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Dogs Vs. Human Food: Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Dogs Vs. Human Food: Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

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Even though Brussels sprouts might not be everyone’s go-to veggie, some people love them and enjoy them almost daily. And, as dog owners, we all know that it is almost impossible to cook anything in the kitchen without a pair of pleading eyes looking up at us.

But, what can we do? Can we feed our furry friends Brussel sprouts, and how good (or bad) can they be?

So, can dogs eat Brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts are good for our dogs in moderation as they are rich in fiber, packed full of essential vitamins, and they contain antioxidants.

While this veggie is safe for canines, too many of them can cause an increase in flatulence or gastrointestinal issues.

In this article, we will explore the effects of Brussels sprouts on our canine companions. Based on research and calculated calorie data, we will see whether it makes a difference if your pup eats raw Brussel sprouts versus cooked or frozen ones.

For now, you should keep in mind that dogs can indeed eat Brussels sprouts. However, there are good and bad ways you can give them to your dog. So, keep on reading if you wish to learn which parts of this plant are safe for your dog and which are potentially hazardous.

Can dogs have Brussels sprouts?

dog's nose poking out of the brussel sprouts

According to a post on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website, when fed in moderation, Brussels sprouts are completely safe for dogs to munch.

But, safe doesn’t automatically mean that our dogs benefit from the plant, does it? Is this veggie healthy and good for our furry companions?

There is no denying that Brussels sprouts have some really great nutrients that all pups need. And we will go over the main nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that Brussels sprouts can offer.

However, keep in mind that if you are feeding your pup whole and complete dog food, it might not actually need any additional supplementation.

Things are a bit different if you are feeding your pooch homemade dog food or a raw diet, as supplementation is more needed here.

Also, before we dive deep into the benefits of this plant, you should know that it is wise to talk with your dog’s vet before adding anything to your pup’s diet. All canines are different, and you should always consult with a professional first.

Health benefits of Brussels sprouts for dogs

lots of brussel sprouts and hand holding some

We’ve already answered the question: can dogs eat Brussels sprouts, but is this plant beneficial to them in any way? Let’s find out.

Dietary fiber

Canines can always benefit from high-quality insoluble dietary fiber. This type of fiber regulates elimination and digestive functions and helps maintain gut health.

Vitamins

Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins, including vitamin K, which is crucial for strong, healthy bones, blood circulation, and blood clotting function.

These veggies also contain vitamins A, which is said to be one of the most important vitamins for canines. It is vital for skin and coat health, healthy nerves and muscles, and proper neurological function.

That said, too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity. This is especially a problem for dogs fed table scraps, as they can easily get more vitamin A than they actually need.

To get back on track, Brussels sprouts have plenty of vitamin C, which is another super important vitamin that boosts the immune system of our pups.

Vitamin C is said to also reduce systemic inflammation in canines and can guard against cell damage and cancer.

Even the B range of vitamins is present in these sprouts. Vitamin B1, or thiamine as it is sometimes referred to, helps your pup’s body metabolize carbohydrates for energy.

Vitamin B1 is also important for proper brain function, healthy nerves, and organ health.

These super veggies also contain vitamin B6, which is essential to help your pup keep a healthy blood sugar balance. It is also an important nutrient that guards against diabetes and Cushing’s disease (a pituitary condition).

Essential minerals

In addition to many vitamins, Brussels sprouts are also good for canines because of their high mineral content.

Minerals do lots of different jobs, including helping your pup’s heart, brain, bones, and muscles stay healthy and function better.

The first noteworthy mineral is potassium. Potassium is an essential electrolyte that your furry friend relies on for proper heart function and water distribution to the cells.

It is also crucial for healthy muscles, brain function, and nervous system function.

The second essential mineral worth mentioning is manganese. Manganese is an incredibly important nutrient to maintain healthy bones and cartilage, metabolize carbohydrates and protein, and help your pup’s body produce energy.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a crucial role in fighting against diseases, cancer, and free radicals that cause cell damage and other systemic disruptions. They are a key ingredient in keeping your pooch healthy and are commonly found in high-quality dog foods.

The most common antioxidants are beta carotene, selenium, and lycopene. Some of the best foods to find these important antioxidants include squash, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, kale, apples, broccoli, spinach, peaches, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, and citrus fruits.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is also present in Brussels and protects cells from the damage free radicals can cause when the pup’s body converts food into energy.

Brussels sprouts also contain folate and sulforaphane. Both of these antioxidants help your dog’s body get rid of the free radicals that can cause damage to your dog’s cells.

Dogs, Brussels sprouts, and calories

few brussel sprouts on top of the wooden table

Now that we’ve established that these veggies are not only okay for our pups but also beneficial, it is time to figure out how to add this food to our dog’s diet.

