Our omnivorous canines can have all sorts of fruits and vegetables. You can toss your dog a carrot or give your dog a piece of kale. After all, these are pretty standard ingredients in many dog food brands, so it’s easy to know they’re safe.
But just like anything else, there are good and bad veggies for your dog. So where exactly does eggplant fall? Eggplant is a highly nutritious vegetable that can benefit your dogs in moderation. Here we will discuss all of the health benefits of eggplants and how much and how often you should serve them to your pet.
Dogs Can Eat Eggplant in Moderation
Eggplants are delicious purple veggies that are in a host of yummy recipes. It’s not uncommon for people to enjoy this plant. However, it might be less well-known for dogs to eat it. Eggplant has various vitamins and minerals that can help nourish your dog’s system.
If you add eggplant to your dog’s diet, please do so with the correct portions. They should have a maximum of a few pieces a couple of times a week.
Health Benefits of Eggplant for Dogs
Eggplant comes with a laundry list of health benefits that can influence the overall livelihood of your dog. Of course, these benefits work best in moderation. Here are just a few to mention.
Vitamin A assists with proper vision, boosts the immune system, and aids in reproductive health.
Vitamin B6 is essential for adequate brain development and nervous system function. This vitamin is typically found in animal sources, but it’s plentiful in eggplant as well.
You might already know that vitamin C notoriously helps build the immune system to keep illness at bay.
Vitamin K allows the body to make various proteins used for bone building and blood clotting.
We all know this one! Fiber is an excellent nutrient for helping the digestive tracts stay in order. Having the appropriate amount of fiber in your dog’s diet will allow them to stay regular without constipation or diarrhea.
Polyphenols protect your dog’s body from outside stimuli that could result in severe illness. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect from many issues in the body, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Potassium is critical to maintaining an adequate amount of fluid inside our cells. It works with sodium to maintain normal fluid levels outside the cells. Potassium is very important to help your dog’s muscles and control blood pressure.
Magnesium is a very key element of your dog’s overall nutrient intake. It has important roles in the body, such as regulating muscle and nerve function, leveling blood sugar, making protein, and producing DNA.
Copper is responsible for helping the body make red blood cells and improving the nervous and immune systems.
Phosphorus is responsible for all tissue and cell function aspects, such as growth, maintenance, and repair.
Downfalls of Eggplant for Dogs
As with anything else, eggplant only makes up for a tiny portion of your dog’s overall dietary needs. While it might be an excellent additive to mix into their normal nutrition now and again, it is a supplement and nothing more.
Your dog needs high-quality dry kibble, wet dog food, or fresh dog food that is specifically formulated for them to stay healthy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always remove the stems, leaves, and tops of eggplants. These green parts contain solanine which is toxic to dogs.
Raw eggplant also contains 190 mg oxalate per hundred grams of the plant. Avoid giving eggplants to dogs with kidney or urinary problems.
Since each dog has its own sensitivity profile, make sure that your dog is not allergic to eggplant. Observe any allergic reactions upon consumption.
You should also avoid giving your dog any cooked eggplant that is in a recipe. Several components of eggplant recipes can contain toxic ingredients like garlic, oregano, onion, and other herbs.
How to Serve Eggplant to Your Dog
Because eggplant can be a choking hazard, it’s best to dice it up in smaller segments. Many people recommend cutting the skin off as it is pretty tough and hard to chew. The inside is much softer with a foamy or spongy consistency.
You can slice up a few small bits and add them to your dog’s normal diet. Or, you can offer it in small pieces as a standalone treat. Because eggplant often doesn’t have a strong taste, your dog might not be interested in it unless it is mixed with their regular food.
So, if you want them to reap the health benefits but cannot convince them to try it, mix it up instead. Put it in a small medley of other snacks or mix it with wet canned food for a lovely dinner.
Others might grill, roast, or bake plain eggplant to make it more flavorful for our canine companions. The chances of them being very interested in raw, plain eggplant is not likely. But some dogs are really not picky!
Dogs + Eggplant: Final Thoughts
So now you know that eggplant is an utterly non-toxic veggie you can give your dog occasionally—permitting you cut off all the green parts containing solanine. It has a bountiful list of nutrients but is still no match for your dog’s standard diet.
So always make sure you’re giving eggplant in correct portions without overfeeding so you don’t throw off their gut or make them miss out on other vital nutrients from other sources.