Sensible moms and fitness buffs love including asparagus in their diet and meals for all its health benefits. Since it is packed with all the good stuff, as pet owners, you’re probably wondering: Can dogs eat asparagus?
Good thing you asked this question. It just goes to show that you’re aware that your dog can’t eat all the people food they get their paws on.
The truth is that feeding your dog foods that we humans consider nutritious can actually do more harm than good to your dog.
If you wish to know if asparagus is one of them? Read on. Our website – Dog Food Guide – is here to give you not just some, but everything you need to know about the effects of feeding your dog asparagus.
What’s more, we made sure to include a couple of recipes that your dogs would want to munch on.
Need-To-Know Facts About Asparagus
Scientific Name: Asparagus Officinalis
Fun Fact: This perennial plant takes three years to harvest (from seed) and has existed since ancient times (around 3000BC).
Dangerous Compound: Saponins
Possible Side Effects: Gastrointestinal distress
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of asparagus (134 grams) contains:
- Total Fat: 0.2 grams
- Sodium: 2.7 mg
- Potassium: 270.7 mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Sugar: 2.5 grams
- Protein: 2.9 grams
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
We know it’s tempting to give your dog whatever you are eating, thinking that one bite wouldn’t actually hurt them. You would, however, probably think twice if you find out that the food you’re feeding them is, in reality, TOXIC.
What about asparagus? Can dogs eat asparagus? Is asparagus safe for dogs?
If you’re referring to the asparagus stalk, aka “asparagus spears,” then the short answer is YES. Your dog can safely eat this as long as it is given in moderation.
Keep in mind, though, that the other parts of the asparagus plant are considered toxic. While the stalk is edible, the asparagus fern and the small, red berries of the plant are poisonous and can cause gastrointestinal problems.
The asparagus fern (which isn’t really a fern) is often used as an ornamental plant. During springtime, you’ll find the plant producing bright red berries.
The fern-like leaves and the berries contain a compound called Saponin (a compound also found in tomatoes, onions, and garlic).
Once ingested, this can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in dogs (and other animals like cats and horses). The same compound is also linked to liver toxicity and intestinal issues.
Apart from the leaves and berries, you’d better keep your dogs away from the sap since this can give rise to skin irritation. The contact rash doesn’t last, but repeated exposure to the sap may result in allergic dermatitis or skin inflammation.
So, if you have an asparagus plant somewhere in your garden, it’s best to keep this out of your dog’s reach. Putting up a fence around your garden or just the plant itself solves this.
Health Benefits Of Asparagus To Dogs
Now that you know the answer to your question, “Can your dogs eat asparagus?” as devoted fur-rents, it’s high time for us to find out if our beloved companion is also getting the same nutrients we get from chowing down an asparagus.
In the human realm, asparagus is loved for being high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories. Apart from that, this crunchy veggie is also a good source of prebiotics, protein, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
And if you think that’s all, it actually has more to offer. It’s also hailed for its ability to fight off and prevent cancer and heart disease.
Enough with what good this vegetable brings to people. What about dogs? What can your dog get from this vegetable?
Thankfully, your dog can enjoy some of the benefits we reap from this earthy vegetable. Here’s a rundown of some of the valuable vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your pet can get if you let your dog eat asparagus.
They say that four asparagus stalks contain around 40mcg of Vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin is needed to activate the blood-clotting ability of your pet dog.
Lack of vitamin E in dogs can lead to reproductive problems and degeneration of muscles. Antioxidants also play an essential role in protecting the cells by neutralizing free radicals. It also helps maintain the heart and immune system functioning of your dogs.
Among the essential vitamins your dog needs, this one helps keep the skin, muscles, coat, and nerves of your pets in perfect condition. It also supports bone growth and reproduction.
Also known as Pyridoxine, your pet cannot achieve optimal health without this precious B Vitamin. This helps with various bodily functions, including protein metabolism, potassium-sodium regulation, and gene activation.
Although your dogs’ liver can manufacture this on its own, giving foods that contain this water-soluble antioxidant still has its benefits. This includes the mitigation of cognitive aging and inflammation.
Adding sufficient amounts of fiber to your pup’s diet will keep their digestive system in good shape. This also ensures healthy bowel movements and firmer stools and puts a stop to harmful bacteria overgrowth.
A water-soluble B Vitamin, folic acid helps with malabsorption and intestinal diseases. It also plays a crucial role in fetal development and neural tube defect prevention.