There is a pretty simple rule when it comes to any food that isn’t recommended by your vet – the 90/10 rule. This just means that 90% of your dog’s daily calories should be its “normal” dog food, while the remaining 10% can come from snacks.

We don’t really want to label Brussels sprouts as a snack because they aren’t what you would normally consider unhealthy. However, you should still apply the rule because ultimately, even though dogs can eat Brussels sprouts, they are not the most suitable for regular food.

If you take into account that dogs should only eat 25 calories for every pound of their weight, it makes for an interesting study.

Based on the claim above, we took the average adult weight of two different sized and popular breeds:

• An average French Bulldog of 25 pounds should eat around 625 calories daily.

• An average Labrador Retriever of 70 pounds should eat around 1,750 calories daily.

We then decided to see how many calories are in Brussels sprouts, be they cooked, fried, raw, or frozen, to see how it impacts a dog’s daily diet. Here are the numbers we crunched:

• 10 raw Brussels sprouts (43 calories): 7% French Bulldog or 2% Labrador Retriever daily intake.

• 10 roasted Brussels sprouts (67 calories): 11% French Bulldog or 4% Labrador Retriever daily intake.

As you might have deduced yourself, sprouts are very low in calories. Even a large portion of 10 of these veggies would only account for between 7% and 11% of a small dog’s daily diet.

However, for reasons we will explain later on, we wouldn’t recommend feeding Brussels sprouts to your pup this quantity.

Can Brussels sprouts help with weight loss?

cute pug dog lying down on the weighing scale

Based on all of this information, you might be wondering if dogs that eat Brussels sprouts can lose weight doing so? Well, it is possible as they are very low in calories.

The main goal would be to get your dog into a calorie deficit if it is overweight. Sprouts can help as they can bulk up your dog’s diet without impacting too highly on calorie intake.

Just bear in mind that you shouldn’t feed Brussels sprouts in any form to a puppy because the isothiocyanate in these vegetables is difficult to digest, even for adult dogs. Never feed any extra food to your puppy unless your vet says it is okay.

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts raw?

raw brussel sprouts with a knife on top of the table

Right about now, feeding your dog raw Brussels sprouts probably sounds like a pretty good idea. But, there is one thing we haven’t told you yet that might change your mind about feeding your dog raw Brussels sprouts – the dreaded gas.

These veggies are members of the cruciferous vegetable family. This means they are basically tiny cabbages.

Now, if you have ever eaten cabbage or been in the company of someone who has, you probably know that it is renowned for both its nutritional benefits as well as the unfortunate side effect of flatulence.

As the American Kennel Club (AKC) points out, Brussels sprouts have a distinctive compound called isothiocyanate.

This compound can give the strongest muscles in the digestive system an extra helping hand in sending food and waste material on its merry way.

As you can probably imagine, this benefit doesn’t come without an unpleasant (and often smelly) cost: dog farts.

If your dog already farts a lot, you really may want to think again about offering it any Brussels sprout recipe, particularly raw, as they will lead to more of the farty goodness.

Can dogs eat cooked Brussel sprouts?

homemade roasted green brussel sprouts placed in a wooden plate

Cooked Brussels sprout are good for canines, and the cooking process will make them a lot easier to digest. The harder a raw veggie is to digest, the better and tastier it is when cooked, and the Brussels sprout is one of the hardest vegetables around.

In other words, if you know your pup passes a lot of wind after eating cooked Brussels sprouts, just wait until he munches on a raw one!

Can dogs eat Brussels sprout every day?

Well, even though they are completely safe for our canine companions in moderation, we wouldn’t recommend feeding your dog Brussels sprouts daily, and not just because of the wind factor.

Too much Brussels sprouts as part of a dog’s regular diet can lead to potential health issues. This is because sprouts in high quantities can actually disrupt the normal functioning of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

If your pup, by any chance, gets its paws on a whole bowl of Brussels sprouts, the consequences are not a pretty sight. Your pooch will most likely have an upset stomach and diarrhea for an entire day and night.

It will be pretty hard to determine who has it worse – your dog for having to pass all those sprouts, or you, who will have the wonderful job of cleaning after it.

Plus, there will probably be a feeling of guilt for not doing a better job of keeping the sprouts away from your pup.

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts stalks?

raw brussel sprout on the stalk over the table

While this vegetable can look very pretty while still attached to its long stalk, the stalk itself is not typically considered to be safe for dogs to consume.

When unpeeled, the stalks of this plant are very tough and fibrous with their thick outer casings. However, some doggie owners suggest that they are, in fact, edible on the inside.

Similar to how the insides of broccoli stalks are very tasty once you get rid of the outer casings.

But, please be careful, as small dogs that try to ingest an unpeeled raw sprout stalk have a high risk of choking, perforation, or impaction.

