Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts? This is quite a relevant question on the run up to Thanksgiving. With it under a month a way now, on the big day you are very likely to have Brussels Sprouts as part of the table spread.
And while some humans can take it or leave it when it comes to the little green fart balls, do dogs have a choice in the matter too? If you feed your pet a few sprouts under the table, will they come to any harm?
Well the answer is no. Sprouts are perfectly okay for dogs to eat. However, give a dog too many and you might want to get the air freshener out. Just as human bowels can react on the smelly side to sprouts – so too can dogs.
Brussels Sprouts and Dogs – Any Benefits?
Sprouts pack quite a good punch on the nutrition value. Belonging to the cruciferae family of vegetable, Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins and are great for dietary fiber.
Although they make us and our dogs break wind, they are at the same time helping bowel movement and overall colon health.
Brussels sprouts also contain what is called sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Several types of vegetable contain these compounds, which research shows help fight cell-damaging free radicals in the body. As we have explored elsewhere on the site – the reduction of free radicals also helps lessen the risk of cancer.
Brussels Sprouts also contain anti-oxidant properties, all of which help reduce inflammation and benefit blood health and circulation.
A little known fact is that Brussels Sprouts are rich in vitamin K. This along with the trace elements of Vitamin C will ensure that your dog’s bones stay healthy and strong.
Other benefits stem from the manganese, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamins A, B1 and B6, that are also packed within these little green balls of tasty nutrition.
Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts – Any Precautions
The same properties that make dogs fart after eating Brussel Sprouts, will actually cause harm if too much of the little green vegetable is consumed in any one sitting.
Sprouts contain a high level of isothiniocyanate which directly impacts the gastrointestinal function of dogs. Give them a few and they will break wind and clear out the pipes so to speak.
Give a dog too many, and this benefit will turn to a negative as the onset of diarrhea and overall tummy upset will occur however.
Dogs and Sprouts – Serving suggestions
It is important that you choose Brussels Sprouts that are green, fresh and firm. If they are too old you will be giving your dog a one way ticket to diarrheasville.
Wash the sprouts thoroughly and remove the stem, (while keeping a little piece of the stem so that the sprout remains enveloped by leaves.
As for cooking, you can choose to boil the sprouts over a hob, (10 minutes), place them in water in the microwave, (also around 10 minutes) or if you really want to treat your dog, steam the sprouts in a steamer for around 5 minutes.
The less you boil the more crunchy they will be.
Avoid giving your dog raw sprouts. These will be harder for them to digest and are much more likely to cause stomach upset.
And as we mentioned above, exercise caution through moderation. If it is the first time you have fed your dog sprouts, do not give them more than one. If they are an old hand at eating Brussels Sprouts you can give them a bit more. I wouldn’t advise any more than 3 in one sitting however.
The simple video below demonstrates the best way to prepare and cook Brussels Sprouts:
Brussels Sprouts are full of nutritional value, some of which will be very beneficial to your dog. Do not feed them too much however, as beyond the bad wind they may well get diarrhea.
Always cook them first, but bare in mind, the longer they sit bubbling on the hob, the more of the nutrients will be boiled away in the process.