Risks Of Feeding Asparagus To Your Dog
Yes, your pup can eat asparagus. Now that you’re aware of all the yummy health benefits of asparagus for dogs let’s discuss in detail the more important stuff: the DANGERS of asparagus.
You now know that asparagus leaves and berries are harmful to your dogs. Apart from these, giving the edible part of asparagus to your dog also poses a few health risks.
Raw asparagus is one of the vegetables that are tough to chew and digest (even for people). This makes this crunchy treat a choking hazard.
To avoid obstruction (especially for small dogs), make sure to remove the woody ends and cut the raw asparagus up into small, thin, bite-sized pieces.
If eating broccoli equates to smelly farts, eating asparagus equates to stinky urine. Interestingly, this applies to both humans and dogs.
So, if you’re planning to give your dog asparagus, expect his pee to emit a pungent odor. The culprit behind this unpleasant smell is the asparagusic acid – a sulfur-infused compound that you can only find in asparagus and NOT in other vegetables.
A word of caution: If you let your dogs eat asparagus, your pup might just pee in some place where he or she is not supposed to pee. You can safely blame the asparagus for this since your dog will also find the odor disgusting and try to avoid it.
The Right Way To Feed Asparagus To Your Dog
Can your beloved pet eat asparagus? The answer is a yes. It is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, BUT you have to make sure to feed it the right way to avoid any unwanted problems.
So, how should you give this to your dog? Keep these tips in mind, and you’re good to go.
- Like other vegetables, make sure to wash the asparagus thoroughly.
- We can’t help but repeat ourselves here. Giving tiny pieces of asparagus to your dog is crucial. You don’t like this vegetable to get lodged on their throat or anywhere in their digestive system.
- If you don’t want to take the risk of feeding raw asparagus, another way to serve this is to give your dog asparagus cooked. This softens up the asparagus and makes it easy to digest for your dog. Its nutrient content, however, is reduced due to the cooking process.
- In case you want to give your dog cooked asparagus, cooking asparagus can be done in various ways – grilled, steamed, slightly blanched, boiled, and more. Just make sure to avoid incorporating any harmful ingredients like butter, cooking oil, and seasoning products such as garlic and onion powder. Products like butter and oil would just give your dog a bad experience like gut problems.
- Always start feeding your dog by giving them a few pieces and then check for any adverse reactions like gas or diarrhea. If this happens, your dog is better off eating vet-approved dog food treats and other easy-to-digest vegetables and fruits like sweet potatoes, green beans, and apples.
- Responsible pet owners should never forget the 10% rule when it comes to giving dogs treats. This applies to foods that are not often included in dogs’ regular diet, like fruits and veggies.
Must-Try Asparagus Recipes For Your Pooch
If you’re feeling generous today, why not whip up a tasty yet hearty treat for your pooch. Carbo-loaded cookies won’t do. If you have some fresh asparagus spears tucked somewhere in your fridge, here are a few simple dog recipes you can try:
Asparagus Risotto. All you need to make this is chicken broth, chopped asparagus, and rice. Cook your rice as usual but use unseasoned chicken broth instead of water. Add the asparagus 10 minutes before the rice thoroughly cooks.
Asparagus Soup. Giving your pal some soup will keep them hydrated. Just add bone broth and a couple of pup-friendly vegetables like sweet potatoes, celery, or carrots into the concoction, and your doggo is in for a nutritious treat.
In case this does not tickle your fido’s taste buds, you can also try these delectable asparagus recipes:
Low-Fat Green Machine Treats
- Food Processor
- Large bowl
- Rolling Pin
- 1-inch round cookie cutter (could also use a bottle cap)
- Baking sheet
- 1 Stalk of asparagus
- 1 Green bean
- 1 cup Spinach
- 2 tbsp Fat-free yogurt, plain
- 1/4 cup Applesauce, unsweetened
- 1 cup Whole wheat flour, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop asparagus and green beans into 1-inch pieces.
- Put asparagus, green beans and spinach into food processor.
- Process until the mixture resembles small flakes.
- Transfer processed vegetables into a large bowl.
- Add yogurt and applesauce. Mix well.
- Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to the mixture. Mix well after each addition.
- Use your hands to knead the flour and wet mixture into a ball of dough. Add flour if necessary.
- Spray your baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a sheet 1/2 inch thick.
- Using the cookie cutter, cut the dough into small rounds.
- Place the rounds 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use spatula to transfer the treats to a plate. Let cool.
