can dogs eat collard greens?

Can Dogs Eat Collard Greens?

Collard greens make an excellent side dish and are used in much of the southern cooking in the USA. They are often paired with cornbread and mac & cheese.   They are relatively easy vegetables to grow and do not require a lot of space.  So they are commonly seen growing in gardens across the USA. 

While these tasty veggies are great for human health, can dogs eat collard greens safely?  

Yes, dogs can eat collard greens! For most dogs, collard greens can be a healthy snack.  Dogs can eat collard greens safely with some exceptions.  Dogs that have certain bladder and kidney issues should not be fed large amounts of collard greens due to potential side effects.  A healthy dog without any underlying conditions is safe to eat collard greens.  Avoid feeding the dog large amounts of stems unless you want to walk the dog every hour or so.  Let’s just say the excessive amount of fiber in the stems can cause some GI issues in your dog.   

wash the collard greens first

Health Benefits of Collard Greens For Dogs

Collard greens are a powerhouse of a vegetable packed with antioxidants.   There was recently a study conducted on rats that shows collard greens have antihyperglycemic properties.  This means that they can potentially help dogs that are suffering from diabetes. 

 Collard Greens are a member of the Brassica genus which also includes things like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts. As a result, they all offer similar amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.   A single cup of chopped collard greens(100g) contains the following vitamins and minerals:

    Vitamin A15,000 IU
    Vitamin C34.6 Mg
    Vitamin E1.7 Mg
    Vitamin K836 Mcg
    Calcium266 Mg
    Iron2.2 Mg
    Single Cup Of Chopped Collard Greens (100 Grams)

      Collard greens also contain trace amounts of copper, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, manganese, magnesium, folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and both omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.

      Can Dogs Eat Raw Collard Greens?

      If you see your dog chewing on some collard greens in your garden, there is no need to panic.  Collard greens are not toxic to dogs when they are raw.  If your dog does happen to eat a lot of them raw, expect to possibly see some GI issues.  Too much can lead to vomiting and or loose stools.  This isn’t due to any toxicity, it is because too many raw greens are not readily digestible by dogs.  They lack the enzymes that are needed to truly break down plant materials.  If you do want to give your dog collards as a treat, it is best to cook them first. 

      On a side note, you have a unique dog if you can get it to eat raw collard greens.  In the over 40 years of owning a dog, I have never been able to get my pets to eat them raw.  I have had luck using them as the veggies in the Barf diet, but that is only after cooking them down into mush and hiding them in the raw meats.  

      Can Dogs Eat Cooked Collard Greens?

      For the dog to get a majority of the nutrients from the collard greens, they should be cooked.  Cooking collard greens is the best way to give them to your dog.  The easiest way to prepare them for a dog is to simply blanch them in water for a minute or two or steam them in a colander.  The gentle cooking helps break down the cell walls and allows the dog to absorb more of the nutrients.  If the dog eats raw collard greens, less of the vitamins are absorbed due to how the dog’s digestive tract works.  

      Dogs should not be fed collard greens that have been prepared with excess salt, or with bacon, garlic, or onions.  All of these items can lead to some health issues with your dog.  Especially anything in the allium genus.  Collard greens are pretty similar to cornbread,  As long as a basic recipe is followed, your dog is safe to eat them.   

      Steam or blanch the collard greens

      Frequently asked questions: Collard Greens

      Can dogs eat collard greens cooked with onions?

      Dogs can eat collard greens cooked, however, they should not eat them with onions.  Cooking an onion does not break down the chemical compounds that are toxic to dogs.  Excessive amounts of onion can lead to a serious condition known as hemolytic anemia.

      How to cook collard greens for dogs?

      There are two main ways to prepare cooked collard greens for your dog.  The first method is a simple blanching.  This is when you dip them in a bath of boiling water for a minute or so to soften them up and gently cook them.   The second method is pretty similar, it just involves steaming them in a colander.  With either method, do not add anything to enhance the flavor.  You should not add any spices or salt.    

      What is the best way to feed collard greens to dogs?

      The best method to feed the dog collard greens is to first steam them, followed by some quick blending. Next, you should mix it into the dog’s food a little at a time. It may be challenging to get your dog to eat them, so it is best to mix only small amounts with their normal food. Since it will be a bit pasty after blending it, the dog will not be able to eat around the greens.

      Summary: Can Dogs Eat Collard Greens? 

      • Dogs can eat plain cooked or raw collard greens safely
      • Dogs get more nutrition from cooked collard greens
      • Do not feed stems to dogs, too much fiber can have undesirable effects
      • Do not feed collards with onions or any other flavor enhancers
      • Collard greens can be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals if you can convince your dog to eat them.

      Please leave a comment below if you have any other good ways to feed a dog collard greens.  

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