Is Asparagus Safe for Dogs?

Asparagus and its rich, green color means you’re getting a huge bang for your buck nutrition-wise. Roasted in the oven, grilled to perfection, or mixed into a light pasta, asparagus can be cooked in a myriad of ways. If you love this deeply flavored vegetable, it’s probably a staple in your meal rotation. Since you love to share the things you enjoy with your pup, take a few things into consideration before you start slicing asparagus up for them.

Is Asparagus Safe for Dogs?

Asparagus isn’t dangerous for dogs, but it should still be fed in moderation. It’s fine for your dogs cooked or raw, but cooking it makes it much easier to digest. Asparagus is packed with dietary fiber, which is necessary for regular bowel movements. It’s also an important nutrient for dogs who are trying to lose weight or who have had a previous weight problem. Dogs that are on a new diet to shed some pounds often experience significant hunger pangs for the first few weeks, and it’s usually due to not getting enough fiber in their diet. Research has linked asparagus to reducing the risks of developing a few different diseases. It’s been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, joint pain, and the inflammation of joints. Asparagus battles these disorders because of its powerful antioxidants. A particular antioxidant, glutathione, is very effective at fighting free radicals that damage the cells and lead to cancer, arthritis, and inflammation.

The verdict is out on how true these effects are on dogs. Most of the research has been done on humans, so there hasn’t been much proof showing how effective asparagus and all of its nutrients and vitamins are on dogs. There’s enough to show that it won’t hurt your dog, but don’t depend on asparagus to prevent cancer or arthritis in them. Dogs are mainly carnivores, so they don’t benefit from vegetables and fruit quite like humans do.

Preparing Asparagus for a Dog

As said above, your dog can eat asparagus raw or cooked. However, with a digestive system that is designed to break down and absorb meat, raw vegetables can be very hard for dogs to digest. When they eat a food that’s hard on their stomach, it leads to diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and even a stomachache.

Cooked asparagus is so much easier to digest, but you should be careful in how you prepare it, especially if you’re just giving your dog bites from your plate. The foods we use to make our meals taste better aren’t just unnecessary for your dog, they can be dangerous. If you liberally use things like garlic, onion, oil, and butter, you should not let your dog eat from that dish. Even garlic and onion powders are dangerous for your dog and actually more dangerous than their fresh forms. Oil and butter are fats, and too much fat can inflame your dog’s pancreas or cause them to gain weight.

Side Effects of Asparagus

Your dog has most likely gorged on something in their life, whether it was their food, a bag of dog treats, or something you left on the counter within their reach. When they overindulged, they probably had diarrhea, vomiting, severe gas, and they were just plain miserable for a few days. No matter how healthy asparagus is, it has the same effect as eating too much of anything else.

Asparagus is notorious for making urine smell oddly and change the color of the stool. This happens with dogs, too, so if you notice your dog’s urine is more pungent than normal, you shouldn’t be concerned. It’s also not uncommon for their stool to turn a green color if they’ve eaten too much asparagus.

As always, if you notice any digestive upset, you should stop feeding them the asparagus and stick to their normal dog food. Dogs can safely enjoy small amounts of the things you love as long as you take the necessary precautions with additional ingredients or large portions to keep them from getting sick.

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