Many dogs enjoy fruits and vegetables as a snack. But dogs' bodies are not the same as humans', so certain foods that are fine for us to eat may not be safe for dogs.
So what about asparagus? Asparagus is a yummy vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals. It's a very healthy food for humans, but is it also healthy for dogs?
Asparagus is not toxic for dogs, so they can safely eat it. But there are a few things you should keep in mind before feeding asparagus to your pooch.
First, asparagus stalks are quite tough. We humans don't usually eat raw asparagus because it would be very difficult to chew. Dogs can also have this difficulty. To avoid the risk of your dog trying to swallow the asparagus whole and possibly choking, you should chop it up into small pieces before you feed it to him (though we don't recommend it).
Your dog might also have difficulty digesting raw asparagus, because it is so tough. If your dog experiences vomiting, gas, or diarrhea after eating raw asparagus, next time try cooking it lightly before you feed it to him. Cooking asparagus lightly also makes it easier to chew. When cooking asparagus for your dog, do not use any butter or cooking oil, as these can make a dog sick. Simply boil or steam the vegetable.
Keep in mind that when you cook any vegetables, their nutrient content decreases. If your dog has trouble digesting raw asparagus, it might be smarter to switch to a veggie that is easier to digest raw, like celery, carrots, or cucumbers, because he will get more vitamins from those foods. Celery and carrots can pose a choking hazard, especially for small dogs. Make sure you cut them into bite-size chunks before feeding it as a treat.
Something else to keep in mind before feeding your dog asparagus is that it can result in urine that smells unpleasant (this happens in humans, as well). But if your dog is fully housebroken, this should not be a problem.
The last word of caution about asparagus is that asparagus fern, the inedible part of the asparagus plant, is toxic for dogs. If you are growing asparagus in your garden, you should put up a fence to make sure your dog cannot eat the toxic part of the asparagus plant. Ingesting this part of the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.
So, can dogs eat asparagus? Yes, but there really is no point in giving it to them. It may be difficult for them to chew and digest raw if you do decide to give it to your dog, so you might want to choose a softer vegetable instead. Also, if you grow your own asparagus, be careful that your dog does not eat asparagus fern.