Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, your canine friend can have some of that nutritious Brussels sprouts. It is almost similar in nutrient value to broccolis and other cruciferous vegetables. However, one has to be very cautious about giving Brussel sprouts for dogs. This is a gas-forming vegetable. Giving your dog too much can cause digestive problems.
Are Brussels Sprouts Good for Your Pet?
Many people do not like the taste of Brussels sprouts. It has this almost detestable flavor that can make the person curse whoever prepared the dish. It is also for this reason that not all dogs like Brussels sprouts. For those dogs that do, worry not. Brussels sprouts are good for your canine friend.
Can dogs eat Brussel sprouts? If they do not mind the bitterness of the food, then there should be no cause for concern. After all, Brussels sprouts are one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet.
It has antioxidants that can promote the normal functioning of different tissues and organs of the body. These substances neutralize free radicals so they will not wreak havoc on the dog’s body. Brussels sprouts also contain Vitamin K. This is one of the most important micronutrients when it comes to the formation of blood clots. When a dog gets injured, there is a tendency for it to bleed. Vitamin K helps in the formation of blood clots to help stop bleeding.
There are other vitamins, too. These can include Vitamins A, B1, B6, and C. Both Vitamins A and C are known for their antioxidant properties. This is in addition to what they can do for the different tissues of the dog’s body. The B vitamins are essential for promoting optimal metabolism of nutrients and other substances.
Brussels sprouts for dogs also contain a good amount of dietary fiber. This can help in maintaining your pet’s normal digestive functions. In turn, it can lead to a healthier immune system for the pet.
There are two other substances found in Brussels sprouts that very few people know about. These include indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane. These are the two principal antioxidants in the vegetable that can give dogs the protection they need against free radicals.
The Downside of Giving Brussels Sprouts to Your Dog
While Brussels sprouts are nutritious, they do have one very alarming characteristic. This vegetable can produce gas. This is a rather normal, albeit unpleasant reaction from eating cruciferous vegetables.
Brussels sprouts contain a complex sugar known as raffinose. This is a type of fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols. They are very different from the usual types of carbohydrates that we know. These molecules do not get digested in the stomach nor the small intestines. Instead, they bypass these two structures and move straight to the large intestines.
The large intestines contain a lot of bacteria. When these substances reach the colon, they are digested and fermented by bacteria in the colon. The products of bacterial fermentation of FODMAPs include methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. These are what can produce gas. As such, don’t be surprised if you notice your pet passing gas right after it ate Brussel sprouts.
There is one bit of good news, however. Cooking Brussels sprouts can help break down the FODMAPs. This allows the dog’s digestive system to process it in a more efficient manner. Unfortunately, there are also downsides to cooking Brussel sprouts for dogs. Some of the ingredients may not be that safe for the pet.
There is another substance found in Brussels sprouts that merit every pet owner’s attention. This vegetable also contains isothiocyanate. It is a very beneficial substance that can protect dogs from cancers of the digestive and respiratory systems. Its main function is to promote the more efficient contraction of the smooth muscles of the colon. This helps propel undigested food and other waste matter through the dog’s intestinal tract.
Giving Brussels sprouts in moderation should be fine. However, giving one too many Brussels sprouts can cause stomach problems, like diarrhea.
How to Give Brussels Sprouts to Your Pet
Brussels sprouts do not contain any poisons or toxins. However, one can never be too sure since there are still farmers who may use synthetic pesticides and other chemicals on their crops. It is best to purchase your vegetables only from reputable growers and markets. It is also in your best interest to wash the sprouts very well before you prepare them for yourself or for your dog.
In giving Brussels sprouts for dogs, always adhere to the 10% rule of canine treating. Treats and snacks should not be more than 10 percent of your pet dog’s daily nutrient and calorie requirement. It must get 90 percent of its nutrition from a well-balanced, complete, and high-quality dog food.
Prepare the Brussels sprouts by washing them very well. Cut the thick, fibrous stem at the lower part of the vegetable. Make sure to leave the leaves intact. It is much easier to serve to pets as a whole vegetable than as several pieces of leaves.
Steam the Brussels sprouts without adding any other ingredient for about 5 minutes. This is the best method of cooking the sprouts without losing too much of its nutrients. You can also microwave the sprouts for 8 minutes or boil them for 10 minutes. Do remember that boiling tends to remove most of the nutrients. Do not give raw Brussels sprouts to your pet dog. The fibrous nature of the vegetable can make it difficult to digest.
Give your dog a single piece of Brussels sprout. Watch its reaction. If your pet seems to like it, then you can give another piece. Watch the dog’s reaction again. If everything looks fine, then it should be okay to give Brussels sprouts for dogs every now and then. Be sure not to give more than 3 sprouts in a single sitting. You can always give the sprouts again at a much later time in the day. Small dogs should never eat more than 1 sprout per sitting.
Dogs can eat Brussels sprouts. They are nutritious vegetables. However, it is best to keep everything in moderation so as to avoid forming digestive problems in the pet.