Can Dogs Eat Broccoli?

Julia Henriques
can dogs eat broccoli

Broccoli is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that’s often a staple in human diets. But does that mean this cruciferous veggie is a good choice for your dog, too? 

If you’ve ever wondered: “Can dogs eat broccoli?” - the short answer is yes. Dogs can eat broccoli. But as with any new food, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Is Broccoli Safe for Dogs?

Broccoli is generally safe for dogs to eat, but it should still always be fed in moderation. The florets, or the part of the broccoli that we typically eat, are perfectly fine for your dog to consume. 

However, the broccoli stem and leaves should be avoided as they contain higher amounts of isothiocyanates, which can cause mild stomach upset and other digestive issues in some dogs.

How Much Broccoli Can Dogs Eat?

A good general rule of thumb is that broccoli should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily food intake. So, for a dog that eats one cup of food per day, no more than 2 tablespoons of broccoli should be given.

The best way to introduce broccoli to your dog's diet is to start off by feeding small portions and gradually increase the amount over time.

Broccoli for Dogs | 3 Risks of Overfeeding

While broccoli is generally safe for most dogs to eat, there are still a few risks you’ll want to keep in mind when feeding it to your furry friend.

  • Stomach Upset
  • Broccoli is high in fiber, which can be great for many dogs. But while fiber is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system, it’s still possible to overfeed it. Too much fiber can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, and other digestive issues.

  • High Calcium 
  • Again, calcium tends to be a good thing for most dogs. But the fact that broccoli is high in calcium is still a risk to keep in mind, as it can potentially be harmful to dogs with a history of bladder or kidney stones.

  • Isothiocyanates
  • Lastly, there is a small risk of gas and bloating when feeding your dog broccoli. This is mostly due to compounds called isothiocyanates found in broccoli. If dogs eat isothiocyanates too frequently, they might experience gastric irritation. Since these compounds are concentrated in the stem and leaves, it’s best to only feed your dog broccoli florets. 

    3 Health Benefits of Broccoli for Dogs

    Despite the risks above, broccoli is largely beneficial for most dogs to consume. Here are some of the many benefits of feeding broccoli to your dog.

  • Nutritional Value
  • One of the main benefits is that broccoli is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. Vitamin C can help boost your dog's immune system and keep them healthy … while vitamin K is important for everything from proper blood clotting to bone health and heart health. 

  • Antioxidant Powerhouse
  • Broccoli is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect your dog's cells from damage caused by free radicals. Glucosinolates are antioxidants unique to cruciferous vegetables and have been shown to have powerful nutritional benefits.

  • Fiber
  • Lastly, broccoli is a great source of fiber, which can help keep your dog's digestive system regular and prevent constipation. High fiber content also means that even though broccoli is low in calories, it’s very filling. This makes it a great option for dogs that are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

    How to Feed Your Dog Broccoli

    If you decide to feed your dog broccoli, you’ll want to do it in a way that’s safe and healthy.

    First of all, choose organic broccoli if possible, to avoid vegetables grown with pesticides or herbicides. 

    Next, keep in mind is that large pieces of broccoli can be difficult for dogs to chew and swallow. So whether you’re feeding your dog cooked or raw broccoli, it's important to cut it into small, bite-size pieces. This will also help to prevent choking.

    Make sure the broccoli is washed before feeding it, and if cooking it don't use oils or seasonings. It’s easiest and safest to feed plain broccoli. If you feed raw broccoli, purée or mulch it before feeding to make it more digestible. 

    Also, while broccoli is healthy and safe for dogs to eat, it's important not to overdo it. Start with small amounts and gradually increase the amount over time … but limit veggies overall to no more than 10% of your dog's total diet, and rotate broccoli into your dog's meals.

    Lastly, watch for the symptoms of gastrointestinal upset mentioned above. If your dog shows symptoms, it’s possible he ate too many isothiocyanates or that broccoli simply doesn’t agree with him. Don’t worry, as there are plenty of other options for high quality organic greens for dogs.


    Here are a few other questions that dog owners often ask us before feeding their dogs broccoli:

    Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Stalks? 

    No, dogs should not eat broccoli stalks or stems because they’re high in a compound called isothiocyanates which can cause gas, bloating, and stomach upset in dogs. 

    Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Raw?

    Dogs can eat broccoli both cooked and raw. If you serve it cooked, it’s best to make sure there are no seasonings or oils added. And whether you feed broccoli to your dog cooked or raw, make sure to wash it first! When you feed your dog raw veggies, it’s best to purée them for better digestibility. 

    Can Dogs Eat Broccoli Sprouts?

    Yes — dogs can eat broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts are much higher in nutrients like sulforaphane, which has been linked to a variety of health benefits, and may help support normal heart, liver and immune function. 

    Final Thoughts on Broccoli for Dogs

    Overall, broccoli is a great addition to your dog's diet as long as it is fed in moderation and prepared properly (pass on the stems and leaves). If you're unsure about how your dog will react to broccoli, it's best to ask your holistic vet before introducing it to his diet. And as always, make sure to monitor your dog's reaction to broccoli and adjust his diet accordingly.


    1. Pan, Min-Hsiung, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of natural dietary flavonoids. Food Funct., 2010, 1, 15-31.
    2. Shivapriya Manchali, et al. Crucial facts about health benefits of popular cruciferous vegetables. Journal of Functional Foods. Volume 4, Issue 1, 2012. Pages 94-106.
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