Dog eating a bunch of broccoli

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Yes, But…

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Dog owners love to give their pets treats throughout the day. After all, we have variety in our diet, and our dogs probably want the same. Unfortunately, finding the right snacks for dogs can be difficult.

Dog treats are full of calories, fat, and sugar, and many human foods are toxic for dogs. Vegetables are great snacks for humans, but what about dogs? Can dogs eat broccoli?

Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Yes, dogs can eat broccoli in moderation.

Broccoli isn’t bad for dogs. In fact, broccoli is quite healthy for dogs.

Fiber, several vitamins, and other nutrients found in broccoli benefit dogs just as they benefit us. Some benefits your dog may experience include:

  • A stronger immune system
  • Less stomach discomfort
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Slower muscular degeneration
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Healthier cells

Broccoli bites are great alternatives for sugary treats. Switching your dog to broccoli can help them lose or maintain weight.

Unfortunately, puppies should not eat broccoli. Their digestive systems are extremely sensitive, and broccoli can be far too harsh. You may want to explore other safe foods for dogs.

How Should I Prepare Broccoli for My Dog?

Can dogs eat broccoli? Yes, but how do you give this snack to your dog?

As with any new food, give your dog one bite of broccoli and check their reaction. If your dog continues to act normally, you can give them more broccoli each time.

Is your dog hesitant to try new things? Try mixing small amounts of broccoli into their preferred dog food.

You can serve broccoli raw or cooked, but raw broccoli is harder to digest and more likely to cause your dog to choke. You can cook broccoli any way you choose, including steaming or roasting it. However, you should never add seasonings or oils when preparing this treat.

Additionally, you can puree broccoli and make a smoothie with other safe treats.

Even if you cook the broccoli, your dog could still choke. Cut it up into small bites, especially if you have a smaller dog.

Both the florets and stems are safe, but the stems have more fiber. Too much fiber can cause digestive issues, so try avoiding giving your dog too much of the stem.

How Much Broccoli Is Too Much?

Is broccoli bad for dogs? It’s not inherently bad, but too much broccoli can be harmful.

Like human diets, moderation is key when feeding your dog. The broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can irritate your dog’s digestive tract. This will likely present as gas and bloating, but diarrhea is also possible.

Less than 10 percent of your dog’s food for the day should be broccoli. Never feed your dog more than 25 percent of broccoli because such high concentrations can be toxic.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you were pleasantly surprised by the answer to “can dogs eat broccoli”. Broccoli is safe for dogs and provides many health benefits.

There are multiple ways to prepare broccoli. Mixing up your method may keep your dog from growing bored of this healthy snack.

Remember that too much broccoli can be dangerous for dogs. Luckily, most dogs react well and enjoy adding this vegetable to their otherwise bland diets.

If you’re looking for more information about what human foods can dogs eat, which human foods are (and aren’t) safe for your dog to eat, check out our series of guides below:

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Can Dogs Eat Beans? Can Dogs Eat Celery? Can Dogs Eat Mangoes? Can Dogs Eat Plums? Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Can Dogs Eat Beets? Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Can Dogs Eat Pork? Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Fish? Can Dogs Eat Olives? Can Dogs Eat Radishes? Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Can Dogs Eat Peaches? Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Can Dogs Eat Ham? Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Can Dogs Eat Honey? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Additionally, you’re likely also interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s health, in addition to having questions about what your dog can and can’t eat. We happen to have a ton of resources on these very topics!

One is our guide which will teach you about adding fiber to a dog’s diet, along with or our guide to choosing the best high fiber dog foods. If you’re looking into treating your dog with upset stomach we have a guide for that as well, and we can even help answer how long does it take for dogs to digest food?. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best automatic dog feeder.

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our puppy size calculator and our dog weight chart can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight and size, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts such as our goldendoodle growth chart, great dane growth chart, golden retriever growth chart, chihuahua growth chart, or our labrador growth chart.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.