Yes. Dogs can eat broccoli in small amounts.
Broccoli contains many nutrients for your dog and can form a valuable addition to a well-balanced diet.
That being said, you need to prepare and serve it carefully, as too much can cause issues. This is the case for most dog safe fruit and vegetables though.
So before we go too far, let’s look at whether dogs should be eating fruit and veg in the first place…
Are dogs omnivores or carnivores?
Dogs are usually classed as omnivores due to them being able to digest small amounts of certain fruits and vegetables without too much trouble.
This includes broccoli.
However, dogs aren’t really omnivores in the same sense that we as humans are.
They are actually facultative carnivores, which essentially means that they are carnivores that can process a small amount of plant matter.
What this boils down to is that a dog’s diet should primarily come from animal proteins (meat), supplemented by a small amount of other foods, such as fruit and veg.
Is broccoli safe for dogs?
Yes, in small quantities.
The main risks of feeding your dog broccoli are the choking hazard. To help prevent this, keep the chunks small and supervise your dog.
The other risk is the fact that broccoli florets contain isothiocyanate, which although fairly harmless at low levels, can be a gut irritant in larger amounts.
Isothiocyanate is also present in many other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, sprouts, kale etc, but broccoli has a higher concentration.
The purpose of isothiocyanate in these plants is to help protect against insects, infection and disease. It is also responsible for the unique flavour of these vegetables.
Experts suggest that were a dog to consume broccoli florets as 25% of their daily food intake or more, then this would put them at risk of serious complications.
Isothiocyanate is considered harmless at low quantities though, so as long as you only feed them a small amount and don’t make it a regular thing, there should be no issues.
How much broccoli can a dog eat?
The 10% rule is a good guide, in that, a dog’s diet should consist of 90% high-quality dog food, and up to 10% other foods, such as fruits, vegetables and snacks.
What does this mean in the real world? Keep the broccoli portion small. Start your dog off with a very small amount and see how they go from there.
If you are keeping to the 10% rule, then you need to consider what they have already had that day treat-wise and what you plan to feed them later.
Broccolli is classed as a superfood for humans, due to it being so nutrient-dense.
The good news is that in small amounts, it can also be good for your pooch.
These nutrients include:
- Vitamin K: this promotes strong bones and higher bone density. This is plus for young and older dogs alike.
- Fibre: this can help with your dog’s digestion. Be careful with the stems though, as they can be difficult to digest.
- Folic acid: used for DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.
- Vitamin C: this is not so much of a benefit, as dogs produce their own vitamin C, but any excess is passed through the body, so it doesn’t do any harm.
- Minerals: potassium, sodium, magnesium, which can benefit your dogs immune and nervous system.
Can dogs eat broccoli raw?
Yes, raw (uncooked) broccoli is safe for your dog to eat. Keep the chunks small though to limit the choking risk.
Can dogs eat broccoli cooked?
Yes. Dogs can eat cooked broccoli. This also makes it easier for your dog to eat and digest and is the recommended way to serve it.
Does broccoli make dogs gassy?
It can. If this happens, reduce how much you feed them in future and avoid broccoli altogether if your dog still experiences issues.
Ensure you are following the 10% rule as above. Excess amounts of any vegetable can cause stomach upset.
Can dogs eat broccoli stems?
Yes, both the stems and the florets are edible. Just be careful with the stems and make sure you chop them up into manageable pieces for your dog.
This will reduce the choking risk.
A small amount of broccoli is considered safe for your dog to eat on occasion. This can be either fresh, frozen, raw or cooked.
Keep the portions small, and chop into manageable chunks.
For puppies, it’s probably best to avoid feeding them broccoli until they are fully grown, as it can be difficult for them to chew and digest.
If you would like to find more articles such as this, we have a whole category detailing what vegetables dogs can eat, along with many other foods.
See you there.
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Will broccoli kill my dog?
The main risks of feeding your dog broccoli are the choking hazard (keep the chunks small and supervise your dog), and the fact that the florets contain isothiocyanate, which although fairly harmless at low levels, can be a gut irritant in larger quantities.
See is broccoli safe for dogs? above.
Can dogs eat cabbage and cauliflower?
Yes, dogs can eat cauliflower. We have written a full post on it here.
A small amount of cabbage is generally fine for your dog to eat.
To see more info on this and other foods that your dog can and can’t have, see our articles here.
Can dogs eat broccoli stalk?
Yes, the stalk is also known as the stem. Dogs can eat these if served with caution. See Can dogs eat broccoli stems? above.
What vegetables can dogs eat?
Wondering if your dog can eat vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, carrots or peas? We have a whole section detailing what dogs can and can’t eat.
We look forward to being of service.