Taking care of a pet dog can be one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences in an animal lover’s life; they take away the stress of our daily lives and make things feel a little better.
As responsible pet owners, we need the make the right choices, especially when it comes to their nutrition to ensure they remain as healthy as possible in their short lives. Of course, one of the questions that a dog owner may ask is if dogs can eat vegetables.
While veterinarians are divided on whether or not dogs are omnivores or primarily carnivores, most of them agree that there are certain fruits and vegetables that they can safely consume such as broccoli and green beans.
However, what about spinach? Can dogs eat spinach? What about the different variations of it like cooked or canned spinach?
With that said, in this article, we will discuss whether or not they can eat spinach and are there any restrictions with regards to the amount and type.
Dogs and Spinach: What They Can and Can’t Eat
Can dogs eat spinach leaves?
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat spinach. The long answer is slightly more complex than that.
Spinach is a vegetable that contains plenty of vitamins such as vitamins A, B, C, as well as vitamin K. For us humans, it’s also a great source of iron and antioxidants that can be beneficial for our health.
For dogs, they can offer the same benefits but only if taken in moderation. This is because spinach contains large amounts of oxalic acid which prevents the body’s calcium absorption which can lead to kidney damage.
So, if you’re going to feed your furry friend spinach, ensure that you only give them small quantities and that you have consulted a vet beforehand.
Can dogs eat cooked spinach?
Yes, but only in steamed form. Boiling spinach makes it lose most of the nutrients it contains and raw spinach is difficult for them to digest – answering the question can dogs eat raw spinach.
However, when serving them steamed spinach, ensure that you serve it plain – meaning no herbs and spices as these can be harmful to them – and that you chop the leaves thoroughly to aid their digestion.
Can dogs eat baby spinach?
Yes, they can but once again, you will need to steam it without additives and chop them into smaller pieces. Even in its baby form, dogs cannot process and digest raw spinach the way we humans do.
Can dogs eat canned spinach?
Giving canned food to dogs, even canned spinach is not advisable if you want to keep your dog healthy. This is because the too high levels of salt present in canned human food can dehydrate them and lead to sodium ion poisoning.
Stick to steamed fresh spinach if you really want to give your dog a healthy treat. With regards to the question can dogs eat spinach dip, it’s best if you avoid that as well as most dogs, especially adult ones cannot digest the dairy and fat present in spinach dip.
Alternatives to Spinach
If you really want to give your dog a healthy home-made treat to supplement his regular diet but decided against giving him or her spinach, here are some other alternatives that you can go for instead.
Apples are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as a great source of fiber for your dogs. They are also low-fat and low-protein, making them easy to digest, especially for senior dogs. Make sure to remove its core and seeds before serving them to your canine friend though as the core can become a choking hazard and the seeds contain cyanide which is a highly toxic substance.
Blueberries are fruits that are rich in antioxidants which can prove to be incredibly beneficial for your dog’s health. Their small size is also perfect as a reward when teaching your dog treats.
Carrots can serve as an excellent low-calorie and high-fiber snack for your dog. They contain high amounts of vitamin A which can help with your dog’s eyesight. Moreover, the crunchy nature of carrots makes it great for your dog’s teeth as well.
Since bananas are safe for dogs to eat, they can serve as a great low-calorie treat for your beloved canine friend. They are also a great source of potassium, fiber, and other trace minerals. They contain low levels of cholesterol and sodium which makes them a great treat.
However, they also contain high amounts of sugar so it’s best to give this only as a treat and not as a regular part of their diet.
Due to the high amount of vitamins and other helpful substances, spinach has long been considered a vegetable that can offer plenty of benefits for one’s health, including our pet dogs. However, we need to carefully consider the quantities we give them as giving them too much can lead to severe health problems like kidney disease.
Ensuring that we give them the proper care and nutrition is part of our duty as responsible pet owners. While it can be a great idea to give our beloved canine best friends healthier treats like fruits and vegetables, it’s vital that we do proper research first and consult a veterinarian before adding something new to their diet.
After all, we only want what’s best for our furry canine friends, don’t we?