They always say before you judge someone you need to walk a mile in their shoes. Since dogs don’t wear shoes, it’s hard to judge their eating habits. This applies to Brussels sprouts among other types of food.
Dogs certainly can eat Brussels sprouts. Too much of the veggies could give the dogs diarrhea and indigestion. But overall, these nutritious vegetables are good for your dog and you should give it to them in moderation.
Moderation is the operative word here. You don’t want to give your dog too many Brussels sprouts that could backfire and put them off the veggies all together. At the same time, you want them to get all the goodies these veggies have.
Benefits of Brussels Sprouts for Dogs
As far as veggies go, Brussels sprouts for dogs are up there among the best food you can give them. First of all let’s agree that natural food is way better than processed food, canned food, and packaged treats. Natural veggies and fruits are packed with minerals, vitamins, and nutritional value. Unlike processed food which is full of sodium, chemicals, and saturated fat.
For starters, these veggies are packed with fiber which is not only a necessity for the digestive system but a good food source for the good bacteria in the guts. These help the immune system and protect the dog against flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, and other health conditions.
Then you have antioxidants. If your breed is susceptible to heart conditions, kidney diseases, or other blood-related diseases, then they will need a steady diet of Brussels sprouts. They are rich in antioxidants which cleanse the blood and prevent strokes.
Other benefits include increasing blood clotting which helps when the dog gets injured to protect against infections. It is also packed with vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K. These are all important vitamins that keep the dog healthy, promote a robust immune system, and prevent inflammation.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Brussels Sprouts?
Cooking vegetables isn’t the recommended way to eat this natural food. For one thing, it destroys many of the goodies such as vitamins and antioxidants. Heat does that to food. But on the other hand, cooking also makes many foods easy to digest. You might lose some vitamins, but you won’t have bad side effects such as diarrhea and gases.
When you cook Brussels sprouts avoid using spices or too much salt. That just defeats the purpose. You’re offering the dog a healthy snack. So try to cook it in a healthy way that maintains most of the nutrients of the veggie. That’s the only way the dog will benefit from it.
Complicated food often has more drawbacks than advantages. The same thing applies to dressings, sauces, or other processed food. It’s like a salad you get from a fast-food joint. It might look like salad, but it has more calories and saturated fat than a hamburger.
Can You Give Dogs Raw Brussels Sprouts?
With all the benefits of cooked Brussels sprouts, there’s no denying that feeding the dog raw veggies is more wholesome and healthier. For one thing, the dog will get all the vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber in its natural form. Vitamins get ruined in the cooking which means the dog’s body will not benefit from them.
But there are disadvantages too. While fresh veggies are loaded with nutrients, the dog’s stomach and the digestive system might struggle with them. Gases are abundant and the dog and the rest of the household will suffer as a result. Also if you feed the dog too many raw Brussels sprouts they could get diarrhea.
So aim for a couple every other day. Get the fresh ones since they will have more nutrients and value than old ones. Also, the dog will love the crunchy fresh ones as they taste better and are full of juices. Pick the ripe ones as opposed to the young and green veggies. Ripe Brussels sprouts don’t give the dog as much flatulence as the young ones.
What’s Bad About Brussels Sprouts?
We touched on the disadvantage of Brussels sprouts earlier. But I think they need more detailed coverage just so that you know what you’re getting into. While they have plenty of nutritional value and much-needed vitamins, they also have their downside.
One of those downsides has to do with the stomach of the dog itself. Dogs are intrinsically carnivores. Wolves, the ancestors of dogs, would never eat anything that doesn’t run and is made of flesh and blood. Plants are just for show as far as canines are concerned. But of course, things changed once humans domesticated wolves and created as many dog breeds as we see today.
One of those changes affected the diet of the dog. These days dogs would have as varied a menu as humans. Apart from a few select foods that you should never feed your dog, the rest is good. This too led to changes in the dog’s digestive system that allowed them to accept vegetables and fruits as a source of nourishment.
Brussels sprouts are essentially vegetables. They are crunchy and bulky. The dog doesn’t have the right teeth to munch and break down these crunchy lumps of vegetables. So it will end up swallowing big chunks of it. This could lead to indigestion, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Why Do Dogs Like Brussels Sprouts?
Well for one thing they have a nice taste. They are not sour or smell or leave a bad taste in their mouths. Brussels sprouts are also crunchy and fun to chew and swallow. They are full of juices that keep the dog hydrated. So the question is why wouldn’t dogs like Brussels sprouts.
That said you need to pick ripe and fresh pieces for the dog as a snack. Limit their daily intake to about one or two at most to avoid the bad side effects we discussed earlier. If you’re giving it to the dog raw, cut it down into small bite-size pieces so that the dog doesn’t struggle with chewing it.
One of the main issues with eating Brussels sprouts from a dog’s perspective is that they don’t have the molars that chew and break down this veggie. So make it easier for the dog to consume the sprouts without upsetting its stomach.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts for Dogs?
The best kind of food is the one eaten in its natural state. That is to say, you should eat your veggies raw. But if you cannot for various reasons, then cook them as healthily as you can. This applies to your own food as much as Brussels sprouts for dogs.
Steamed Brussels sprouts are the healthiest of the lot. It doesn’t damage much of the nutritional value of the veggie and keeps it juicy and tasty for the dog. Don’t add any dressings or sauces or dips to make it more appealing for the dog. This just fills the snack with unnecessary sugar, fat, salt, and other harmful ingredients.
If you don’t like to steam it, then you can boil it. Many food experts recommend sauteeing the veggies or you can broil it as well. Dogs have different tastes in food just like humans. So you can try different recipes and see which ones your dog prefers.
Can Dogs with Kidney Disease Eat Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts have no known effects on the kidneys. If anything this veggie actually purifies the blood and helps the kidneys perform better. So you have nothing to worry about since most of the minerals in the veggies are easy to digest. Also since you’re giving it to the dog in small doses, there won’t be a build-up of minerals in the blood that could put a strain on the kidneys.
In other words, you can feed your dog snacks of raw or cooked Brussels sprouts without worry. In the case of dogs suffering from kidney disease, it would be healthier to cook the spouts first and avoid adding salt to it.
Brussels Sprouts for Diabetic Dogs
Veggies are normally good snacks and food for diabetic dogs. The vitamins are good for the dog’s body and there’s not glucose worth worrying about in the sprouts. In other words, the sugar levels in the blood will not be affected if the dog wolfs down a bunch of Brussels sprouts.
It would be worth mentioning it to your vet when you go visit them for the diabetic dog’s regular checkup. Ask them about the best types of food for the dog and how Brussels sprouts fit in their diet. As a snack, this is a pretty harmless veggie that does more good than harm to the dog whether they are healthy or have an existing condition.
Brussels sprouts are a wholesome veggie that your dog will enjoy and benefit from. However, keep their intake to a minimum since these sprouts could give them a nasty case of flatulence.