Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Nutrition Advice for Your Furry Friend

There are many fruits and vegetables that are good for dogs, but is asparagus one of them? This delicious vegetable is packed full of vitamins and minerals but is asparagus just as good for dogs as it’s for humans? 

In the following article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of asparagus for dogs and give you a few tips on safely feeding this veggie to your dog.

A Golden Retriever eating an asparagus
Callie Bay, a Goldie, munches on her asparagus – Image source

Is Eating Asparagus Safe for Dogs?

Cheap, nutritious, and easy to cook, asparagus is a popular healthy vegetable in human food, but you might be asking yourself, “can my dog eat asparagus?” 

Unlike onions, lemons, and mushrooms, asparagus is not toxic to dogs, so it’s perfectly safe for your pet to consume.

However, pet owners need to be careful not to overdo it while also carefully considering which parts of the plant their dog consumes and how they prepare it.

A Schnauzer Poodle mix looking at a meal with asparagus
A Schnoodle mix eyeing a meal with asparagus – Image source

Is asparagus healthy for your dog?

Dogs are omnivores that gain minerals, vitamins, and various nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Low in fat and sugar, vegetables like asparagus can also be an excellent low-calorie healthy food snack for your pet. 

In addition, asparagus has several health benefits. It contains high levels of potassium, thiamin, vitamins A and vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate or folic acid. It’s also an easily digestible source of fiber.

Some other vitamins and minerals present in asparagus include vitamin K, vitamin E, phosphorus, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, manganese, and selenium. 

These essential nutrients will help your pet build a robust immune system, help with coat and skin health, promote strong bones and teeth, improve digestive health, and assist your dog in maintaining good eyesight.

Asparagus can also help regulate bowel movements in dogs that struggle with constipation. 

Asparagus will also supply your pet with plenty of antioxidants which help to flush out toxins and cancer-forming free radicals from your pet’s system. 

What Parts of Asparagus Can Dogs Eat?

An asparagus meal on plate
An appetizing asparagus meal – Image source

The tender stalks and tip of the asparagus are the bits we typically eat as humans, and these are the parts your pet can also eat.

The fibrous part at the bottom of the asparagus spears should be removed before serving as it’s too tough for your dog to chew. 

The asparagus fern plant shouldn’t be given to your dog as it’s toxic for canines. Although related to the asparagus planet, the asparagus fern is a different plant altogether.

If you have asparagus fern growing in your veggie garden, be sure to put a fence around these plants so your pet doesn’t inadvertently consume the fern. 

The flowers, small red berries, and seedpods of the asparagus plant are also poisonous for dogs.

As these are also poisonous for humans, your plants should be eaten at the tender stalk stage or instead be removed from your garden altogether. 

Asparagus Part Safe For Your Dog?
Can dogs eat Asparagus stalks? Yes, if chopped finely 
Can dogs eat Asparagus tips? Yes, dogs can eat the same parts of the
asparagus plant that humans eat
Can dogs eat Asparagus tough end? No, it’s too difficult for your dog to chew
Can dogs eat Asparagus fern? No, it’s toxic for dogs
Can dogs eat Asparagus fruit? No, these berries are poisonous
for dogs and humans

How to Feed Asparagus to Your Dog

Asparagus is quite a tough vegetable to eat raw, so we usually cook it before eating. You should do the same with any asparagus you give your pooch.

When cooking asparagus for your dog, don’t add any oil, butter, salt, garlic, cheese, or spices, as these can make your pup sick. 

You will also want to chop it up into small bite-size pieces to prevent your pup from choking.

Asparagus in a pot
Steamed asparagus

Steaming the vegetable until soft is the best method for keeping the maximum amount of nutrients locked in.

You may decide to mix asparagus with other veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes to add additional nutrition. You can even mix in some brown rice to make a tasty doggie risotto.

How much asparagus can your dog eat?