That said, if you can peel off the outer stalk and steam the inner core, you will most likely find that your dog enjoys it as much as the sprouts themselves.

Can dogs eat Brussel sprouts leaves?

golden retriever licking his mouth after eating from a bowl

We are happy to inform you that Brussels sprouts leaves are completely safe for your pup to eat. Moreover, giving your pooch individual raw leaves is unlikely to give it as much gas as if you fed it whole raw sprouts.

You can also steam the leaves and add them as a seasoning on top of your dog’s regular food at mealtimes. In fact, this is one of the best ways to feed this plant.

Can dogs eat frozen Brussels sprouts?

frozen brussel sprouts on a white platewith bright background

This kind of depends on what you mean by ‘frozen.’ If you mean purchasing frozen sprouts and then cooking them, then yes. It is pretty much the same as if they were raw and then cooked from fresh.

But, if you are wondering, can dogs eat Brussels sprouts that haven’t yet thawed? then you should know that it can be problematic for small, miniature, or toy dog breeds.

Raw sprouts are hard enough to chew as it is, and freezing just makes them more so. It will pose a real risk of choking.

There are much better frozen treats you can give to teething puppies or adult dogs in very hot weather.

Are Brussels sprouts toxic to dogs?

bored golden retriever under a plaid blanket

No. This vegetable is not toxic to our furry friends in any way, so you don’t have to worry about your dog sneaking a few pieces of the table.

However, as we mentioned earlier, you should be careful about how much they eat as it can lead to some digestive problems.

If your pup has intense stomach issues, such as diarrhea or constipation, over the next few days after consuming sprouts, contact your vet. Also, if your dog has any dietary or allergy issues, do not feed it Brussels without consulting your vet first.

Brussel sprouts serving size for dogs

Cheerful ecstatic modern senior woman in casual clothing holding dogs treat while training Beagle dog at home, pet standing on hind legs ad asking food

When giving Brussels sprouts to your doggie, it is important to know how much of this plant is good for them and what recipes are dog-friendly.

In most cases, dogs are greedy eaters and will eat until they are stopped if allowed. Do not let your pooch eat more than the recommended amount of this veggie to avoid any undesirable gastrointestinal issues.

This goes for humans also. People should watch out how much high-fiber foods like Brussels sprouts they ingest.

Serving size depends on the size of your pup

fried brussel sprouts with ham and onion on the plate with a fork

The size of your canine companion will determine the amount of Brussels sprouts it should consume. For dogs of any size, a maximum serving size should not exceed three Brussels sprouts. Keep in mind that small dogs need only a quarter to a whole sprout at a time.

Also, note that these veggies should be served in moderation only from time to time. If your pooch has never tasted a Brussels sprout before, always start out with small pieces.

Depending on the size of your pup, give it a quarter or half a cooked sprout to begin with. If your pooch doesn’t experience any kind of side effect, you can keep feeding it this healthy vegetable in moderation.

Remember that sprouts are full of nutrients, so neither humans nor dogs need large portions of this plant.

Preparing, cooking, and serving Brussels sprouts to your pup

two dogs sitting behind the kitchen table waiting for food

Our furry besties do not need gourmet Brussels sprout with spices, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Remember to keep it simple – they really won’t know the difference!

Selecting, prepping, and cooking these sprouts is a lot easier than you think. Here are some tips and tricks:

Selecting and prepping Brussels sprouts for your pup

When you choose Brussels sprouts at your local farmer’s market or grocery store, look for firm, green sprouts.

Then, as you would with any other vegetable, wash the sprouts thoroughly. You can opt to cut off the stem completely but leave the leaves intact. Slice the vegetable in half to make it easier for your pooch to eat.

Cooking Brussels sprouts for your dog

Once you have washed and sliced the vegetable, it is time to get it ready to serve to your drooling pooch.

Here are several ways to cook this plant for your impatient friend:

Steam: Add the prepped Brussels sprouts and water into a 3 to 4-quart pot and cover it. Cook over high heat for approximately five minutes or until they are soft and tender.

Microwave: Add the vegetable and water to a 1-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish. Cover the veggie and microwave on high for six to eight minutes. Make sure you stir every two minutes and check to see if the veggie is tender enough for your dog’s liking.

Boil: Add the Brussels Sprout and water to a pan, cover, and gently boil for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until tender.

Make sure you don’t overcook this veggie as it will lose its nutritional value!

Serving Brussels sprouts to your dog

Dogs can eat plain, cooked sprouts as an occasional treat. And, even though most dog foods already contain veggies, you can give your pup an extra boost.

You can add the cooked, chopped-up Brussels sprouts to your pup’s favorite dog food, and he will most likely not even notice it.

This is a great way to sneak a boost of nutrients into your dog’s body, even if it doesn’t like vegetables!

