Asparagus holds a lot of nutritional value for us humans, but does asparagus have the same benefits for our furry friends? As a good pet parent, you want to make sure your four-legged child gets all the nutrients they need while avoiding harmful foods.
If you’re looking to get more greens into your beloved dog’s diet, you’re in luck. Dogs can safely consume asparagus! It’s a nutritious and delicious vegetable your whole family can enjoy, including your dog, without having to worry about toxins and negative effects as long as it’s prepared correctly.
At Spot Pet Insurance, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to be the best pet parent you can be, so your furry family member can live happily and healthily. efore you hand your puppy a stalk of asparagus to chew, read on to learn the benefits, concerns, and proper preparation of asparagus for your canine child.
Which benefits does asparagus have for dogs?
We all want our furry friends to live long, happy, and healthy lives, and feeding them a balanced diet is a huge part of that.
Dogs need proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They are omnivores, just like us.The only difference is that dogs don’t need as many vegetables as we do. Meat provides dogs with protein and fat. Vegetables and fruit provide necessary vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates can come from many kinds of food (like asparagus).
You may be looking to add new and exciting foods to your dog’s diet. Although asparagus may not have been the first vegetable you thought of, it checks a lot of the nutritional boxes. Not only is it a great source of fiber, but it also has plenty of vitamins and minerals, such as:
The best part is that your dog will likely eat the asparagus without a fight, unlike human children.
If you want or need more information about foods that benefit your canine compatriot, Spot Pet Insurance plans offer coverage for eligible telehealth visits with licensed vets that are used to diagnose or treat a covered condition (or you can visit any licensed vet in the United States or Canada in person for covered conditions).
Does asparagus present any concerns for my Dog?
Look out for a few concerns if you’re going to feed your dog this vegetable.
The texture of asparagus
Although asparagus has great nutritional value, it does present some concerns texture-wise. We humans need to cook asparagus first since the hard exterior would make it tough for us to eat. Eating cooked asparagus is kind of like eating string due to its fibrous nature. That leaves us to wonder, “Is either form okay for my dog to eat?”
The short answer is yes! Your dog can eat raw asparagus and cooked asparagus, but you must prepare both in a way that’s suited to dogs.
Handing asparagus to your pet straight from the fridge or as an after-dinner treat is a no-no. Why? Dogs find it difficult to digest asparagus because of its texture. Plus, asparagus prepared for human tastes typically has seasonings that are toxic to dogs, or we prepare it in butter or oil, which are also unhealthy for dogs to consume.
Moderation is key. Feeding your dog too much asparagus (especially raw asparagus) is more likely to cause digestive issues because they tend to thrive on a more meat-based omnivorous diet.
If you’re feeding your dog asparagus and notice that they are gassier than usual or have diarrhea, you may want to:
- Try cooking the asparagus if you have been feeding it to them raw
- Cut back on the amount of asparagus you give them
Yoour dog probably won’t come across asparagus plants frequently, but part of the plant is toxic: the asparagus fern. If you decide to grow your own asparagus, keep an eye on your dog, so they don’t attempt to eat the ferns. Asparagus stalks are edible; the ferns aren’t.
These concerns don’t mean you have to skip feeding your dog asparagus. It just means you need to pay more attention to how you serve it to your dog.
If your dog manages to get into your groceries and eats some asparagus ferns, you don’t need to be too concerned. Just keep an eye on them, and if you see something concerning, take your pet to a licensed vet or take advantage of Spot Pet Insurance’s plans’ coverage for eligible telehealth services.
Preparing asparagus for canine consumption
As we previously noted, raw asparagus can be difficult for our canine friends to consume. However, humans cook asparagus in seasonings and oils that can either be toxic for their dogs or unhealthy for them to eat. We need to consider the best way to feed our dogs this yummy vegetable.
Let’s look at how to serve raw asparagus to a pet. We’ll learn how to cook it for canines.
Raw asparagus for dogs
It’s fairly easy to prepare raw asparagus for dogs. All you really need to do is cut it into small pieces that are easy to chew and swallow, like a bite-sized treat. You can then feed it to your dogs like you would a treat, or you could add it to your dogs’ food.
For example, you can:
- Mix small pre-cut pieces in with dry food
- Cut even smaller pieces and sprinkle them on wet food, like a garnish.
- Make a four-course gourmet doggie meal with bite-sized pieces of raw asparagus as a side dish.
How to cook asparagus (for dogs)
When you’re cooking asparagus for people, you probably spice it up a little. However, ingredients like oil or butter, salt, garlic, and onions, are not good for dogs.
Your dog won’t be bothered by the lack of flavor in the asparagus. You don’t need to worry about the asparagus lacking seasoning. When you cook asparagus for your four-legged family member, boil or steam it.
Although we wouldn’t recommend this if you’re trying to convince the two-legged children in your family to eat it, your dog will be grateful that you’re looking out for their health and happiness. We want to keep that tail wagging, after all!
Keeping your dog happy with asparagus
Your dog can eat asparagus stalks without worry. Asparagus stalks aren’t toxic, but they can make digestion difficult if improperly prepared.
Try adding asparagus to the canine menu if you are looking to introduce new foods to your pupper! It contains carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that your dog needs as part of a balanced diet, including fiber, vitamin K, iron, and more!
You might just be concerned that your canine buddy accidentally ate some asparagus by sneaking into your groceries before you can put them away or by rooting around in the vegetables in your garden. In that case, you don’t need to worry. However, if you are growing your own asparagus, the ferns of the plant could be a problem, so keep an eye out!
If you decide to try asparagus with your dog, your greatest concern might be the texture and how well your dog ingests it. However, it’s easier than you might think. If you think your dog will enjoy raw asparagus, all you need to do is cut it into bite-sized pieces. If you think that cooked asparagus is better, boil or steam it. Remember that bland is best.
Keep Learning From Your Pet
If you are looking for more information on foods that are good to add to your dog’s diet, you can talk to a licensed vet. Spot Pet Insurance also provides advice and educational tools to help you provide your pet with a long and happy life! We want to make sure you have all the resources you need, including good coverage. It’s important to keep a holistic approach to your dog’s health, and looking into a healthy diet for your dog is the perfect way for you to get started!
Although your dog may not be able to tell you so in words, they’re super grateful for the time and effort you put into taking care of them. For the most part, they will gobble up any food you put in front of them, including asparagus!