Goodies and greens always come highly recommended in our diets, and they bring with them all kinds of vitamins, minerals and health benefits.
Yet as we seek to better ourselves, so too do we often want to help our beloved pets get some nutritional benefits too.
And there are more fruit and vegetables open to us than ever nowadays. That being the case, can dogs eat okra? They can, but there are some rules to keep in mind too – as we’ll find out.
Is okra good for dogs?
Okra contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that do your pet dog the power of good.
It’s always wise to double check which foods dogs can and can’t eat though, because many of the foods that give we human beings the best in health and vitality are risky for dogs to eat – or even poisonous to them!
Luckily, okra doesn’t rank among foods that are toxic to dogs. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to necessarily start loading up your dog’s bowl with that green goodness.
Dogs and humans may be the best of friends, but there’s no denying that the way we each eat – and the kinds of foods that best energise and fuel us – are very different indeed.
So while a human being is able to enjoy fruit, vegetables and plant-based nutrition of all kinds to quite a high degree, dogs have very different needs.
In fact, they’re different enough that just handling vegetables, fruits, nuts and plant-based food overall is tricky for dogs, digestively speaking.
Therefore, you’re wise to simply not overdo it in handing over okra, or any kind of veggie, over to your dog.
Your pet certainly won’t object to being given as much of any kind of food as he or she can get away with, but unfortunately, dogs don’t always know their limits.
It’s up to us, as responsible dog owners, to help our pets do things right, and in the right amounts.
Okra is best served to your dog cut up into edible pieces that won’t cause any choking hazards. Similarly, dogs ought to eat cooked okra wherever possible – but perhaps not fried.
Fried foods are a little fatty and unhealthy for dogs compared to other means of cooking, and fried okra for a dog would be served to him or her in such a way that diminishes many of the health benefits.
However, if you do serve okra up raw, it can also double up as a fun chew toy for your pet too – some owners prefer it for this reason, even if it does make things a little more tricky for your dog to eat.
Also definitely avoid seasoning the okra – it’s best served up plain to your pet. Especially avoid any seasonings with garlic or onion in their ingredients, as those are horribly toxic to dogs.
Health benefits of okra for dogs
Because of the way dogs digest their food, you’ll find that your pet will only need a little okra in his or her bowl to really see the perks.
Health benefits of okra for dogs can be easily inserted into an existing diet with a minimum of fuss – remember, this plant’s goodness is a supplement to your dog’s meals, not an overall replacement for an already balanced set of daily meals.
There are a number of vitamins in okra that make it very beneficial to dogs. Those include Vitamin C and Vitamin B, both of which are exceptional in improving and promoting health and well being in your animal.
Vitamins contribute massively to your dog’s health, both in the more immediate term and over the span of your pet’s lifetime.
You’ll find that the results quickly become known though – your dog will begin to be far more bouncy and energised, whatever age he or she happens to be.
That energy will last the day too, rather thank dipping and rising across the hours.
Vitamins help your dog have a more glossy and healthy coat of fur, and you’ll find that his or her eyes are gleaming with extra energy as you introduce okra, or other fruit and vegetables, into your pet’s diet more and more.
However, vitamins are also remarkable for your dog’s ability to resist falling ill.
If your dog is unwell, vitamins will see them right as rain in no time. Similarly, they will also help your dog boost their immune system enough that they more rarely fall unwell in the first place.
That even rings true for the more elderly dogs out there, who are otherwise a little sensitive to illness.
Besides vitamins, okra also offers your dog iron, potassium and magnesium. Your dog will enjoy strengthened bones, robust muscular development and smoother blood sugar levels.
Diabetic dogs, or dogs struggling against weight gain or high blood pressure, are often recommended to eat okra to help fight back against their issues.
How much okra can a dog eat daily?
Dogs see vegetables, fruits, nuts and other plant-based food far differently from human beings, and even if your pet is happy to eat as much of it as he or she likes, that doesn’t always make it easier for them.
Too much of this kind of thing, okra included, can cause blockages in the intestines and an upset stomach.
Dogs do not have stomachs and digestive processes designed to break down or otherwise deal with this kind of material very easily.
In some countries, okra gets nicknamed ladies’ fingers for the size and shape of each of the pods.
This helps to gauge portion sizes for your pet too – but even the largest dogs would do well out of perhaps no more than a finger and a half of okra daily.
Naturally, smaller or older dogs can have half a piece of okra, and puppies can have less still.
Every dog is an individual, so certainly experiment – but try and keep your okra free from seasoning or additives when you’re feeding it to your dog.
Over time, you can increase or reduce the okra you’re mixing into your pet’s meals to best match his or her needs.
What to do if your dog eats okra
Every dog owner, however responsible and good at reasoning with their pet as they may be, has to sometimes deal with dogs who decide on their own dinner.
Our beloved canine companions have a remarkable talent for getting at food they’re really not supposed to, often while our back is turned.
Yet if you find that your dog has eaten okra, there’s nothing immediately to worry about in terms of his or her long term health.
Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, there is nothing toxic about okra for dogs, and he or she won’t come to any harm by consuming it.
However, dogs who feel especially guilty about eating things they know they shouldn’t be eating can often try to get rid of the evidence by gulping it down far too fast.
As you might imagine, this could well put your dog at risk of choking, so keep an eye on your pet in case he or she tries to cough anything back up.
Depending on how much or how little okra your dog has eaten, he or she might get off scot-free for the most part.
It’s only larger numbers of okra that can cause some digestive discomfort to your animal. After all, it’s all plant-based material, and dogs’ stomachs don’t enjoy that.
Some dogs may well just throw everything back up, so be ready with kitchen towels and a bowl of cool water if that happens.
On the other hand, your dog might just become a bit grouchy and prefer to lay down, tummy gurgling all the while, to let this discomfort sort itself out.
Either way, this is luckily more of an issue of misbehaviour from your dog than it is a health scare or anything that endangers your animal.
Help your dog to realise that swiping any old food he or she wants is not something to be repeated – after all, next time your dog might eat something really quite dangerous rather than okra by mistake, and things could go from bad to worse.
While it is not the kind of thing a dog owner ought to feel expected to make a mainstay, or a main component of every mealtime, okra certainly has a lot of health benefits that make it worth giving to dogs as a supplement or a treat.
In fact, raw okra is robust enough to be a fun chew toy for an energetic dog, while cooking okra and dicing it into a dog’s dinner boost his or her immune system, energy levels and overall well being.
The vitamins and minerals in okra make it quite the safe choice for dog owners looking to up the nutrition levels in their pets.