Broccoli is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, cruciferous vegetable related to Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. It boasts anti-inflammatory properties, benefits digestion, and even contains compounds that reportedly protect against cancer. While it’s clear this green veg is super healthy for us humans, the real question is: Can dogs eat broccoli?
Short Answer: Yes!
A Look At Broccoli’s Nutritional Value
When feeding broccoli to your pooch, moderation is key and a little goes a long way. So, you won’t be feeding your pup 1 cup of broccoli in one sitting. But, to keep things simple, let’s take a look at the nutritional facts for 1 cup of raw broccoli:
- Protein – 2.6 grams
- Carbs – 6 grams
- Dietary Fiber – 2.4 grams
- Total Fat – 0.3 grams
- Vitamin A – 567 IU
- Vitamin C – 81.2mg
- Vitamin E – 0.7mg
- Vitamin K – 92.5mcg
- Riboflavin – 0.7mg
- Niacin – 0.6mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2mg
- Folate – 57.3mcg
- Pantothenic Acid – 0.5mg
- Choline – 17mg
- Calcium – 42.8mg
- Iron – 0.7mg
- Magnesium – 19.1mg
- Phosphorus – 60.1mg
- Potassium – 288mg
- Sodium – 30mg
- Zinc – 0.4mg
- Manganese – 0.2mg
- Selenium – 2.3mcg
The Health Benefits Of Broccoli
- Anti-Cancer – Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that various studies show to have potent anti-cancer properties.
- Anti-Inflammatory – Broccoli contains antioxidants that fight inflammation.
- Supports a Strong Immune System – This super veg is loaded with vitamin C and other key nutrients. In fact, broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange!
- Aids natural detoxification processes in your dog’s body
- Healthy Digestion – This is thanks to the high fiber content.
- Supports Heart Health – Thanks to those anti-inflammatory properties.
- Supports Eye Health – Broccoli is packed with antioxidants and carotenoids — like lutein and zeaxanthin — that benefit eye health.
- Bone Health – Broccoli contains high levels of calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.
How To Feed Broccoli To Your Dog
Dogs can eat broccoli either raw or cooked. But, it’s important to note, raw broccoli is harder for dogs to digest. So, steamed or lightly cooked is best!
If you feed a fresh, home-cooked diet, you can easily work finely chopped up broccoli into your pup’s main meals. If you feed a processed kibble diet, adding some fresh broccoli bits is a great way to bump up the nutritional value.
Broccoli also makes a great dog treat. If your dog likes broccoli straight up then a bite-size piece makes a great treat. Or, you can mix it into a treat recipe, like my Salmon Broccoli Muffins or Frittata Puppy Muffins. Check out the videos below to see how simple it is to incorporate broccoli into treats.
IMPORTANT: No matter how you choose to feed broccoli to your dog, make sure to cut it into bite-sized chunks to avoid a choking hazard. When adding it to my treat recipes, I often pulse it a few times in the food processor to create a super easy-to-eat bite.
When it comes to serving veggies to your dog, moderation is key. Broccoli contains an organic compound called isothiocyanates that — when overfed — can cause gas, stomach ache, or diarrhea. Canine nutrition experts say veggies, like broccoli, should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So what is 10%? Well, that depends on your dog’s size. In general, a couple of bite-sized pieces are totally fine and healthy!
When first introducing broccoli into your pup’s diet, do so slowly. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with your veterinarian!