As winter ends and spring approaches, we know it’s time for the asparagus season. Asparagus, derived from a Greek word that translates to sprout or shoot, is a delicious crunchy vegetable that can be incorporated into different cuisines. The vegetable can be consumed either raw or cooked.
Asparagus is considered an A-list food, due to its nutrient-rich and healthy contents. The vegetable is succulent and savoury, hence finding its way into the dining table. If you have a canine friend, chances are you’re sneaking them morsels of your food. Some foods are tasty and healthy for dogs, while some are downright harmful. If your pet dog wants a bite of your asparagus dish, can you give it to them?
Read below for details on whether your canine friend can consume asparagus.
Can Dogs Have Asparagus?
Technically, yes. Dogs are omnivores, often consuming a diverse palate of vegetarian and meat components. Like humans, dogs are allowed to consume the edible parts of the asparagus, which includes the stalk of the asparagus plant. But what about the claims that suggest asparagus plants are inedible?
This myth exists due to asparagus ferns, which are inedible and used only for ornamental purposes. There are some things you need to keep in mind if you want to introduce asparagus to your dog’s diet.
Asparagus is rich in several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your canine’s health. Its constituents include 94% of water, making it a low-calorie water-rich food. In 100 grams of asparagus, there are 2.1 grams of dietary fibre. The stem of the plant denotes the age of the stalk, hence peeled stems are easier to consume.
When feeding your dog, remember the 10% portion rule – all treats including raw vegetables constitute only 10% of your dog’s diet. The dietary intake remains different for dogs of different ages, so remember to factor in your pet’s age. While humans can easily chew due to their molars, canines do not enjoy the same privilege.
Read below to find out how to cook fun asparagus dishes for your dog.
How To Cook Asparagus For Your Dog?
Vegetables are usually made easily ingestible and digestible by cooking methods such as boiling, steaming and sautéing. Cooking raw vegetables adds to their texture, and cooked asparagus can prove to be a delectable addition to your canine’s palate.
Several simple recipes can be followed to treat your dog with a yummy asparagus dish. However, certain precautions need to be taken. Condiments like butter, cooking oil, onion and garlic can make your dog very sick. Hints of onion or garlic powder on your utensils can also distress your dog. Remember to stick to recipes that encourage boiled or steamed asparagus – this helps retain most nutrients that are beneficial for your poodle.
You can make asparagus casseroles, chicken potpies, stews, salads and soup for your dog. You can catch your pet’s attention by making colourful dishes with other vegetables. Use a dehydrator to add a dash of colour. Before serving, remember to run your recipes by your veterinarian for safety!
Here are some canine-friendly dishes you can make using asparagus.
Is Asparagus Bad For Dogs?
There are several factors that can render asparagus unhealthy and dangerous for dogs. If you have an asparagus garden, make sure to include a sturdy fence to keep your dog away. The fruits/berries of the asparagus plant are very poisonous for your dog.
Asparagus ferns are also dangerous to consume due to the presence of saponin – a toxic compound that can cause liver and intestine issues in your dog. If your pet accidentally consumes these parts of the asparagus plant, call your vet immediately.
How you serve the asparagus to your pet also matters. Uncut portions of asparagus can prove distressing to them. Ingestion of improperly prepared asparagus can cause several digestion problems. The effects of the same appear within a few hours, which include vomiting, diarrhoea, gas, etc.
Read on to find out about the safety of asparagus for canine consumption.
Is Asparagus Safe For Dogs?
To determine whether your dog can safely eat asparagus, consult with your veterinarian. Feed your dog tiny morsels of asparagus as a test and observe their reaction. Dogs sometimes avoid asparagus due to their smell.
However, some poodles adore asparagus in any edible form. Serve small portions to remain safe and make sure you chop up the asparagus stalks properly to avoid choking. While young plants are preferred for consumption, store-bought asparagus are sometimes mature. In that case, remember to peel the stalks to avoid chewing trouble.
Boiled/steamed/grilled asparagus is easier to ingest in general. Sometimes, your dog might prefer raw stalks. So, make sure you avoid any choking hazards and provide easily ingestible content for your pet.
As the constituents of asparagus are extremely healthy and low-calorie, the vegetable is believed to be a good dietary fit for obese dogs. Normal low-calorie diets induce hunger pangs in dogs. Hence, the high fibre content of asparagus can help your dog remain sated and flush out unnecessary toxins.
Read on to know the health benefits of asparagus for your pooch.
Health Benefits Of Asparagus For Dogs
Asparagus is an extremely healthy vegetable, given its richness in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Asparagus is also low on sugar and fat, while high on dietary fibre.
Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, E and K, to name a few. Vitamin A helps improve vision, maintain reproductive health and immunity. Vitamin C acts as an additional water-soluble nutrient for your dog. Vitamin E helps in maintaining your pet’s skin and coat. It also acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin K also aids in immunity and helps maintain bone metabolism of your dog.
Minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and copper are also present in asparagus. Potassium is an important mineral that helps control brain and muscle function, apart from its primary function as an electrolyte. Calcium is extremely vital in bone and cartilage development of your pet. It also regulates several cardiovascular and neurovascular functions in your pet. Iron aids in oxygen supply via haemoglobin and myoglobin. Subsequently, copper helps in the production of red blood cells and aids the formation of connective tissue.
The rich antioxidant nature of asparagus helps control free radicals that tend to damage healthy cells. The fibre content in asparagus helps ease bowel movement and supports the digestive system of your pet. It is also responsible for maintaining healthy gut microbes that help with your canine’s immune system.
Read on to know the possible side effects from consuming asparagus.
Side Effects Of Asparagus For Dogs
As a pet-owner, you are responsible for ensuring the safety and health of your pet. While internal factors are sometimes unavoidable, one can remain cautious towards external factors.
When consuming asparagus, the asparagusic acid present in the vegetable can cause your dog’s urine to smell. The chemicals in this acid tend to evaporate easily, which brings the smell to our noses. If you find your dog avoiding its pee, chances are your pet has consumed asparagus.
Consuming asparagus in copious amounts can also lead to distress like diarrhoea, vomiting and severe gas. In case of digestive distress, contact your veterinarian to find out what can be done.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Cooked?
In short – yes! We recommend cooked asparagus as the best form of ingestion. Asparagus, when cooked, is softer and much easier to chew. Owing to your pet’s teeth range, it is better to serve easily ingestible asparagus.
However, you have to keep in mind that when you cook a vegetable, you lose the nutrients in the vegetable. Methods of cooking like boiling and steaming are the best way to retain the maximum amount of vitamins in minerals in asparagus. This also ensures that the vegetable is tender and ensures easy consumption.
If you can pick up the asparagus with a fork, then it is tender and safe enough to be served to your canine without much worry. If cooked properly, asparagus can be a fun, healthy meal for your pup!
Can Dogs Eat Raw Asparagus?
Humans generally tend to shy away from munching on raw asparagus stalks due to how tough it is to chew. Does your dog have a habit of eating raw veggies?
If yes, then offer your pet chopped up stalks and observe their reaction. Young shoots can be consumed in whole when raw, however, matured shoots require peeling off the woody stem and sometimes chopping off the needled leaves above.
If your dog pukes out the stalk without chewing it, you have your answer. As mentioned earlier, dogs are quirky eaters with their own preferences. Even though it is generally unadvisable, properly serving asparagus stalks in controlled amounts is okay. Remember to avoid choking hazards by serving only bite sized pieces to your poodle.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Spears?
An asparagus spear is the shoot of the asparagus plant which is edible. A single spear contains about 3 calories and almost zero fat, which makes it a very healthy dietary addition.
In an asparagus spear, the young stems are most preferred during consumption. Avoid the thick, woody parts towards the end of the spear as your pet will find them extremely tough to chew and swallow. Chop up the spears into tiny morsels and cook them to offer a healthy appetizer to your canine. The base of the spears can be peeled off to avoid the hard part of the vegetables.
The spears are a good dietary addition for obese dogs as they help reduce weight. Their fibre content, as mentioned earlier, will keep them from wanting extra food and maintain their diet.
Here you go! Refer to this video to understand how to cut asparagus spears for consumption.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Stems?
Asparagus stems or stalks are generally the edible part of the asparagus plant. If you’re your dog is a fan of the stalks, then there is no harm in offering them safe portions of the vegetable. As emphasized earlier, it is absolutely necessary to make sure that the vegetable is bite sized when raw. Cooked stems should also be cut into tiny morsels to avoid any unnecessary disturbance.
The size of your dog also plays a role in this process. Enquire with your vet to assure the portion sizes that are healthy and safe if your dog is a fan of asparagus.
In conclusion, there is no pressing need to include asparagus in your canine’s diet. The nutrients from asparagus should generally be obtained from the rest of their diet. Dog-owners often pamper their pets, so allowing them to give in to their cravings is okay. Keep your vet informed about their asparagus intake at all costs. We would also recommend including other vegetables that are optimal, which are healthy and extremely canine-friendly.
Do you have any pet pooch asparagus recipes? Let us know your stories in the comments below!