Sliced cabbage on a cutting board

Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Yes, But…

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Cabbage is a healthy vegetable for humans, but can dogs eat cabbage? There’s a reason why cabbage has found a way to sneak itself into things like salads over the years. It’s a veggie with loads of antioxidants and Vitamin C.

With the anxiety that comes with knowing some foods can be dangerous for dogs, you may be wondering, “Is cabbage bad for dogs?”

Let’s read on and discover more. But if you have questions about other foods for dogs, check out our Vet’s List of Human Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Cabbage?

Yes, dogs can eat cabbage.

It is safe for your dog to eat cabbage. Cabbage is often confused with lettuce, but it’s a different type of vegetable in the cruciferous family next to kale and broccoli. You can buy red or green cabbage and receive similar health benefits for yourself and your pup. Those benefits include weight loss, increased energy and digestion, and a lower risk of heart disease.

The biggest benefit of eating cabbage is a greater intake of Vitamin C. If you’ve downed a glass of orange juice lately, you know Vitamin C plays a crucial role in overall immune system health. Considering the host of nasty little viruses out there, a boost of Vitamin C is recommended.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Cabbage to My Dog?

So, we won’t beat around the bush about this part. There are no inherent safety concerns about feeding too much cabbage to your dog outside of gastrointestinal issues and discomfort. Mainly, your pooch will be gassy after eating a great deal of cabbage. It’s the same type of issue for adults.

However, if you’re gassy after eating cabbage, that’s generally believed to be a good thing according to several gastroenterologists. According to NPR, gas after eating cabbage means you or your dog are getting nutrients for the delicate microbes inside your gut. Gut health continues to be studied, but a healthy gut can digest things well and provide your body with the necessary vitamins and nutrients. The same goes for your dog!

How Much Cabbage Can I Feed My Dog?

Considering vets suggest your dog get 10 percent of their calories from treats or foods that are not part of their main food, a little serving of cabbage is fine here. We’re talking about a bite or two at most.

How to Prepare Cabbage for Dogs

Typically, you may want to saute cabbage for your dog and serve it with their main food instead of feeding it to them raw. Raw cabbage is okay in small quantities, but not cooking it locks in a natural compound called thiocyanate that can prevent the thyroid gland from working efficiently over time.

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

Can dogs eat cabbage? Yes, and now that you know your dog can safely eat cabbage, you can begin feeding it to them in moderation. As always, make sure you monitor the pup after consumption as introducing any new food to an animal can cause some digestive issues.

Interested in learning about other foods that are safe (or not safe) for your dog to eat? Visit the articles below to learn whether dogs can eat a variety of common human foods:

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.