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. Dogs are curious creatures and new foods help to stimulate their curiosities slightly. However, a dog’s digestive tract is very different from ours, certain fruits and veggies can be unsuitable or even harmful for your dog. Asparagus is another staple of healthy eating for humans, but while asparagus is a perfectly safe and healthy for us humans to eat, 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.
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 treats 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 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.
One of the major risks of asparagus for dogs is that 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.
As mentioned before, dogs can eat asparagus, but in small pieces. Raw asparagus is even more tough than cooked asparagus, it is too hard on your dog’s digestive system and presents a dangerous choking hazard.
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 ultimately becoming ill.
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. Raw asparagus is still ‘safe’ for dogs to eat, but it is more likely to upset your dog’s stomach compared to cooked asparagus.
Just remember to cut it into 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 vegetables alongside protein and extra vitamins and minerals, so your dog is always eating a complete and balanced meal.
Now you know that dogs can eat asparagus, 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.