Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Can dogs eat spinach? While most fruits and vegetables that are safe for humans can be good for dogs too, it’s important to research each individual one before giving it to your dog. Not all of them are healthy or safe, so make sure to read up on them before sharing them with your pup.
So, can dogs eat spinach? Is it one of the safe ones, or is it better avoided?
Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Yes, dogs can eat spinach — however, unlike with many other vegetables, there are some considerations to bear in mind and some good reasons why it shouldn’t be shared in high quantities.
However, giving your dog a little bit in moderation shouldn’t harm them, and there are some health benefits.
Spinach contains a lot of things that are good for dogs, just like they are for humans, such as:
- Vitamins A, B, C, and K
These are all things which are very good for dogs. Vitamins are needed for dogs, just as they are for humans, and antioxidants are great for preventing cancer and other severe diseases. Iron keeps them strong, and roughage is great for the digestive tract, especially if they’re having trouble.
Spinach is also low in calories, making it a good alternative to other treats that might be much higher. If your dog is trying to lose weight, or even just maintain, it can be a good call to switch out their treats for vegetables like spinach.
Unlike with many other vegetables, there are some risks to giving your dog spinach.
It’s high in oxalic acid. This can cause kidney damage, as it can interfere with calcium absorption. It can even eventually cause kidney failure due to the way it interacts with the body.
So why would you give spinach to your dog?
Dogs that have healthy kidneys shouldn’t be affected by this, and would have to consume huge amounts of spinach for it to cause any damage. This means you shouldn’t be giving it to your dog every day over a long period of time, as this can build up and cause kidney stress, muscle weakness, and so much more.
If you’re giving it to them in moderation, once in a while, it’s likely safe — however, you should have your veterinarian confirm your dog’s kidney health too. If you want to avoid the risk and choose some other vegetables, that’s also understandable.
How To Serve It
if you do understand the risks and still want to feed your dog spinach, make sure it’s not mixed with other things. Salt and pepper can be damaging to a dog, and certain seasonings — such as garlic and onion powder — can be downright toxic. You should steam spinach and chop it up so your dog can process it. Boiled spinach loses a lot of nutrients, defeating the purpose of giving it to your dog in the first place.
You can give it to them as is, or mix it in with their food.
How Much Can My Dog Eat?
Because of the risks associated with giving your dog spinach, they should only have it in small amounts and sparingly. This isn’t a vegetable you can safely mix in with their food every day. Once every few weeks might be ideal, as then you can be extra sure you aren’t giving them too much.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other vegetables that can be chopped up and served up to your dog, so you can swap it out for other things to make sure it’s given in moderation.
Looking for other healthy vegetables to give your dog? Maybe you do want to mix it up, or maybe you don’t want to take the risk with spinach at all. These are great to give your dog:
It’s important to remember that just because a vegetable is good for humans, doesn’t mean it’s the same way for dogs. Always do your research. Also start in moderation, just in case they have allergies or sensitivities.
So, can dogs eat spinach? Technically yes, but the true answer is complicated and a little controversial. Too much spinach fed over time can cause kidney damage, especially if your dog doesn’t have healthy kidneys in the first place, so if you do choose to give your dog spinach, make sure it’s in moderation.
Swap it out for some other vegetables so your dog has variety and isn’t consuming it all of the time, and it should be just fine. It’s also understandable if you choose to forego the risk altogether. There are plenty of other dog-safe human foods you can give them! Now you will always have a healthy and happy doggo.