One of the common misconceptions that have been passed on between dog owners is that what’s safe for us, humans to eat is also safe for dogs.
But in reality, this isn’t always the case. Some human foods, including certain fruits and vegetables, are unhealthy for dogs to eat, while some are downright dangerous. So, how about cabbage? Can dogs eat cabbage?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?
Considering the reputation of green leafy vegetables to us, humans, it’s easy to assume that cabbage is safe for dogs. However, when adding any new food to your dog’s diet, you also have to remember that dogs digest differently from us, humans.
Hence, when you unknowingly give the wrong food to your furry friend, it can lead to long-term health problems over time, and even death.
But, the good thing is, you don’t have to worry when your dog feasts on your chopped-up cabbage while you are preoccupied with your other tasks in the kitchen.
Cabbage is perfectly safe for your dog whether it’s green, white, or red cabbage. However, just like other fibrous human foods, you also have to give them these veggies in moderation.
Too much cabbage in your dog’s food can give him a lot of gas and stomach upsets.
Health Benefits of Cabbage for Dogs
Cabbage is not an indispensable food for dogs. Your pup may or may not eat green cabbage or other types of cabbage in his lifetime, and he will just be fine.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for a healthy snack for your dog or if you want to include additional nutrients into his diet without increasing his carbohydrate intake, then, cabbage is a great choice.
This cruciferous vegetable is packed with important nutrients that can be good for your dog’s health. In particular, it is rich in essential vitamins, such as vitamins K, B6, and B1, as well as vitamin C.
As one of the important vitamins, B6 plays a key role in hormone regulation, gene activation, immune response, as well as the regular functioning of the nervous system and red blood cells.
It is also loaded with healthy fibers, and essential minerals, including copper, potassium, and manganese. Meanwhile, cabbage is also filled with folate that helps promote normal metabolic functions, such as the production of amino acids and blood cells.
Cabbage is also chock-full of powerful antioxidants called phytonutrients. The polyphenols in cabbage make it the cruciferous veggie with the highest amount of antioxidants, which are substances in the body known to help fight free radicals.
These harmful free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that play an important role in the development and progression of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases in humans and canines alike.
Aside from having cancer-fighting capabilities, cabbage also has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it helpful in dogs suffering from arthritis, heart diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease.
And if all of these are not enough, cabbage also has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help your dog fight and thrive over infections.
Another advantage of letting your dog eat cabbage is that it helps regulate your dog’s digestion due to its high fiber content. The healthy fiber in cabbage adds bulk to your dog’s bowel movements, which then stimulate defecation if your dog is constipated.
If your dog has a watery stool, the fiber from cabbage can help solidify it by absorbing water, which then adds bulk to the stool and makes it easier for your dog to pass it out of his system.
However, like what was said earlier, if your dog eats too much cabbage, it can also lead to increased bloating and abdominal discomfort.
In addition, the fiber content in cabbage also helps dogs maintain body weight by increasing the volume of their food without adding calories.
And this is why your pup can feel full faster when you add this vegetable in his dog food, thereby, making cabbage good for obese dogs and those with weight-related diseases such as pancreatitis, and diabetes.
Finally, cabbage also helps in keeping your dog’s skin healthy by keeping it protected from irritation. So, this green leafy vegetable can also be an excellent treat for dogs with dry and rough skin. With all of these benefits, we can’t deny that cabbage can really be an awesome green treat for your dog.
However, while all of these health benefits are music to our ears as dog owners, we shouldn’t still deviate from what our dog really needs in their diet, which is none other than meats.
Potential Health Problems When You Allow Your Dog to Eat Cabbage
Just like any human food, you are also exposing your dog to some potential dangers by letting your dogs eat green cabbage.
Some of the main problems caused by excessive consumption of cabbage in dogs are excessive gas, and flatulence, which can really be uncomfortable for your furry friends.
But of course, these are not the only health concerns linked to the inclusion of cabbage in your dog’s meals – may it be in your dog’s dinner or evening snack.
Another serious problem of allowing your dog to eat as many cabbages as he can is hypothyroidism.
While cabbage contains several important nutrients, it is also packed with a natural compound called thiocyanate, which has a strong impact on your dog’s thyroid gland.
However, for it to create hypothyroidism, your dog should consume large quantities of raw cabbage continuously for a long time.
Although this is somewhat unlikely to happen, it is still possible. So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to only give your dog a small quantity of cabbage occasionally.
And don’t forget to only serve cooked cabbage to your dog, as boiling or steaming it can effectively remove this harmful substance.
Another downside of giving raw cabbage to your pup is that it’s harder to chew and digest. So, don’t make it harder and dangerous for your pup to consume this green treat.
Again, you can already remove the harmful thiocyanate from the cabbage even if you only lightly cook it for a few minutes.
And of course, as always, stay away from mixing seasonings, herbs, spices, and other toxic ingredients as these can only exacerbate the potential dangers of cabbage when consumed in huge quantities.
How Much Cabbage Can Your Dog Eat?
If it’s your dog’s first time eating cabbage, don’t forget to introduce it slowly and in small amounts and watch out for his reactions.
By doing this, you won’t overwhelm and shock his stomach and you can also control his symptoms if in case your dog exhibits allergic reactions to cabbage.
And just like most human foods, consider cabbage as a treat. That means cabbage and other dog treats should only be 10 percent of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
This will also vary depending on the size, activity level, as well as the overall health condition of your dog. Hence, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to get more concise dietary recommendations.
Just to give you a ballpark idea, cabbage should be fed to dogs in small servings of around 1/8 to 1/4 cup. And prepare it as you would with other human foods – wash the cabbage first to remove bacteria, pesticides, and dirt before cooking or steaming it.
It would also help to cut the cabbage into bite-size pieces to prevent choking and intestinal obstruction and to facilitate digestion. And if you can, it’s best to give your dog organic fruits and vegetables only to stay away from harmful chemicals.
Can Dogs Eat Red Cabbage?
Yes, as mentioned earlier, dogs can eat red cabbage. In fact, red cabbage has a more superior nutritional profile than its white and green counterparts.
Red cabbage has 10 times more vitamins and it also contains more cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage Raw?
Yes, dogs can eat cabbage raw, as long as you wash it first, cut it into smaller pieces, and keep it in moderation.
Like what was said earlier, raw cabbage contains a natural compound called thiocyanate, which can be harmful to your dog’s thyroid gland. And if your dog consumes too much raw cabbage over time, he may be at higher risk for hypothyroidism.
Will cooked cabbage hurt my dog?
Cooked cabbage is better than raw cabbage. Both raw and cooked cabbage are harmless to your pet and are packed with health benefits. Most dog owners prefer cooked cabbage for their pet, because that seems to have the most health perks for their pets.
Is raw green cabbage good for dogs?
Yes! Green cabbage is safe for your dog to eat and is a healthy source of fiber as well as vitamins K and C. These vitamins help fight disease as well as support your dog's digestion and immune system.
Is Red cabbage poisonous to dogs?
Not at all. Purple, savoy… all types of antioxidant-rich cabbage is safe for dogs to eat and even beneficial. It aids in digestion, is good for the skin, and is cancer-fighting.
How much cabbage can a dog eat?
Most dogs are safe consuming cabbage if they are a healthy adult dog. A smaller dog will be good with a bite or two of cooked cabbage, while a large or giant-size dog could handle a few more morsels or bites of cooked cabbage after a ‘ramping up' period.