Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

Betty Hose

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Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

Cabbage is a heart-healthy food that is popular with people. If you’re preparing cabbage for yourself, you might find yourself wondering if it’s okay to share this vegetable with your dog. In fact, it is okay to give your dog some cabbage in small quantities.

Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC, advises that “cabbage is in the same family as cauliflower and broccoli, so it is safe to feed a dog cabbage, but only in moderation.” If you choose to incorporate cabbage into your dog’s diet, there may even be some health benefits.

Is Cabbage Good for Dogs?

Dr. Klein explains that cabbage is a “low-calorie and high-fiber food that is high in vitamins C and K, magnesium, and beta-carotene.” An antioxidant, vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation, protects cells from free radicals, and may even reduce some cognitive impacts of aging.

The fiber in cabbage can support your dog’s digestion and prevent or reduce constipation or diarrhea. Magnesium helps your dog’s body to maintain muscle and nerve function; it can also support your dog’s immune system. Beta-carotene promotes eye health and may help reduce the risk of cancer.

Is Cabbage Bad for Dogs?

Although cabbage is safe to feed to dogs, it should only be fed in moderation. Dr. Klein advises that “cabbage produces a large amount of gas, and many dogs may not be able to handle excessive gas production, especially in breeds that have the potential to bloat.”

If you know that your dog tends to have a lot of gas or is prone to bloat, consult with your vet before feeding cabbage to your dog. You may want to consider other dog-safe vegetables that produce less gas.

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What Types of Cabbage Can My Dog Eat?

In limited quantities, both red cabbage and green cabbage are safe for dogs to eat. “Always consult with your veterinarian for the best guidance for your dog before offering any new food item,” advises Dr. Klein.

Can Dogs Eat Cabbage Raw? How to Safely Give It to Your Dog

Dogs should only eat cabbage that hasn’t been seasoned. The butter and spices that you might like on your cabbage aren’t good for your dog. Butter and other fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, while spices like onions and garlic are toxic to dogs. If you want to occasionally give cabbage to your dog, dice it up into small pieces in order to prevent dogs from choking on the fibrous vegetable.

As natural omnivores, dogs are curious about all types of food—especially when it’s on your plate, just out of easy muzzle reach. Most brands of dog food contain a well-balanced blend of meat, fruit, and vegetables, all specially formulated for proper nutrition. Your veterinarian might also recommend occasional plant-based treats to tempt your pooch.

Is Cabbage Good or Bad For Dogs?

Albert Ahn, DVM, is the veterinary advisor for MYOS Pet. He tells Daily Paws that cabbage is good for dogs because like many vegetables, it’s packed with a lot of good nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins.

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This crunchy, cruciferous vegetable is in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower (which are also okay for dogs to nibble now and then). It’s a low-calorie, high-fiber topper choice, rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and beta-carotene. It can be included along with other greens such as lettuce and spinach in your pup’s healthy treat allotment, which vets advise as less than 10 percent of his daily diet.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cabbage

“It’s best to introduce this wonderful vegetable to a dog when they’re in their adult life stage,” Ahn says. Since puppies have a different feeding regimen and dietary requirements as they grow, they usually don’t advance to adult food—dog or human—until they reach their breed’s full height and weight requirements. Your vet can answer any questions about this and help customize an eating plan that includes the proper amount of fruit and vegetable additions, if necessary.

Can dogs eat cabbage raw? While small quantities likely won’t harm your dog, cooked cabbage—usually boiled or roasted without any type of seasoning at all—is easier for them to digest. Especially avoid mixing in onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. Ahn says cooking the cabbage also helps deactivate the effects of thiocyanate.

Can Dogs Eat All Types of Cabbage? What About Other Fruits and Vegetables?

As long as it’s cooked, your dog can have cabbage of all kinds. “Savoy cabbage, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy are all very popular varieties that are fed to dogs,” Ahn says. The regular green and Napa cabbage are just fine, too. Out of all of them, the red is likely to be most nutritious, while the green will have the highest water content.

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Can your doggo have other plant snacks? Ahn says yes. “Be sure to ask your veterinarian about other vegetables they recommend. There’s a veritable cornucopia of healthy vegetables and fruits that you can add for variety.”So if your vet says it’s okay, surprise your pup with a smackerel of those we mentioned above and these other safe human nibbles.

What Other Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Some other leafy greens and veggies that are considered safe for dogs to eat include:

  • Beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Spinach (while generally considered safe, dogs with kidney issues should avoid this, as it’s high in oxalates)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Even though cabbage and many other vegetables are safe for dogs to eat, the majority of their diet should come from a well-balanced dog food.

Conclusion

Cabbage can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet when fed in moderation. It provides essential nutrients and can be a tasty treat for your furry friend. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet, especially if they have specific health conditions or dietary requirements.

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