Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

by Hannah Roundy

Brussels sprouts on butcher block counter chopped next to knife

Read about the pros and cons of brussels sprouts for dogs before your pup steals one off the kitchen counter. 

Humans have a love/hate relationship with these veggies, but dogs defer to settling the debate with a taste test. Are brussels sprouts good for dogs compared to other vegetables?

The Benefits of Brussels Sprouts for Dogs

Brussels sprouts may have been your least favorite food as a kid, but they are definitely a superfood. The leafy vegetables are loaded with natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Despite their bitter taste, brussels sprouts provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. 


Are brussels sprouts good for dogs? Although humans have different dietary needs, dogs can absolutely benefit from adding brussels sprouts to their diet. Dogs need nutrient-rich foods in their diets, too, and brussels sprouts are packed with natural minerals and vitamins.


Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K to support your dog’s cardiovascular health. Vitamins B1 and B6 also help your pup’s body make new cells and regulate their nervous system. Proper muscle function and bone health are supported by high levels of calcium, potassium, and manganese found in brussels sprouts. 


Natural antioxidants found in these veggies can even boost your pup’s immunity and reduce inflammation. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate are just a few examples of the powerful antioxidants that can prevent disease in dogs. An antioxidant in brussels sprouts called Kaempferol has also been known to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic illnesses.


Obese or diabetic dogs may benefit from eating brussels sprouts. High levels of fiber can slow down your dog’s digestion to make them feel less hungry after meals. Fiber also supports digestion and healthy bowel movements for both dogs and humans. 


Issues with Brussels Sprouts for Dogs

The downside to brussels sprouts for dogs is that they can cause flatulence in your pup. Brussels sprouts have rich levels of isothiocyanates, which help your dog’s digestive muscles move food through their intestines. But healthy digestion may come at a stinky cost. 


Isothiocyanates cause an excess of bacteria to build in the intestinal tract. Dogs rid their body of the extra bacteria by passing gas. Consuming too many brussels sprouts may cause your pup to be gassier than normal. 


Can dogs eat brussels sprouts in large servings? Unless you want to live with a gassy dog, feed your pup small servings of these veggies. The combination of isothiocyanates and high fiber is beneficial in small doses. Large servings of Brussels sprouts can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, or even vomiting. 


How to Safely Feed Your Dog Brussels Sprouts

If you decide to add brussels sprouts to your pup’s diet, follow the prep guidelines below. We also recommend asking your vet if they think brussels sprouts are a good fit for your dog. 


Always wash the brussels sprouts before serving them to your dog. Trim off the stem and any wilted leaves to avoid stomach upset. Remember to skip the seasoning – dogs don’t need additional flavors to enjoy brussels sprouts and some spices may upset their stomach. 


Can dogs eat raw brussels sprouts? Dogs technically can eat raw brussels sprouts, but it’s highly suggested to avoid feeding them to your pup. Raw brussels are a choking hazard for dogs because they are very stiff and dense. The firmness of uncooked brussels sprouts can also cause your pup to have painful digestion. 


Can dogs eat brussels sprouts if they’re cooked? Absolutely! In fact, you should opt to steam, boil, or microwave brussels sprouts prior to serving them to your pup. 


You’ll preserve the most nutrients by steaming the veggies for 5 minutes. Boiling brussels sprouts takes about 10 minutes and you can also microwave them in a bowl of water for 8 minutes.

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