For humans, Brussel sprouts are one of those love ’em or hate ’em foods. There’s no middle ground. But the question is, can dogs eat Brussel sprouts?
Are they good for dogs, are they a vegetable to be eaten sparingly or should you never give Brussel sprouts to your dog?
Without a doubt, dogs can eat Brussel sprouts and there are lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in sprouts. There is one thing about sprouts, as there is with all cruciferous vegetables, and that’s they create gas.
As we all know only too well, Brussel sprouts give us gas. They do, and also, they will give your dog gas as well. Now if your dog is already a bit of a gasbag, then it’s definitely a bad idea to feed him too many Brussels.
What makes Brussel sprouts so gassy, anyway?
Why Brussel Sprouts Create Gas?
To understand, we need to know what causes flatulence in dogs and humans. The bacteria in our gut produce a mixture of gases, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. The gases digest the food we’ve eaten.
Sprouts are hardy little beggars, and they have a chemical makeup that animals have a problem breaking down. So when it’s time for them to move into the colon, they’re not fully digested. Now the bacteria are a bit panicky, they have to work a lot harder than they would like. The result is very loud and stinky gas.
When Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts Their Farts Are So Smelly, Why?
Sprouts contain sulphur, that’s where the bitter taste comes from. Remember the bacteria hard at work? Well, they now turn sulphur into hydrogen sulphide and methyl mercaptan. When this is mixed with the fart gas the bacteria is already producing, well, that’s when the creation of the far from pleasant aroma occurs.
Now we know why Brussels gives your dog gas and why it really smells pungent, but are they good for dogs?
Are Brussel Sprouts Good For Dogs?
Brussel sprouts have a lot of good things going for them. They are rich in antioxidants and of course, fiber. These two factors will help reduce inflammation in a dog’s body. Brussels also has some tremendous vitamin content. For example, vitamins K and C to keep a dog’s immune system functioning well and for healthy bones.
They also have a good supply of manganese, folate, potassium, and vitamins A, B1 and B6.
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts Cooked?
This is the only way I feed Brussel sprouts to my dog. I’ve never tried to feed them to him raw, but I doubt he would eat them raw, anyway. Plus, there’s that bitter sulphur taste we spoke about earlier, which more than likely put him off eating them.
So I boil them for him, sometimes even steam them. Steaming is better, I have to say, because it holds in more of the nutrients.
Humans seem to eat sprouts mostly at festive times, and that means they usually end up eating other foods with them like bacon. But I advise against adding anything like that to your dog’s food.
I like to mix a few Brussels in with boiled chicken (thigh or leg meat), some potato, carrots and squash or sweet potato, and serve it to him warm. He absolutely wolfs it down.
Before you feed any food to your dog for the first time, it’s always best to have a quick word or two with your vet, just to keep on the safe side. Allergic reactions can make a dog feel very ill sometimes.
Are Brussel Sprouts OK For Dogs Raw?
As I say I haven’t tried to give my dog sprouts raw. There is a train of thought that giving dogs too many cruciferous vegetables (Brussel sprouts being one), can bring on thyroid problems in dogs. We know these types of vegetable cause issues with a dog’s thyroid hormones, which can lead to hypothyroidism.
When you cook sprouts, it reduces the chances of the vegetable creating a thyroid problem. So, for that reason alone, I would say don’t feed them to your dog raw.
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprout Stalks?
Just raw stalks given to a dog to chew, I would say no. They have a really tough and woody texture that has the possibility of hurting a dog’s teeth and gums. But you can always prepare them the same way as you do broccoli stalks. If you do that, then I don’t see why a dog cannot eat Brussel sprout stalks.
Trim the stalks to about 3 to 4 inches each and remove the outer layers. They’re great steamed along with the rest of the sprouts.
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprout Leaves?
The leaves are definitely edible. You rarely see them for sale in the supermarkets, but if you go to a farmer’s market you’ll see them for sale in there. If you look at them in the same way as you do a vegetable like kale, for instance, you won’t go far wrong.
As far as feeding them to your dog, I would think so. But I would steam them and feed them sparingly. Where a dog might eat two sprouts with his meal, I think a tiny amount of sprout leaves would be the equivalent.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Brussel Sprouts?
I know that some pet parents like to feed their dog’s frozen fruits sometimes, especially on very hot summer days. Most dogs seem to love them.
I definitely would not treat frozen Brussel sprouts the same way. They can create a health hazard when they’re still frozen. These days you can buy these frozen button sprouts, which are tiny sprouts. They would be a serious choking hazard for any dog.
In fact, any sprout could be a choking hazard if the dog doesn’t chew them properly first.
They are best cooked in the way we’ve been talking about throughout this article.
Can Brussel Sprouts Help A Dog With Weight Loss?
If your vet has advised you to put your dog on a low-calorie diet, then I can see how Brussel sprouts could help.
They are low in calories, high in nutrients and fiber. So they would fit the bill. As long as you’re mindful of the other aspects as we’ve discussed. But I’m sure your vet will have pointed this out to you.
My dog loves Brussel sprouts, but I only feed them to him cooked. I also mix them in with his other food.
I keep my eye on how many I feed him. Up to now, he’s had no stomach issues because of sprouts.
But your dog may be different. So have a quick word with your vet and get his advice before you feed them to your dog.