Can Dogs Eat Parsnips? Health Benefits & FAQs
Dogs are naturally meat-eaters, but adding some healthy veggies to your canine friend’s diet can help keep them happy and healthy. Parsnips are a healthy treat for your pooch as long as you don’t give them too much at once. You also shouldn’t make a regular habit of feeding your dog parsnips, but on occasion, they make for a healthy treat.
Parsnips are full of vitamins – C and B6 primarily along with some folic acid and potassium – making them healthy additions to human and canine diets alike. They can help with inflammation, reduce the risk of cancer, and promote healthy kidney function.
Antioxidants are cancer-fighting compounds found in parsnips (and other foods) that work by neutralizing free radicals in your body. Free radicals can lead to health problems, the most serious of which is cancer. You can read more about this here.
Vitamin C is important for bolstering the immune system, but a lesser-known benefit is its anti-inflammatory properties. Humans often supplement with vitamin C or get it from fruits like oranges and kiwis. Dogs who have well-designed diets or eat specialized dog food probably get enough vitamin C in their diets, but the occasional parsnip can help make sure they’re getting enough.
Additionally, parsnips have high fiber content, making them great at supporting digestive function. Parsnips largely contain soluble fiber, a form of fiber that helps slow digestion and can reduce bad cholesterol. Having large amounts of fiber is a double-edged sword since too much fiber can cause intestinal distress in both humans and dogs. If you feed your dog parsnips, limit the amount they consume in one sitting.
Dogs can eat raw parsnips without much difficulty, but if you want to reduce the risk of upsetting their stomach, try steaming the parsnips first. Steamed parsnips are easier to digest and easier for your dog’s metabolism to process, which means they get more nutritional benefits. If you decide to feed your fuzzy friend raw parsnips, be sure to chop them into small pieces. Raw parsnips can be a choking hazard if they aren’t broken into small enough pieces.
Parsnips make a good supporting ingredient in an otherwise balanced meal, but you shouldn’t feed your dog exclusively parsnips since they don’t have any protein content. Steamed and mashed parsnips are easy to add to your dog’s regular food as a special treat that guarantees a well-balanced meal.
One of our favorite recipes featuring parsnips is a mashed vegetable bowl. It’s easy to make, healthy, and your dog will love it. Adjust the portion size to suit your dog’s weight and activity level.
- 1 part parsnip
- 1 part carrot or sweet potato
- ¼ part green beans
- 4 parts turkey, chicken, or your dog’s favorite source of protein
- Peel the parsnip and carrot (or sweet potato).
- Steam the vegetables. This helps with digestion.
- We like to use leftover protein but if you’re preparing this special, grilled meat without any seasoning or oil is the best choice.
Dogs tend not to be very picky about the presentation, so we usually unceremoniously mash the ingredients together into a pile for serving. So far, there have been no complaints.
Parsnips are a healthy snack that your furry friend is sure to love. Parsnips are chock full of vitamins and essential nutrients and – in moderation – are a great addition to your dog’s diet. We recommend feeding your dog either raw parsnips chopped into small pieces or steaming and mashing them first.
You don’t have to get fancy, but make sure you include parsnips as part of a balanced meal with a good protein source. The easiest way to get some parsnips into your dog’s gullet while ensuring a well-rounded diet is to occasionally add some to their regular meal. You can also get creative and whip up a veggie bowl as a special treat when they’ve been a particularly good boy or girl.
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