Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? How to Share This Cruciferous Veggie With Your Pup


While broccoli can be a tasty veggie for humans, can dogs eat broccoli? Yes, broccoli is safe for dogs to eat both cooked or raw. However, you’ll need to stay away from any “extras,” including butters or salt and spices, which could lead to obesity or even be toxic for dogs.

Is Broccoli Good for Dogs?

Broccoli is good for dogs in either cooked or raw form. Though if it’s not raw, then steamed is the way to go since most other cooking methods tend to involve butter or oils (both of which can cause dogs some stomach upset in the short term and weight gain in the long run). Otherwise, not only is broccoli safe, it’s also a good source of vitamin C, making it a nice boost to their nutritional intake.

“Broccoli is a vegetable that’s high in fiber,” says Kaci Angelone, DVM, MS, from Denver. “High-fiber treats can help keep your pets feeling full, which can cut down on counter surfing or overeating.”

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How to Feed Your Dog Broccoli Safely

The best way to share broccoli with your dog is either raw or steamed. You can also feed them either fresh or frozen (then cooked) broccoli, but make sure the frozen versions do not have any added butters, cheeses, oils, salt, or spices. Plain is the name of the game.

“Make sure you’re giving your dog plain broccoli, rather than broccoli casserole or anything like that, because the added cheese and sauces can provide too much in the way of fats,” Angelone says.

No matter how you prepare broccoli for dogs, you’ll want to start with a small amount and see how your dog handles it before giving them any larger amounts or making broccoli a regular in your treat rotation.

If you decide to feed your dog broccoli, give them the veggie in portions that are small enough to not become a choking hazard. Dogs are not well-known for their patience when eating treats, and the broad heads of broccoli florets can easily become caught in the throat if they aren’t cut up properly.

“I would say that it’s a risk if you leave it intact and give them larger florets,” Angelone says. “Steaming broccoli makes it a little easier to chew and digest.”

Can Broccoli Cause Stomach Upset in Dogs?

Broccoli florets contain chemicals known as isothiocyanates, which can cause moderate to severe gastrointestinal distress in some dogs, like gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Start with a couple of pieces and then watch how your dog’s stomach handles it—this is a good way of knowing if a regular intake of broccoli will cause your pup any problems.

Additionally—and this goes for almost any kind of treat you give your dog—moderation is key. Make sure the amount they’re ingesting doesn’t become a significant portion of their daily calories. Most vets recommend keeping treat intake to about 10 percent of a dog’s diet, but with broccoli—again, because of those isothiocyanates—if that amount starts to creep up to 25 percent, toxicity issues can occur.

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Other Veggies Dogs Can Eat

Many veggies are great snack options for dogs that are lower calorie than store-bought treats and offer some extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals. When prepared safely—without added oils or spices—dogs can enjoy these nontoxic veggies and more:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Asparagus
  • Bell pepper
  • Celery
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Canned pumpkin (but not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Peas

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