Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is a nutritious and tasty addition to any meal. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and collard greens also belong to the cruciferous family. The nutritional benefits of this class of vegetables are well-documented.
Due to its many beneficial properties, kale has become a popular “superfood” among eaters. This reduces inflammation and the likelihood of developing cancer.
That’s why many dog owners aren’t sure if kale is a good option for their canine companions.
Do you want to know if it’s a good idea to feed your dog kale, or if you should just give up on the idea? Let’s examine the repercussions of the solution to this puzzle and see what we can learn.
Can Dogs Eat Kale?
The answer is yes, but only in small doses. While kale has many positive effects on your dog’s health, it also has the potential to be toxic if given in large quantities.
Kale is a vegetable, and it is well-known that the actions taken by vegetables during digestion are beneficial because of the high fiber content of vegetables.
One of kale’s many health benefits is the high concentration of vitamins it contains. Taking these vitamins regularly will help your dog keep its coat and skin in good condition and strengthen its immune system.
The health of your dog may suffer if you give it an excessive amount of kale. This is due to the presence of calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates, two naturally occurring compounds in kale that could be harmful to your dog.
It’s important to keep in mind that different dogs will have different reactions to different foods. Before giving your dog a new treat or serving of vegetables, you should get their vet’s approval first.
Is Kale Good or Bad for Dogs?
Even though your dog might not develop a taste for kale, according to Gaylord, he or she should have no aversions to the nutritious green.
She explains that kale can be added to the diet of most dogs without risk. It’s been called a “superfood” for people, and “functional food” is an even better way to put it. ’
This indicates that there is some evidence that regular consumption of the product contains compounds that may improve general body conditions or reduce the risk of some disease conditions. ”
Kale is a healthy addition to your dog’s meal, but it shouldn’t replace more substantial fare.
Remember that your dog should already be eating a complete and balanced diet, either a commercial pet food that meets nutritional adequacy for their life stage according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), or a homemade recipe properly formulated by a board certified veterinary nutritionist and then carefully prepared, as Gaylord explains.
If your diet is already well-rounded, adding a few servings of kale won’t do much more than boost your nutrient intake above the recommended levels. ”
And kale has a powerful nutritional profile.
As pointed out by Gaylord, this cruciferous vegetable is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients like glucosinolates, polyphenols, carotenoids, and terpenoids.
Vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as the minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and manganese, are all abundant in this food.
Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Kale
As with humans, dogs can reap the benefits of consuming kale’s wealth of nutrients. Kale contains many beneficial nutrients, including those listed below.
The high fiber content of vegetables like kales is well-known. These fibers promote regular bowel function and effective digestion.
However, since the fibers in kales are not quickly digested, giving your dog too much of it can lead to stomach problems.
Iron is abundant in kale. The formation of healthy RBCs is a bodily process that requires iron. It’s a vital part of the hemoglobin that carries oxygen around your dog’s body. Because of the iron content of kale, your dog will be less likely to develop anemia.
Dogs whose diets are high in calcium have teeth that are stronger and more numerous. Further, it helps maintain healthy bone growth and development. The calcium in kale is better absorbed with the help of the natural oxalate compound.
Kale has a fair amount of vitamins C, E, and K. Vitamins C and E help keep your dog’s immune system strong and working properly, which is important for warding off disease.
These vitamins are also great for your dog’s skin and other connective tissues. Blood clotting is another process that relies heavily on vitamin K.
Antioxidants found in kale help rid your dog’s body of harmful free radicals. Inflammation and cellular oxidative damage can develop if these free radicals aren’t removed from your dog’s system.
Kale’s mineral content includes manganese, which helps your dog’s body convert food into energy.
Electrolytes found in minerals like potassium are beneficial to your dog’s health and vitality.
Is Raw Kale Okay for Your Dog?
The answer is yes, kale can be fed raw to a dog. According to the research, kale is most nutritious when eaten raw.
The antioxidant and mineral content of kale was significantly diminished when cooked in any way other than steaming.
Raw kale can be healthy for your dog, but only in moderation. This is due to the presence of goitrogens in raw kale.
The inability of your dog’s body to absorb iodine could lead to thyroid dysfunction.
For dogs with health problems like hypothyroidism, raw kales should be avoided. Kale’s goitrogen content may reduce the effectiveness of their treatment for thyroid problems.
As long as it is not highly seasoned or doused in sauce, cooked kale is fine for your dog to eat.
While the nutritional value of kale decreases during cooking, the goitrogens that are present in raw kale are eliminated. That means it’s better for your dog’s health.
Like regular kale, curly kale is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. The undulating leaves are a hallmark of curly kale.
