Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, but is spinach safe for your dog?
When it comes to health foods and superfoods, spinach is considered one of the best options. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that support health and wellness for the human body. This is why so many people make spinach smoothies, salads, and even spinach-based pizza crust.
Being passionate about your health and your pup’s health is important, and diet is one of the most influential factors. However, is this superfood one you can share with your pup? Can dogs eat spinach?
The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. Many people claim spinach is fine for dogs, while others argue that dogs don’t need vegetables like spinach to survive.
Let’s take a closer look at whether or not dogs can eat spinach and whether they need it in their diet!
Can Dogs Eat Raw Spinach?
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but it’s also a form of roughage. In other words, this leafy green, while healthy, can be difficult on the stomach. This is especially true for spinach in its raw form.
If you’re wondering whether you can feed your dog raw spinach, here’s what you need to know.
While a small amount of spinach likely won’t cause any harm, it can be difficult for your pup to digest.
If your dog already has a sensitive stomach, it may be best to avoid feeding them raw spinach. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid all spinach, but raw kinds may cause digestive issues, discomfort, gas, or bloating.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Spinach?
Cooked spinach is the best form of spinach for your pup as this makes it easier for their bodies to digest.
While there are many different ways to prepare spinach, steaming is the best method to use. Boiling spinach loses most of its nutrients, and raw spinach has a high risk of gastrointestinal discomfort. Steaming spinach helps retain nutritional content while making it easier for your dog to break down.
As long as your dog doesn’t have serious kidney issues and you feed them spinach in moderation, your dog can eat cooked spinach!
Facts To Know Before Feeding Your Dog Spinach
Because of the oxalic acid content in spinach, spinach can be harmful to dogs if they have kidney disease or are at risk for kidney failure. Oxalic acid is an organic acid that hinders calcium absorption in the body.
This prevents calcium from building up in bones, which reduces the amount of magnesium and calcium in the blood. This metabolic imbalance causes blood calcium levels to become low and excess calcium oxalate to filter through the kidneys. In excess, this can lead to kidney damage.
For most dogs, it would take a lot of regular spinach consumption to lead to kidney damage. Knowing how much spinach to feed your dog and how to properly cook it so it’s safe is key. Don’t feed your dog any type of spinach if they have kidney issues.
If you’re in doubt as to whether your pup should eat spinach, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted veterinarian. They will be able to determine whether spinach is safe for your dog and in what quantities.
Benefits of Cooked Spinach for Dogs
If you aren’t quite sure if you want to feed your pup cooked spinach, here are some of the benefits this vegetable offers.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Spinach is rich in a variety of vitamins that help support health and wellness.
Here are a few of the vitamins this superfood offers:
- - Vitamin K: Spinach is packed with vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and faster healing. Vitamin K is also excellent for bone health and strength.
- - Vitamin A: Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, as well. Vitamin A helps promote eye health, immune system function, and cellular development.
- - Folate: This leafy green is also a rich source of folate, which promotes the function and development of red blood cells.
- - Iron: Spinach is also a rich source of minerals, including iron, which supports the process of transporting blood to the body. Iron is necessary for bringing oxygen to hemoglobin so the body can make energy. Iron also supports regular enzymatic functions. Iron deficiency is common in dogs and other animals, so cooked spinach is a great snack that may be able to help.
In addition to the nutritional value listed above, spinach is an excellent source of fiber. Plus, it’s fat-free and low in calories, making it a great snack for dog’s who need to lose weight.
Additionally, spinach is also a fantastic source of antioxidants, which help combat free radical damage and oxidative stress.
How Do I Add Spinach Into My Dog’s Diet?
There are a variety of ways to incorporate spinach into your dog’s diet.
First, you can make homemade treats that include steamed spinach in them as a way to give your dog the nutrients they need in a tasty treat.
You can also look for dog food with spinach already included as an ingredient. Make sure the spinach was steamed and minimally processed for maximum nutrient retention, and look for any additives or synthetic ingredients on the label.
While finding spinach in dog food is good, finding dog food with clean ingredients is better.
Balanced Dog Food with Sundays
There are many people who claim dogs should only eat protein, but the truth is that whole fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free grains are excellent for your pup and their health.
Sunday's food is all-natural, gently air-dried, and made human-grade so it’s good enough for everyone to eat.
With spinach and other fresh vegetables, fruits, and proteins, we’re passionate about what goes into your pup’s body.
Learn more about a dog food plan for your pup, the ingredients we use in your dog’s food, and how we work to make hassle-free dog food.