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Can dogs eat asparagus?

Can dogs eat asparagus?

3 min read

It is fair to say that many dogs do love to have an extra treat outside of meal times, and some vegetables and fruit make great alternatives. However, a dog’s digestive tract is very different from ours, and certain fruits and veggies can be unsuitable or even harmful for your dog.  Asparagus  had become a staple of healthy eating for humans, but while asparagus is a perfectly safe and healthy for us, can dogs eat asparagus?

Can dogs eat asparagus? 

While asparagus is not toxic to dogs, there are a few things you need to consider before offering your dog asparagus as a treat. When preparing your dog’s asparagus snack, it is important to note that in general, raw untreated vegetables are a safer and healthier option to cooked vegetables, that have been stripped of their nutritional value – however this isn’t the case with asparagus due to the tough fibrous nature of the stem.

Although asparagus contains many healthy vitamins and minerals, it does have a very high fibre content, this can cause issues in your dogs’ digestive tract. When offering asparagus to your pet make sure that it is cooked lightly, by boiling it or steaming it to soften the stem.

Always remember that extra food items and snacks should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories

The risk of asparagus for dogs 

It is important to note that, your dog shouldn’t eat the bottom end of the asparagus stalk because it is very tough and woody, and difficult for them to chew and digest. This makes it a potential choking hazard for small dogs. As for the asparagus tips, or heads, your dog can eat them.

Choking hazard 

One of the major risks of asparagus for dogs is that if fed raw (or if the tough, woody part of the stem is fed), it’s not very soft and can therefore cause choking. Since many dogs tend to eat their food without it even sometimes touching the surface of their teeth, a hard asparagus stalk can get stuck in the oesophagus. Dogs can eat asparagus and enjoy it, but lightly cooked and cut into in small pieces.

Upset stomach

Another problem with raw asparagus is that it will be difficult for your dog to digest. Cooking asparagus will ensure that it is that little bit easier for your dog’s stomach to process. However, if your dog doesn’t take well to the asparagus then it can still cause an upset stomach, gas, or even vomiting and diarrhoea

If you have cooked asparagus, you will know that a lot of the time, it is cooked in butters and oils. It can also with seasoned with pepper, salt, garlic and sometimes cheese but these accompaniments can lead to your dog suffering from stomach upset and becoming ill. If you plan to feed asparagus to your dog, cook it in plain boiling water and then put theirs on one side while you get creative with your own!

How much asparagus can a dog eat?

When offering anything new to your dog’s diet, it is always essential to follow the 10% rule. Any extra treats, toppers on food or ‘crumbs’ your dog manages to eat throughout the day should not make up any more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.

So, can dogs eat asparagus or not?

In summary, it is safe for dogs to eat asparagus, although it can be tough to chew and digest when it is raw or undercooked – and the tough bit of the stem should always be removed.

Just remember to cut it into small bite-size pieces first and always feed in moderation to reduce the risk of illness cause by overeating. Although asparagus is really healthy, make sure to include any vegetables alongside your dog’s usual diet, so your dog is always eating a complete and balanced meal.

Now you know that with care, dogs can eat asparagus, and although not fully recommended, it won’t harm them. Want to find out more about foods your dog can eat? Read our article, can dogs eat courgette, next.