Broccoli for Dogs: The Health Benefits

Broccoli for dogs

Written by Hilary Wilkie

Hilary is a qualified canine nutritionist, who is passionate about educating dog parents on optimal ways to feed their dogs so they can thrive.

13 February 2023

Can dogs eat broccoli?

Broccoli is a versatile and crunchy vegetable packed with nutrients, which is why sharing it as a treat or meal topper to your dog can be beneficial. When pioneering fresh feeding veterinarian Ian Billinghurst encourages dog parents to feed vegetables, including broccoli, you take their advice onboard.

Adding broccoli to your dog’s diet, whether they eat a fresh whole food diet, kibble or something in between will provide essential nutrients to help your dog thrive. Broccoli, like other vegetables, may fill nutritional gaps in your dog’s diet. Continue reading to learn why broccoli makes a healthy and delicious treat for your dog.

Broccoli:  A nutrient-packed vegetable

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and cabbage. Broccoli is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains antioxidants, gut-friendly fibre and phytonutrients which are natural compounds found in plants that have the potential to fight disease.

Nutritional Facts

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Plant Compounds

  • Fibre
  • Sulforaphane
  • Indole 3 carbinol
  • Carotenoids
  • Kaempferol
  • Quercetin

Health Benefits of Broccoli for Dogs

The list of health benefits of broccoli is extensive, making it pretty clear why it should be fed to your dog.

Prevents oxidative stress with the high levels of the antioxidants, Vitamin C and sulforaphane, which fight free radicals in the body.

Cancer prevention because the antioxidants in broccoli helps your dog’s body fight free radicals, which damage their cells. Sulforaphane helps reduce inflammation leading to cell repair. It is also known to stop the spread of cancer.

Reduces inflammation because broccoli has the anti-inflammatory compounds sulforaphane and vitamin C.

Eye health Broccoli contains two plant pigments that help with eyesight. Also, the Vitamin A found in broccoli is important for keeping eyes healthy.

Balances the microbiome with its high fibre content.

Helps manage leaky gut by reducing inflammation and maintains a health lining of the gut.

Brain health – again the plant compound sulforaphane is a key player here. Studies have shown that sulforaphane may aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

Reduces risk of zinc deficiency because broccoli is high in Zinc. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to zinc deficiency than others.

Broccoli is a powerhouse food that with its sulphur-containing compounds have numerous health benefits.

Before you switch your dog to an all-broccoli diet (please don’t do that) there are feeding recommendation to consider.

How to safely feed broccoli to your dog?

When feeding broccoli or any vegetable moderation is key. Feed anywhere between 5% to 25% of your dog’s daily food intake. You know your dog best, so feed an amount that works best for them. Our post “How to Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Dog’s Diet” shares great tips to help get you started on your journey of feeding broccoli and other produce to your dog.

As dogs are not able to easily breakdown plant matter, we need to give them a bit of help. To increase digestibility, puree raw broccoli or lightly steam and then mash. Both methods will aid in nutrient absorption.

All parts of the broccoli are great and safe for your dog. Save the florets for you and your family, while you use the stalks and leaves for your dog.

While dogs do not require broccoli or any other vegetable to survive, it will help them thrive with the extra nutrients added to their diet.

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