Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, cauliflower contains plant compounds that are thought to reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Nutritious and low in calories, this vegetable makes a great snack for both humans and dogs alike.
Cauliflower is safe for your dog to eat, but that doesn't mean every dog will be keen to try it! As a vegetable most of us have a love-hate relationship, some dogs may turn their noses up when offered a piece of cauliflower, possibly due to its slightly bitter taste. Luckily, there are lots of different ways you can prepare it, to help spark your pup's curiousity.
What are the benefits of feeding cauliflower to my dog?
Having learnt your dog can eat cauliflower, you may be wondering why this vegetable makes a good snack for your four-legged friend. As a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower offers lots of fibre, vitamins C and K, potassium and folate, among other nutrients. Here's how they can benefit your pet:
Fibre keeps your dog's digestive system healthy and happy. It helps reduce stomach upset and diarrhoea.
As an important antioxidant, vitamin C offers anti-inflammatory properties which in turn can boost the immune system.
This fat-soluble vitamin controls calcium deposits in tissues and bones, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Potassium, along with calcium and magnesium, is a mineral that supports the skeletal structure and muscle and cell function, in addition to the nervous system.
Folate is an important vitamin B that plays a part in cell function and tissue growth. A lack of folate in your dog's diet can result in irritable bowel syndrome. If you're concerned, it's always best to speak to your vet, so they can advise on nutritional requirements and potential supplements.
Can dogs eat cauliflower raw?
Raw cauliflower is safe for your dog in small quantities, but it should always be chopped into bite-size portions to avoid it becoming a choking hazard.
If your dog enjoys working to find their food, you can turn their cauliflower snack into a puzzle game. Simply freeze little pieces of caulifower and then pop them into a toy. Your pup will have to use their brain to work out how to get them back out again.
Can dogs eat cooked cauliflower?
Cooking cauliflower makes it more digestible for your dog, and while raw is a safe option, cooked cauliflower is often the better choice for sensitive stomachs. If you're concerned your dog may try to eat the pieces too quicky, you can also blend the cauliflower, creating cauliflower rice which can be sprinkled over their food.
While the leaves of the cauliflower are safe to eat, the stalk should always be removed. This is a very fibrous part of the vegetable, so it may cause gastrointestinal issues such as flatulence, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.
How much cauliflower can I give my dog?
Raw or cooked, cauliflower is non-toxic to dogs, but much like with other human foods, each dog's tolerance will vary. What works for one dog, won't necessarily suit another, so it's always best to ask for your vet's support when planning a balanced diet.
Calories from treats should typically make up no more than 10% of your dog's total intake, and while cauliflower may be low in calories, the same rule applies to vegetables as it does to other treats. A large amount of cauliflower can cause stomach upset, so it's important to control how much you offer, in addition to your dog's regular diet.
As an occasional treat once a week, cauliflower can be enjoyed alongside many other nutritious and dog-safe vegetables.