Good pet parents are always looking for new ways to liven up their pet’s diets and improve their nutrition. This might involve adding a new dish they’ve never had before or removing a staple item you’ve realized isn’t so great for their health.
If you’re thinking of adding Brussels sprouts to your dog’s diet, stick around. Spot Pet Insurance will cover all the details you need to know below.
Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts?
Yes, dogs can eat Brussels sprouts. They provide many nutrients that boost canine health. If you love Brussels sprouts, you’ll be happy to learn that your fur baby can join you in eating your favorite vegetables.
Before you run off celebrating, you should know there are possible downsides. Feeding your dog lots of Brussels sprouts may cause them to stink up the room with smelly farts — though this might be a small price to pay for all the nutrition your dog may get from this vegetable.
What are the benefits of Brussels sprouts for dogs?
These tiny vegetables pack heavy nutrients into a small package. Here are some benefits that your dog might enjoy from eating Brussels sprouts.
The normal processes and reactions in your dog’s body produce highly reactive byproducts called free radicals. These free radical compounds are destructive, damaging vital cell structures and causing the oxidative stress that’s responsible for many chronic health conditions.
Luckily, Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants, including isothiocyanates, folate, potassium, and several vitamins that we’ll cover below. These antioxidants help reduce cell damage and decrease the risk of chronic health conditions.
Brussels sprouts are so low in calories that you almost never have to worry about overloading your dog’s diet. They provide only 43 calories per 100-gram serving. Even if your dog has a health condition that requires them to consume a calorie-restricted diet, you can confidently include Brussels sprouts.
Bathroom visits are easier and more regular when your dog gets fiber from their diet. Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, so they help keep your dog’s digestive system healthy. They also help keep your dog satisfied and feeling full after a meal.
Additionally, fiber-rich vegetables such as Brussels sprouts may be helpful for dogs that have trouble stabilizing their blood sugar. The added fiber allows their bodies to respond properly to spikes in blood sugar.
Brussels sprouts provide many vitamins that help protect your dog’s health. These include:
- Vitamin A to help keep your dog’s eyes and reproductive system healthy.
- Vitamin B to aid in metabolism, support tissue health, and help with breaking down nutrients to release energy.
- Vitamin C to protect tissue integrity, promote wound healing, and support a healthy immune system.
These vitamins also support crucial functions like brain and heart health, so make sure your dog’s diet doesn’t skimp on them.
Brussels sprouts contain many essential minerals that your dog needs for their health. Some key examples include calcium, manganese, and potassium. These minerals help maintain electrolyte balance, nervous system function, cell growth, muscle health, and cell function.
An imbalance in these minerals affects electrolyte balance and other functions in your dog’s body, meaning that it’s important to feed them a well-balanced diet.
What are the risks of giving your dog Brussels sprouts?
Before giving your dogs Brussels sprouts, you should note a few possible side effects.
One of the most common issues that dog parents face from giving their dogs Brussels sprouts is the smelly farts. This downside is due to the veggie’s isothiocyanate content, which slows down gut movement and causes gas to build up. Other GI symptoms from eating too many Brussels sprouts include diarrhea and tummy aches.
That said, as long as you don’t give your dogs too many Brussels sprouts, you may avoid these issues. Just monitor how your dog responds to Brussels sprouts in their diet and adjusts it to suit their response.
Tough to chew
Brussels sprout stalks can be difficult for your dogs to chew, so you’ll want to stick to the sprouts themselves. The fibrous stalks can build up in your dog’s gut, causing intestinal blockages, and your pup could even choke on a large piece.
A great way to avoid chewiness in the sprouts is by cooking them first. You can also peel off the outer cover of the sprout to make it easier on your dog’s gut.
Brussels sprouts belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables, so they’re highly nutritious. However, they shouldn’t be all that your dogs eat. Don’t just add them to every meal, because your dogs need other nutrient sources too.
Ensure that your pup is getting plenty of proteins and healthy fat from other sources — and remember that your dog’s breed and energy requirements will determine their dietary needs. For example, athletic dogs such as the dogo Argentino may need more nutrients than a sedentary dog.
How to prepare Brussels sprouts for your dogs
Every dog won’t enjoy Brussels sprouts. If your pets love them, though, these tips will help you maximize their benefits.
Speak with your vet
Before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, consult your vet. Certain health conditions may require you to restrict some foods from their diet.
Your vet will also advise you on how many calories are enough for your pet. This helps you create a diet that best suits your dog’s underlying health conditions.
Choose fresh vegetables
Shop for fresh vegetables for your dog, and discard any brown leaves or mushy spots. These things can upset your dog’s tummy and cause diarrhea.
If possible, consider buying organic vegetables. They’ll reduce your dog’s exposure to pesticides and be healthier all around.
Always wash your Brussels sprouts in cold water before giving them to your dog. Dirt, microorganisms, and chemicals that can disturb your dog’s digestive system can be removed by water and an organic veggie wash.
Chop and dice
Smaller Brussels sprout pieces are easier for your dog to eat, and they can help prevent constipation. Small dogs can choke on larger vegetable pieces, so make sure you’re preparing bite-sized veggies only.
Peel the outer cover
The tough outer cover of Brussels sprouts makes them hard to chew and digest. Cut off the fibrous stalk, and remove the cover for each sprout.
Cook the vegetables
Not all dogs can tolerate raw Brussels sprouts. They’re more difficult to digest, and they’re more likely to cause GI issues like constipation, bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
Fortunately, there’s no wrong way to cook a sprout! You can roast, boil, or even sauté the Brussels sprouts to make them more manageable for your dog’s gut.
The golden rule you should remember when preparing vegetables for your dog is that there’s no need to add spices. Lots of people use garlic and onions in their Brussels sprouts recipes, but these ingredients are toxic to dogs. Stick to a plain preparation — your pup will thank you for it!
Remember, dogs should get their nutrition from a varied diet that contains several food groups. Adding animal protein to a Brussels sprouts recipe can provide a balanced, nutritious meal for your dogs.
How many Brussels sprouts should your dogs eat?
Brussels sprouts are great for your dog, but you need to give them more than just veggies to ensure they get complete nutrition. For optimal health, your dog’s diet should only contain about 25% veggies.
Smaller dogs can start by eating half or one Brussels sprouts. If your dogs are bigger, they can get away with more Brussels sprouts. However, there’s no need to give your dogs more than three Brussels sprouts per serving.
If you’re giving your dogs Brussels sprout snacks, you need to do it in moderation. Too many snacks can affect your pup’s nutrition, so limit snacks to only 10% of your dog’s diet.
Thanks to their many vitamins and minerals, Brussels sprouts are a great snack for dogs. They’re also low-calorie and high-fiber, meaning they’re filling but healthy for a pup’s diet.
If your dogs eat lots of Brussels sprouts, it may upset their tummies, make them pass stinky gas, or even cause constipation. Fortunately, striking a balance will help your dogs get the most benefits from Brussels sprouts while minimizing their adverse effects. Try serving Brussels sprouts as a side with animal proteins to achieve this balance.
Even if you decide not to give your dog Brussels sprouts, you can learn lots more about caring for your dog — from the best diets to the top traits of your breed — from Spot Pet Insurance.