As healthy eating increases, many of us are wondering if Fido can eat more vegetables too. The short answer is: yes, dogs can eat collard greens.
But there is much more to it than that. Collard greens in the right quantities can work wonders for Fido’s diet.
What are? Why are they nutritionally beneficial for our dogs? And how should he eat them? Let’s find out all the answers to these and other questions.
Are Collard Greens Safe for Dogs?
Yes, collard greens are safe for dogs. But like everything in life, they need to be eaten in moderation. Even though there is only one type of cabbage, they come in different forms, such as raw, cooked, and canned. But Fido can’t eat them all…
What are collard greens?
Cabbages belong to the Brassica oleracea family. More simply, they belong to the loose-leaf family, just like many other common vegetables like kale and broccoli. In particular, they belong to the Acephala group, just like spring vegetables and cabbage.
Collard greens are dark green leafy vegetables. This means they are even more nutritious than other light leafy vegetables. So collard greens are truly the green superfood.
They are in the high season from January to April and are available fresh in almost all grocery stores during these months.
When are collard greens bad for dogs?
The main problem in feeding collard greens to your dog is that it is rich in both isothiocyanates and calcium oxalate. This means that there is a possibility that they can cause bladder and kidney stones.
So, if your dog is currently suffering from bladder or kidney problems, it’s best to be careful and avoid adding cabbage to his diet.
Secondly, remember to give your dog only a small amount or the amount recommended by your vet. A good guideline is to serve less than half a cup of kale per day; however, you should also consider your dog’s size to figure out what amount is safe to add to his meals.
Your vet can advise you on the appropriate portions for your pet.
The health benefits of collard greens
Collard greens have a multitude of health benefits for us humans and our dogs. So if you’re cooking it for yourself, why not throw some in its bowl as well.
So, in no particular order, here are the main health benefits Fido can achieve by eating his collard greens.
- Aids indigestion
Collard greens are a prebiotic fiber that helps keep your digestive system regular. They are also filled with water, which helps keep them hydrated and prevent constipation.
The glucoraphanin compound, found in cabbage, helps fend off unwanted gut bacteria and promotes friendly ones. When fed in moderation, this can lead to less bloating and fewer smelly stools.
- prevents heart disease
Cabbage is also known to lower blood cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease. It can also help reverse the damage to blood vessels, which is often the main contributing factor to heart disease.
Greens collards are also rich in B vitamins, which are known for their role in fighting cardiovascular disease.
- lowers the risk of cancer
Cabbage is known to lower the risk of cancer because it helps fight free radicals in the body and prevent cell damage. Greens collards are also high in Vitamin C, which helps fight oxidative damage.
Collard greens contain a compound called glucoraphanin, and research shows that this reduces the risk of developing cancer. While they don’t cure cancer, they can certainly do a lot to scare it away.
- Prevention of anemia
As can be seen from the above nutritional benefits, kale is rich in iron and folic acid. These two nutrients are important for preventing anemia and working together to balance your hemoglobin levels.
Vitamin C also helps the stomach absorb iron. Since kale is rich in vitamin C, it is excellent for its blood health and overall oxidative state.
Since kale fights free radicals in the body, it keeps the body young and fit. This in turn delays the aging process. And the younger he feels, the happier he is.
- Nourishes the skin and coat
Vitamin C is known to improve collagen production, which in turn helps nourish his skin and keep his coat healthy. Vitamin K helps fight cell inflammation and vitamin A helps keep your hair shiny and strong.
- Strong bones
Collard greens are one of the best sources of vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong and healthy. This will help reduce the number of broken bones and reduce the risk of bone disease and arthritis.
This is important for dogs because they are springy creatures whose bones carry a lot of weight and snap around.
Kale is rich in sulfur compounds, which in turn synthesize glutathione. Glutathione also helps fight free radicals and assists the liver in eliminating toxins. This is how your body stays healthy and young.
- Low in calories
Like almost all vegetables, kale is low in calories. As such, they make a great side dish or snack for those always-hungry pups who prefer quantity over quality (but luckily, kale is both!).
READ MORE: Can Dogs Eat Watermelon? Yes, But Lose The Seeds!
