Asparagus is one of the most popular vegetable among humans. It’s a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron. You may have seen it in many dishes such as salads or sandwiches. It has been used for centuries to make soup or stew with meat. There are several varieties of asparagus but they all taste similar: bitter, earthy and slightly sweet. They’re usually greenish-yellow in color.
The leaves of asparagus are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked into soups. The stems, stalks and roots are not so easy to digest. However, there is some evidence that suggests that eating asparagus might improve your dog’s health in other ways too!
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
You’ve probably heard that asparagus is high in Vitamin C, which helps prevent cancer and heart disease.
But what if I told you that dogs don’t need as much Vitamin C? What if I told you that dogs can get enough Vitamin C from their diet?
Well, maybe it’s true…but only up to a point. And even then, not all dogs will benefit equally.
First of all, let’s take a look at the current state of knowledge on asparagus and its effects on dogs. Since this vegetable has been proven to decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease in both humans and canines, it’s likely that there are similar mechanisms at play.
The effects of asparagus consumption on uric acid levels is one of the most important factors behind heart disease and cancer prevention. Apparently, it works by breaking down the chemical that causes your body to form harmful kidney and blood cells. It’s still not entirely clear how asparagus prevents these diseases, but it’s likely that it has something to do with this chemical as well as with asparagus’ high amounts of antioxidant activity. (1)
It’s important to note that some studies have shown that asparagus has little to no effect on dogs. In fact, research on this subject has been largely inconclusive or disputed. However, these experiments were performed on healthy dogs, and it’s possible that asparagus doesn’t have the same benefits for those with pre-existing conditions. (2)
As much as your furry friends might enjoy a good meal of asparagus, it’s probably not the best choice for them. Even if it does provide health benefits for canines, they’re probably not worth the potential danger.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Stems?
Since only the stems and stalks of asparagus are toxic to dogs, you can feel free to trim off the tips before feeding it to your pup. The roots, leaves and seeds should not be ingested, as they can result in abdominal pain, vomiting and a loss of appetite. (3)
It is best to avoid feeding your dog asparagus entirely, but if you really want to add this vegetable to their diet, make sure to remove the tips and discard any parts that you think might be poisonous. Remember, only the stems, stalks and roots of the asparagus plant are toxic – not the green tips!
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Soup?
Since asparagus is not very nutritious and doesn’t have that many calories to begin with, you can feel free to add this vegetable to your dog’s soup without much worry. Just make sure that the final product is safe for them to eat! The addition of some vegetable stock to the concoction would provide a healthy dose of fiber and other important nutrients your pet needs.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Salad?
As long as you remove the tips from the stems, you can feel free to chop up the remainder of the asparagus and mix it into your dog’s salad. The combination of vegetables, fruits and meats (if included) will provide a nutritious meal or supplement to your pet’s daily food intake. The asparagus is not likely to have a negative effect on your dog as long as the amount is kept under control.
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Cooked?
The overwhelming majority of evidence suggests that asparagus does not pose any serious dangers when ingested by dogs. There is a slight chance that your pet could suffer from abdominal pain and a loss of appetite, but this side effect is rare even with regular ingestion. There have been cases in which dogs have eaten only the raw stems and stalks without incident, so it’s reasonable to assume that these vegetables are fairly safe in their cooked form as well. (4)
Is Asparagus Good for Dogs?
Asparagus should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet. Even if asparagus is healthy for dogs, they are still far better off eating dog food than anything you might come up with yourself. Since asparagus is low in calories but high in nutrition, it’s best to only feed this vegetable to your dog as a supplement to their main meals.
As long as you keep the serving size small and give your dog time to digest, there’s really nothing wrong with giving this veggie to your pet from time to time. It certainly can’t hurt!
Is Asparagus Bad for Dogs?
Asparagus rarely has any negative effects on dogs, but it can cause problems for certain animals. For pets that are extremely old, very young or suffering from a congenital illness, asparagus can cause a variety of side effects ranging from abdominal pain to a loss of urine and a loss of bowel control. Some dogs may even experience a drop in urine specific gravity (SG), which indicates that your pet is at risk for a serious complication known as acute renal failure. (5)
If you suspect that your dog has ingested asparagus, even if it was just a small amount, take them to the vet right away. If caught early enough, your veterinarian may be able to flush out the kidneys and avoid serious complications.
Is Asparagus Safe for Dogs?
In the short-term, asparagus really isn’t dangerous for dogs. There are no recorded deaths and the vegetable itself does not cause any long-lasting health issues. The only real concern is the potential for short-term gastrointestinal discomfort and a decrease in urine specific gravity (SG). If your dog eats a large amount of asparagus, they may experience abdominal pain and have a loss of appetite. (6)
If you believe your dog has ingested a large amount of asparagus, take them to the vet immediately. On the other hand, if your dog eats a small amount of this green on a regular basis it shouldn’t cause any serious problems. There is no strong evidence that suggests asparagus is unhealthy for dogs in the short-term, but it’s possible that it could have long-term effects.
Sources & references used in this article:
The use of botanicals during pregnancy and lactation by TL Dog – Altern Ther Health Med, 2009 – researchgate.net
The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. by J Haidt – Psychological review, 2001 – psycnet.apa.org
Dr. Pitcairn’s complete guide to natural health for dogs & cats by RH Pitcairn, SH Pitcairn – 2017 – books.google.com