However, never try to force-feed your dog anything it doesn’t like. If you notice your dog making a face every time you feed it the vegetable, you should skip it completely.

There are a lot of other plants and veggies out there that might be a better fit for your dog’s taste.

What vegetables are bad for dogs?

fresh onion and rhubarb in the market

While Brussels sprouts are completely safe for dogs, there are some vegetables that you should never let your four-legged bestie eat.

Or perhaps you are dog walking or pet sitting and want to be extra careful. Whatever the case may be, you obviously love these wonderful animals and want to make sure that nothing bad happens to them!

Onions

Onions are part of the Allium family, which also includes chives and leeks, and they are toxic to dogs. Pups that eat onions can experience stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Eating onions can even cause their red blood cells to rupture.

This is why you don’t want to feed your pup onions of any kind. You should avoid garlic as well. The symptoms of garlic poisoning are virtually the same as that of onions.

Mushrooms

Our canine besties can suffer serious complications or even death from consuming wild mushrooms. Out of all of the vegetables around, mushrooms are the ones that you do not want to experiment with.

Some mushrooms are safe for dogs, but because the downside of eating them is so severe, the best choice is to simply skip feeding your dogs mushrooms of any kind, period.

dog beside mushrooms

Photo from @uma_not_turman

Rhubarb

This plant contains oxalates, and consuming it can cause problems with your dog’s nervous system, kidneys, and digestive tract.

Rhubarb can also reduce the amount of calcium in your dog’s body, causing renal failure and other health complications.

Persimmons, plums, peaches, cherries, and apricots

The seeds found in persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine if ingested by your pup. Likewise, the seeds or pits in plums, apricots, cherries, and peaches contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs.

Note: The meat of these fruits itself is not harmful as long as it contains no seeds. If you want to give bits of cut fruit to your pup, it should be okay.

If you realize that your dog consumed anything that may be harmful, immediately contact your vet.

What vegetables are safe for dogs?

golden retriever dog holding carrots with its mouth

Kale

This veggie’s key vitamins like K and A and minerals like iron provide proper vision and immune function, bone health, fetal development, and energy metabolism.

Spinach

This plant contains magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E. Spinach also contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenoids, folic acid, calcium, and iron.

Carrots

Carrots are packed with vitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin K, biotin, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Green beans

These veggies are full of important minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, and vitamins B6, A, K, and C. Green beans are also low in calories and rich in fiber, which can help your pup feel full.

Broccoli

This vegetable contains a huge variety of vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium. These nutrients improve bone density, help battle diseases, and improve heart health in dogs.

Beets

Beets provide vitamin C, folate, manganese, potassium, and fiber. These nutrients help your dog’s health by boosting its digestion and immune system and support a healthy coat and skin.

Celery

This plant offers many vitamins, including A and C, which are great antioxidants that will help keep your pup young and healthy.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which offer your pup anti-inflammatory benefits.

Yams/sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are excellent for digestive health due to their high fiber content. They contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. Plus, they are rich in the beta-carotene antioxidant.

Edamame

Edamame is full of protein, which helps both humans and dogs throughout their daily activities. It also contains a high amount of beneficial polyunsaturated fats that are usually in deficit in dog as well as human food.

Plantains

These veggies are amazing for both humans and dogs. They are packed with minerals and vitamins, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A.

Basil

Basil is another plant you can feed your dog in moderation. It helps prevent cellular damage, helps your dog’s body fight cancer, and has anti-inflammation benefits. It can even have calming benefits on our canine besties.

Jicama

The stock, seeds, and leaves of this plant are toxic to dogs. However, the potato is more than safe for dogs. Our pets greatly benefit from all the nutrients found in the jicama plant.

Durian

This prickly fruit can be beneficial for dogs if given in the right way. Only the flesh of this plant is safe for dogs, and it has numerous vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and C, niacin, folic acid, calcium, and manganese.

Are Brussels sprouts safe for dogs: bottom line

fresh brussel sprouts in a white square bowl

We’ve seen that Brussels sprouts are an amazing source of many of the necessary vitamins and minerals our dogs need to be healthy and happy. They are great for our dog’s bone health, bowel movements, and the normal functioning of their organs.

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts? Absolutely!

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts in large quantities? No.

Keep in mind that this veggie should be given only in moderation. You should aim to give it as an occasional snack or to sprinkle some on your dog’s regular food.

Never try to replace your dog’s normal dish with Brussels sprouts or any other vegetable, as your pup will lack the necessary nutrients needed for its daily activities.

Also, remember not to force-feed your dog anything it may not like. They are individuals like humans, and every dog enjoys eating different things. Just because your friend’s dog loves eating Brussels sprouts doesn’t mean your dog has to love it!

Dogs Vs. Human Food: Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

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