In the warmer months, there’s nothing better than a fresh summer salad, whether you’re dining al fresco at your favourite restaurant or hosting a garden barbecue. But when you’re munching on lettuce and you can feel those puppy eyes on you, is it something you can share? Carry on reading to find out if its ok to give your pup some lettuce every now and then as we answer the question ‘can dogs eat lettuce?’.
Can dogs eat lettuce?
The general consensus is that dogs can eat lettuce such as romaine, arugula and iceberg. Lettuce of these variety do not contain anything that may be inherently harmful towards your dog. Lettuce is considered a low-calorie snack and a great training treat for overweight dogs, or those on a low-calorie diet.
Whilst lettuce is 90 percent water, this does come with its negatives. Due to its high-water content, it doesn’t hold the same nutritional value as other vegetables. However, the lettuce vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene, which is then converted into Vitamin A known to support healthy vision, reproduction and bone growth.
Is lettuce safe for dogs?
As with all foreign food sources, lettuce should be offered in moderation. Too much lettuce can cause intestinal issues, such a diarrhoea. Lettuce can also be harder for dogs to digest due to its high fibre content. Always make sure to slice your lettuce into smaller pieces before feeding to your dog.
The lettuce plant also has a crunchy middle section, which some dogs prefer to eat, but always be aware that the lettuce plant is not always easily digested for any dog, big or small, so try to minimise the amount they have, and always cut into small bite-size pieces. Even though your dog may show an interest in your choice of salad leaf, does not mean that they can eat any and all greens. Some such as spinach and kale can be harmful to your pup.
How to offer lettuce to dogs
Don’t mix lettuce with herbs or dressings
Whenever offering your dog a food sample that is new to their diet, you should always make sure that it is free from any additives and is washed thoroughly. Also make sure to only feed your dog plain lettuce, without any dressings or herbs on from left over salads to avoid unknowingly offering your dog ingredients that could be harmful to their stomach and cause them discomfort.
Wash lettuce carefully
Fresh lettuce from the garden requires careful washing to remove any bacteria or pesticides; and it should be cut into small pieces.
Steam lettuce for easier digestion
To help with digestion and chewing of the fibrous leaves, steam them with a few green beans and add them to your dog’s food bowl.
So next time you’re eating a crisp, leafy salad and wonder “can dogs eat lettuce”, the answer is yes! Just make sure it’s plain with no added ingredients in it to mess with your furry friend’s tummy.
Did you know that celery can also be offered as low-calorie canine treat option? Find out more about dogs and celery. And if you’ve got some broccoli in the fridge that you’re considering sharing with your pet, check out whether or not dogs can eat broccoli too.