Chicken, Asparagus & Peas Dog Food Recipe
- Stove top / Induction stove
- You can use white or dark meat or ground chicken. Cook the chicken by boiling it in a little water. It is important that all bones are removed from the cooked chicken. Cooked bones can splinter if digested and damage the stomach and intestine.
- The chicken is cooked when the juices inside run clear.
- Let the chicken cool than dice the chicken into bit size chunks. Shredding it is also fine.
- Add fresh or frozen peas to the cooked meat. The heat will lightly cook the peas. Rinse the peas under running water.
- Peas may pass through the dogs whole. To aid in digestion you can mash them or process them in the blender.
- Place asparagus in a saucepan and cover with a few inches of water in a saucepan. When the water starts to boil, cook for 5 minutes.
- If you wish, use a microwave-safe cooking dish to boil asparagus in the microwave. Fill the cooking dish with 1/4 cup water, then add the spears and place the lid on the dish. Cook the asparagus on your microwave oven’s high power setting for 3 minutes, then open the door and stir.
- Finish cooking until the spears are just barely tender, about 3 to 4 more minutes. Chop asparagus to small bite sizes or run cooked asparagus through food processor.
- When the meat and veggies are cool to touch – add the vitamins and minerals to the dog food to make it complete and balanced. Azestfor nutritional supplements are added to ensure your dog gets everything that they need to thrive and the dog food is nutritionally complete and balanced.
Grain Free Homemade Dog Food Recipe
- Skillet or Pot
- 7 oz (raw weight) Beef, cooked
- 1 cup Asparagus, cooked
- 1 cup Peas, cooked
- 1 tsp Sunflower oil
- 3 tsps Azestfor vitamins
- In a large skillet or pot place cubed or ground beef. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until beef is cooked.
- Remove from heat. Drain excess liquid.
- Add fresh or frozen peas to the cooked meat. The heat will lightly cook the peas.
- Rinse the asparagus under running water. Place asparagus in a saucepan and cover with a few inches of water in a saucepan. When the water starts to boil, cook for 5 minutes.
- If you wish, use a microwave-safe cooking dish to boil asparagus in the microwave. Fill the cooking dish with 1/4 cup water, then add the spears and place the lid on the dish. Cook the asparagus on your microwave oven’s high power setting for 3 minutes, then open the door and stir. Finish cooking until the spears are just barely tender, about 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Chop asparagus to small bite sizes.
- Sunflower oil is added as a source of linoleic acid. If you would like a substitute oil you can add Wheat germ, Walnut or Corn oil in the amount of 1.2 teaspoons.
- When the meat, asparagus, and peas are cool to touch you can add the Azestfor nutritional supplements. If you are adding the Azestfor just before serving you would add 1 1/4 teaspoons Azestfor Vitamins per 1 cup of homemade dog food.
- We suggest dividing the daily amount into two servings, one in the morning and one in the evening. Every dog’s nutritional requirements are a little bit different due to age & amount of exercise. If your dog is losing weight, increase food by 1/4 cup a day, if they are gaining weight reduce accordingly.
- The recipe can be prepared in large batches and frozen. It will keep for up to a year in the freezer, or one week in the fridge. Freezing vitamins preserves their potency. I would recommend portioning the food into meal size servings before freezing it.To defrost a frozen meal – put it in the fridge overnight.
What happens if a dog eats asparagus?
Asparagus is not toxic for dogs, so they can safely eat it. If your dog experiences vomiting, gas, or diarrhea after eating raw asparagus, next time try cooking it lightly before you feed it to him. Cooking asparagus lightly also makes it easier to chew.
Why can't dogs eat asparagus?
In its raw form, asparagus is very tough to chew for both humans and pets, and it can cause digestive upset for your dog. The best way to feed it to your dog would be to trim off the fibrous end of the stalk, steam it enough that it's easily chewable, and add small pieces to their food.
How much asparagus can a dog eat?
Vets commonly recommend that dog parents follow the 10% rule. Treats, including raw veggies, can make up 10% of the calories in your dog's diet. Asparagus is about 93% water and has about three grams of dietary fiber and 28 calories per cup. As with any new food, give your dog a small amount of asparagus to start.
Can asparagus kill dogs?
While they may not kill your pet, they can cause severe intestinal discomfort and diarrhea. However, if you're not physically growing the plant in your garden or home, you don't have to worry. While a dog can eat asparagus raw, it can present a choking hazard, so it is really not advised.