How to Feed Your Dog Collard Greens
Now that you know Fido can eat kale and how nutritious and beneficial it is, you’re probably wondering how to put it in his bowl.
Leafy greens should not be eaten raw as they are difficult to digest and can cause a slight stomach ache.
Ideally, you should feed him freshly cooked cabbage, not canned cabbage. Canned cabbage is probably preserved in saltwater or seasoned, neither of which is good for Fido. Too much sodium is very harmful, so canned cabbage should be avoided.
Fresh collard greens are simply steamed for 10 minutes or boiled for 5 minutes and it’s ready to be added to the bowl.
A medium-sized dog can eat half a cup of collard greens once a day. If he’s smaller, feed him less, and if he’s bigger, you can feed him more.
Some dogs don’t like having a load of greens thrown in their bowl without warning. It can therefore make sense to build them up step by step. Start with one hand and increase the amount if he likes it.
No matter how hard you try, remember that not all dogs like all vegetables. So if you can’t convince him that kale is the right diet, you can always try other plants that are good for him.
When Not To Feed Collard Greens
Although Collard Greens is very healthy, it is not the best choice for every dog. Kale contains calcium oxalate, which can lead to kidney and bladder stones over time.
If your dog suffers from these problems, you should not feed him collard Greens.
Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Collard Green?
No, dogs are not allowed to eat raw cabbage. We strongly recommend cooking them before eating them.
Raw or undercooked collard greens contain ribs, spines, and kale stalks. These make them difficult to digest and can cause an upset stomach in your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Collard Green Stems?
No, your dog should not eat collard green stems because collard green stems are high in fiber, difficult to chew, and difficult to digest even when cooked.
READ MORE: Slideshow: Foods Your Dog Should Not Eat
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Collard Greens?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked Collard greens.
Cooked Collard Greens are the best choice for your furry friend as their fibers are reduced to a safe level when cooked.
Is Collard Greens Toxic to Dogs?
Collard greens are not toxic to dogs. However, there are times when they become poisonous. They become toxic when administered in large amounts, which can lead to bladder and kidney stones.
Always remember that the food you give your dog must be very small. It should be smaller than the average food serving size.
If your dog is prone to kidney and bladder problems, you should avoid kale because of the high calcium oxalate content.
Are Green Collards Healthy For Dogs?
Yes, Collard greens are healthy for dogs and you should give them to your dog as a treat from time to time.
Feeding cabbage is a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can also be a good source of calcium for dogs at risk of osteoporosis.
Can puppies eat raw greens?
No, do not feed your pup raw greens.
We advise against this as puppies and their stomachs are still growing and not fully mature. Their bellies would not be able to efficiently utilize raw botanicals.
can dogs eat raw greens?
Raw greens are high in vitamins and minerals that can be lost during cooking, therefore providing maximum nutrition for dogs. However, raw greens can only be good if they are easy on your dog’s stomach and contain no toxic substances.
On the other hand, if raw greens have hard leaves, thorns, or strong veins, they are unsuitable for dogs and must be cooked.
It is important to check if the greens are hard and contain thorns and heavy stems. If this is the case, consider steaming them or using other cooking methods to soften these ingredients so they are safe for your dog’s stomach.
In general, it is advisable to cook vegetables and give your beloved Fido greens that are moderate in calcium oxalate.
What Leafy Greens Can Dogs Not Eat?
Some leafy green vegetables are not safe for your dog because they contain toxic compounds. They should be avoided at all costs. Examples include onions, garlic, unripe tomatoes, tomato leaves, leeks, chives, and rhubarb.
Also, certain green leafy vegetables should not be eaten by dogs prone to kidney and bladder problems. This vegetable contains large amounts of calcium oxalate and thiocyanates.
Examples of such greens and vegetables include spinach, kale, parsley, beetroot, kale, Swiss chard, quinoa, and okra.
Which leafy vegetables are safe for dogs?
Some leafy greens are good for your dog and will provide maximum nutrition without harm. Examples of vegetables that the AKC says are safe for your dog include cucumber, celery, broccoli, and spinach.
So now you know that Fido can eat collard greens, and you also know why you should try to include them in your diet in moderation. They are full of nutrients and other benefits for his body and health.