Like many other tasty fruits and vegetables, asparagus is a healthy vitamin-rich plant that when properly prepared and served in moderation, can be a nutritious supplement to your dog’s diet. So yes, dogs can eat asparagus.
Asparagus contains high levels of potassium, folic acid, fiber, thiamin, vitamin A, and vitamin B6, all of which are important nutrients in a healthy dog’s diet.
However, while it is not toxic, there are several things that you should consider before feeding asparagus to your pet.
Cook Asparagus Before Serving
Like many plants, asparagus has tough cellular walls that can, if served raw, be hard for a dog to digest and could cause your pet to have an upset stomach and may also be a choking hazard. By cooking asparagus before feeding it to your dog, you will soften or break down the cellular walls and make it easier for your dog to consume and digest.
Asparagus can be prepared in several different ways, but regardless of the way that you wish to cook it, you should ensure that it is only cooked to the point where it becomes soft. Overcooked asparagus will be quite mushy and lacking in flavor, and besides that, it will also remove much of the nutritional value.
The most common way to prepare asparagus for dogs is to boil or steam it. However, it is also possible to sauté it in a frying pan with a small amount of healthy oil. Before serving, it’s a good idea to chop your dog’s asparagus into bite-sized pieces.
How to Serve Asparagus
You should only feed your dog asparagus occasionally and only ever as a tasty supplement to their other food, not as a meal itself, as it does not provide a complete and balanced diet for dogs. Cooked asparagus can be chopped and placed on top of your dog’s regular food or blended and mixed in.
You should also keep in mind that asparagus is not a plant that all dogs will eat. However, this is not something that you should be concerned about. While it can be a nutritious supplement to your dog’s diet, there are many other healthy vegetables that you can prepare instead if your dog doesn’t like asparagus.
As with all foods, asparagus should only be served in moderation, as too much may cause your pooch to have an upset stomach and diarrhea. You may also find that just as it does in humans, asparagus will make your dog’s urine smell and may also give them gas.
What About Asparagus Fern?
Asparagus fern is an inedible leafy plant that is related to the asparagus that we eat. However, unlike the asparagus spears, asparagus fern is toxic for dogs, and consumption may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain. As such, asparagus fern should never be fed to your dog, and if you do grow it in your garden, it is advisable to fence it off so your dog can’t eat it.
Featured image credit: Couleur, Pixabay