Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? How Good / Safe Are They Really!


Brussel sprouts are pretty divisive – you either love them or you hate them! Some people love to have them with a roast dinner, some people would rather throw them to their loyal pooch, who stares at them, begging them for a morsel of their dinner.

Here’s something that you may not have asked, however – can dogs actually eat brussel sprouts? Are they good for dogs? We’re on the case to answer that exact question. We’ve done some research on calorie and nutritional data to give you an indication of whether your furry friend should really be eating Brussel sprouts.

Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel Sprouts

So, what’s the answer? Well, the short answer is that brussel sprouts can be incredibly good for dogs – so long as they are eaten in moderation. These vegetables contain plenty of fiber, antioxidants and essential vitamins to keep your fur baby nice and healthy.

With that being said, you should brace your nose for the impact of some pretty smelly – and noisy – flatulence throughout the day! If you feed your dog too many brussel sprouts, they may break more wind than usual or could have some issues with their gastrointestinal system for a short while.

Basically, dogs can indeed eat brussel sprouts, but they should be fed to your dog in the right way. Feeding them the right parts of the brussel sprout is important! Here is everything that you need to know.

Will Brussel Sprouts be Good for My Dog?

Online sources state that brussel sprouts are safe for your dog to eat, so long as it’s in moderation. Of course, the second question is whether brussel sprouts are actually good for your dog.

This should seem obvious to say, but sprouts can contain a bunch of fantastic nutrients which are actually really good for your dog. 

With that being said, your dog may not need further nutrients and vitamins added to their diet if they are already being given complete dog food. If the food is homemade then that’s a different story, as your dog will need to have the right nutrition.

Of course, you should always take the time to speak with a veterinarian before you add new, foreign substances to your dog’s diet, unless it’s vet approved dog food. Every dog differs in terms of what it needs to lead a healthy and happy life, so seeking advice is always a good idea for your dog’s sake.

With all of that in mind, here are some of the key nutrients and vitamins that your dog will get from eating brussel sprouts.

Dietary Fiber

It’s pretty important for a dog to have plenty of fiber in its diet. Brussel sprouts in particular contain insoluble dietary fiber, which helps with your dog’s digestive system.

It helps them to have a healthy gut which is important to their wellbeing! They make a good snack to help your dog to get his digestive system up and revving! 

Vitamins

Brussel sprouts also contain a lot of healthy and nutritious vitamins. For instance, sprouts contain vitamin K, and this is vital for ensuring that your dog develops healthy bones and that their blood clots as it is supposed to.

That’s not the only important vitamin in brussel sprouts, however. You also have vitamin A – some declare that this is one of the most important vitamins for dogs. This vitamin is crucial for the development of a healthy coat and skin.

It’s also vital for muscle growth, nerves and for ensuring that your dog maintains his ideal neurological function. Of course, it’s also important that a dog doesn’t have too much vitamin A since it can be toxic in large doses. Many dogs that get fed food scraps have issues with vitamin A toxicity.

Brussel sprouts contain vitamin C too, which is vital for your dog’s immune system. It can reduce inflammation in your dog, and can even protect your dog from cancer and damaged cells.

B vitamins are rife in brussel sprouts. They contain vitamin B1 – also known as thiamine. This vitamin can help your dog’s body to process carbohydrates properly, allowing them to have the energy that they need to play to their heart’s content! The vitamin is good for the health of your dog’s nerves, organs and their brain. Vitamin B6 is another vitamin your dog can get from brussel sprouts. This vitamin is good for your dog’s blood sugar, and it can guard against Cushing’s disease and diabetes.

Minerals

Brussel sprouts are a source of vital minerals for your dog’s health. Minerals have a lot of functions, for instance they can help your dog to have a healthy brain, heat and bones. They are also essential for ensuring that your dog’s muscles work properly and are healthy.

One such mineral that is present in brussel sprouts is potassium. This is an electrolyte that helps your dog’s heart to function the way that it should, and it also takes water to the cells in his body. The mineral contributes to healthy muscles too, alongside good brain and nervous system functions.

Finally, brussel sprouts contain manganese. This nutrient helps to keep your dog’s bones and cartilage in good working order, and it also helps your dog’s body to process carbohydrates and protein correctly to give them enough energy to thrive throughout the day.

