bacteria in the colon making it an excellent prebiotic. Prebiotics help grows and maintains healthy gut flora.
Insoluble fiber is essential for adding bulk to the stool as well as supporting regular bowel movements. On top of this, insoluble fiber boosts the renewal of the cells that are often lined up on your dog’s intestine.
As already mentioned, asparagus is packed with several types of vitamins including, vitamins A, C, E, K, and B9.
- Vitamin A – a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin, that’s essential for proper vision, immune health, reproduction, and skin and bone health.
- Vitamin K – a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in activating the body’s blood-clotting mechanism and bone metabolism. In addition, Vitamin K increases your dog’s immunity and can help improve organ function.
- Vitamin E – a fat-soluble antioxidant, is responsible for controlling oxidation and free radicals. It also promotes healthy skin, teeth, eyes, and coat as well.
- Vitamin B9 – (folate and folic acid) plays a bigger role in the growth of cells, DNA synthesis, and amino acid metabolism.
A symbiotic relationship of Vitamin B9 with B12 helps to form methionine — an essential amino acid for dogs. Methionine promotes collagen, builds bone strength and it acts as an antioxidant (glutathione).
Even though a dog manufactures its own Vitamin C, it always a good idea to supplement a natural source of this vitamin. Vitamin C helps to damage free radicals that are harmful to your dog.
Since asparagus has large amounts of antioxidants, it, therefore, provides antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids. Feeding your dog antioxidant-rich asparagus helps to control inflammation, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Asparagus contains large quantities of minerals including potassium, calcium, iron copper, and phosphorus.
Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps to control brain function, nerve impulses, and muscle function.
Along with Calcium, Phosphorus helps form bones and teeth. It catalyzes most body functions like growth, maintenance, and cell repair.
Calcium is essential for your dog’s bone, cartilage development, and blood clotting. It also supports cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and endocrine function.
Copper is essential for nerve cell maintenance and red blood cell production. It also encourages the formation of connective tissues, collagen, and bones.
In its protein hemoglobin, Iron helps supply oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your dog’s body parts. Myoglobin helps deliver oxygen to your dog’s muscles.
If you would like to find out more about vegetables for a dog, visit my other blog HERE!
How Can I Cook Asparagus for My Dog?
Preparing asparagus for your dog is very easy and simple. However, there a few things you need to know before feeding it to your dog.
Asparagus stalks are quite tough and so, feeding him with the whole stalk could cause choking and even death. Whole stalks could stop your dog from reaping all the health benefits of asparagus. To avoid all these nightmares for your pet:
- Trim off the rough, fibrous end of the stalk
- Chop the asparagus into bite-size pieces
- You can steam or boil asparagus in bone broth or healthy fat, along with other veggies like sweet potatoes, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, and kale
How to Serve Your Dog Asparagus:
As always the 10% rule should be followed when serving your dog asparagus. Below are some of the different options you can choose to feed your dog asparagus:
- Mix asparagus with his main food
- Stuff it into food puzzles and toys
- Homemade treats in a low oven or dehydrator
Hazards in Regards to Feeding Your Dog Asparagus
As the saying goes “too much of anything is never a good thing” and so this is true when you don’t apply the correct procedures while feeding your dog. Here are some of the precautions in relation to feeding your dog asparagus:
- Chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces to ease in chewing as well as to avoid choking hazards.
- Avoid feeding your dog asparagus that has been seasoned with onion powder. Grapes and onion powder are very toxic to dogs.
- Never feed buttered or asparagus cooked in fats. Fats can upset the stomach or even cause pancreatitis in your dog.
- Always keep your dog away from the garden where you’re asparagus growing. This is in order to prevent him from feeding on asparagus fern or red seedpods — the toxic inedible part of the asparagus plant. You can fence your garden to make sure it’s inaccessible.
- Avoid giving him raw asparagus as it might cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- Too much fiber in asparagus can be also dangerous to your dog. It can cause severe intestinal upsets and diarrhea.
- In case you suspect that your dog has ingested asparagus fern, call your vet immediately.
While feeding asparagus to your dog is likely to cause a foul pee and urine odor. This is always normal and it should not make you worry about your dog’s health. The strange smell of your dog’s pee is obvious as a result of the antioxidant flushing out toxins.
We’re hopeful that this guide has armed you with the necessary tips and tricks about feeding your dog asparagus. You should now be able to embark on the task like a pro!
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