Is kale ok for dogs? Yes and no.
Although there are many sites that promote kale as a healthy treat for your dog, the fact is that it contains high amounts of calcium oxalate, which has the potential to cause kidney and bladder stones in dogs, especially those that are susceptible to them.
If your dog is at risk of these stones, it’s best to avoid foods such as kale, as it’s unlikely to help matters.
Other vegetables that contain calcium oxalate include swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, parsley, leeks & okra. There are more, but these are the main ones.
A small amount of kale, every so often, will probably do your dog no harm – but due to the above, it can’t be blanketly recommended as a healthy food.
For humans, kale is highly regarded, and for good reason, it contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals that are extremely beneficial to our health.
These include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, K – as well as the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
Kale is also a great source of antioxidants. These include flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol.
Antioxidants help protect your dog against many ailments including arthritis, joint problems, eye and skin problems. This includes cancer.
So as you can see, the answer is not exactly clear cut.
On one hand, kale has amazing health benefits – but on the other hand, it increases the risk of kidney and bladder stones.
Let’s look into this a bit further…
Is kale toxic to dogs?
A small amount should do no harm. However, it can be problematic if fed at regular intervals.
This could easily be the case if you regularly have it stored in the fridge for your own consumption and then feed it to your dog multiple times per week.
If fed in large quantities it can equally be a problem.
As with most foods outside of your dog’s main diet, feed it to them in moderation.
Is cooked kale good for dogs?
If you are going to feed your dog kale, then cooking it is the best option. You need to consider if kale is suitable for your dog in the first place though. See above.
Lightly steam or boil it and serve it to your dog plain, with no addons like salt, butter etc.
Cooking is considered the safest way to feed it to your dog.
Is raw kale good for dogs?
If you are going to feed your dog kale, it is recommended that you cook it first.
As above, lightly steaming is the best option.
How do I prepare kale for my dog?
If you can afford it, organic kale is the way to go.
Gently wash it and prepare it just like you would if you were eating it yourself. You can cop it up into a sensible size for your dog’s mouth and then steam for a few minutes.
Allow to cool and serve. Easy
How much kale can I give my dog?
Similar to broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables, it is recommended that your dog consumes no more than 10% of its daily food intake from kale or any other similar food.
This is due to the calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates present.
Whereas calcium oxalate can cause kidney stones etc, isothiocyanates can cause stomach irritation in larger quantities.
A small amount of kale is probably not going to cause your dog any issues though, assuming they have no previous conditions, so don’t be overly concerned if you are just feeding them small amounts.
Is kale good for dogs with kidney disease?
Kale is not recommended for dogs with any kind of kidney issues. The calcium oxalate can potentially cause further complications.
Speak to your vet on what foods your dog can and can’t eat in relation to their condition.
Can dogs eat kale leaves?
Yes. Kale leaves are the part that you generally eat, so the leaves are the part that you (and your dog) generally want to be eating.
This is assuming you have heeded the other advice in this article though.
Does kale make dogs sick?
Feeding your dog kale is unlikely to make your dog sick if you stick to small quantities.
It is recommended that you not feed your dog any more than 10% of their daily food intake with foods such as kale.
In reality, your dog is likely to be getting fed up with eating it if you tried to feed them any more than this anyway, so it’s pretty unlikely that they would have more than this, certainly on a regular basis.
Mind you, some dogs aren’t exactly ‘wired’ correctly, so I wouldn’t put it past a few I have met 🙂
Kale has many health benefits for both humans and dogs alike and can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
You do need to be mindful of the calcium oxalate and isothiocyanate issues (see above) but all things considered, a sensible amount should be fine.
Presuming your dog is healthy and has no known liver or kidney issues, a small amount of kale every now and again is considered safe to eat.
As with most things, don’t overdo it and all should be well.
However, should you have any concerns, it’s always best to speak to your vet who can give you specific advice.
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Is broccoli good for dogs?
Yes. Broccoli is considered a healthy food for dogs to eat.
As with all cruciferous vegetables, it is recommended that you keep an eye on portion sizes and ensure that you keep your dogs intake of such foods to no more than 10% of their daily food intake.
We have written a full post on the broccoli for dogs where you can find out all about it.
Is spinach good for dogs?
Yes. Spinach is considered a safe vegetable to eat, but it contains oxalic acid which can stop your dog from absorbing calcium, so it should be eaten in moderation.
In reality, your dog would have to eat a lot of spinach to be affected, so a small amount will likely cause them no issues at all.
Is cauliflower good for dogs?
Yes. Cauliflower is considered a safe and healthy food for dogs.
Cauliflower contains many different vitamins and minerals, which helps support your dog’s overall health.
These include vitamins K, C & folate as well as minerals calcium & potassium.
Cauliflower also contains fibre, which helps with digestion.
What vegetables are good for dogs?
There are many vegetables that are considered safe for dogs to eat, including ones that are very beneficial to them.
See our section on what dogs can and can’t eat for more info.