Antioxidants

Last but not least, brussel sprouts also provide your dog with some key antioxidants. These are important for your dog’s immune system, and helps to protect your pet from free radicals and cancer.

They’re vital for preventing cell damage or any problems with your dog’s body. If you want to keep your dog healthy then it’s important to make sure that they are eating foods with plenty of high quality antioxidants. 

There are a few common antioxidants that are important for your pet, such as selenium, lycopene and carotene. You can find these antioxidants in foods like carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, strawberries and green peppers. They can also be found in a bunch of other yummy fruit and vegetables.

Calories

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, it isn’t just about what they eat. It’s also important to consider how much of a certain thing your dog will eat.

Sometimes it will be recommended that you follow something called the 90/10 rule when it comes to feedin your dog. This means giving them 90% of their normal dog food, and 10% of it can be other things like snacks.

Technically, brussel sprouts aren’t necessarily snacks, but if you think of dog food as your dog’s main form of nutrition, then theoretically sprouts can count as snacks, especially since they aren’t the ideal form of regular food for your dog. 

One thing worth noting is that dogs should ideally eat roughly 25 calories for each pound that they weigh. For instance, if you have a dog weighing around 25 pounds then they would realistically not need to eat more than around 625 calories a day. Naturally, your dog will need to eat more if they are larger. It’s the same rule for humans.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider the number of calories in brussel sprouts.

Let’s say that you took 10 raw brussel sprouts. They may be around 43 calories, which means that it’s 25% of the 25 pound dog’s calorie intake. This is a good thing, since sprouts are low in calories. It means your dog can eat more of them without it making a huge dent into your dog’s daily diet.

Frozen brussel sprouts may take up a larger amount of calories. If you had 10 roasted brussel sprouts, you can expect that to be around 67 calories. In an ideal world, then, you should probably give your dog the raw brussel sprouts instead of the frozen ones.

Of course, it goes without saying that it’s not a good idea to feed 10 brussel sprouts a day to your dog. Moderation is key with everything.

Are Brussel Sprouts Good for Weight Loss? 

If you’re hoping to get your dog to lose some weight, you may be wondering if brussel sprouts are a good option. In reality, they could be quite helpful since they are low in calories, which is good since you need a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. 

With that in mind, it’s worth noting that it’s a bad idea to feed brussel sprouts to a puppy. This is because it can be hard for your pup to digest the isothiocyanate in the sprouts. Follow your veterinarian’s advice – it’s best to feed your dog food that has been approved by a veterinarian when they are young.

Can My Dog Eat Raw Brussel Sprouts?

Dog eating brussel sprouts

Earlier on we mentioned that raw brussel sprouts are lower in calories than frozen brussel sprouts. As such, you may think that feeding your dog raw brussel sprouts is the best choice for a healthy snack. But is this actually the case?

Here’s the thing. Raw brussel sprouts can make your dog gassy. When your dog is gassy, it’s pretty hard to ignore it! 

This is because brussel sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family. You can essentially think of them as little miniature cabbages. As such, they can create the same flatulence effect. They are nutritious, but beware of the dreaded gas!

Brussel sprouts also contain something known as isothiocyanate. This helps the muscles in your dog’s intestines to work more effectively. This is fantastic for your dog’s digestive system, but not so much for your nose. If your dog is already pretty smelly, then you should be careful about how many brussel sprouts you choose to feed your dog.

Oh, and a quick side note! There are some dogs that are terrified of fart noises. Who would have thought?

Should I Feed My Dog Cooked Brussel Sprouts?

Thankfully, cooked brussel sprouts are a great choice for your dog, Not only that but they will be significantly easier to digest when they are cooked. It’s harder for your dog to digest raw vegetables, and brussel sprouts in particular are especially hard when raw.

In addition to this, you can slightly reduce the amount of flatulence from your dog if you give him a cooked brussel sprout instead of a raw one. In short, if you are going to give your dog brussel sprouts then you should cook them before giving them to your dog. If you steam them then this is even better since it will help to retain more of the nutritional goodness.

Should My Dog Eat Brussel Sprouts Every Day?

