Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
So you have some leftovers, and you want to feed your dog some asparagus. But should you? It's not particularly toxic. However, if you're thinking about incorporating more veg into your dog's food, asparagus isn't the best choice.
Firstly, the preparation of asparagus matters for dogs. If you let your dog eat asparagus, make sure it's cut into small pieces, and you're cooking the asparagus correctly. See top tips for more details.
One of the significant risks with asparagus is choking. It's not very soft, and dogs don't tend to chew on their food. The stalk will likely get stuck in their oesophagus and it can cause serious pain. Your dog might also experience a range of digestive problems that can occur when you give asparagus to dogs.
- Upset stomach
- Intestinal blockage
Regardless of the food, when introducing something new into your dog's diet, there are always risks of these symptoms, particularly if given in large quantities.
You might think that asparagus would be great because it's a healthy food choice, full of vitamins and minerals. In reality, this particular vegetable is better purely as human food.
The two biggest problems when giving your dog asparagus is the risk of choking and the strain on their digestive system. Other than that, in small quantities, it is safe for dogs to eat.
When giving your dog asparagus, make sure you cook it properly:
- Always cook it. Don't let your dog eat raw asparagus. It's easy to choke on and difficult to digest.
- Cut it up! Don't give your dog a long asparagus stalk; make it easier for them and give them bite-sized pieces.
- Avoid butter or oil. Try steaming or boiling to keep as many nutrients from the vegetable as possible without unnecessary harmful ingredients.
- Avoid additives, e.g. salt, pepper or garlic.
- Small Portions. Since there is a risk of digestive upset, only give your dog a little bit of asparagus. Whilst this veg has health benefits, they don't outweigh the chance of stomach pain.
Since asparagus isn't toxic for dogs, the most significant risks you take are how well your dog can digest it and whether the pieces get stuck.
The symptoms shouldn't be too severe, so if they persist or appear to get worse, I recommend seeking your vet's advice.
Sidenote: There's also a non-edible plant called the Asparagus Fern. Symptoms will be mild, if your dog has eaten it, and usually only experienced if they've ingested the berries. If you're concerned, speak to your vet.