Can Dogs Taste Cauliflower?

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Introduction

In recent years, cauliflower has been in the spotlight and has shown through as an awesome and densely nutritious superfood. With such a rise in popularity, cauliflower is making it to the dinner table across the world and therefore our dogs are more likely to be around this veggie, as well. 

Since we all like to treat our dogs to some of our food from time to time, is it ok to share your cauliflower with your furry friend? In short, you can, indeed, give Fido some cauliflower, although you will want to limit their portions!

Signs of a Dog Liking Cauliflower

Cauliflower has a multitude of health benefits that are great for humans and can be good for your dog as well, but only in smaller quantities. It is not new news that cauliflower can make one gassy, and it can do the same to dogs. Many dogs may not enjoy the taste or the texture of the cauliflower though, so whether your dog will enjoy this veggie or not is up to their own taste buds. 

If you want to treat your dog to yummy cauliflower occasionally, it will generally be ok and will not pose any significant risks to your dog's health. If your dog has a particularly sensitive tummy, it may upset their stomach a little and give them some unpleasant gas, but the side effects will not be much worse than that. Dog's should avoid consuming cauliflower in big quantities, so stick to giving them a few bites if you happen to have some plain cauliflower for dinner. 

Dogs generally will eat just about anything you give them, especially if you are eating it as well, so it is likely your dog will like to munch on some cauliflower with you. If your dog does enjoy snacking on this veggie, your dog will most definitely let you know they like it with some positive body language signs. To tell if your dog does enjoy this veggie, observe if they take the cauliflower and eat it without any snarling or mouthing, if they wag their tail with pleasure, if they look alert and raise their ears in anticipation for more food, or even bark at your for more chunks of cauliflower! 

Body Language

Here are some signs you may notice if your dog likes cauliflower:
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Sniffing
  • Ears up
  • Whale eye

Other Signs

These are some other signs you might notice if your dog likes cauliflower:
  • Pawing at Your Legs
  • Licking Their Lips
  • Begging for More

History of Cauliflower and Dogs

Cauliflower is believed to have originated throughout Asia thousands of years ago. Cauliflower gained a lot of popularity in Europe, specifically in France, during the 16th century. It was then introduced to the Americas in the 1600s. However, cauliflower did not become commercially available in the Americas until the 1920s - not so long ago! Cauliflower was originally bred from traditional green cabbage through the domestication of wild cabbage. Cauliflower developed over time as a result of artificial selection. 

For centuries, cruciferous veggies have been used to prevent and treat a wide variety of diseases, cancers, illness, and other ailments. Cabbages and cauliflower were used in the Ancient Greek and Roman time period to help cure many different types of illnesses. 

Today, cauliflower is widely recognized as a veggie that has a myriad of health benefits and can even prevent many different forms of cancer and disease. It is rich in many vitamins and minerals. Although it is unknown if dogs were given cauliflower as a source of food many centuries ago, it is possible dogs enjoyed this veggie from time to time along with their meat-heavy diet. 

Science Behind Dogs and Cauliflower

There is a heap of benefits to giving your pup some cauliflower from time to time. However, you may not want to give your dog this veggie on a regular basis because it may cause a little bit of stomach upset and some stinky gas! Other than that, your dog can have cauliflower without any risks. Cauliflower has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and easy-to-digest fiber for your dog. It is also believed that cauliflower can reduce inflammation.

For example, if your dog suffers from arthritis, in theory, it may help to reduce some inflammation if cauliflower is included in their diet. Cauliflower also contains a compound called isothiocyanates, which is known to prevent some cancers. Furthermore, cauliflower's high antioxidant levels will also help prevent a wide variety of cancers as well. The fiber in this veggie can also support their digestive health and keep them regular, although it is important to note that too much can have to opposite effect and upset their stomach. No dog owner wants to deal with a vomiting dog or one that has loose stool!


Training Dogs to Like Cauliflower

If you have ever tried to give your dog a new kind of food and they did not like it, there is little you can do to train them to like said food. If your pooch does not like the taste or texture, it will be challenging to get them to easily eat cauliflower in its plain form. However, there are ways you can disguise the taste and the texture of the cauliflower and make this superfood much more enjoyable so your dog can reap some of the veggie's benefits.

One of the best ways to include cauliflower into your dog's diet is to cook, drain, and then include it as an ingredient in a baked treat. To make this fun recipe, all you need is a few simple items - it really could not be any easier! Your dog is sure to love these cheesy cauliflower treats. 

You will need: 

  • 1 large head of cauliflower or 1 bag of cauliflower florets 
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup of water 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese 
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Chop your cauliflower into small pieces and place into a microwave-safe bowl with your 1/4 cup of water. Microwave for about 5 minutes with a plate covering the bowl. Make sure there is a crack in the plate and bowl to let out some steam. 
  3. Drain out the water and turn out the cauliflower into paper towels or a clean dish towel to squeeze out all the excess water. 
  4. Put the cauliflower into a food processor or blender and blend until mostly smooth. 
  5. In a large bowl add the cauliflower, yogurt, cheddar cheese, applesauce, and egg and mix with a spatula until well combined.
  6. Place your mixture into regular or mini muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges. 

If your dog does like plain cauliflower, you can give it to them cooked or raw. This is a great low-calorie snack or treat, especially for dogs that are over overweight. 


Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Cauliflower

  • Don't give them too much - it can cause gas/upset tummy.
  • Make sure they don't eat the hard stems, core, or leaves.
  • If your dog shows any signs of severe reaction, call your vet immediately!