For every dog owner, introducing a new type of veggie for our pets is a hit and miss struggle. While these veggies contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients your dog definitely would need for their diet, some of these veggies can cause health complications and may lead to your pet’s death.
One of the most notable vegetables that many dog owners often ask about is asparagus. While humans greatly benefit from this vegetable when eaten, many are uncertain if it can be a nice snack for dogs.
So, what is the answer to this mystery?
The answer to this first question is yes, asparagus is safe for dogs provided that it is the spears (or its top part of the vegetable) you will feed to your dogs and not the fern or its leaves.
According to experts, asparagus fern because it contains the compound known as saponin. Normally, saponin assists the human body reduce one’s cholesterol levels and prevents cancer. However, for dogs, it can cause liver toxicity and intestinal complications.
You must also take care in handling asparagus ferns while your dogs are in the vicinity. They may accidentally come in contact with the fern and think it is food.
Both puppies and adult dogs can eat asparagus, but their needs vary considerably.
For puppies, it recommended that they are not fed too much asparagus because they need snacks and meals filled calories, fat and amino acids so they can grow.
Asparagus spears only have three calories and no fat at all. Pups should also be fed asparagus spears rarely because asparagus spears can cause choking and intestinal complications.
For larger dogs, asparagus can be served even if it does not have a lot of calories and fat. However, owners should remember that dogs can’t grind tough foods like asparagus because their teeth are sharper than our own. They are also prone to choking so feeding your pets asparagus should be done carefully.
Before you give your pet asparagus, even if they are already accustomed to eating vegetables, you should ask your veterinarian for their approval. Vets will be able to teach you how to prepare the vegetable for your pup and how much you should feed them.
You must also have a food plan for your dog that would provide them the protein and minerals they wouldn’t get from asparagus.
Considering that only a part of an asparagus is safe for dogs, it is important to know how to prepare it before feeding it to your dog. This will help reduce complications brought by the vegetable once your dog eats it.
Ideally, it is best to grill or cook the asparagus before you feed it to your dog since it will be tender and easier to chew and digest. However, if it is served raw, it will be difficult to chew, digest and lead to issues like diarrhea, gas and vomiting.
For dogs who love eating raw vegetables, there is a way you can feed them raw asparagus since raw asparagus contains more vitamins and minerals as compared to its cooked version. Start by cutting the asparagus into small portions to prevent choking. Once you cut them into pieces, trim the scales and the crown to ensure it goes in your dog’s throat easily.
Here is a brief guide:
If your dog exhibits signs of being gassy or vomits the asparagus completely, steam or grill the asparagus first until it is tender. When you can prick the asparagus with a fork easily, you can feed it to your pet. Just make sure you cut it to little pieces before serving to prevent choking.
You should also prevent cooking your pet’s asparagus with ingredients like onion, garlic, and butter. Garlic and onion, in particular, has thiosulfate which can cause severe poisoning for dogs even if they consume a small amount. Butter, meanwhile, can cause pancreas inflammation and increase in body weight.
Asparagus has quite a lot of nutrients which dogs would greatly benefit from once it is included in their diet.
Here is a list of nutrients found in asparagus:
Vitamin E is a very important nutrient that dogs should have in their diet. Vitamin E will be able to reduce the chances of eye problems such as retinopathy. Retinopathy is a dangerous disease which damages the retina. Once retina is damaged, your dog will find it difficult to see both in the morning and at night.
While dogs will eat anything that is on the menu, they will also have their preferences as to which food they like to eat. Although it may look pretty, dogs can tell how much stench a food can create once they eat them.
In the case of asparagus, it has a distinct scent that is brought by asparagusic acid. When this acid breaks down in the body, it releases sulfur and causes smelly urine and odor.
While we humans don’t really smell this aspect of our urine and odor, dogs can smell it with their sensitive nose. They will immediately go urinate somewhere else so they do not smell the stinky urine. They may also show signs of discomfort while they take their potty break, so you have to be very alert when this happens once you feed them asparagus.
Just like humans, asparagus offers a lot of nutritional benefits for dogs if it is included in their diet. However, it must be given to them care because asparagus can cause health risks if you do not prepare them right. You must also be aware on how your dog will react to it once you introduce it to them. Give them fruits they like to eat, too