Spinach, a certified superfood and one of Popeye’s favorite foods, is packed with nutrients in a calorie-friendly package. Spinach is a great source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, folate, fiber, phosphorus, and thiamine. Luckily, spinach is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. This means they can also enjoy these added nutrients and health benefits! Generally, cooked spinach (whether baby or fully grown) is preferred for your dogs since it is easier for them to digest. However, you should not include any seasonings such as butter, garlic, or onions since these can be toxic for your dogs. These added ingredients can change a good, healthy treat for your dogs into one that is terrible for them. We’ve created the below guide to answer all your questions related to giving your dogs spinach to eat.
Spinach For Dogs
Dogs don’t necessarily need vegetables in their diets but they do need many of the nutrients found in vegetables. Spinach isn’t something that dogs should have in large amounts daily. However, incorporating it a few times weekly into your dogs’ diets may be a great snack for them.
It’s important to remember that spinach should be thought of as a healthy treat and not a regular part of your dogs’ diets. Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which may lower the body’s ability to absorb calcium, and it can, in large doses, cause kidney damage. Spinach can also lead to muscle stress as well as an irregular heartbeat. However, your dog would have to eat an excessive amount of spinach to develop these types of health problems. In moderation, spinach is a healthy and perfectly safe treat for your dog.
Benefits of Dogs Eating Spinach
Many of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy are found in spinach. It is a fantastic source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, folate, fiber, phosphorus, and thiamine. Spinach is also rich in vitamins B, C, and K, as well as antioxidants, beta-carotene, and dietary fiber. These nutrients not only strengthen your dogs’ immune systems but also promote a healthy digestive system. Per the USDA, a 100g serving of raw spinach contains 23 calories, 2.86g protein, 0.39g fat, 3.63g carbohydrates, 2.2g dietary fiber, 9380 IU vitamin A, 2.03mg vitamin E, 28.1mg vitamin C, 558mg potassium, 79mg magnesium, and 12,200 mcg Lutein and zeaxanthin.
To ensure your dogs get the most health benefits from these treats, make sure to steam spinach rather than boiling it to help maintain its nutritional value. Boiling spinach often results in the loss of valuable water-soluble vitamins. Do not give your dog raw spinach because it may be difficult for them to digest.
Adding Spinach to Your Dogs’ Diets
The spinach you feed your dogs should be cooked and finely chopped into small, bite-sized pieces. This reduces the chance of any potential choking hazards, especially for smaller dogs. Larger pieces can be tough for your pet to eat and digest properly. When it is cut into small pieces and properly cooked, your dog will be able to easily and safely enjoy the health benefits of spinach.
Like all new foods, spinach should be introduced slowly into your dogs’ diets. You should monitor your dog for any adverse reactions like vomiting or diarrhea to make sure your dogs aren’t having issues digesting it. If so, you should either stop giving them spinach or introduce it even more slowly into their diets.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Spinach in Moderation
Your dogs’ diet should be primarily meat-based but the right vegetables can ensure that they are getting the required essential nutrients to remain healthy. Spinach is a fantastic source of many of these nutrients and is also a tasty treat that most dogs love. Cook some up today — without any salt or butter — and share a bit with your furry friend!