Too much asparagus in your pet’s diet can have some side effects, such as a rather unpleasant urine smell and increased flatulence. You should avoid feeding your pet large quantities of asparagus. 

The exact amount of asparagus your pet can eat will depend on your dog’s body and health, breed, size, weight, and energy levels.

It’s best to follow the 10% rule, which means that treats like veggies only make up 10% of your dog’s diet.

Per cup of asparagus, you’re looking at around 28 calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber, with asparagus being made up of 93% water.

Although a good source of fiber, too much fiber can cause your dog trouble with his digestive system and increased flatulence. 

When is asparagus harmful to dogs?

If your dog vomits after eating asparagus or experiences an upset stomach or excessive gas, then stop feeding it to your pet immediately.

As mentioned previously, the asparagus fern and the fruit of the asparagus plant are toxic for dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. 

You also need to be careful to ensure your pup does not choke on long asparagus stalks. As most dogs tend to gobble up their food pretty quickly, a tough, long, raw asparagus stalk could easily get lodged in your pet’s esophagus and be a choking hazard. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A dog eating an asparagus stalk
Cricket the doggo cannot seem to let go of his asparagus – Image source

What are good asparagus serving ideas for dogs?

All vegetables lose some of their nutrient content in the cooking process.

While you may be tempted to give your dog raw asparagus, this isn’t recommended as this tough vegetable can be difficult for your dog to chew. Thus, asparagus is best served lightly cooked until soft without any additives.

If you have your heart set on a raw diet for your dog, other veggies like carrots, celery, or cucumber are better options. Just be sure to cut these vegetables up finely before serving to your pups so that they don’t choke. 

Can you give a homemade asparagus recipe to your dog?

If your dog hasn’t shown any adverse reaction to eating plainly steamed asparagus, you may want to try and incorporate it into a delicious homemade recipe. Here is a simple asparagus soup for your pet you can try at home:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chopped asparagus
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  •  ½ cup peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • 3 cups unsalted chicken or beef bone broth

Instructions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a soup pot 
  2. Boil until the vegetables are tender
  3. Cool and serve as a tasty topper to dog food or with chicken and brown rice

What are some treats with asparagus you can give your dog?

Vegetables in a bowl
Steamed vegetables

You can create some tasty, crunchy treats with asparagus by dehydrating them at home. Dehydrating your own dog treats takes about eight hours and is a great way to make healthy snacks for your pets. 

Other vegetables that can easily be dehydrated include sweet potato, green beans, pumpkin, carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini. 

Follow these instructions to dehydrate asparagus at home:

  1. Switch on your oven or dehydrator
  2. Rinse your asparagus and snip off the ends
  3. Put the asparagus in boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes
  4. Drain the veggies and put them in a bowl of ice and water
  5. Dry the vegetables on a clean paper towel
  6. Layer the asparagus onto trays, ensuring that none of the stalks touches each other
  7. Dehydrate at 110 to 140 degrees for at least 8 hours
  8. Once dehydrated, allow the veggies to cool completely before serving

Feeding Asparagus to Your Pet: Everything in Moderation

A Shih Tzu Toy Poodle mix sticking its tongue out
Roxy, a hungry Shihpoo, asking for her asparagus – Image source

There are plenty of vegetables that are safe for your dog to eat, and asparagus is one of them. It has some great benefits for your four-legged friend, provided it’s prepared correctly. 

There isn’t a need to give your pet asparagus, but if you want to, ensure it’s just an occasional treat and not given in excess. You can also mix asparagus with other vegetables to create a delicious homemade recipe.

Also, make sure you cook asparagus before you feed it to your pet and chop it up to avoid your pet choking.

The risks of poorly prepared asparagus could outweigh the benefits of asparagus, particularly if your pet gets to the poisonous berries of this plant.

Are you a dog owner that feeds asparagus to your pet? Be sure to let us know what your dog thinks of this veggie in the comments below.

Further reading: What other Fruits and Veggies Can Dogs Eat?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.