If someone asked you to name a gross vegetable right there on the spot, you might say “Brussels sprouts”. These little vegetables are known for their slightly bitter taste and strong smell, both of which turn many people off of them. However, they’re quite delicious if they’re prepared properly!
Can You Feed Your Dogs Brussels Sprouts?
Fed in moderation, Brussels sprouts are absolutely safe for dogs to eat. Brussels sprouts are related to broccoli because they’re both part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Brussels sprouts are rich with vitamins and dietary fiber. An unfortunate side effect of Brussels sprouts is flatulence, so if your family eats even a small amount, you can expect everyone to “cut the cheese” for the rest of the night.
While unpleasant, this is actually healthy! All of that gas is helping the body move along bowel movements, which in turn supports colon health. Brussels sprouts also have a ton of antioxidants that help fight damage to the body’s cells from free radicals. Free radicals are linked to cancer, and the antioxidants found in vegetables protect the cells, thus reducing the risk of cancer. Antioxidants are also good for reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation.
Brussels sprouts are ripe with vitamin K, helping support healthy bone growth and development. They also contain various minerals like potassium and manganese. Manganese is essential because it helps utilize protein and carbohydrates to give the body energy (carbohydrates) and build muscle (protein).
Safe Feeding of Brussels Sprouts
A lot of dogs don’t like Brussels sprouts no matter how they’re prepared (sound familiar?). You can feed them raw but it’s unlikely your dog will find them palatable that way. If you cook them, roasting will give the most flavor, but you shouldn’t cook them in a lot of fat or with a ton of seasonings.
Most people will only eat them if they’re roasted or sauteed with bacon. If this is your family, it’s best to keep the dish to yourselves and not share it with your pup. All of that grease and fat is sure to cause diarrhea even if your dog has an iron stomach. You can boil them, too, just make sure you don’t use a ton of salt or pepper to season them.
When you’re choosing fresh Brussels sprouts, they should be green and firm, free of severely wilted or brown leaves. Old sprouts will automatically give your dog loose stools. Before you cook them, wash them in cold water and cut the stem (the hard knobby part on the bottom) off, leaving a small part behind to keep the leaves intact.
If your dog has never had them before, keep their portion very small, preferably no more than one sprout at a time. If they have any sort of reaction, it means their stomachs can’t handle this kind of vegetable and should be avoided in the future.
Side Effects of Too Many Brussels Sprouts
As stated above, even a small amount of Brussels sprouts can cause a lot of gas. Too many Brussels sprouts and your dog is going to be tooting up a storm as they run for the door because they have diarrhea. If they give your dog diarrhea, it’s best not to give them any at all. While Brussels sprouts are healthy for your dog, they aren’t a necessity; their dog food gives them all of the nutrition they need to be healthy.
Brussels sprouts are not only good for you; they’re good for your dog, too. Using moderation, they provide your dogs with some healthy vitamins and minerals and healthy digestion.