Asparagus is one of the most popular vegetables in the human diet. People love to eat it for its nutritional profile and also it is inexpensive and easy to cook. Asparagus is also a great side dish for pasta or steak and can also be included in various sauces, salads, and other meals.
If you eat asparagus regularly, you could surely give your furry companion some of it in his dog food. But wait, can dogs have asparagus? Is feeding your dog asparagus good for his health?
There are different vegetables that are considered good for your dogs, but some are not good for your furry companion’s health. So, what is the position of the asparagus? Will it provide your furry companion with all the nutrients it gives you? Or is it dangerous for your pup?
Can Dogs Have Asparagus?
Asparagus, like other plants, has both positive and negative properties for dogs, according to veterinarians. Asparagus has different health benefits for dogs, but they are also risky for your dog. All the science depends on how you will prepare it for your dog and how much you will feed him.
Here’s a full discussion on whether dogs can have asparagus. Read this article to the end, to learn about the health benefits and risks associated with it.
Is asparagus good for dogs? What are the health benefits?
Here are some of the health benefits associated with feeding dogs asparagus.
Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber. There are two kinds of fiber in asparagus, soluble and insoluble. Feeding insoluble fiber will change your dog’s stool texture, add bulk to the stool, and make regular bowel timing. Asparagus will also aid in the regeneration of cells that are present in your dog’s intestine.
The soluble fibers present in asparagus help the digestive system and boost immunity. It also provides nutrition to the good bacteria in the colon that makes it a great prebiotic. It also helps the intestine maintain healthy microflora.
Asparagus is a great source of vitamins. It contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and B9. All of the vitamins in asparagus are essential, except for vitamin C, because your dog can make it on his own. Still, the vitamin C present in asparagus will provide health benefits for your dog.
Vitamin A is also known as retinol. It is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A helps maintain good vision, reproduction, and immune health. It also helps to maintain skin and bone health.
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin. It helps the body control free radicals and the oxidation process. It plays a vital role in improving the vision of dogs and maintaining good skin and coat health.
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. It is another fat-soluble vitamin found in asparagus that protects the immune system and improves your dog’s metabolism.
The B vitamins are basically known as the B complex, and vitamin B9 is present in asparagus in a good amount. B9 performs different functions, such as improving amino acid metabolism, cell growth, and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B9 works in combination with B12 and forms methionine.
Asparagus is also a great source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Copper plays many essential functions, such as maintaining nerve cells and enhancing red blood cells production. It also helps in the formation of bones, collagen, and connective tissues.
Potassium is an essential electrolyte that is present in asparagus. Bananas are generally considered an excellent source of potassium, but asparagus is also a good source. Potassium is essential for controlling brain function, nerve impulse, and muscle function.
Iron also acts as a great mediator to supply oxygen to the body. It is present in the hemoglobin protein that supplies oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Phosphorus is another mineral present in asparagus that works in combination with calcium. It helps in the formation of teeth and bones and also acts as a catalyst in different functions such as cell maintenance, growth, and repair.
Calcium is another important mineral that plays an essential role in the development of cartilage and bones. It also plays a vital role in neuromuscular, blood clotting, endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune function.
Some vitamins can work as antioxidants, but asparagus also contains other antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols.
- Flavonoids are a group of polyphenols
- Polyphenols are micronutrient in plants
- Polyphenols are full of antioxidants
- Antioxidant supports the body in fighting against free radical damage.
- Antioxidants also fight against chronic diseases and inflammation.
Related Article: Which Veggies Are Good & Bad For Dogs?
Risks of Feeding Asparagus
Asparagus is packed with nutrients that are very good for your dog’s health but still have some associated risks. This means that you must be aware of the risks associated with feeding asparagus to your dog.
A common risk associated with feeding your dog asparagus is that it has a somewhat tough consistency, which means it can cause choking in dogs. Asparagus stalks are not easy for humans or dogs to chew. As some dogs like to swallow asparagus without chewing it, hard asparagus, in this case, can get stuck in the esophagus.
If the asparagus are longer than a few inches, there will be a greater chance that your dog will choke. That is why it is important that you cut it into very small pieces while you give your dog asparagus.
Can dogs eat raw asparagus?
Asparagus is much harder to chew raw than it is when cooked. Therefore, it is best not to feed your dog raw asparagus because it is dangerous and puts him at a higher risk of choking.
When you feed your dog raw asparagus, another problem that will appear is indigestion. Raw asparagus is difficult to digest, so it is best to feed cooked asparagus because it can still cause an upset stomach, vomiting, gas, or diarrhea. Although asparagus is a good source of fiber that improves digestive health, too much fiber will cause digestive problems.
Remember that introducing new foods into your dog’s diet in large quantities can also cause an upset stomach, so it is best not to give him asparagus in large quantities, mainly when you feed him for the first time. Feed your dog asparagus in small portions, so his digestive system remains undisturbed.
People also feed asparagus to their dogs after cooking them in oil or butter. Cooked asparagus is also not safe for your dog to eat if it is loaded with pepper, salt, garlic, onion, and other things that are very harmful to your dog.
Onion and garlic are more harmful because they are full of toxins that can poison your dogs. Similarly, raw or cooked onion and garlic are very toxic to your dog.
The Asparagus Fern
Another problem with feeding asparagus to your dog is that the asparagus stalks are present in the asparagus plant that people love to cook and eat. But the truth is that this asparagus fern is not edible. However, it is related to an edible plant, but technically it is not even a fern.
All of these things aside, it is not safe to feed your dog asparagus fern. The reason is that the fern can cause symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. If you love growing vegetables, including asparagus, be sure to fence it in your backyard so your dog can’t eat the asparagus flower when you’re not around.
How to serve asparagus to your dog
Asparagus should be fed to your dog in an extremely well-cooked and smooth form. Similarly, asparagus should be small in size to avoid the danger of choking. You can also feed it by mixing it with other vegetables like
- Cook the chicken broth and rice and add the asparagus in the last few minutes of cooking to make it more flavorful.
- Cook sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and bone broth, and give soup to your dog.
Some dogs are picky eaters and don’t like to eat vegetables at first. For these dogs, it is recommended to feed asparagus by mixing it with the vegetables that your dog likes, such as cucumber, carrot, or pumpkin.
How Much Asparagus Can My Dog Eat?
Asparagus is fed to dogs as a treat, so you need to follow the 10% rule. Veterinarians recommend not feeding more than that due to the problems it can cause to your dog.
According to the nutritional profile, cooked asparagus contains 1.8 grams of dietary fiber, 2.2 grams of protein, and nearly 20 calories per half-cup (90 grams).
If you are feeding asparagus for the first time, do not bulk feed them immediately. Feed a small amount first, just a few pieces, and then wait to see your dog’s response. If your pup responds well, give your dog the calculated portion.
Asparagus has many associated benefits and dangers. If you want to give it to your dog pets, feed them according to the 10% rule and not exceed it. In case of any problem with feeding asparagus, stop serving it and consult your veterinarian immediately.
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