In theory, you could give your dog brussel sprouts every day. The question is whether it’s a good idea. There are a few reasons why it may not be the best idea to give your dog brussel sprouts every single day.

If your dog eats too many brussel sprouts in their diet then it may result in developing health issues later down the line. In reality, brussel sprouts in large amounts can influence the standard functioning of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. This is not ideal.

It can cause your dog to have an upset stomach and they may even have some nasty diarrhoea for the next few days. Do you really want to be cleaning that off the carpet? Minimize the amount of brussel sprouts that your dog eats on a daily basis – both you and your pooch will be happier for it in the long run.

Can My Dog Eat the Stalks of Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel sprouts look quite cool when they’re still on the stalk. Cool looking things can sometimes be dangerous, however, especially for your dog. It is widely believed that brussel sprout stalks are not safe for your dog to consume.

Why is this? If you don’t peel the stalk, it is going to be tough to eat and it will be fibrous. There is some information to suggest that the inside of the stalk is safe to consume, much like broccoli stalks are.

It’s best not to feed unpeeled or peeled stalks to little dogs. It can be a choking hazard, which is dangerous for your dog! 

Peeling the stalk and steaming the inside core can be a good choice if you want to feed your dog brussel sprout stalks, however. Your dog may even be quite fond of it!

Should My Dog Eat Brussel Sprout Leaves?

Fear not – it’s safe for your dog to eat the leaves of brussel sprouts. There’s no problem with giving your dog individual leaves, and your dog may also be less likely to be as gassy if you just give them the leaves.

You can even put the leaves on top of your dog’s food to make it a little more tasty. It’s a good way to give your dog a little bit of extra nutrition. 

Can My Dog Eat Frozen Brussel Sprouts?

If you buy frozen sprouts, can you feed them to your dog? Well, yes – as long as you cook them. Your dog will get the same great nutritional benefits from this. 

On the other hand, you will need to avoid giving your dog frozen brussel sprouts that haven’t defrosted yet. It can cause some major problems if you feed a small dog a frozen brussel sprout that hasn’t been defrosted.

Brussel sprouts that are completely raaw are usually quite hard for your dog to chew. If they are frozen then they are especially hard to chew. This may mean that your dog attempts to swallow them whole, and this could result in choking.

It’s easy to see why this would cause some confusion, since it is advised to give puppies or older dogs frozen treats in hot weather to cool down, but you certainly should not feed your dog a frozen brussel sprout.

Extra Things to Note

There are also a few more things to keep in mind. You will find that the vast majority of dogs don’t have issues with trying to digest most kinds of sprouts. For some dogs, it’s okay to eat frozen, raw, cooked or fresh sprouts.

With that being said, not all dogs are equal. Some dogs may have a much harder time trying to swallow and digest sprouts. Before feeding your dog a bunch of sprouts, give them just one to try. Then, have a look at how your dog starts to react. Make sure that they’re in their basic form though – don’t add anything to them that can cause issues for your dog’s stomach. First, stay away from any spices, salts, peppers or oils.

Try not to feed brussel sprouts to your dog more than around once or twice a week.  It’s also best to steam them too. This will make it a lot easier for your dog to digest the sprouts. It is also ideal for preserving the antioxidants inside of the sprouts. Steamed brussel sprouts are the best for your dog – it’s better than roasting or boiling. Don’t add other things like onion or bacon.

These ingredients aren’t great for dogs, since bacon is excessively salty for your pet and onion can be toxic for your dog. It’s best not to boil the vegetables either, since this can get rid of many of the antioxidants and nutrients. If you’re going to feed your dog some brussel sprouts, then it’s best to ensure that the nutritional values are still in place.

Conclusion

In summary, dogs can indeed eat brussel sprouts! In fact, brussel sprouts can be a great choice of snack for your dog. It’s best to be careful when feeding your dog sprouts, however.

Make sure that you feed them cooked sprouts, rather than frozen or raw sprouts. Don’t feed your dog too many sprouts either, since these vegetables are much better in moderation. 

You should only feed your dog sprouts as a treat every once in a while. It’s better not to introduce them as a regular staple in your dog’s diet. If you have any doubts, ask your veterinarian for advice.

Oh, and you may want to leave a window open after feeding your dog some sprouts! 

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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