Can Dogs Eat Spinach? Benefits of Spinach for Dogs
Spinach: good for you, good for your pet… right? With any vegetable, it’s important to consider all the aspects of how it will impact your dog.
Dogs, naturally, are carnivorous - so even though dogs may not need vegetables in their diets, they can be used as a supplement to a meat-based diet.
With many potential benefits, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you agree with feeding your dog spinach.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Yes, your dog can eat spinach. Because of its nutrient-dense properties, spinach can be a healthy addition to supplement your dog’s diet.
Just remember: all dogs react differently to each and every food. If you choose to feed your dog spinach, a larger dog likely will be able to safely enjoy more in its diet than a smaller dog.
Spinach Nutrition Facts
Below is the nutrition information for 100 grams of raw spinach according to the USDA:
- 23 Calories
- 2.86 grams protein
- 0.39 grams fat
- 3.63 grams carbohydrates
- 2.2 grams dietary fiber
- 9380 IU Vitamin A
- 12200 mcg Lutein + zeaxanthin
- 2.03 mg Vitamin E
- 28.1 mg Vitamin C
- 558 mg Potassium
- 79 mg Magnesium
Benefits of Feeding Spinach
Spinach is an incredibly nutrient-rich vegetable. Dense in iron and magnesium, as well as essential vitamins A, C and E, Popeye would the first to vouch for this leafy green wholeheartedly.
It is thought that by serving your pup a little bit of spinach on occasion, that you can help fend off cancer, inflammatory and cardiovascular issues. There is also the potential to raise energy levels and immunity.
Note: Even with a healthy option - too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Dogs are naturally carnivorous, and 75-85% of their diet should be meat-based. Feeding too much spinach can lead to nutrient deficiencies - specifically amino acids as it is low in protein.
You want to make sure your pup’s diet is well-balanced. Our 100% grass-fed dehydrated beef entree is an example of how to balance feeding your dog spinach alongside a source of protein.
How to Prepare Spinach for Dogs
If you are interested in preparing spinach for part of your dog’s meals, there are certain things to be mindful of. Because dogs have different digestive systems than people do, they can’t always eat things prepared in a way that we would.
A few ways you can prepare spinach for your dog is by steaming, blanching or pureeing it to make it easier to digest. And, as would be true with any new food: introduce it slowly.
Other useful information to keep in mind when preparing spinach for your dog:
- Buy organic if possible. While you cannot keep all pesticides off of vegetables, if you buy non-organic, make sure to always rinse before preparing for your dog.
- Puree it! Your dog cannot digest full leaves of this vegetable like you can. Keep their tummies in mind and puree the spinach for your pup to enjoy.
- No additives! Things like onions and garlic may be toxic to your pup. Avoid putting butter, oil, salt or other herbs and spices to your pet’s food.
- Your dog may not like the taste - try serving with meat and dog-friendly vegetables that your pup already enjoys.
- Slowly introduce the new food to your pet. Too much of a good thing too quickly can cause stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea in your pup. It’s best to avoid too large of servings at the start.
- Serve sparingly and occasionally. In order to avoid any negative side effects, try serving small portions once or twice per week.
Remember: Always Consult Your Vet
The most important thing to remember is to do your own research and always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog’s diet. Even if they may be good for you, that might not always be the case for your four-legged friend.Bone appetit!