Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?

September 23, 2020

dog licking lips over honeyIt’s natural to want to give a bite of whatever you’re eating to Fido.

He’s so cute, how could you not at least give him one little piece?

However, dogs’ bodies aren’t the same as human bodies. Once we give our pups a bite of human food, we have to pay close attention and watch out for any negative reactions.

Even when we give them something healthy like fruit and veggies, we still have to watch them closely.

So, what about asparagus?

Can Dogs Have Asparagus?

Yes, absolutely! Asparagus is not toxic to dogs and can even be served as a highly nutritious snack when prepared correctly!

Is Asparagus Good For Dogs?

asparagus for dogsAsparagus is packed full of essential nutrients that make it a delicious, healthy snack for humans and our four-legged friends!

For starters, asparagus is rich in fiber. Eating a diet rich in fiber is essential for your dog to cultivate and maintain a strong immune system.

Additionally, asparagus contains high concentrations of essential vitamins including Vitamins A, K, E, and B9. Having enough of these vitamins in your dog’s diet can support their vision, immune systems, reproductive health, blood-clotting mechanisms, and their amino acid metabolism.

Asparagus also contains a variety of minerals like potassium, copper, and iron that aid in nervous system function, cell maintenance, and connective tissue formation. Asparagus also contains ample sources of antioxidants that fight free radical damage in your dog’s body while also helping control inflammation.

So, if anyone asks you “Is asparagus bad for dogs?” now you know the answer 🙂

What Are the Downsides to Feeding Dogs Asparagus?

While not inherently toxic to dogs, eating asparagus can still pose a number of risks to your pooch if you’re not careful. (Besides his pee smelling funky).

First, asparagus stalks are really difficult to chew through – even for your pup’s tough chompers. To avoid the risk of your dog getting fed up with the stalk and just swallowing it whole, cut up any asparagus you feed him into small pieces.

Moreover, raw asparagus probably isn’t the best food to give your dog, anyway. Raw asparagus is tough to chew and it can cause havoc as it makes its way through your dog’s digestive system. In some cases, eating raw asparagus can lead to unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, gas, or diarrhea.

dogs and asparagusWhile cooking asparagus can make it easier to chew, remember to never use any butter or cooking oil. These additions can make your dog very sick. Additionally, while salt, pepper, garlic, and onions are delectable additions to asparagus, they’re all potential irritants to your pup’s stomach, so avoid those too!

Instead, just boil or steam plain asparagus before giving it to your dog. Keep in mind that cooking vegetables decreases their nutrient content. And, remind yourself that introducing any new food to your dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach, especially when given in large quantities. So play it safely, introduce asparagus into your dog’s diet with small portions at the outset.

One last word of caution on asparagus is about the asparagus fern. It’s toxic to both humans and dogs!! And while it’s obviously inedible to us humans, dogs are not so keen on the subtleties between what is and isn’t food. Unfortunately, this means that they sometimes put the wrong thing into their big mouths and end up with a very upset stomach that makes an unpleasant mess in your house!

Luckily, asparagus ferns aren’t generally a problem unless you’re growing asparagus in your own garden. However, if you are, remember to fence off the asparagus to protect your dog from his own curiosity.
How Much Asparagus Should I Give My Dog?
Remember that dogs are carnivorous animals but they can still eat and digest plant matter. This is why it’s recommended that vegetables should make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily intake of calories. As a general guideline this translates to:

  • 1 – 2 teaspoons, daily, for small dogs
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons, daily, for medium dogs
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons, daily, for big dogs

How Should I Prepare Asparagus for My Dog?

cutting asparagusAs with most vegetables and fruits, the best way to prepare asparagus for your dog is pretty boring and mundane.

First, cut up the asparagus stalk into small, bite-sized pieces no bigger than one inch across.

Then, transfer your cut asparagus into either a vegetable steamer or into a pot of boiling water.

Lightly boil or steam the asparagus until it’s fully cooked through and becomes slightly soft when pressed.

Then, scoop out the asparagus and put it onto your pup’s bowl during dinner time.

Bon appetit!

Now, while we’ve mentioned that asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, some dogs may be allergic to asparagus. Unfortunately, some pups don’t discover that until it’s too late and they begin developing skin infections or hot spots.

If you want to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy, and how to deliver fast-acting, no-sting relief in the unfortunate event of either of those conditions, visit our dog page!