Many experts recommend a whole food, natural diet for dogs, filled with healthy fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. This is considered better than regular dry dog food because it provides a mix of different vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. But, foods that are healthy for humans aren’t always good for your dogs. For example, you might be wondering if dogs can eat kale? And if so, whether kale is good or bad for dogs to have.
In small amounts, kale is safe and not toxic for pets (as long as she isn’t allergic to it) and is generally a snack that dogs love to eat. In fact, your dog may already be eating kale in her regular diet as it’s often used as an ingredient in dog food. But, before you start adding kale to your dog’s daily diet, there are a few things that you need to know!
Health Benefits of Kale For Dogs
Kale can be extremely healthy for dogs to eat. Not only is it a good source of many vitamins and minerals, kale is also low in calories, which makes it an ideal treat for overweight dogs who need to watch their diet.
Some of the many health benefits of kale for dogs include:
- Good source of vitamins A, C, and K
- Good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper
- Rich in beta-carotene
- Rich in fiber
- Potential cancer fighting properties
- Improved vision and eye health
Risks of Kale For Dogs
One of the biggest problems seen in dogs that eat kale is thallium poisoning. Thallium is a chemical that is found in many green vegetables, including kale, and it has toxic properties that are bad for both dogs and humans.
Of course, one would have to eat tons of kale in order to end up with thallium poisoning. As long as you aren’t feeding your dog a steady diet of leafy greens, this shouldn’t be a problem. Giving her a few kale leaves once in a while isn’t going to hurt them, and as mentioned, there are many health benefits.
You should also be aware of how kale affects your dog’s thyroid function which is a gland in your dog’s neck that helps control metabolism. Raw kale can damage the thyroid so be sure to cook or steam it before giving it to your dog, thereby destroying the properties that cause damage.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Cooked Kale in Moderation
Before giving kale to your dog, you should make sure that it’s washed thoroughly to remove any residual pesticides. Afterwards, you can cook or steam the kale without any added seasonings (many of which can be harmful for dogs!) and cut it into bite-sized pieces to reduce the risk of choking. This will also make the greens easier for your dog to digest. If you want, you can puree the kale in a blender and mix it in with your dog’s regular food.