Can Dogs Have Broccoli? What To Know

Not much can be as difficult as feeding broccoli to a child. They bang around in their seat and seal their lips closed. No amount of ‘choo choo trains’ or ‘airplanes’ will release their clenched mouths. However, you’d be surprised how eager your pup is to take a bite of broccoli. But, can dogs have broccoli?

They sure can, but here’s what to know about broccoli and how it affects your dog’s diet.


Why Can Dogs Have Broccoli?

Like other human foods, broccoli makes for a healthy treat for your pup. High in fiber and low in fat, a little taste of broccoli treats your dog to a healthy, tasty reward.

You probably wonder if your dog would even bother trying broccoli, but you’d be surprised. My pup devours leftover broccoli like it’s nobody’s business.

The first time I fed him broccoli I expected him to do what he usually does with undesired foods: taste it and spit it out. However, he chomped on that broccoli and gulped it down in seconds. Ever since then, I’ve used broccoli as the occasional, healthy treat.

Since childhood, the health benefits of broccoli has been beaten into our psyche. High amounts of fiber and vitamin C aid the digestive and immune systems, while the low fat keeps the waistline trim. And the same benefits aid our dog’s as well.


Can Dogs Have Broccoli, And Lots Of It?

Per usual, the American Kennel Club (AKC) preaches the 90/10 rule. In the 90/10 rule, 90% of your dog’s diet consists of their daily dog food, while 10% consists of their treats.

Of course, this rule is subjective and varies in relation to a dog’s size. For example, 90% of a German Shepherd’s diet looks a lot different than 90% of a Chihuahua’s diet.

So the answer to the posed question, “Can dogs have broccoli, and lots of it?” is no, not really. On days where you’ve cooked up some broccoli, or have some raw broccoli you need to get rid of, you certainly should reward your pup with some tasty bites.

However, you want to avoid exceeding that 10% limit. This means to limit your pup to no more than a few broccoli florets. Especially if they’re a small dog.

Also, the AKC mentions that broccoli contains isothiocyanates. While isothiocyanates have been clinically proven to help protect against cancer, eating too much of them potentially causes an upset tummy for your furry friend. But, as long as you keep your pup from exceeding that 10% rule, they’ll be fine.


Can Dogs Have Broccoli That’s Cooked Or Raw?

You likely caught I mentioned feeding your pup leftover cooked or raw broccoli, in the last section. If you did, you’ve got a keen eye!

So, yes, dogs can eat cooked, steamed, grilled, or raw broccoli. Just be sure to avoid feeding your fur baby any broccoli that’s been heavily seasoned. A heavily seasoned broccoli likely contains too much salt for your dog, although the occasional small bite wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Don’t make it a habit, however, as consistent salt intake will put your dog’s health at-risk.


Choppin’ Brocco-lay

Also, avoid feeding your dog whole pieces of broccoli with stem and all. Particularly for smaller dogs, the stem/stalk of the broccoli creates a choking hazard.

Though the solution is easy: just chop up or tear those florets into nice, edible sized bites.



So, can dogs have broccoli? You betcha! Whether cooked, steamed, grilled, or just plain raw, your pup is free to snack on some healthy florets.

By the way, if you find your pup not enjoying broccoli, have them try some other safe and tasty fruits or veggies.

And, in the spirit of October, a final joke: What do you get when you cross broccoli and a vampire?

Count Broccula!

Ok, I’ll see myself out…

Chase Correll