Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Is it Safe?
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that are an acquired taste. As a result, it often gets overlooked at the grocery store.
But the real question is can dogs eat cauliflower?
Yes, dogs can eat cauliflower. I am not a fan, and I do not know many people that are. There is a good chance that this is one of the last veggies you would think to give your pet. However, cauliflower can be a great treat for dogs. This low in calorie vegetable has a decent amount of both vitamins and minerals. It is also very crunchy when eaten raw which dogs love. I know my German Shepherd, Clove, loves to eat any veggie that makes a crunching noise when she bites down on it.
Since you are reading this you probably already know what cauliflower is. In case you do not, It closely resembles broccoli except it has a tighter head that is white instead of the chlorophyll-filled green broccoli head. It is a member of the Brassica Genus which also includes broccoli, kale, collard greens, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, and a few other vegetables. Oddly enough all of these plants stemmed from the same original plant, wild mustard. Wild mustard was cultivated over thousands of years to isolate different qualities of the host plant.
Cauliflower is often steamed or baked with some cheddar cheese on top to add some flavor. Sometimes it is also found raw on vegetable platters and eaten with a fresh dip. Regardless of how it is cooked, plain cauliflower is not toxic to dogs.
If you let your dog eat a large amount, you both will regret it in a few hours. The high fiber content can cause the dog to pass an abnormal amount of stools and or gas. Trust me when I say neither one is pleasant. The stools will typically be pretty soft and potentially very smelly. Avoid feeding your dog large amounts, or you both will suffer the consequences.
Health Benefits Of Cauliflower For Dogs
This vegetable makes an excellent treat for your pet, especially if your dog is overweight. It is low in calories and high in fiber which makes it pretty filling. Another great benefit is that cauliflower is packed full of vitamins and minerals. According to this website, cauliflower contains decent amounts of vitamin C, B6, K, and folate. There are also trace amounts of many minerals that are good for your dog.
If your dog is raw fed, specifically raw chicken, cauliflower can help balance out the omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. Raw chicken has way more omega 6 than omega 3. By some estimates chicken can be as high as 29 to 1, while the dog should get it in a 4:1 ratio of omega 6:3. Cauliflower can be used to help balance out the ratio if your dog is raw-fed chicken. The ratio of omega 6:3 in cauliflower is about 4:1 which helps elevate the omega 6 in their diet.
How Much Cauliflower Can You Give a Dog?
The main limiting factor to how much cauliflower you should give your dog per day is the amount of fiber. Some dogs will not tolerate much fiber in their diet. It is typically recommended that dogs consume between 2-4% of their daily intake as fiber. The higher you go the greater the risk of GI discomfort for the dog. You will also have to walk the dog much more frequently. If you do plan to try this vegetable as a treat for your dog, start off slow to see how it reacts. Try just a few sprigs of it at first and then give it a day to check for negative side effects.
Do not start off by giving your dog a large amount, there is a high probability it will not be a positive experience for either of you. The other thing to consider is that vegetables should not exceed 7-10% of your dog’s daily intake. If you are doing the raw Barf diet, it should be closer to only 7%.
FAQ: Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
Can dogs eat cauliflower raw?
Dogs can eat cauliflower that is not cooked. This is the easiest way to feed it to them since the only preparation that has to be done is cleaning it with some warm water to wash off any dirt or grit. Smaller dogs should be given smaller chunks to reduce the risk of choking. Avoid feeding a large quantity to any size dog initially until you can evaluate the dog’s tolerance to the raw vegetable. With some dogs, the raw cauliflower does not agree with their GI tract and gut biome. If this is the case with your dog, try using gently cooked bland cauliflower.
Can dogs eat steamed cauliflower?
Steaming cauliflower is one of the best ways to feed it to a dog. While dogs can eat raw cauliflower, the cooking will help break down the cell walls of the plant. Dogs are not very efficient at digesting plant materials, the cooking will make it easier for them to get the vitamins and minerals from the cauliflower. The trick is just to steam it, do not add butter, oils, or any spices that could potentially upset your dog’s GI tract.
Can dogs eat cauliflower leaves?
Yes, dogs can eat cauliflower leaves. The leaves contain different minerals and vitamins than what is in the head of the vegetable. The leaves are also pretty high in fiber. It is always best to cook or food process the leaves. This will ensure the dog gets the highest benefit from eating the cauliflower.
Can dogs eat cauliflower rice?
Dogs can eat cauliflower rice as long as they are not cooked in butter or oils. Raw cauliflower rice is more easily digested than shoots from raw heads. The chopping done by the food processor aids in digestion just look at the cooking it does. Just be sure not to give your dog more than the recommended amount of vegetables per day. Stay under the 10% or 7% if you feed your dog the Barf diet.
Can dogs eat cauliflower pizza?
This is a loaded question depending on how it is prepared. Often cheese, garlic, and some form of oils are used to combine the cauliflower into what resembles a crust. All three of those items can cause issues in your dog and should not be fed to it. Garlic can have some benefits but it has to be regulated. Feeding large amounts can cause anemia in dogs. So it is best to not let your dog eat cauliflower pizza. With that being said, it is highly unlikely your dog dies from eating a slice or two if it happens to grab it when you’re not looking.
Summary: Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower
- Dogs can eat cauliflower, Do not exceed 10% of the dog’s daily food per day
- Cauliflower makes an excellent low-calorie non-toxic treat for dogs
- Do not give large amounts, excess fiber can cause issues with the gastrointestinal tract
- Use only bland cauliflower, do not give it to your dog with spices or cooked in any oils
Please leave a comment if you feed your dog cauliflower. What is your preferred method to give your dog the cauliflower?