can dogs eat kale

Can Dogs Eat Kale? Is Kale Safe For Your Dog?

It’s True, Kale makes an excellent addition to any salad.

But can dogs eat kale safely?

Yes, dogs can eat kale! Kale is a leafy green vegetable. Like most leafy greens, it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can benefit dogs and humans. In fact, to some, it is considered a superfood.  Is this healthy choice also good for your dog?  It turns out that yes dogs can eat kale and it can be quite good for them.  There are some exceptions that are listed below.  

Kale is a member of the Brassica Genus which also includes broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and some other vegetables.  While it is related to all those vegetables, it may be one of the hardest to get your dog to eat.  Besides the stem’s crunchiness, there is not much that is pleasing to most dogs.  Some dogs will readily eat kale while others will not.  If your dog will not eat it, you can try mixing small amounts into its normal meals.  

Health Benefits Of Kale For Dogs

Kale is a nutrient-rich source of plant-based vitamins and minerals that are great for your dog.  The vitamins found in his healthy vegetable support the immune system, the digestive tract, and other vital systems of your dog’s body.  It is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K along with an assortment of minerals. 

Vitamins and Miners Per 100 grams of Kale

Vitamin or MineralAmount per 100 Grams of Kale
Potassium170 mg
Phosphorus49 mg
Calcium177 mg
Kale has loads of vitamins and minerals

The calcium-to-phosphorous ratio is slightly higher than the recommended 2:1 ratio.  This vegetable should be given in moderation or it could cause a hormonal imbalance in the dog.  

Another added benefit of kale for dogs is its high amount of dietary fiber.  This can help regulate a dog’s digestive tract.  It is important to remember to only give them kale in moderation and not exceed 10% of their daily diet as vegetables.

always wash the kale first

How Much Kale Can You Give a Dog?

How much you can give to a dog really depends on a few things.  The breed of the dog, the age, and the weight.  For the most part, it does come down to the ratio of only giving 10% or fewer vegetables to your dog per day. 

If you exceed this number, you can throw the whole diet out of whack.   Look below for breed-specific precautions.  Age correlates with weight.  Puppies can only tolerate a much smaller amount of vegetables per day than older dogs that weigh more.   

In order to determine the right amount for your dog, start with the 10% guideline, and figure out what that would be based on how much you feed your dog.  Once you have that number, take a small fraction of that.  So let’s say you can provide your dog 100 grams(about 1 cup chopped) based on 10% of their daily intake.  Introduce it to your dog at about 25% of the max per day to access its tolerance. 

Some raw veggies can cause gas and other GI issues.  If the dog does not have any issues, you can slowly work towards the full amount.  It is also best to alternate vegetables in their diet to balance out the vitamins and minerals.  

Which Breeds Of Dogs Should Not Eat Kale And Why?

A  laboratory at the University of Minnesota recently discovered a genetic mutation in certain dog breeds that are more susceptible to Calcium Oxalate stones.  This risk was first identified in English Bulldogs but it also applies to all related breeds such as American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bullmastiff, Havanese, and Rottweiler.   If you are concerned your dog might have the gene mutation, they have testing available at the University of Minnesota link above.  Kale becomes an issue with these breeds because this vegetable is high in Calcium Oxalates. 

These dog breeds should not eat kale

FAQ: Can Dogs Eat Kale?

Can dogs eat kale raw?

Dogs can eat the kale raw, in most cases, it is best to cook the vegetable to help the dog digest it.  If raw is preferred, do not forget to clean the kale by gently passing warm water over it.  This should remove any dirt or grit.  If possible buy organic kale to avoid any harmful pesticides that are used with commercially grown produce.

Can Dogs Eat Kale Cooked?

Cooking kale is an excellent way to feed it to a dog.  It can be steamed, blanched, or baked before being fed to a dog.  Do not add any oils, salt, butter, or anything that a typical person would add to dress it up.  Most of the spices and flavor enhancers we use are not good for dogs. 

Can Dogs Eat Kale Stems?

There is nothing toxic about the stems, however, they can be harder for the dog to break apart.  Some kale has stringy stems when broken which can lead to choking  Do not let your dog randomly eat kale straight from the plant.  It is best to chop up the stems into more manageable pieces.  

How To Prepare Kale For Dogs

The preferred method is to chop the kale up into smaller pieces.  Next throw it in a colander and steam it on the stovetop with plain water.  The tricky part is getting the dog to eat it.  Some will go right for it, while others will have to be fooled into eating it.  If the dog will not eat it plain, you can hide it in its daily food.  If it doesn’t like kale, give cucumbers or cranberries a try.  The added crunch and thickness seem to be more attractive to dogs.

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Kale

  • Dogs can eat Kale, it is nontoxic but may cause issues for some breeds.
  • Kale should be served either raw, steamed, or blanched.
  • Do not serve any kale with flavor enhancers or anything from the allium genus.
  • Do not exceed 10% of their daily intake of kale in any form
  • English bulldogs and related breeds may be predisposed to kidney and bladder stones, Eating kale can increase the risk

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

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