It can be challenging indeed getting our loved ones to eat their greens – but luckily dogs tend to be a lot less fussy.
In fact, pups of all ages can be so keen to get their teeth sunk into what their human masters are eating that it can be problematic.
After all, so much of what is safe for us is unhealthy or even listed among those foods toxic for dogs to eat.
So can dogs eat cabbage? They can indeed – but take some of our advice in mind as you serve it up to your furry family member.
Is cabbage good for dogs?
Cabbage is certainly good for human beings, so it certainly stands to reason that cabbage is good for dogs too.
Yet it’s always a very smart idea from any responsible and loving pet owner to really check what a dog can and can’t eat.
After all, it’s often pretty surprising all round to learn which perfectly healthy meals for us can cause serious harm to our pets.
Fortunately, cabbage isn’t among those, Dogs can eat green cabbage, dogs can eat purple cabbage – whatever the colour, as long as it’s good and plain, your dog is going to get lots of goodness from eating it.
The reason to avoid adding any flavours to cabbage, like spices, salt or butter, is that these things can be more difficult for dogs to deal with eating.
You might accidentally end up entirely negating all the health benefits of cabbage for dogs if you overdo it, so keep it simple.
While dogs are perfectly happy to eat both raw and cooked cabbage, many experts recommend that it’s cooked or boiled before serving it up to your pet.
Cut it up nicely for your dog too, as cabbage leaves can cloy uncomfortably in their mouths from time to time, or even cause blockages if gobbled down too enthusiastically.
We have all met that one dog who seems to have eyes bigger than his or her stomach, so to speak, and gets far too busy gulping down far too much and making themselves cough and splutter.
Naturally, dogs are not herbivores in the wild, or at least certainly weren’t inclined to these kinds of meals before being domesticated by human beings.
Because of that, their systems tend to process plant material in their diet far less efficiency than their human masters.
The good news there is that you need only feed your dog quite a small amount of cabbage to help them feel the benefits.
It also needn’t be the main component of their dinner too – in fact, it’s better treated as a supplement or added little something.
Sprinkling some chopped up cabbage into your dog’s already balanced and healthy meal is often the best way to go here.
And as with any new addition to your dog’s diet, especially if he or she is very old or very young, work it into your routine gradually – and start with small amounts.
This is the best way not only ensure your dog doesn’t get fussy and refuse to eat it, but also to make sure that he or she is able to eat the right portions without getting overwhelmed inside. It’s a fun learning curve for you both.
Health benefits of cabbage for dogs
Human beings are recommended to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and that’s because scientists and nutritionists have calculated that our bodies can best be fuelled by these healthy foodstuffs in these amounts.
Yet for dogs, it’s a much simpler story, and you’ll find that it really doesn’t take much cabbage in your dog’s diet for he or she to really feel the benefits.
They’re pretty remarkable benefits too – one that is often forgotten is that cabbage can add fibre to your dog’s diet.
While it’s a less well known source of fibre than oatmeal or the like, the leafy make up of a cabbage means it’s inherently a little more challenging for dogs to digest.
While that presents problems if we give them too much cabbage, it also exercises their insides nicely with some roughage and keeps them regular too.
Cabbages are also full of antioxidants, which help your dog to stay healthy and alert.
Vitamins likewise keep him or her sprightly for extended and consistent periods of time, and also work wonders for both the skin and the fur coat of your animal.
Don’t be surprised if your dog becomes a lot more bright-eyed and more glossy of fur after introducing these kinds of nutrients into their meals all the more.
Those vitamins are also going to help your dog fight off illness – whether he or she is already unwell, or you just want to ensure that he or she stays good and healthy.
Those vitamins in a dog’s diet boost the immune system enough that a rapid recovery is all but assured, as well as helping to stop infections from getting into your dog’s systems in the first place.
How much cabbage can a dog eat daily?
In terms of dining out on cabbage every day, it’s more likely that your pet rabbit than your pet dog ought to be tucking into this treat on the regular.
An while it’s regular they will indeed be from eating their fill of cabbage, your dog only needs quite a small amount of it to feel the effects – this is true even of the most demanding and large of dog breeds.
A cooked up leaf of cabbage, diced up and sprinkled amid their meal, is going to do your pup the power of good.
Any more than this, and you may well notice the telltale signs of overindulgence – perhaps with your nose before your eyes! Indeed, too much cabbage can make a dog rather gassy, so for the sake of your family and your home, it’s often a wise idea to adopt a less is more approach.
The reason why cooked cabbage comes so highly recommended over the raw stuff is that it reduces the thiocyanate levels within it.
While not inherently dangerous, extensive consumption of food with thiocyanate in it can create complications for your dog’s thyroid glands.
This can become a long term issue that both you and they have to contend with.
Luckily, your dog would need to be eating truly extensive amounts of cabbage over quite the long period of time to really bring this kind of risk to bear, but many dog owners are cautious enough to simply cook the cabbage before serving it to really eliminate any complications.
What to do if your dog eats a cabbage
Whether your dog has been ransacking the garbage for scraps, attacking the grocery bags while your back is turned or digging up your garden’s greens and gobbling them down, even the most loving of pooches has a talent for mischief.
While in many cases this can cause some severe worries in loving dog owners, there is little to fear here beyond a few burps and rumbling tummy troubles.
Cabbage is not toxic to dogs, and they can consume a fair amount of it without any ill effects beyond perhaps a choking hazard if he or she is going too fast or biting off too large an amount per mouthful.
Even the risk of thiocyanate problems, as already discussed, are only brought to the fore in extended periods of high cabbage consumption in dogs.
If your dog is frequently stealing whole cabbages and you’re worried this is going to be an issue – especially if you have cordoned the cabbage patch of your garden off without success – seek the advice of your vet to analyse if any health risks are rising in your animal.
For the most part though, your dog is unlikely to get anything from eating too much cabbage beyond a telling off from yourself and a bit of a tummy ache, if that.
It’s more likely that the cabbage will be digested with a minimum of discomfort, but definitely watch out for the gas your dog will likely have after this escapade.
It’s incentive enough to make you want to discipline your pet against stealing food, let alone anything else!
More fruits, vegetables and nuts than are often realised can be extremely problematic, or even toxic and poisonous, to dogs who eat them.
Yet not only can dogs eat cabbages safely – they can also gain some superb health benefits from doing so, providing cabbages are dished up in moderation among their existing meals.
Those health perks include vitamins, fibre and antioxidants, all of which energise your pet and help him or her to stave off illness.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that giving too much cabbage to your dog will do more than just give them a stomach ache and some unpleasant gassiness.
There’s a risk of the leafy green complicating the function of the thyroids – but only if your dog happens to eat far more cabbages than an animal of their nature should be.