Bowl of Brussel sprouts

Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Yes, But…

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Brussel sprouts are contentious vegetables. Some people love them, and others wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.

If you’re a Brussel sprout lover, you might wonder, can dogs eat Brussel sprouts? And, if you can’t stand the vegetable, you might ask if it’s safe to give your dog the sprouts you’re leaving behind on your plate.

Though many vegetables are foods dogs can eat, some have harmful toxins that dogs can’t digest. Learning which vegetables and fruits you can and can’t share with your dog is an important part of being a pet owner.

So, are Brussel sprouts bad for dogs? Or are they a healthy treat? Read on to find out.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Brussel Sprouts?

Yes, in moderation.

It’s safe for your dog to eat Brussel sprouts, with a few precautions. Brussel sprouts are full of nutrients that benefit both dogs and humans.

Brussel sprouts are packed with fiber that aids in digestion.

They also have a ton of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect humans and canines from cancer-causing free radicals, reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

Brussel sprouts also harbor a lengthy list of vitamins. They’re especially high in vitamin K, which humans and dogs need. Vitamin K helps blood to clot when you or your pet experiences an injury. It also helps build bones and protects the heart.

However, Brussel sprouts have some downsides too, which we’ll discuss below. Keep reading to learn when it’s not safe to give your dog these cruciferous veggies.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Brussel Sprouts to My Dog?

Yes, there are safety concerns when feeding Brussel sprouts to your dog.

Brussel sprouts don’t contain any toxins or poisons, but they are high in isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates aren’t bad, per se. In fact, they’re one of the reasons that cruciferous veggies, like Brussel sprouts, are so good at preventing certain cancers.

They help push food through the digestive tract fast. Unfortunately, this can cause gas. Gas in itself isn’t dangerous, though it can be unpleasant. However, in large amounts, isothiocyanates can cause bigger stomach upsets, including diarrhea. So, you have to be careful about how many isothiocyanates you give your pup.

How Much Brussel Sprouts Can I Feed My Dog?

Because too many Brussel sprouts can quickly give your dog tummy troubles, you should always consult with your vet before feeding sprouts to your dog.

If your vet gives you the all-clear, start small. Give your dog half a sprout and see how they react. If they like it, you can use Brussel sprouts as a treat now and then. Don’t give them more than three sprouts in a twenty-four-hour period.

How to Prepare Brussel Sprouts for Dogs

Raw Brussel sprouts are even harder to digest than cooked ones, so always cook the sprouts before giving them to your dog. You can steam the sprouts in a pan with a little water or in the microwave. Alternatively, you can boil the sprouts for about ten minutes until they’re soft.

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? November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Can dogs eat Brussel sprouts? Yes. Brussel sprouts are a healthy vegetable for dogs and humans, but you shouldn’t feed your pet too many of them. Use them as a tasty, nutrient-filled treat now and then. That will keep your pup happy while avoiding any stomach upsets.

If you’re looking for more information about 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?

Obviously, 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.