Health & Wellness
Cauliflower probably isn’t the first human food you think of when you go to share a snack with your pup. That said, if you’ve ever accidentally dropped a piece on the floor only to have your dog scarf it up, you may be left wondering: Can dogs eat cauliflower?
Rest assured, cauliflower is safe for dogs, but just as it can cause an upset stomach in humans, it can in dogs, too. Before throwing a few cauliflower florets your pup’s way, we’re breaking down what you need to know.
And even though cauliflower is generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.
Because cauliflower isn’t toxic for dogs and is also a low-calorie, vitamin-packed vegetable, it makes a great occasional treat for your pet.
“Cauliflower is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium and folate,” Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a veterinarian at Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital, says. “It shouldn’t be included in their daily diet, but a few times a week is great.”
All-in-all: If your dog happens to get into your groceries and decides to tear through a head of cauliflower, you probably don’t have to stress. Just be prepared for your pup to have an upset stomach.
“Too much cauliflower can cause your dog to develop gas and stomach discomfort,” Dr. Ochoa says. So if you think your pup may have overloaded on this veggie, just keep an eye on them. In all likelihood, the gas and stomach pains will pass on their own without too much fanfare (other than a potentially stinky house); but if you’re concerned, you can always call your vet.
RELATED: Can dogs eat broccoli?
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There aren't too many guidelines when it comes to serving your dog cauliflower. It’s safe to serve up raw or cooked, and it’s just as good for your dog whether it’s boiled, steamed or roasted. That said, it does need to be served plain rather than seasoned.
“When cooking cauliflower, ensure no oils, seasonings or butter — it should be very plain,” Dr. Ochoa says. Oils and seasonings can cause more digestive problems, and in some cases, the seasonings used (like garlic or onions) can actually be toxic to dogs.
So while you may prefer your cauliflower oiled, breaded, seasoned and dipped in ranch or barbecue sauce, keep the fancy cauliflower for yourself and save a few plain pieces for your pup. Since cauliflower can cause gas, it’s best to keep this treat an occasional affair.
“When offering this as a treat for your dog, only give them a few small pieces 2-3 times a week, maximum,” Dr. Ochoa says.
We're confident that cauliflower isn’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series "Can dogs eat … ?" to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what's fair game.
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