Spinach is considered to be a “superfood” for humans, so you may find yourself wondering – can dogs eat spinach?
All dog owners want the best for our pooches, and sourcing healthy foods to supplement their diet is a great way to boost a dog’s health and ensure that they live long and happy lives.
In this article, we will take a closer look at spinach and explore the benefits of including this leafy green “superfood” in our dogs’ diets.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Is spinach safe for your dog to eat?
- Should you include vegetables in your dog’s diet?
- Is spinach good for dogs?
- When is spinach bad for your dog?
- How to feed spinach to your dog
Yes, dogs can eat spinach in moderation, occasionally.
Raw spinach may be difficult to digest, so boiling spinach before adding it to your dog’s dinner.
Is Spinach Safe For Your Dog To Eat?
First and foremost, when we think about introducing new human food into our dog’s diets, we want to know if it is going to cause them any harm.
Just because a food is good for us, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be good for our dogs. Garlic, for instance, has many health benefits for humans, but it is said to be toxic for dogs.
Thankfully spinach is not toxic to dogs, which means that your dog’s health will be able to benefit from this vegetable’s goodness.
It is crucial, however, to be careful about how you prepare and serve up spinach for your dog to ensure that it remains a safe food for them to eat.
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Don’t forget that dogs don’t have the same nutritional requirements as humans, and their bodies don’t work in the same way as ours either.
Therefore, we cannot assume that just because a food is safe for them to eat, that we should go ahead and feed it to them in the same way that we would feed it to our families.
Should You Include Vegetables In Your Dog’s Diet?
We love to eat vegetables because they are tasty and packed full of nutrition, providing us with plenty of energy, and the body with everything it needs to repair and defend itself and grow. We want to feed vegetables to our pets for very much the same reasons.
We must bear in mind, though, that dogs in the wild are essentially carnivorous. This means that they survive and thrive mainly on the meat, bones, and organs of small dead animal carcasses.
They can get all the nutrition and sustenance they need by eating whole prey, which includes the entire contents of a dead animal, fur, bones, brains, and all.
During times where meat is scarce; however, dogs in the wild would have turned to local vegetation to supplement their diet.
When feeding vegetables to our dogs, we should be aware that in the wild, a dog would not need to include vegetables in his diet for it to be balanced and healthy.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Pet dogs are fed a very different diet to their wild ancestors, of course, and this means that the role of vegetables in their diets has changed slightly.
In place of bones and natural roughage such as fur and feathers, vegetables are often included instead to provide dogs with fiber and extra nutrients to make up for what may be missing from their natural diet.
One of the reasons that it is essential to provide your dog with a balanced and varied diet, especially if you are trying to stick closely to natural raw food for dogs, is to avoid problems like impacted anal glands.
If a dog’s stools are not sufficient enough, the fluids from the anal glands cannot be adequately expressed, which is what naturally happens every time your dog poops.
This can lead to discomfort and potentially even rupturing of the anal glands, and course infections, and other complications resulting from this.
The extra “filler” ingredients added to your dog’s food, whether it is oats, grains, potatoes, or vegetables, can help to replace the natural roughage they would have generally consumed in the form of fur, feathers, and local vegetation when eating a natural raw diet.
Is Spinach Good For Dogs?
Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable and the right choice for your dog. It contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, iron, antioxidants, magnesium, and beta-carotene. The roughage also helps to stimulate the digestive tract.
By adding small amounts of spinach to your dog’s diet, it has been suggested that you may be able to fend off cancer, inflammatory, and cardiovascular problems. You can also help to increase your dog’s immune system and provide your dog with more energy.
Your dog’s main food should contain all of the primary nutrients that your dog needs. This is why it is so important to choose a high-quality dog food from a reputable brand that you can trust.
You should always go for a dog food that is high in protein and low in grains, which is a filler ingredient that provides no nutritional value and can even be detrimental to your dog’s overall health.
When Is Spinach Bad For Your Dog?
You won’t need to add a lot of spinach to your dog’s diet, but small amounts of spinach can undoubtedly make a difference and be very beneficial for your dog. Don’t forget that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Spinach contains oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is an alkaloid, which in large quantities, can cause kidney damage in dogs.
Oxalic acid can also be harmful to dogs because it can combine with calcium, which is an essential mineral in your dog’s body and can, therefore, cause deficiencies.
The American Kennel Club has also suggested: “long-term consumption can cause kidney stress, muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, and even respiratory paralysis.”
How To Feed Spinach To Your Dog
To ensure that you feed your dog spinach safely so that they can benefit from the vegetable’s nutrients, you should choose high-quality organic spinach, and always remember to wash it first to remove any impurities or chemicals.
Gently steam or blanch the spinach instead of boiling. Boiling vegetables deplete their natural nutrients rendering it pointless to feed it to your dog as it will just pass through the system as waste without the body experience any of the benefits.
When you steam spinach for your dog, you should not include any herbs, spices, or other flavorings, especially not onions or garlic.
Onions and garlic are part of the alum family and are toxic to a dog, even in small amounts.
They should, therefore, be avoided at all costs when preparing vegetables for your dog. You should also avoid salt and other seasonings and oil.
You should not feed raw spinach to your dog, even if your dog is fed a natural raw diet. This is because raw spinach is tough for dogs to digest.
Also, when cooked, you should chop the spinach up into tiny pieces to help your dog understand it more efficiently, and so that the body can absorb as much of the nutrients as possible.
If possible, you can puree it, which is even better for your dog’s digestive system, allowing them to access those precious nutrients more freely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat spinach?
Yes, dogs can eat spinach in moderation. Raw spinach may be difficult to digest, so boiling spinach before adding it to your dog’s dinner.
How do I prepare spinach for my dog?
It is best to give your dog bland boiled spinach. Be sure to wash before boiling to remove any pesticides.
Is spinach toxic to dogs?
No, spinach is not toxic to dogs.
It is always a great idea to be thinking outside of the box when it comes to your dog’s health and happiness.
Improving aspects of their health, like finding ways to supplement and boost their diets, is incredible, especially when you take the time to do your research and make sure that you are always making decisions that have a positive impact on your dog and not an unintended negative one.
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Spinach in small amounts, and when prepared correctly, will provide your dog with a substantial health boost and help you to feel even better about the great life you are providing for your furry friend.