Let’s get right to the point! Yes, you can give your dog cabbage, and he will probably love it. Is it safe to give him cabbage? Yes, it is – in moderation. And this applies to all types of cabbage, whether it be Purple, Savoy, Chinese, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Napa, or Kohlrabi cabbage. They can eat red cabbage or green cabbage, but it must be given in moderation.
Can I Give My Dog Cabbage?
It’s always important to monitor what your dog consumes every day in order to maintain a diet that’s clean and healthy. We like to suggest that you contact your veterinarian, or at least do some online research, prior to feeding your dog anything new, especially when it comes to human foods.
The Health Benefits of Giving Cabbage To Your Dog
If you’re looking for ways to add healthy alternatives to your dog’s diet, leafy green vegetables are certainly a great place to start. One of the great things about cabbage is that it can be prepared in a number of different ways. It can be served as-is (raw), cooked (steamed lightly), chopped up and added to their kibble, or you can even bake it and stuff with either their own dog food or other pet-friendly foods.
Cabbage will provide your pet with a wide range of health benefits, such as –
- It’s a rich source of nutrients, like Vitamins B1, B6, C, and K.
- It’s full of fiber;
- It contains essential minerals like potassium, copper, and manganese.
- It’s believed that if you serve red cabbage to your dog he will benefit from strong cancer-fighting properties.
Of course, if your dog is already eating a healthy doggy-diet he probably doesn’t really need healthy human foods, but unless your veterinarian advises not to give cabbage to your dog, it certainly can’t do him any harm.
Cabbage and Phytonutrients
Cabbage also contains high levels of phytonutrients, which are powerful antioxidant compounds. The polyphenols in cabbage make it the cruciferous vegetable that contains the most antioxidants, which are vital for good health in both humans and canines. Antioxidants are important because –
- They help in the prevention of certain diseases, like cancer, by reducing free radicals in the blood.
- They boost the immune system naturally.
- They help reduce your dog’s risk of developing certain health conditions and diseases, like heart disease.
Feeding cabbage to your dog offers other benefits, including:
- It promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system.
- It assists in good digestion due to its high fiber content.
- It keeps their skin free from irritations by promoting healthy skin from the inside out. Perfect for dogs who suffer from rough or dry skin.
Cabbage is low in calories, so regardless of whether you give your dog raw or cooked cabbage, he’s not going to gain extra weight. There are only 17 calories in one-and-a-half cups of shredded, cooked cabbage. Just one raw cabbage leaf only contains around 6 calories. A cabbage treat ensures your dog gets extra health benefits while only consuming a low number of calories.
Like kale and broccoli, cabbage contains a compound called Sulforaphane, which has proven to be a cancer-fighting compound. Sulforaphane has also been shown to lower blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Keep in mind that your dog is naturally carnivorous, so the majority of his diet should consist of meat; however, it can certainly be healthy for your pet to occasionally snack on vegetables known to be safe for him.
Can Cabbage Be a Danger To My Dog?
The danger of giving cabbage to dogs is exactly the same as it is for humans; eating a lot of cabbage can cause a stomach upset, with uncomfortable symptoms like flatulence, stomach pains, and excessive gas.
And, as with humans, just because something may be described as ‘healthy’, it certainly doesn’t mean your pet can have as much as he wants. Check with your veterinarian before offering cabbage or any other human food to your pet. Because they will be familiar with your pet, their weight, and their specific health issues, your vet will be able to advise whether your pet should or should not be given that particular food.
Typically, any new food will be offered to your pet in a small amount to start with; your dog should then be monitored for at least 24-48 hours for any unusual symptoms, like an allergic reaction, watery stools, or increased gas formation. If no symptoms appear, you should stick to that same amount for a while to allow your dog to get used to eating a new human food.
Cabbage and Hypothyroidism
While raw cabbage is fine in small quantities, you need to know that cabbage contains a natural compound known as Thiocyanate. Thiocyanate suppresses the thyroid gland, so if cabbage is given to your dog in large amounts on a regular basis it can cause hypothyroidism.
Does this mean you shouldn’t give cabbage to your dog? No, it doesn’t. fortunately, there’s a workaround to this issue. The safest way of serving cabbage to your dog is to steam it. Steaming doesn’t destroy the vitamins contained in the cabbage and it will help your dog digest his food. You can also boil or bake the cabbage; your pet is going to love it whichever way you serve it.
Some dogs actually enjoy raw cabbage, so keep in mind that it must be given in small amounts. You can be more generous if the cabbage has been cooked because cooking removes the Thiocyanate from the vegetable. Do not add any seasoning, spices, or other additives to your dog’s cabbage.