Can Dogs Eat Kale?
Kale is a green, leafy, cruciferous vegetable that is rich in nutrients. It may offer a range of health benefits for the whole body. Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems. But now that’s human body we are talking about. Is it the same for dogs? The answer is Yes and No.
Why is Kale not good for Dogs?
Kale contains calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates.
Calcium oxalate can cause problems in the kidney like kidney and bladder stones. Now these problems can be solved through normal vet treatment but the risk is not worth taking.
Kale is not the only culprit. There are a lot of other similar foods which are high in calcium oxalate and should be avoided. For e.g.; spinach, beet greens, roots of beets, Swiss chard, collards, parsley, collards, leeks, quinoa, and okra.
Second thing that kale contains are isothiocyanates. In dogs, they are known to cause gastric problems.
Thirdly, it is also an accumulator of toxic heavy metals like thallium because of the soil it grows in.
Why is Kale good for dogs?
Despite the health risks that it possesses, it is not that it should be completely avoided. At the end it’s a green vegetable and they have a good reputation in the vegetable family. So depending on the size of your dog, it can form around 10% of the diet once in a while. But not more than that as it can then be toxic.
Health benefits of Kale
Kales are a rich source of Vitamin A and K, Calcium, Potassium, Dietary Fiber , Magnesium and Anti-oxidants. And each of these nutrients are very essential for your dog’s growth, especially in the early growing stage. Let’s see the benefits of each of these nutrients.
Vitamins – are good for their eyesight, especially for the matured ones, as they help prevent cataracts and helps avoiding night blindness and even dry eyes. They are essential fat-soluble vitamin that has functions supporting bone growth, reproduction,
cellular differentiation and immune response in dogs. They also boost energy metabolism and assists skin tissue maintenance. For the young puppies, they support their overall growth.
Dietary Fiber – As the name suggests, it becomes a catalyst for your pup’s stomach and intestines. It not only helps in the regular digestion of food but can also help curing the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation
Potassium – It aids in the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles. It also helps to revive the dogs energy if it is feeling tired all the time
Calcium – It helps with your dog’s growth, maintaining healthy bones and teeth, proper muscle building and function, heart health, and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
Magnesium – It helps regulate blood glucose levels and aids in the production of energy and protein. Other benefits include maintaining normal nerve to muscle function, support a healthy immune system and keep the heart beat steady.
All these nutrients in Kale make it a good addition to that dog’s bowl but does that mean they should be fed lots and lots of Kales for them to stay healthy? The answer is – No.
How much Kale is good Kale for your Dog?
The basic nature of dogs is carnivorous. So, ideally, 75-80% of the dog’s meal should be meat and other non-veg products. Feeding too much of Kale can lead to nutrient deficiencies like proteins which are very essential for its growth. What it can be used as is a supplement as it is mineral rich. So once a week adding it to the bowl and letting it form 10-12% of the dog’s daily meal amount is recommended.
How can you feed Kale to your Dog?
We have established that Kale is good in moderate quantities for the dog. But how exactly to add kale into the dog’s diet is also important.There are other cautions to note before going all-in and serving Kale to your dog.
Organic is the best – Go for organic kale whenever possible
Wash it – Modern day vegetables are topped with pesticides and other chemicals. So make sure you thoroughly wash it before serving
Puree-it – Chopping it into very small pieces or better making a puree out of it makes it very easy for the dogs to digest it
Cooked, steamed, raw – All the 3 ways are open for you to feed your dog but check your dog’s preferences and decide based on that
Balancing act – Adding pieces of Kale into a bowl of meat or beef is better than feeding raw bites as it will provide the missing protein content through meat
Don’t spice it up – Dogs are not made for any spices or salts. So keep it plain and don’t make it very saucy or spicy and even avoid any oils for that matter. They can be toxic for your dog
Moderacy is the key – Firstly, if you’re feeding it for the first time then start with very small quantities to check your dog’s tolerance towards it. And later also, don’t feed all the kale at once. Break it down into small portions spread out in the day and keep the quantity moderate
Be ready to enjoy a ton of love in the form of licks after your dog licks off the bowl!
But make sure don’t you fall for the licks and end up feeding it more of it. Stick to the recommended quantities. More Kales ≠ More Love. More Kale = Allergies and nutrient deficiency
What can happen if your dog eats an unusual amount of Kale?
If your dog ate a lot of Kale while you were helping your mom with the dishes or trying to lose some weight on the treadmill or just thought of Popeye and ended up feeding more than recommended amount, keep an eye out for the following symptoms of an upset stomach. You should contact your vet right away if you see –
Kidney or bladder stones
Common foods toxic to dogs
There are a number of common foods that are toxic to dogs. Some of the most common include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins. If you’re unsure whether a food is safe for your dog, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
Vegetables are a pretty safe food group for pooches. Add some color and variety to their food dish with asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers and celery. If you want to give your pooch a refreshing treat, chop up some bananas, blueberries, oranges, melons, pumpkins, apples, kiwis, dates, pitted cherries, cantaloupes and papayas.
Dogs can also enjoy beans, just nor chili. You might be wondering which beans can your dog eat. Well, you can add unseasoned green beans, black beans, lima beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans to their plates for variety. Do not give your dog kidney beans. They are highly toxic for dogs.
Dogs may love peanut butter, but are nuts suitable for dogs? It depends. You can give pups nut butter to help them swallow a pill. Dogs can enjoy small amounts of almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts. Skip giving pups any dried fruit to be on the safe side. Dogs shouldn’t be given raisins, which are dried grapes.
With those pleading eyes and wagging tails, it can be hard to say no to our dogs when we are enjoying our food. However, there are better ways to keep pets happy. Exploring pet insurance options is a great way to learn about ways that help you find peace of mind. Spot offers pet insurance plan options that help you focus on your pet’s care, not cost.
Everything in moderation is good, including Kale. So keep it plain and simple, avoid if there are gastric irritation symptoms or allergic reaction found. And just as our mom’s say, wash it thoroughly. Include it in your dog’s diet and enjoy the good health and in return a happy energetic dog.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!
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