can dogs eat broccoli

Broccoli for Dogs: Safe or Risky?

The fact is that broccoli is in the top 20 most-eaten vegetables in the world. 

It has many health benefits for humans but can dogs eat broccoli?

Yes, dogs can eat broccoli steamed, boiled, blanched, baked, or raw. This vegetable provides many vitamins and minerals but should only be eaten in small quantities. Just like with humans, too much of this can cause some issues with the GI tract. Dogs can get really bad gas from consuming too much raw broccoli.

Broccoli is a member of the Brassica Genus which also includes kale, collard greens, brussels sprouts, kohlobria, cabbage, cauliflower, and some other greens.  All of the items in this genus are edible for dogs with some exceptions.  It turns out that all of those plants descended from a single plant known as wild mustard. The mustard plant does have seeds that are toxic to dogs.  Beyond that most of the other plants in this genus are safe.  

While we already established that broccoli is safe for your dog to eat, it is important to know that many vegetables in the brassica genus can cause some GI issues in dogs.  If you feed your dog too much broccoli, the dog will most likely have some GI distress from gas.  It is also possible that the dog has an increase in bowel movements due to all of the fiber that is present in this plant.  So just like anything else, feed your dog broccoli in moderation.  

wash the broccoli first

Health Benefits Of Broccoli For Dogs

Broccoli can be a great treat for your dog.  It is a lower-calorie, high fiber crunchy snack that has minimal downsides.  You can use this excellent vegetable as a replacement for store-bought treats.  It is especially good if you have an overweight dog, small amounts can help curb your dog’s appetite.  Don’t overdo it though or give your dog a large amount the first time.  It is sure to have some gas depending on how much is given.  Like any new food, you should evaluate your dog’s tolerance to broccoli by introducing it to its diet slowly.  

Broccoli is actually loaded with vitamins which are why it is so commonly found in human diets.  According to the USDA, broccoli has Vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K all in measurable amounts.  The chart below shows how much of each vitamin is in 100 grams of chopped broccoli.  Each of these vitamins plays an important role in maintaining your dog’s optimal health.  Some of the vitamins support the immune system, some support eye health, and some even support your dog’s ability to form blood clots.  

Vitamins per 100g of Broccoli:

Vitamin Name:Amount in 100g Broccoli
Vitamin C81.2 mg
Vitamin B-60.159 mg
Vitamin A567 IU
Vitamin E0.71 mg
Vitamin K92.8 Ug
Vitamins in the typical 100-gram serving of broccoli

In addition to all of the vitamins, broccoli is also an excellent source of minerals and fiber.  The fiber can help your dog with digestion depending on what kind of diet it is on.  The single 100g of chopped broccoli has the following minerals, some are only trace amounts but every bit helps when it comes to dog nutrition. 

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese 
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

How Much Broccoli Can You Give A Dog?

This really depends on the type of diet your dog is on.  If you are feeding your dog kibble, you should not exceed 10% of its daily intake from vegetables.  Actually, this goes for pretty much any diet, it is not a good idea to exceed 10% vegetables.  If your dog is on the traditional Barf diet, it requires 10% vegetables while the newer version of Barf requires just 7%.  

To give an example, a 30 kg dog should get about 2/3 of a cup of chopped broccoli per day to meet the 10% goal.  This should not be done more than a couple of times per week.  It is best to switch out the vegetables you use each day so the dog gets different vitamins each time.  Dogs can eat cucumbers, carrots, green beans, bean sprouts, and other vegetables to help balance out their daily vitamin intake.  

Potential Hazards Of Feeding A Dog Broccoli

  1. Choking hazard – There is always the chance that your dog chokes when eating.  Do not give your dog large chunks of broccoli.  It is best for their digestion that you the crowns up into smaller pieces.  
  2. Dirt and Grit – This is easily avoided by washing the broccoli thoroughly.  Sometimes it is possible for dirt particles or even sand and small stones to get on the broccoli.  While this will not harm your dog if eaten, it can wear down the surface of your dog’s teeth.  You can either run the broccoli under the faucet or soak the heads in a bowl of water to knock any particles off.  
  3. Pesticides – Depending on what country you are in, pesticides may be a concern.  In the USA, where I live, commercial farming does rely heavily on pesticides.  It’s best to get organic or from a local farmer that you can verify does not use pesticides.  

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Sprouts?

Dogs can eat broccoli sprouts with some exceptions. It is critical that the sprouts do not have any mold on them. Dogs can easily be injured by any foods that contain mold. While they can be a healthy treat, it is best to avoid them for the mold alone.

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stalks?

Since broccoli stalks are usually treated as waste, they can be a great treat for dogs. Most people do not eat the entire stalk, it either gets tossed in the compost or trash. They contain excellent fiber and some of the vitamins and minerals that are in the buds. It is best to steam them and add them to your dog’s food, they can also be fed raw if cut into smaller pieces.

can dogs eat broccoli stalks

FAQ: Broccoli for dogs?

Can dogs eat broccoli raw?

yes, dogs can eat broccoli that is raw, it does not need to be cooked in order for a dog to eat it.  It is important to know that some foods are easier to digest and give more nutrients if cooked.  Broccoli tends to be one of those vegetables that can give good vitamins and minerals either way.  The thing to consider is, does feeding raw broccoli upset the dog’s stomach.  Just like humans, some dogs do not do well eating certain raw veggies.  Only offer a small portion of the broccoli the first few times you feed it to your dog

Can dogs eat steamed broccoli?

Yes, dogs can eat steamed broccoli.  It does help to break down the cell walls a bit better than eating finely chopped raw broccoli.  As a result, the dog is able to more fully digest broccoli after it is steamed. Either way, cooking broccoli is the best way to give it to your dog. Make sure to adequately cool it first.

Can dogs eat broccoli leaves?

Broccoli leaves are not toxic to a dog, so dogs can eat broccoli leaves.  It is best to chop them up to reduce the risk of the dog choking, other than that they are perfectly safe for dogs to eat.  The same applies to the leaves, it is best to gently wash and then steam them for your dog to get the maximum health benefits.

Can broccoli upset a dog’s stomach?

Broccoli can upset a dog’s stomach, especially in large quantities when it is raw.  It is a bit more mild and easy to digest when blanched or steamed.  Only give your dog a small amount the first few times they eat broccoli to see if they have a negative reaction.

Can dogs eat broccoli soup? 

Depending on how the soup is made it is most likely not a good idea to feed it to your dog.  If the soup contains onions, garlic, shallots, cheese, or milk products it should not be fed to your dog. 

Can dogs eat broccoli and cheese?

While it will not kill your dog if it eats a little broccoli and cheese, it’s not a good idea to feed it to them.  The main concern is the cheese.  High-fat diets can cause pancreatitis in dogs.   It is best to use either just raw, steamed, or blanched broccoli in your dog’s diet.
can dogs eat cooked broccoli

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Broccoli

  • Dogs can eat broccoli raw, steamed or blanched
  • Broccoli contains healthy vitamins and minerals for dogs that help maintain the immune system and other vital systems
  • Broccoli should be fed plain, without cheese, oils, or anything in the allium genus
  • As with any vegetable, keep the amount fed per day under 10%

 Please leave a comment if you feed your dog broccoli.  What is your preferred method to give your dog broccoli?

Scroll to Top