Updated - Oct 15th, 2022
When offered as an occasional treat and prepared safely, yes, dogs can eat cooked or raw broccoli. This cruciferous veggie can be a healthy dog treat alternative and boost your pup’s immune system. However, like any other fruit or vegetable, too much of a good thing can be problematic! Ingesting too much broccoli can cause nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea, making portion control essential.
When in doubt, ask your vet if broccoli is the right snack for your dog.
Health benefits of broccoli for dogs
Not only is broccoli teeming with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, but it’s also low in calories and high in fiber to keep your dog’s digestive system moving.
Broccoli florets, and all cruciferous vegetables for that matter, contain small molecules called isothiocyanates, which provide health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is these same molecules that can cause nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea, if your dog overeats broccoli.
Safe ways to feed your dog broccoli
When cut into bite-sized pieces, broccoli stems and florets are safe to eat – cooked or raw.
- Raw: Cut raw broccoli into small pieces, feed it as a treat, or add it to your dog’s regular food. It should only be 10% of your dog’s diet to remain at safe levels.
- Cooked: Whether it’s frozen or fresh broccoli, cooking, steaming, or roasting is fine so long as you’re not using seasonings or oils.
- Pureed: Puree broccoli and dog-friendly fresh fruits and veggies with water or plain greek yogurt in a blender and freeze the mixture in ice-cube trays to make a pupsicle!
Pet Pro Tip: If you have a dog that is prone to ‘snacksidents’ – you should consider getting a dog insurance plan as soon as possible. It can help you afford the best care in the future by covering eligible vet bills for digestive illnesses, toxic ingestion, and more.
How much broccoli can my dog have in a day?
Because of the Isothiocyanate in the florets, broccoli should make up only 10% of your dog’s daily calories. It will be toxic if your dog ingests near the 25% ratio of broccoli. Talk to your vet before giving your dog any new food, and start with small pieces, offering more if there are no negative reactions.
Can puppies eat broccoli?
If you have a puppy, it’s best to wait until they’re more mature before offering them broccoli. Puppies need a very specific diet to keep them growing strong, plus, their tummies are super sensitive. Introducing human food too early is a recipe for diarrhea!
Can my dog eat cooked broccoli?
Yes, cooked broccoli (ideally, steamed) is safe for your dog. It’s easier to digest and there are fewer chances for intestinal blockages. Just make sure you cut cooked broccoli into small pieces before feeding it, especially to small dogs. Also skip the seasonings and oils!
Bottom line: When you’re looking for a healthy treat for your dog, the health benefits of broccoli make it a worthwhile addition to your dog’s menu if prepared properly and served in small quantities.