Since you likely have broccoli in your house most of the time, you may have wondered if you can share this vegetable with your pooch as well. If you are looking to add more veggies into your dog's diet or just want to share a healthy snack or treat with them during the week, you may want to consider broccoli as one of your go-to sharable snacks.
Broccoli is perfectly safe for most dogs to eat and provides their body with so many health benefits. However, just like with most other foods, there are some do's and don'ts to feeding your dog broccoli, which we will explore below. We will also take a look at some of the yummiest ways to serve up this bright green veggie to your dog as well.
Signs of a Dog Liking Broccoli
If you try to give your dog broccoli for the first time and they like the way it tastes, they are going to eat it quickly and without any signs of hesitation. After that, your dog is likely to beg for more of the veggie by standing close to you and the food until you share more, paw at you, stare intently, wag their tail, look alert and focused on the food, and they will also drool and lick their lips a lot as well. Some dogs may also pace, spin in circles, and jump up at you with excitement and anticipation.
If your dog does not like broccoli, they will try and eat the broccoli at first, but then they will spit it out. Your dog may either walk away from the food to show they are not interested or they may even try and play with the food. Pawing at the food, flinging it around, growling, exposing their teeth, or giving it the snarly "ugly face" is a sign they do not like broccoli.
These are some signs you may notice if your dog likes broccoli:
- Wag tail
- Lip licking
- Ears up
- Drooling and lip-licking excessively.
- Staying close to you and staring.
- Pawing at your leg
History of Dogs and Broccoli
Interestingly, this vegetable is not found in the wild and was invented through a selective breeding process when experimenting with cabbage plants. This means the broccoli is technically a man-made food.
Broccoli was extremely valuable and prized in the Italian culture and when it made its way to England in the 18th century, it was equally valued as well. People could not get enough of this food and was recognized for its nutritional profile as well.
Because broccoli was such a prized vegetable, it was unlikely dogs were every served broccoli intentionally...although we are sure some pieces were gobbled up by pet dogs when they hit the floor accidentally. Broccoli was reserved for human consumption and likely was something too expensive to feed a family dog. A dog's diet consisted of wild meats, bones, and fats.
Large-scale cultivation of broccoli dates back to the 1500's, but the United States did not see any popularity for broccoli until the 1920's.
Science Behind Dogs and Broccoli
Broccoli also contains a high level of fiber, which will help keep your dog's digestion working the best it can. Broccoli also has a lot of potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and many other minerals. Overall, broccoli has a lot of nutritional benefits
Training Dogs to Like Broccoli
You can chop up some plain and steamed broccoli and add it to their meals or you can give them small pieces as a treat or snack. You will want to cook the broccoli before you give it to your dog so it is nice and soft. The stems of raw broccoli can be hard and fibrous, and cooking it will eliminate any kind of choking hazard. This is particularly important if you have a small dog.
Steaming is also the best cooking method because you do not have to use any oil or butter to cook it so it remains healthy and low-calorie for your pooch. You should also avoid adding and salt, pepper, or other seasonings to the broccoli. This has no nutritional benefit to your dog and it is simply not needed.
Always keep in mind that giving them smaller and occasional portions is the best. You don't want broccoli or other veggies to make up most of your dog's diet. Too much can cause stomach issues and other uncomfortable side effects.
If you find your dog does not like broccoli, but you still want to add it to their diet occasionally, you will want to find ways to disguise the taste and smell of the broccoli. You can accomplish this by finely chopping or processing the broccoli into very tiny pieces. You can add the broccoli to homemade cheddar dog treats or add it to some frozen greek yogurt and peanut butter dog bites.
You can mix plain greek yogurt, some natural peanut butter, and the small broccoli pieces together and place it into an ice cube tray, and freeze. All you have to do it pop one out for a yummy, cool, and healthy snack your dog will love!
How to React if Your Dog Doesn't Like Broccoli:
Find ways to disguise the taste.
Take any uneaten pieces away from them.
Don't force them to eat it.
Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Broccoli:
Always cook the broccoli first.
Don't overfeed. Only give as an occasional treat.