Cabbage is a healthy and nutritious vegetable for humans, but can dogs have cabbage too?
The answer is yes, dogs can have cabbage, but with some important considerations.
Here’s everything you need to know about feeding dogs cabbage, including the risks and benefits of cabbage for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage Safely?
Yes, dogs can eat cabbage safely. However, you should still introduce this healthy veggie gradually and in small quantities to avoid any tummy troubles.
There are a few other simple guidelines you can follow to make feeding your dog cabbage even safer:
- Opt for organic cabbage when possible to minimize chemical and pesticide/herbicide risk
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage (especially when they’re dirty, wilted, or damaged)
- Wash the cabbage before feeding it to your dog
- Cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces and mix into the rest of his food, to minimize choking risk
- Use caution in feeding any cruciferous veggies to dogs with hypothyroidism (more about this below)
What Kind Of Cabbage Can Dogs Have?
Good news! Dogs can eat all types of cabbage, including green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, napa cabbage, and bok choy. Dogs can eat all these forms of cabbage, either cooked and raw (though cooked or puréed cabbage will be more digestible).
All the varieties of cabbage are healthy and nutritious, but if you don’t already have a favorite and are trying to choose between them, opt for red cabbage or bok choy.
Red cabbage kicks green cabbage’s butt when it comes to nutrition. Not only is it higher in vitamin C, but red cabbage also has 10 times more vitamin A than green cabbage. Bok choy is another winner, as it’s higher in folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium compared to napa cabbage.
Note: Dogs can also have fermented cabbage like sauerkraut or kimchi in moderation. These kinds of fermented cabbage can help boost your dog’s digestion due to the natural probiotics they contain. However, some store-bought fermented cabbage contains a lot of sodium, so keep an eye on how much your dog eats. You’ll also want to avoid fermented cabbage with added ingredients like sugar or seasonings, and be cautious with any fermented foods for dogs with yeast.
RELATED: The pros and cons of fermented foods for dogs …
Benefits Of Cabbage For Dogs
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of cabbage for your dog. First off, cabbage is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can help support your dog’s overall health. It’s loaded with vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, and vitamin C, which boosts your dog’s immune system. Plus, all forms of cabbage are a great source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and keep your pup feeling full and satisfied.
Cabbage also contains powerful antioxidants that can help protect your dog’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. And if your furry friend is getting a little chunky, cabbage can be a great addition to a balanced weight-loss diet as it’s low in calories and high in nutrients.
Cabbage is also a cruciferous vegetable, putting it in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Cruciferous veggies have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, thanks to their high levels of sulfur-containing compounds. These compounds have been found to stimulate enzymes in the liver that help detoxify harmful substances in the body, reducing the risk of cancer.
A natural component of cabbage called glucosinolates are also converted by the body into isothiocyanates – a compound that can kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from growing.
RELATED: Read more about the benefits of vegetables for dogs …
Risks Of Cabbage For Dogs
Too much of a good thing can lead to negative consequences, and cabbage is no exception. So let’s take a look at the risks of cabbage for dogs.
The most common problem dogs have with cabbage is one of digestion. Cabbage can cause gas and bloating in some dogs, which is why you want to introduce it slowly and in small amounts. You can also try feeding cooked, raw, and fermented cabbage to see if there’s a variety that your dog likes or digests best. Generally, cooked or puréed cabbage will be easier to digest for your dog.
Can Hypothyroid Dogs Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage contains a compound called thiocyanate, which can interfere with thyroid function if eaten in large quantities. However, the likelihood of thiocyanate toxicity from cabbage consumption is very low, especially in moderate amounts.
It’s really only a concern if your dog already has a pre-existing thyroid issue, in which case you’ll want to monitor his intake of cabbage and other cruciferous veggies.
Jean Dodds DVM advises erring on the side of caution when giving hypothyroid dogs cruciferous veggies, but says “The goitrogenic properties in these green leafy vegetables are minute and should not cause concern if fed in moderation.”
RELATED: Learn more about managing hypothyroidism in dogs …
How To Feed Your Dog Cabbage
To feed your dog cabbage, wash the cabbage thoroughly and remove any wilted or damaged outer leaves. Chop into bite sized pieces before cooking or feeding.
How To Cook Cabbage For Dogs
Dogs can eat cabbage raw or cooked, but generally light steaming (or puréeing if raw) is best for digestibility. Avoid adding any seasonings or spices that may be harmful to your pup.
Start by feeding a small amount and monitor your dog’s reaction before increasing the portion size.
Even though cabbage is great, it’s not super appetizing served plain all by itself. So you’ll probably have better luck feeding your dog cabbage by adding small amounts to his meals.
If your dog experiences any gas or bloating, you can experiment with feeding less cabbage, feeding a different kind of cabbage, or a different preparation (raw, cooked, fermented, etc).
RELATED: Read more about other veggies dogs can eat …
Got more cabbage questions? Here are some of the most common ones we get from dog owners…
Can Dogs Have Green Cabbage?
Yes, dogs can eat green cabbage in moderation, both cooked and raw.
Can Dogs Have Red Cabbage?
Yes, dogs can eat red cabbage in moderation, both cooked and raw.
Can Dogs Have Purple Cabbage?
Yes, dogs can eat purple cabbage in moderation, both cooked and raw.
Can Dogs Have Cabbage Raw?
Yes, dogs can eat raw cabbage, but it can be difficult for some dogs to digest. If so, you can try pureeing raw cabbage, or feed fermented or cooked cabbage instead.
Can Dogs Have Cooked Cabbage?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked cabbage. Avoid adding seasonings or spices that could be harmful to your dog.