Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

Julia Henriques
can dogs eat cabbage

As a loving pet owner, it's important to know what foods are safe and healthy for your dog to eat. Cabbage is a nutritious and low-calorie vegetable that we humans love adding to our meals.

But, can dogs eat cabbage too?

Yes, dogs can have cabbage as long as you feed it safely and in moderation. We’ll show you how to do that below. Then we'll explore the benefits and potential risks of feeding cabbage to dogs, too.

Is Cabbage Safe For Dogs To Eat?

The short answer is yes, dogs can safely eat cabbage in moderation. 

In fact, cabbage is chock full of nutrients that can benefit your dog's health. It contains vitamins C and K, fiber, and antioxidants that can help support your dog’s immune system and digestive health. 

RELATED: What are the best veggies for dogs?

Is Cabbage Bad For Dogs? 

Overall, cabbage is a beneficial food for most dogs. But you still need to introduce it to your dog's diet gradually and in small amounts … and it does carry some risks you need to be aware of. 

Cabbage contains natural sugars and a lot of fiber, and these can cause flatulence or stomach upset in large quantities … especially if your dog isn’t used to eating them. 

Can Cabbage Harm Thyroid Function?

Some people worry that feeding dogs large amounts of cabbage may lead to thyroid problems in some cases. This is because of goitrogenic substances like thiocyanate in cabbage. Goitrogens stop the enzyme that helps the thyroid use iodine, and that can affect thyroid function.

In small amounts, it's not a problem. Most dogs would need to eat a lot of cabbage to have it impact their thyroid. So really, this is just another reason why if you're planning to add cabbage to your dog's diet, moderation is key.

Veterinarian Jean Dodds DVM specializes in thyroid problems, and here’s what she says about cruciferous veggies for dogs … 

“Erring on the side of caution is prudent but, in this instance, the antioxidant and vitamin K benefits definitely outweigh the risks. The goitrogenic properties in these green leafy vegetables are minute and should not cause concern if fed in moderation.”

So, don’t overdo the cabbage … and you may want to check first with your holistic vet if your pup is hypothyroid

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Or Raw Cabbage

So … what kind of cabbage is best for dogs? Can dogs eat cooked cabbage? Can dogs eat raw cabbage?

Dogs can eat any kind of cabbage. Part of what makes cabbage so great is its flexibility and versatility. And luckily, dogs can safely enjoy raw, cooked, and fermented cabbage in moderation. 

Each variety of cabbage has its own set of benefits: 

  • Cooked cabbage is easier for some dogs to digest
  • Raw cabbage will retain more nutrients, but will be less digestible (unless you purée or mulch it)
  • Fermented cabbage like sauerkraut has natural probiotics, and is excellent for gut health

How To Cook Cabbage For Dogs
If you decide to feed your dog cooked cabbage, just avoid any harmful seasonings, spices, or oils. Plain boiled or steamed cabbage is best. You can also chop up some cooked cabbage and mix it in with your dog's regular food to add some extra flavor and nutrition.

Raw cabbage, on the other hand, can make a crunchy and healthy treat for your pup. Just make sure to chop it up into bite-sized pieces that your dog can easily chew and swallow. Also, be sure to wash the cabbage thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides that may be present.

Another option to consider is fermented cabbage like sauerkraut. Fermented cabbage can be a great source of probiotics and can aid in digestion. But make sure to choose a sauerkraut that doesn't contain additives like excess salt or sugar, as these can be harmful to dogs.

Whether you choose cooked, raw, or fermented cabbage for your dog, be sure to introduce it slowly and in small amounts, and monitor your dog's reaction. 

Can Dogs Eat Red Cabbage Or Green Cabbage?

When you mention cabbage, most people think of green cabbage. But you might wonder, can dogs eat red cabbage?

Yes, dogs can eat both red and green cabbage, and both varieties offer a wide range of health benefits.

Green cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which may support your dog's immune system, and vitamin K, which is helps maintain healthy bones. It also contains antioxidants that may support normal cell function and help reduce oxidative stress. 

Red cabbage, on the other hand, contains more anthocyanins than green cabbage, which is what gives it that distinctive purple color. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that have been linked to a range of health benefits.

In short, both varieties of cabbage are great for dogs and bring their own benefits to the bowl. 

How To Prepare Cabbage For Dogs

Ready to add cabbage to your dog's diet? If so, follow these guidelines …. 

  • Always wash the cabbage thoroughly, and remove the tough outer leaves and stems
  • Chop or shred the cabbage into small, bite-sized pieces that are easy for your dog to chew and digest
  • Or cook the cabbage (lightly steamed is best), chop and add to your dog’s meals 

In addition to its health benefits, cabbage is a good way to add some crunchy texture to a dish. If your dog isn't keen on plain cabbage on its own … you may have better luck adding some cabbage into his meals.  

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© 2024, Four Leaf Rover - The content on this website is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Please support the hard working holistic vets who make this information possible. To find a holistic or homeopathic vet near you or to find one who will do phone consultations, visit The Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy.