Health & Wellness
Spinach is a great superfood known for being packed with vitamins and iron. Nowadays, we can find spinach as key ingredients in many healthy meals. But do dogs benefit from this healthy green as much as humans do? Should spinach be a regular part of your dog’s diet? Here’s all you need to know about treating your dog to some spinach.
Small amounts of vitamin and iron-packed spinach may provide a benefit to your pup if prepared properly. Raw spinach may be difficult for your dog to digest, so only feed them small amounts until you know how they’ll respond. And remember, even though spinach is generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.
Introducing your dog to any new food has the potential to cause an upset stomach. It’s best to introduce all new foods slowly. Dr. Amber Koch, DVM, veterinarian at MedVet Norwalk, warns that you may see nausea, vomiting or diarrhea if spinach doesn’t sit well with your dog. These symptoms should resolve within 12 to 24 hours. If there are any issues after 24 hours, you should contact your veterinarian.
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Since raw spinach can be harder for dogs to digest, you should stick to serving your dog cooked spinach. The best way to prepare spinach for your dog would be to steam it without any added ingredients that may be harmful to your pup, like salt. Boiled spinach is safe for your dog to eat, but could negate any nutritional benefits.
You should also be careful about using premade spinach salad mixes, as these can often contain ingredients toxic to dogs, such as onions or garlic. Additionally, it’s important not to add any spices to the prepared spinach you plan to serve your dog.
Pet parents should also be aware of what spinach you’re serving your pup. Fresh spinach is best, as canned or even frozen vegetables often have added salt that can be harmful to your pup. But be sure to wash fresh spinach thoroughly. If not cleaned properly, spinach introduces the risk of exposing your dog to escherichia coli (E. coli) or listeria.
Just like any treat, spinach shouldn’t consist of more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Spinach is high in oxalates that could lead to kidney damage, but only in very large quantities. So you can serve this green as a safe treat or snack when properly prepared and given in moderation.
We’re confident that spinach 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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