Dogs are omnivorous and benefit from a diet consisting of animal and plant sources. Cabbage, a world-wide favorite, is a safe snack for your furriest bestie.
Wonderful news, considering how tough it is to crush canine hopes when those beef stuffed cabbage rolls get passed around…You know what I’m talking about right?...Those melt-your-heart, soulful, beseeching gazes, punctuated effectively by a desperate whine and dripping saliva?
Cabbage takes us beyond the “pooch standard”...
Sharing cabbage and other human food with your pup doesn’t have to be taboo, as long as you’re careful. In fact, a broader variety of foods can be beneficial. This is fantastic, since many of us want to look beyond the uninspired menu of dog chow and milk bones.
If dogs could talk, I suspect they’d make a strong argument for eating a rainbow of food, far beyond a typically consistent meal. But hold on, there’s a few things to know before widening your dog’s food spectrum.
Flatulence is real.
A cozy St Paddy’s Day finds you and your dog curled up by the fire after a nice dinner of corned beef and cabbage. You’re both vying for a little more real estate on the couch, when all of a sudden you hear a thunderous, long-winded vibration…
You look suspiciously over at Buster and he returns your glare, baring a sheepish grimace upon his snout. It’s like he’s saying, “Sir, I flatulated sir!”. And how can you blame him? Instead…
Blame the sulfur in the cabbage.
It’s undeniable. Certain cruciferous vegetables, including fibrous cabbages, release sulfuric gas upon being cooked or chewed. You may have noticed this yourself with broccoli, sprouts, or kale.
In fact, this is thought to be a dynamic part of the plants’ inherent defense systems. The gas causing properties of cabbage can definitely be a deterrent. So what can be done?
Is there a way to minimize gassiness after eating cabbage?
To minimize gas and bloating, start by offering your dog small portions to allow her digestive tract time to adjust. Steaming the cabbage or boiling it prior to eating can help. Keep in mind that minimal cooking is ideal as overcooking can rob the veggie of its nutrients.
Use caution if you’re boiling the cabbage as some common ingredients are toxic to dogs.
While boiling cabbage with bay leaves and garlic can help reduce flatulence, both of these ingredients are considered to be toxic to your dog. You may try boiling the cabbage with fresh or dried dill. Dill is healthy for your dog and serves as an antioxidant, breath freshener, and digestive aid.
A surefire way to help with flatulence is to drink lots of water and take a walk after a cabbage treat. I’m gonna bet that your dog isn’t likely to offer up resistance!
Cabbage can interfere with thyroid function, particularly when served raw. If your pooch has a hypothyroid problem, check with your veterinarian to ensure that cabbage isn’t contraindicated. For most canines, the health benefits of cabbage make it a great addition to a well balanced omnivorous diet.
Be it red, purple, green or white, cabbage is considered to be a green leafy vegetable. Along with broccoli, kale, mustard greens and collard greens–cruciferous vegetables are powerhouses when it comes to fighting certain forms of cancer due to their high level of glucosinolates. This leafy plant is also chlorophyll and fiber rich, which is great for colon health.
Has your pup ever gotten into something that wasn’t meant for consumption? Like maybe she snatched a whole string of plastic wrapped sausages and made for the hills? Or perhaps a sock has gone missing and you notice that your four legged buddy has guilty eyes and is obsessively lip smacking?... My friend’s puppy ate her alarm clock, making her late for work (no surprise-her boss didn’t love that as an excuse).
If you’ve been there, you know! It’s always smart to contact a veterinarian if foreign objects have gone, ahem, south. But it’s also good to know what foods can provide some energetic momentum towards passing unwanted items.
Ever notice how some vegetables actually resemble the part of the body that they most benefit? Cabbage is actually brain food and is known to aid in concentration and focus. The high content of nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin C, anthocyanin, tryptophan, and magnesium make cabbage great for supporting heart and brain function. This is especially true of red cabbage. So if you’re enrolled in obedience or training classes, a nice little cabbage treat before class might be just the ticket!
“Holy Cabbage Batman!”: Alaskan inspired canine cabbage treats…
Your cabbage quest would be unfulfilled if I didn’t let you in on an exciting secret. Alaska, in the summer, grows enormously sweet cabbages. Remember that 2009 film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? The cabbages are like that, giant leafy heads (only they don’t fall out of the sky).
These mammoth nutrition bombs grow quickly in up to 20 hours of sunlight daily. This is worth mentioning because Alaska is also known for the Iditarod. Think dog teams, sleds, people in parkas, and creative ways to meet the dietary demands of athletic huskies and malamutes.
One musher-inspired method for pooch snacks is to mix up a hot mess of ingredients–like fish heads, rice, beef fat, vegetables and fruits–into a stew and then pour it out onto the snow to freeze (if you don’t have snow, an oiled baking sheet and freezer should do the trick).
If fish heads are in scant supply, perhaps a beef and cabbage version would be perfect for your pup. Once it’s frozen, take a hatchet and break the frozen sheet into bite sized pieces. You can store these in your freezer and they will last well out on the frozen trail. Or on a hot day?...
Voila! There you have it! Cabbage Pupsicles!
What foods are safe and unsafe for dogs?
Green Light Foods: These are safe foods for your dog to eat
- Peanut butter
- Dairy (Limit)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Honey (Limit)
Red Light Foods: These are unsafe foods for your dog to eat
- Raw yeast dough
- Unripe tomatoes
- Macadamia nuts
You’re going to have so much fun expanding your dog’s menu. Just remember, start adding foods slowly to allow your pup time to get accustomed to them. Keep on the lookout for indications that your pet isn’t tolerating the new food. If you have any questions or concerns, check in with your veterinarian.
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