Cauliflower has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. You can often find it today used as a replacement for rice and even as a flour to make pizza crusts. It’s low in fat and gluten-free. This may have left you wondering can dogs eat cauliflower? The answer is a resounding yes!
Read on to find out about cauliflower and your dog, as well as how much cauliflower you can safely give your dog.
One cup of cauliflower (100 grams) has a surprising amount of protein for a vegetable. It has 19 percent protein, 79 percent carbohydrates, and just 3 percent fat.
Cauliflower is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also a good source of B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6. Plus it’s a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese, as well as dietary fiber.
Cauliflower also contains lots of antioxidants which can protect cells from inflammation and free radicals. It has carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates which have all been shown to offer protection against certain cancers and diseases.
Since it is low in calories and high in fiber, cauliflower is also helpful for weight loss. This is something that humans usually appreciate but some dogs can also benefit from it. The fiber in cauliflower provides a feeling of fullness so the amount of calories eaten can be controlled.
Cauliflower is made up of 92 percent water which can also help with weight loss.
It’s also high in choline which is important for the body. Most foods don’t contain much choline but cauliflower and broccoli are high in it. (Cauliflower and broccoli are near relatives, along with Brussels sprouts and cabbage.) Choline helps maintain the integrity of cell membranes and supports the metabolism. It’s also involved in brain development and prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the liver. Too little choline has been linked to a higher risk of liver and heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Most dog foods have to add choline.
Cauliflower is also much lower in carbohydrates than grains and legumes. If you make food for your dog, cauliflower could be used as a substitute for these ingredients. One cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbohydrates compared to a cup of rice which contains 45 grams of carbs.
Can I Give My Dog Cauliflower?
Yes, cauliflower is perfectly safe for your dog to eat. It’s even quite healthy for dogs in moderate amounts.
How Much Cauliflower Can You Give Your Dog?
“How much” is always the big question. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and a few others. Most of these vegetables are notorious for producing gas in your gut. The same thing can happen to your dog if he eats these vegetables in large amounts. Not only is he likely to produce gas but he could be very uncomfortable with a swollen, bloated tummy until he passes gas.
Keeping that in mind, you should not let your dog eat large amounts of raw cauliflower. Every dog is different but small dogs can usually eat a couple of tablespoons of minced cauliflower. Bigger dogs can eat half a cup to a cup, depending on their size. We recommend that you give your dog the white florets from the cauliflower and not the stems. The stems or stalks are more fibrous and tougher to digest.
One way around this issue is to lightly cook the cauliflower before you give it to your dog. This will help release some of the gasses before your dog eats the vegetable. You can steam it, roast it, rice it or puree it. Anything that processes the cauliflower slightly before your dog eats it should help avoid gas problems. There’s no need to add any seasonings to the cauliflower or to over-cook it. You simply want to break down the cells before your dog eats the food.
How Often Can You Give Your Dog Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a high fiber food so you should keep this in mind. You can give your dog a small amount daily or a moderate amount 2-3 times per week. It’s a good idea to check your dog’s poop to make sure the fiber from the cauliflower is not making it too loose.
Cauliflower is a healthy vegetable that can be very good for dogs. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that support a dog’s digestive health and help with inflammation. Antioxidants can also help protect against cancer and other diseases. Give it to your dog in moderation since too much can cause gas.