Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Harmless Sideffects

While some folks have a “No people food!” policy with their dogs, others supplement their pet’s diet with healthy foods that are safe for canines. The right foods can offer nutritious variety to a processed kibble diet. The wrong foods can be dangerous.

Asparagus can be a healthy and fun snack for your pooch. It is safe for your pup as long as you follow some simple rules.

It's a tough and fibrous vegetable, meaning there is a small chance of a choking hazard that you can avoid with either of the following strategies:

  • Cut into small pieces before giving it to your dog.
  • Lightly steam to soften before feeding.

The vegetable is also mildly toxic, even to humans, when raw. It largely depends on individual sensitivities as to how strong a reaction to expect.

Most people and canines are not bothered by raw asparagus in small quantities. However, if you want to be on the safe side, cook before feeding to your pooch. Remember that over-cooked vegetables lose many of their valuable nutrients, so keep it to a light steam.

It is always safest to start with a small quantity of any safe food you add to your pups diet. Individual dogs can have allergies or intolerance's just like people. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus Ends?

The bottom end of asparagus usually gets chopped off and discarded because people find it too tough. However, don’t let these ends go to waste! Your dog won’t be offended if they get the ends. Just remember to steam them or chop them into ½” pieces first.

Can Canines Consume Asparagus Fern?

There are two different things sometimes referred to as “Asparagus Fern.”

The first is the ferns that form in the garden when the vegetable matures. Gardeners know that they need to let some of the asparagus stalks grow to enjoy the harvest the following year. In the fall, these ferny plants will flower and develop small clusters of red berries.

The second kind of asparagus fern is an attractive and popular house plant (Asparagus densiflorus), often grown for its lush foliage and pretty seasonal red berries. It is closely related to the one grown for food, although it does not produce edible stems.

It turns out that BOTH varieties of fern are mildly toxic to canines and felines. Both the foliage and the berries it can cause stomach upset and/or a skin rash. Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common side effects if a dog eats the fern type.

Gardeners should make sure their dogs are kept out of the asparagus bed and if you have the indoor plant, be sure it is out of reach and that the berries do not drop within range of your pooch.

My Dog Ate The Fern! Should I Take Him To The vet?

If you know your dog ate a small amount of the fern then keep an eye on them. Chances are that they may not even have a notable reaction to eating a small amount.

Call your vet if you suspect that your dog has eaten a significant quantity of either version of mature asparagus fern or the berries, or if they show symptoms including loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.

Health Benefits

It turns out it's one of the most healthy vegetables out there. It is a nutrient dense food with many potential health benefits. In addition to providing some fiber for your pups diet, the vegetable is packed with the following nutrients:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, B6 and K
  • Thiamin
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants

Strange (and harmless) Side Effect

If your pooch eats it you may notice one strange side effect that is perfectly harmless: Strange smelling urine. Just like in people, this weird side effect of eating asparagus is nothing to worry about.

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