Can dogs eat cauliflower

Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
The Essential Guide

Cauliflower, like other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages, have plenty of nutritional benefits… for humans. So, should dogs eat cauliflower?

Our experts tackle this question in today’s article! Here’s what you should know.

Jack russell terrier choosing between plates of broccoli and cauliflower

Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?

Yes! In fact, because of its nutritional value, research suggests it might even improve your pup’s health. Why is cauliflower so good for your furry friend? The answer lies in its high percentage of biologically active sulphur and nitrogen. Here’s the nitty-gritty.

Related: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?


Benefits of Cauliflower for Dogs

Cauliflower has powerful sulphur-based compounds

The sulphur and nitrogen in cruciferous veggies, including cauliflower, are great for your dog. These compounds have fungicidal, bactericidal and nematocidal properties. This means they fight fungus, bacteria and internal parasites. A specific compound, sulforaphane, recently made headlines. Researchers discovered this compound has powerful cancer-preventing properties, halted tumour growth and healthier blood pressure.

It’s full of vitamins

Cauliflower is known for being one of the most nutritious veggies. It packs almost all B-group vitamins, so it’s pretty healthy for your pup. These specific vitamins are essential for proper brain development, making cauliflower a great addition to a puppy’s diet.

Very high mineral content

Unlike other vegetables, cauliflower is unusually rich in iron and potassium. On the other hand, it’s also a great source of calcium, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium and selenium. All of these are essential to your dog’s health:

  • Iron prevents anaemia
  • Potassium regulates your dog’s electrolytes, ensuring they have enough energy and are hydrated.
  • Magnesium, manganese and selenium help to keep your dog’s energy high, protect their nervous system and prevent muscle cramps.
  • Healthier bones thanks to its high calcium and phosphorus content.

The Bad Side of Cauliflower for Dogs

So, considering this vegetable is packed with nutrients, why don’t we add it to every dog’s diet? Well, simply put, it can cause pretty bad gas and flatulence.

The reason for it is cauliflower’s high fibre content. This dietary fibre is essential to your dog’s gut health, will improve their colon health, can help regulate weight and overall make their tummies happier. This means in moderate amounts; cauliflower can actually help with your dog’s digestive issues.

However, too much cauliflower causes gassiness. This is also a normal reaction if your dog suddenly starts eating this veggie. The problem worsens with raw cauliflower, so only offer cooked cauli if you’re concerned about gas.

PRO TIP: To avoid flatulence, give small amounts of cooked cauliflower to your dog. Some dogs are very gassy even with cooked cauliflower, so just offer them smaller amounts. Some cauliflower is better than none, so just stick with it!


What Happens If Your Dog Eats Too Much Cauliflower?

Maybe your pup got into the cauliflower and couldn’t stop. Or you offered too much and now think it might be an issue.

If your dog ate too much cauliflower, the main consequence will be gastrointestinal upset. This means they’ll have nausea, gas, vomiting or loose stools. On the other hand, cauliflower stem can be an issue with dogs, since its texture makes it a choking hazard.

In general, if cauliflower causes your dog stomach issues, simply add less of it to their regular diet.

PRO TIP: Never offer seasoned cauliflower to your dog, especially if it has garlic, onions, salt or butter. These extras are toxic to dogs and can make them very sick.

PRO TIP: When your pup eats cauliflower for the first time, stick to small quantities and watch out for any unpleasant digestive side effects.

PRO TIP: If your dog ate cauliflower and now has severe vomiting or diarrhoea, call your vet.

PRO TIP: Never offer big cauliflower pieces or the stem to your dog, these can be a choking hazard.


How to Give Cauliflower to Your Dog

Like with any other food item, it’s best to start small. Begin by cooking some cauliflower florets, removing the big stem. Remember to keep it unseasoned.

Then, either offer as a treat or with your dog’s food. Depending on your dog’s size, a reasonable serving will vary from a couple of tablespoons to a full cup. Of course, cauliflower should be added as a complement to a balanced diet and try to keep it to 3 times a week at most.


Final Thoughts

Considering the mineral and vitamins in cauliflower, it’s a no-brainer to add it to your dog’s diet. In moderation, this vegetable won’t harm your dog. However, it’s best to limit it to 3 times a week and only offer small quantities.

On the other hand, it’s important to serve it cooked and in very small pieces to avoid any choking risk and minimize gassiness after eating. Other than that, it’s not a problem to give cauliflower to your dog!

Want to learn more about what types of food dogs can and can't eat? Check out our below guides:

References
  1. Manchali, S.et al. (2012). Crucial facts about health benefits of popular cruciferous vegetables. Journal of functional foods, 4(1), 94-106. 
  2. Cabello-Hurtado, F et al. (2012). Evaluation of the antioxidant potential of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) from a glucosinolate content perspective. Food Chemistry, 132(2), 1003-1009.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814611016682?casa_token=fGwb2Oc12PUAAAAA:de-srvPeYyx01b0fVm_gkaGZAn4T8g95Q_l-gGHwct_Ksa4oIwXPMA8rn5-93VnlRgFaGXd1oBFY
  3. Curran, K. M., et al (2018). Sulforaphane absorption and histone deacetylase activity following single dosing of broccoli sprout supplement in normal dogs. Veterinary medicine and science, 4(4), 357-363. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6236138/
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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