Most pet owners know from experience that dogs usually like almost all “people food.” It’s important to know, however, that dogs’ bodies work differently than human bodies do, so what is safe for us may not be safe for them.
Asparagus is a healthy vegetable that many people enjoy, but can dogs eat asparagus too?
Can dogs eat asparagus?
Asparagus is not toxic for dogs, so, yes, they can eat it. Dogs are carnivores, however, so their bodies are intended to digest meat, not vegetables. So, asparagus, and other safe table foods, should be given in moderation.
It should be noted that the leaves that grow on an asparagus plant are toxic to dogs, so you should fence in your garden if you are growing asparagus there. If your dog ingests these leaves, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Does it matter if the asparagus is raw or cooked?
Due to the toughness of raw asparagus stalks, it is recommended that you only feed cooked asparagus to your dog. If you think about it, most people eat cooked asparagus only, so it’s no different for dogs.
The toughness of raw asparagus can also make it difficult for dogs to digest, potentially causing diarrhea and vomiting.
If you do feed your dog raw asparagus, you should cut it into small pieces to reduce the risk of choking. Cutting asparagus up is a good practice to get into with cooked asparagus as well, to exercise caution.
What are the benefits of asparagus for my dog?
Asparagus is high in dietary fiber, so it can be good for your dog’s digestion. Dietary fiber can also be helpful in managing hunger for dogs who are on a weight loss plan.
Asparagus also contains powerful antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can cause cancer and other diseases when too much of them enter the body. Note, however, that the research on the benefits of asparagus has been done on humans, so the benefits may not be as strong in dogs.
As with other vegetables, cooking asparagus does remove some of the nutrients from it. So, if you’re giving your dog asparagus for the health benefits, the nutrients will have a higher concentration in some other vegetables that your dog is able to eat raw.
What are some recipes that use asparagus?
Just as you do when preparing asparagus for people, be sure to remove the tough end, as even cooking doesn’t tenderize it enough to be pleasing--or safe--to eat.
When serving asparagus to your dog, you can simply boil or steam it, but do not cook it in butter or oil, as these are not safe for pets.
Asparagus Recipes For Dogs
Simple Asparagus Soup
1/2 c. asparagus, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, chopped
½ c. sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 c. chicken or beef bone broth
Combine all ingredients in soup pot and boil until vegetables are very tender. Amount of liquid and types of vegetables can be adjusted to preference.
1 c. rice, cooked in chicken broth according to package directions
½-¾ c. asparagus, cooked and chopped
Mix cooked rice and asparagus together, making sure both are tender and in small enough pieces so as not to pose a choking hazard.
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- Bess, E. Can My Dog Eat Asparagus? Retrieved from https://www.rover.com/blog/can-dog-eat-asparagus/
- Healthline. Antioxidants Explained in Simple Terms. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#what-they-are
- Pet Poison Helpline. Is Table Food Poisonous for Dogs? Retrieved from https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/is-table-food-poisonous-for-dogs/
- Ripley, K. (2017). Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-asparagus/
- Smart Dog Owners. Is Asparagus Safe for Dogs? Retrieved from https://smartdogowners.com/asparagus/