Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? The Good, The Gas And The Ugly



Can dogs eat brussel sprouts? If you are like me, always trying to add some variety to your dog’s diet, you would also know that you can’t just add anything to their diet. Some research is in order before going all Michelin Star on your dog, because when feeding our fur kids, we only want what is best for them. And with the holiday season coming up, it is more than likely that these green balls might end up on a table spread. And even more likely that someone who is not so keen on these might slip them to the begging dogs under the table.

The short answer on the question “can dogs eat brussel sprouts?”, according to experts, are yes. Dogs are allowed to eat Brussels Sprouts, but only in moderation. Please continue reading to get to the fine print.

What we know about Brussels sprouts

To really answer the question “can dogs eat brussel sprouts”, let’s take a closer look at brussel sprouts. The good, the gas and the ugly of brussel sprouts.

The good

Part of the Cruciferous veggie family, brussels sprouts are known for the good it does to the human body. Loaded with a great number of vitamins, antioxidants and a rich source of fiber. The vitamins found in Brussels sprouts include vitamins K and C. These will give your furry friend’s immune system a boost and make their bones stronger. Other vitamins found in them are vitamins A, B1 and B6. These, along with other elements such as manganese, potassium and folate will all contribute to the health of your dog.

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The antioxidants will help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is one of the main symptoms of cancer development. Though antioxidants are not a cure for cancer, it does help in fighting off this illness. Another benefit of antioxidants is the fact that it helps with better blood circulation. Proper circulation will mean a stronger heart and less blood clot potential. All of the above mentioned benefits apply to both humans and dogs!

Brussels sprouts also contain another 2 great components called sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These 2 ingredients are said to be focused on fighting the free radicals that are known for damaging our bodies and for causing cancer. The logic would then be that the more Brussels sprouts you consume, the amount of free radicals in our bodies then decrease, making for a smaller chance to develop cancer! Again, as with the antioxidants, it is not a cure for cancer. This is a process that proved effective in humans, and therefore it can be argued that it would work for our dogs as well.

The gas

Brussels sprouts are sometimes known as green fart balls. And not without reason. Even a small amount of Brussels sprouts can cause a lot of gas. This counts for both humans and dogs. So feeding your dog lots of sprouts can send him running with diarrhea. If it gives your dog diarrhea, it is best to stay clear of Brussels sprouts. While these are healthy for your dog, it is by no means a necessity to their diet; they should get all the nutrition they need to be healthy from their dog food.

The fact that it makes your dog pass gas, is normal when eating Brussels sprouts. In fact, the sprouts actually cause the bowel to move and assists with the health of the colon. Brussels sprouts and most other cruciferous veggies helps in the pushing of food, waste and toxins through our intestines. This builds up excess bacterium which is then released in a gas. Like all things, this is good in moderation. Even though this is not a particularly enjoyable action, it is no cause for worry or harm and should not discourage you from giving your dog’s Brussels sprouts.


The Ugly

Safe to give to your dog, first try and only give a small amount, preferably no more than one sprout at a time. See how your dog reacts to this and keep an eye on him. If your dog seems fine, give sprouts a second time to your dog. Give slightly more Brussels sprouts the second time. If your dog does not have a reaction the second time, you should be safe to give this to your dog from time to time, but rather limit this to 3 sprouts in a sitting. If you have a small dog, 1 sprout should be enough. If they have a bad reaction to the sprouts the first time around it means their stomachs can’t handle this kind of vegetable and it should then rather be avoided in the future.

So you might be thinking, a vegetable with so many benefits, why can’t my dog just live of this stuff? In moderation this vegetable is perfectly fine, dogs should not eat this excessively. Brussels sprouts contain a high amount of isothiocyanate. This compound is known to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract cancer by fighting off carcinogens, the bad guys that causes cancer. However, as experts say, this compound will “clear the pipes”. This means that too many sprouts will cause diarrhea and stomach problems. Therefore, be cautious as to how much sprouts your dog consumes. If it should happen that your dog has a negative reaction to the sprouts, just let the stomach upset or reaction run its course. Brussels sprouts does not contain any toxins or potential poisons to your dog, meaning that there is no immediate danger and cause for panic if your dog has a negative reaction to the sprouts. If the stomach upset lasts longer that what is normal, it is best to refer to your local vet for advice and care.

Preparing Brussels sprouts for your dog

Sprouts carry a risk of food borne illness. Therefore, it is always best to clean it properly and make sure that you cook the sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. It could also be harder for the dogs to digest raw sprouts and this is more likely to cause stomach problems.

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When choosing Brussels sprouts, look for those that are fresh, green and firm. Remove the stem and wash the sprouts. They can be steamed, boiled or microwaved. When you are cooking the sprouts for your dog, make sure not to add any salt or spices, as plain cooked ones are best for dogs. Be careful not to overcook the sprouts, otherwise they will lose their nutritional benefits.

Many people will eat sprouts only when they are roasted or sautéed with bacon and onion. Often times, salt, garlic and other spices will be added. Be careful when giving these sprouts to your dogs, as not only are the salt and spices bad for you dog, garlic and onion is sure to cause an upset stomach.

Wrapping Up – can dogs eat brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts are good for you, as well as your dog. Remember the key is moderation, and you are likely to add some healthy vitamins and minerals to your dog’s diet and help with their digestion. Just keep an eye on the kids slipping these veggies to the dogs under the table and everything should be fine!

Hope we answered your question “can dogs eat brussel sprouts?”.