Cauliflower isn’t many people’s favorite vegetable despite the myriad of ways it can be cooked and supposedly made delicious. Whether you’re roasting it, turning it into “rice”, or pureeing it and using it to make pizza crust, you’re going to love it or hate it. It’s quite good for you despite not being a green vegetable, but is it good for dogs, too?
Is Cauliflower Safe to Feed to Dogs?
Cauliflower is completely safe to feed to your dog. It isn’t toxic, and if you happen to “overdose” your pup on it, the worst that’s going to happen is they’re going to get some major gas.
Why Might It Be Healthy for Dogs?
Cauliflower is related to broccoli, and their nutritional content is quite similar except broccoli contains more carotene and higher amounts of dietary fiber–and it tastes better. That doesn’t mean cauliflower is devoid of nutrition, though. It’s loaded with vitamins and soluble fiber. Fiber is important in aiding digestion and keeping your dog’s bowel movements regular. It’s also good at helping keep their teeth clean. Fiber is good at helping fill them up, too, so if they’re on a diet and feeling peckish after meals, extra fiber helps combat this. The vitamins found in cruciferous vegetables are shown to reduce the risk of developing a variety of diseases, especially those related to aging and inflammation.
The most powerful aspect of cauliflower is its levels of isothiocyanate, a carcinogen blocker that’s been shown to keep cancer cells from spreading. On the flip side, it’s isothiocyanate that’s responsible for the gas that accompanies cruciferous vegetables. It irritates the lining of the intestines, producing gas and loose stools. Keep this in mind when you’re sharing your veggies with your dog or you’re in for a very stinky evening!
How to Feed Cauliflower to Dogs
Dogs can eat it raw or cooked, but cooked is going to be easier for your dog to chew and digest. Both their teeth and their digestive tract are designed to chew and digest meat, so a crunchy vegetable is pretty foreign to their bodies. Cooking it means it will be easier to chew and break down, so if you’re going to feed it, it’s ideal to steam or roast it first. Don’t add any seasoning to the vegetable. It might taste bland to you, but dogs have very different taste buds than you do, so they don’t need salt or anything added to it. If you’re roasting the cauliflower, keep onions and garlic out of your dog’s portion; both of them are quite toxic to canines.
Side Effects of Cauliflower
Most likely your dog will only get gas or some loose stools when you give them cauliflower. If it seems to completely mess up your dog’s stomach, it just means they should stick with their regular dog food.
A well-balanced dog food is all dogs need to meet their nutritional requirements. An occasional snack of cauliflower is fine/safe, but not necessary, for dogs.