Can Dogs Eat Radishes (Nutritional Guide)
Yes, you can give your pet dog radishes. It is one of the human foods that are safe for pets as they don’t contain toxins or any harmful ingredient. Your only issue is whether your dog will like it or not. You see, radishes have a very peculiar flavor. Some folks think it is too spicy for their liking. But if your pet dog loves it, then radishes can be a healthy form of doggie snack.
Radish is a good source of fiber, omega fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. The best part about this vegetable is that a single cup will only yield 18.6 calories. This is less than half the calorie content of a single piece of commercially-available dog treat. Here are the nutrients that you can expect from a cup of raw radishes.
Radishes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, containing 17.2 mg per cup of the vegetable. It also contains substantial amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. It also contains folate, betaine, and choline. It is a vegetable that packs plenty of vitamins to support the different processes in your dog’s body.
This vegetable provides 270 mg of potassium for every cup. This mineral can help ensure the integrity of the cells, especially of the muscles and nerves. Radishes also contain calcium and phosphorus as well as sodium, iron, and magnesium. Other minerals include selenium, copper, and manganese.
- Fatty Acids
It may surprise you but radishes possess an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio that is better than the usual foods that we give to our pets. Of course, do not expect this vegetable will contain the fatty acids DHA and EPA. But given the fact that a cup of this vegetable contains 36 mg of omega-3 fatty acids is already commendable. Its omega-6 fatty acid content is only 19.7 mg, providing a better ratio between these two essential fatty acids.
A cup of radishes provides 1.9 grams of dietary fiber. This can help improve your pet dog’s digestion, making it a lot easier to pass its stools. A normally-functioning digestive tract can also spell better immune system.
Most people think of legumes as the best source of plant-based proteins. This may be true but radishes also contain 0.8 grams of protein for each cup of serving. It is not much, but it sure is better than not having protein at all.
While water is not a nutrient, it remains a very important substance for maintaining life. You might think that watermelons and cantaloupes are the foods richest in moisture. Consider this – radishes contain up to 96% water, the remaining 4 percent of which account for its fiber content and other nutrients.
Here is a nutrition fact that will amaze you about radishes. A cup of radishes can deliver 8.1 mg of phytosterols. These are compounds that are well-regarded for their cholesterol-lowering effects. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease in dogs.
Radishes can provide the following health benefits for your pet:
- Improves Digestion
The fiber content of this vegetable may seem modest, but it can help pass stools with greater regularity. It can be a good alternative to canine laxatives, as the vegetable doesn’t have any side effects. This also aids in the better absorption of nutrients from the dog’s regular meals.
- Improves Dental Health
The fibrous nature of radishes can be a great way to remove food particles and plaque on the animal’s teeth. As it chews on the vegetable, the rough surfaces of the radish can act as a natural brush to remove debris from the surface of the teeth.
- Maintains Adequate Hydration
With 96 percent water, radishes can help maintain the hydration levels of your pet. This is helpful in cases where the dog doesn’t drink as much as it needs to. However, it should never replace drinking water as the main source of your pet’s hydration.
- Aids in Weight Loss
The combination of low calories and fiber content in radishes makes this vegetable a worthy aid in reducing the weight of obese pets. Munching on a cup of radishes will only give them 18.6 calories. And since the fiber in this vegetable is not very easy to digest, it can fill the animal’s tummy. This makes the dog feel full a lot longer.
- Promotes Overall Dog Health
The vitamins and minerals that the vegetable contains can add to the nutrients that the pet already gets from its regular diet. The addition of phytosterols and omega fatty acids can also help promote overall dog health. It enhances the functioning of the animal’s immune system, while also protecting it against some forms of diseases.
Serving Radish to Your Dog
Always serve radish to dogs in moderation; that is, if they find its bitter and spicy taste appealing. While the vegetable is safe for dogs to eat, consuming more than necessary can upset its stomach. As such, it is best to go small and slow. Give your hound a few slices at a time. Most dogs do not like the bitter and spicy taste of the vegetable. The spiciness can also irritate the dog’s tummy.
Do not feed wild radishes to your pet. You will never know what toxins or harmful substances that these veggies can contain. The thick and hairy leaves of wild radish can also irritate your dog’s throat and esophagus. Never give the flowers of wild radishes to your pet, too. These can also be toxic to your canine friend.
When giving radishes to your dog, you can peel them and chop them up into smaller bits. Sprinkle them on the pet’s dog food. Some pet parents have better luck cutting the vegetable into thin slices and then freezing them. This somehow neutralizes the spiciness and bitterness of the radish. It can be a great dog treat, too.
Like everything else, moderation is key whenever giving your pet dog radishes. This is a healthy snack, provided your dog can get past the vegetable’s spicy and bitter taste.