Can dogs eat spinach?
That’s a curious question to ask.
Well, many dog owners believe that the safest diet for a dog is that which is only based on lean meats like chicken, beef, etc. So, for them, it’s either feeding their dog simple meat or some store-bought food.
And while it is true that dogs need to have a significant number of lean meats as a part of their daily diet to remain healthy, for any person who has spent enough time with dogs, it goes without saying that this is not the only source of food that a dog must have.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: Is It Safe?
On the whole, spinach is safe for your dog to consume.
We too have heard about the spinach controversies. But before you pay any heed to any information that you come across on the internet, always step back and analyze the facts for yourself.
If something really bothers you, then make sure to cross-reference and check with other sources of information as well.
Why do we say this?
Well, a lot of dog food guides tend to label spinach as bad food for your dog. Their argument is how it affects the uptake of calcium into the body.
I won’t lie, we too were disturbed by this fact in the beginning, but the more we dug into facts, the calmer our minds got.
So, what did we discover?
Dogs can eat spinach. If it is fed in the right manner and at proper times.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: Potential Health Risks
A small puppy, for instance, should never be fed any spinach since it is quite likely to interfere with calcium uptake in the body.
As we all know, calcium is a very important mineral for healthy bone development. And the stage of being a pup is when the most bone growth and development tends to occur.
As a dog grows older and needs a lesser amount of calcium, diets like spinach become safer.
One of the reasons behind spinach blocking calcium uptake in the body is that it contains a high amount of oxalic acid, which, when present in the body, will preferably bind to calcium ions. This in turn means that the body itself will not be able to absorb the calcium and the dog might, therefore, become deficient in calcium.
An easy way to avoid this, as we said, is to know when and how much spinach to feed to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: How Much Should They Eat?
Spinach cannot be fed to your dog daily.
Primarily, because of the health concerns mentioned above.
But since it contains a lot of healthy nutrients (more on that later), you can offer it to them as a healthy snack every now and then.
Notice though how I didn’t use the word “treat” and instead stuck with the term, “snack” instead.
This is because we believe that treats are rewards for good behavior which should only be used to train a dog the way an owner wishes to.
And seeing as how, the best way to feed spinach to your dog is sparing, we don’t really think that turning it into a regular treatment would do much good to your canine friend.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: When Can They Eat It?
A snack may be offered whenever you deem fit.
It could be between afternoon meals or before dinner.
But a snack is just that, a snack. Therefore, the amount that you offer to your dog should be very limited since you don’t want them to lose their appetite for a real meal which is going to be the thing that ultimately benefits them in the end.
If you’re worried that the idea of snacks might not be so good for your dog, then you can offer them spinach as part of a light meal during the afternoon, and then give them more energizing meals at other times of the day.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: Nutritional Perspective
Popeye loved his spinach, yes. And so do most of us humans. This is because it is packed with a lot of nutrition that really tends to pay off in the long run.
For starters, it is rich in many minerals and vitamins.
It is naturally high in carotenoids, which the body can turn into vitamin A. At the same time, it also comes with a high amount of Vitamin K1, Vitamin C, folate, iron, and calcium.
The presence of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium and Vitamin E, means that it can prove to be really good for the immune system. This means that it will offer your dog immunity in the most natural of ways possible.
Next up, it prevents oxidative damage to the body and the development of free radicals since it is very high in antioxidants.
Spinach, as it turns out, is also rich in inorganic nitrate which studies have proven, is helpful in preventing cardiovascular problems, although whether this is also true for dogs is yet to be proven.
Finally, it is anti-inflammatory in nature and, therefore, prevents a lot of damage to the gut and other areas of the body which might come due to the presence of free radicals.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: Recipe Guide
Recipe: Beef and Spinach
- Beef- 2 lbs;
- Baby Spinach- 1 ounce;
- In a deep pan, add some coconut oil and preheat the pan for about a few minutes before adding in the beef.
- Once added, stir-fry the beef and let it cook for about twenty minutes.
- Next, add some baby spinach leaves. Replace the lid and let cook for a few minutes before giving the dish a good mix.
- Allow cooking until both the leaves and meat have softened.
- Finally, let it cool for a bit and there you have it.
- The perfect dog snack made from spinach!
Can Dogs Eat Spinach: Fun Facts About Spinach
So, now that you’ve read all about whether your dog should have spinach or not, it’s time to look at a few cool facts that we thought might just entertain you a bit before you leave.
- Spinach is native to Persia and was introduced to China in the 7th It was brought to the United States around 1806.
- Spinach contains chlorophyll which is the pigment that leads to it having green color.
- Along with chlorophyll, it has around three hundred other pigments in it and many more are still to be discovered.
Can dogs eat spinach raw?
They can but this might pose choking risks.
Can dogs eat spinach if it has been steam cooked?
Yes! Steamed veggies are the best since these retain most of their nutritional content.
Can dogs eat spinach with other foods?
Yes. Mixing cooked spinach with rice or lean meats is a good idea.
Can dogs eat spinach every day?
No. We need to regulate the amount of oxalic acid in dogs’ bodies. This is why giving it to them daily is not such a great idea.
Can dogs eat spinach in their growing stage?
Puppies should not be given a lot of veggies. Instead, the focus should be on milk and lean meat if possible.
Can dogs be allergic to spinach?
Some dogs might. It is, therefore, always a good idea to seek vet consultation before introducing your dog to a new food.