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Let’s face it, it sounds weird and a little bit awkward to see “dogs” and “cabbages” in the same sentence. You have to admit that this is a very curious question indeed. It’s not every day you think to ask your vet the question, “Can dogs eat cabbages?”
Even though it is undoubtedly a very nutritious, healthy food choice for us humans, we’d have to be sure if they’re safe for canines before feeding it to them. Thankfully, the answer is “yes.” Dogs can, in fact, eat cabbages.
Are cabbages safe for dogs?
Yes, cabbages are safe for dogs to eat, they are highly nutritious. Their benefits are not strictly restricted to humans alone, however, it is quite important to introduce them to this vegetable gradually, as you would any other new diet menu.
While introducing a dog to eating cabbages, you could start by making it a recipe mixture, so as to allow your dog to get used to the taste and texture. Once your pup has gotten used to it, they will begin to enjoy this nutrient-rich veggie.
Can dogs eat cabbages?
Yes, as said earlier, dogs can eat cabbages. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving cabbages to your dog. The green leafy veggie is highly nutritional in that it gives a lot of benefits to your canine.
It can be chosen as a preferred calorie snack for your dog because it contains additional vitamins that may not be contained in your dog’s diet or food regime. It is also stress-free as it can be taken in raw or cooked. When you give it raw to your dog, it is advisable to give it in little quantity so it does not cause gas. That said, it may be safer to feed them to your dog after cooking so you can reduce the natural compound ‘thiocyanate which may inhibit functions of the thyroid glands and result in hypothyroidism.
Health benefits of cabbage for dogs
There are quite a number of health benefits provided to dogs when they eat this green leafy vegetable, but one that stands out is its antioxidant properties due to the presence of a compound called phytonutrient, cabbages polyphenols, which makes it a cruciferous vegetable with very high antioxidants. This compound helps to reduce the risks of cancer, boost the immune system, and prevents heart diseases in your canine.
These veggies can also help provide important vitamins such as vitamins K, C, B6, B1. It also provides minerals including manganese, potassium, and copper.
Another important benefit of cabbages is that it is a fiber-rich food, hence it is very important in the healthy gastrointestinal system of your dog, by aiding in proper digestion and helping to ease bowel movements.
It keeps the skin healthy, and free from irritation, so it is a very suggestable choice for pets that suffer from dry skins and irritation.
Cabbages make a very good appetite stimulant by regulating blood sugar levels.
In cases where your dog is constipated, it can help quite a lot, due to the fact that it has fiber properties.
Risks involved in feeding cabbage to dogs
The risks involved in feeding your dog cabbages could arise from feeding it too much, dogs or humans will suffer extreme levels of gas and flatulence when they take in a lot of this leafy nutritious veggie. One sure way to prevent this effect is to give in moderation. You should not also forget to introduce the veggie to your dog’s diet plan slowly. It is never advisable to feed a dog a new food item in large quantities, irrespective of whether they are veggies or not.
As explained earlier, giving your dog raw cabbages exposes it to the risk of hypothyroidism due to the fact that the thyroid gland is inhibited by a content ‘thiocyanate’ present in the cabbages. This factor could lead to poor functioning of the gland particularly when the veggie is consumed excessively.
A large amount of cabbage eating by your dog can damage their enamel, leading to gum disease. This effect arises as a result of the veggie’s ability to make them susceptible to plaque formation in their tooth.
Other antioxidants that are good for dogs
We know that cabbages are good anti-oxidants for your dogs, but what happens when they are not available? Or what happens when you have tried every available trick to get your dog to eat them without succeeding?
The answer to both of these questions is that there are several other food items that have the same nutritional value as cabbages as well as their antioxidant abilities.
Before we move further, we need to understand what anti-oxidants are. Antioxidants are substances, which when present in the body help to ward off certain toxic substances (free radicals) which cause diseases like cancer, heart diseases, hypothyroidism, among others when the body is exposed to them.
One antioxidant that your dog can take is green tea. As surprising as it may seem, green tea is proven to be a good antioxidant for dogs, with no side effects at all. Soak a bag for about 15-20minutes, let it cool down, mix with dog food or your dog regime and serve at 1/8 for 20lbs.
Another good anti-oxidant suggestion would be kidney beans. Not only are they good antioxidants, they also maintain good cholesterol levels and fight off illnesses. It is more enjoyable for your dog when it is cooked.
Some other known anti-oxidants for your dog which should be introduced to your pet’s diet slowly and after proper consultation with your vet includes;
– Berry’s: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries
– Tubers: Cooked yellow squash, carrots, sweet potatoes
– Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, spinach, kale, green beans
– Fruits: Tomatoes (in moderation as these may cause diarrhea)
How to serve cabbages to dogs
Dogs can literally take anything into their mouths, especially when they mistake stuff for food, or even while they’re simply playing. Serving cabbages to your pet is quite simple and straightforward as you can either serve it cooked or feed it to your pet raw.
When serving cabbages raw, after introducing your pet to the veggie, over a period of time, it should then be given in a very minute quantity like a snack, or a chewable. This is because even though they are capable of eating cabbages raw, taking it in excess has a lot of adverse effects that may begin to develop. Raw cabbages generally provide a bit more nutrients to your dog as opposed to cooked cabbages.
It is sometimes preferable to serve cabbages to your dog cooked because then, the dangerous substance ‘thiocyanate’ which inhibits the function of the thyroid gland thereby leading to hypothyroidism is broken down and destroyed.
It is comparative to note that before you start feeding your dog greens, that is altering the diet of your dog, you should seek out the advice of your veterinarian first so you can be sure about the quantity and the particular variety of veggie that could be fed to your dog.
The bottom line
Canines that take in natural food are found to have a reduced rate of cancer cell growth by 70-90%. Take these figures into consideration and then imagine the benefit of eating a healthy, natural diet every day. The possibilities of having a very healthy lifestyle are numerous.
As we know now, cabbages can be served to your dog. They are healthy and highly nutritious. Note, however, that, the key to serving it is to serve them in moderate quantities. Serve in excess and you’ll have a walking gas bomb in your hands, or a pup suffering from high levels of discomfort. You should also note that dogs are one of nature’s carnivores and as much as we want them very healthy by tweaking their diet with greens or more healthy food, it is very vital that meat comprises the majority of their diet.
When you change the diet plan of your dog, whether by adding or removing, you should observe the changes that may occur for a period of 24 hours – 48 hours. If you notice any adverse effects, please quickly take your pup to a vet.