They predominate and can be found almost anywhere. Curly kale, either raw or steamed, is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
Don’t give your dog kale stems, they’re toxic. Although the stems of kale can be eaten, they are typically tough and bitter. In addition, they have a high oxalate content, making them harmful to your dog.
Although the oxalate content and toxicity of kale stems are both reduced during cooking, it is still best to avoid feeding them to your dog.
Risks Attached to Feeding Your Dog Excess Kale
Even if your dog ate a bunch of kale, it probably wouldn’t hurt them. However, it contains compounds that can be harmful to your dog’s health if given in excess or on a regular basis.
The same natural oxalate that aids in the absorption of calcium that we talked about earlier can be toxic to your dog in large enough quantities.
High levels of calcium oxalate are associated with the development of kidney and bladder stones. Do not feed kale to your dog if they have a history of bladder stones or have been identified as being at an increased risk for developing bladder stones.
The following dog breeds were found to have a higher prevalence of calcium oxalate stones in the study.
- Schnauzers in miniature
- Breed of Dog: Bichon Frise
- Canine breed known as a Yorkshire Terrier
- A Lhasa Apso
Feeding kale to a dog of these breeds is not recommended due to the increased risk of kidney stones. Instead of kale, you can feed your dog other vegetables. More on that to come.
Kale contains compounds that, in low to moderate doses, have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer in both dogs and humans. However, they can cause stomach problems for your dog if given in excess.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Kale
When in doubt about whether or not a new food, treat, or snack is safe for your pet, it’s best to double-check with your veterinarian, as recommended by Gaylord.
She warns that extra vegetable supplementation may not be appropriate for all animals.
Some dogs may need to avoid kale because of its high mineral and oxalate content, which can lead to the formation of urinary stones in some dogs. These dogs include those that are underweight, sick, or have gastrointestinal issues.
In addition, Gaylord says that too much fiber can prevent the body from properly processing the food it is eating, which can lead to health problems.
Even if your vet says kale is fine as a treat for your dog, there are still important questions to ask yourself before giving it to your pet.
Additions to your dog’s diet, whether it’s kale or store-bought dog treats, shouldn’t account for more than 10% of his or her total caloric intake per day, according to Gaylord.
She goes on to say, “This includes all treats and snacks given throughout the day,” so it’s important to keep track of everything. It may seem harsh, but the point is to prevent your pet’s primary diet from becoming a secondary source of nutrition.
If you want to make sure there won’t be any negative reactions, Gaylord suggests starting with a tiny amount.
She adds that you can eat raw kale without worry, but cooking it lightly will make it more digestible (as long as you don’t add any oils, butter, or spices).
In fact, Gaylord suggests that steaming or blanching may make more nutrients available. But keep in mind that cooking can destroy some nutrients, so you shouldn’t do that.
If you decide to cook the kale, it goes without saying that you should wait until it has cooled completely before giving it to your pet.
How Much Kale Can I Feed My Dog?
It is recommended that the 10% rule be adhered to when feeding kales to a dog.
According to the 10% rule, your dog’s total calorie intake for the day should not come from treats, snacks, and supplementary foods like kale.
Dogs should get the other 90% of their calories from nutritious dog food. That way, you know your dog is getting the complete and proper nutrition she needs to be healthy and active.
What to Do if My Dog Eats Excess Kale?
It’s nearly impossible to keep your dog from eating anything, no matter how hard you or other pet owners try. If your dog consumes an excessive amount of kale, look out for signs of gastrointestinal distress and those of kidney and bladder stones, such as:
- Urinary retention
You should immediately take your dog to the vet if you observe any of the following symptoms.
Other Safe Vegetables for Dogs
According to Gaylord’s observations, kale is well-liked by canine companions. It’s not the end of the world if your dog raises his nose. You should consult your vet about the following additional veggie options:
- Those tasty yams
- Beans, green
- a can of pumpkin puree
She goes on to say that vegetables can serve as healthy, low-calorie, and inexpensive treats for a variety of animals.
Steamed vegetables are a great option for dogs on weight management plans because they are low in calories and high in fiber. ”
Before adding any of the vegetables above to your pet’s diet, however, you should consult with your vet, as is the case with kale. You can even ask for their assistance in determining what healthy serving sizes would be for your diet.
Feeding your dog a moderate amount of kale is not only safe but also beneficial to his health. However, feeding your dog an excessive amount of kale can be dangerous.
You should never give your dog more than 10% of its normal food in the form of treats and snacks. Dogs who have had urinary tract or kidney issues in the past should also avoid kale.
In addition, before giving your dog a new treat, you should seek advice from your vet. They’ve got more knowledge than you do, so they’ll be the ones to give you advice on what to give your dog.