Kale is termed a superfood due to the health benefits it delivers to humans. Like other leafy green veggies, kale is very nutrient-rich. Kale appears in smoothies, health foods, and salads and is very nutritious for people. With its growing popularity, many diet-conscious pet owners wonder whether or not they should make kale addition to their dog’s diet. Is kale safe for their dog?
Yes, you can treat your dog with kale. Technically kale is not harmful to dogs when offered in minimum quantity. But overfeeding kale can cause severe medical issues for dogs due to its potentially dangerous chemical compounds, including isothiocyanates, calcium oxalate, and thallium. These can lead to health problems like gut irritation, kidney and bladder stones, or hypothyroidism. Seeking your dog’s vet’s advice is best.
In this article, you’ll get to know nutritional facts, health benefits & serving ideas of kale. Further discussion will reveal how kale overeating can be Poisonous for your dog. Keep reading to get your facts correct.
Is It Okay for Dog to Eat Kale?
Feeding small-to-moderately small quantities of kale occasionally will not cause any harm to your dog. Organic kale is more-safer for dogs as the quantity of thallium (harmful for dogs) is less. If your dog is suffering from any medical condition, your vet may caution against kale feeding as part of the dog’s food or as a treat. Your vet may ask you to replace kale with cucumber, green beans, or any other healthy veggie.
Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits of Kale for Dogs
Following the moderation rule, you can supplement your dog’s diet with lots of nutrients that kale supplies. Loaded with vitamins C, A, and K, serving your dog kale can assist blood and muscle health. Due to its low-calorie content, kale is a good option for dogs tending to carry extra weight or overeat.
Calcium, Potassium & Magnesium
Kale is an excellent source of plant-based calcium. Kale also contains oxalate, which aids in calcium absorption. According to USDA, 100 grams of raw kale contain 254 mg of calcium, 348mg of potassium, and 33mg of magnesium. Calcium is an essential mineral for dogs which improves:
- The health of bones, Teeth, and heart.
- Muscle health
In some dogs, too much quantity of oxalate can lead to bladder stones issue.
Like other dark green leafy veggies, kale is also rich in iron. Most animals tend to fulfill their iron requirements from meat-based sources. But kale is an excellent alternate choice. In dogs, iron can improve:
- Blood health
- Heart functionality
- Helps to prevent anemia
Kale is full of vitamins A, C, E, and K. These vitamins supply many health benefits to dogs which include:
- Vitamins help in maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and the immune system.
- They are also crucial for blood clotting.
- These vitamins also support colon & vision health, fight infections, and detoxify the liver.
- Some of these vitamins have the potential to fight inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Antioxidants are chemical compounds that eradicate free radicals. Radical can cause oxidative damage to your dog’s body cells. This damage to the body cells can lead to cancer condition in dogs. Kale is an excellent source of two essential antioxidants:
These antioxidants can protect your pet from developing cancer condition. Still, more research is needed to identify the role of veggies in reducing cancer.
Fiber, Carbohydrates & Proteins
Kale is also a rich source of soluble fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates. According to USDA, 100 grams of raw kale contain 4.1grams of dietary fiber, 4.42 grams of carbohydrates & 2.92 grams of protein. Carbohydrates and proteins can fulfill your dog’s energy demands. On the other hand, soluble fiber aids with healthy digestion.
Remember, too much fiber can cause stomach issues.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Kale?
Yes, raw kale is not harmful to dogs to eat. But it is more challenging for dogs to digest than cooked kale. Raw kale can cause the dog to suffer from gas problems or tummy trouble if your pet has a delicate stomach.
Pureeing the raw kale is a good idea to make the digestion of kale easier for your dog. But cooked kale is best because it is much more gentle on your pet’s gut and easier to digest. So it’s best to offer your dog lightly steamed, baked, or boiled kale.
Can Dogs Eat Curly Kale?
Like regular kale, dogs can consume Curly kale, but the same rules apply. Curly kale is one of the most common kinds of kale & your furry friend can eat a little steamed or raw curly kale. But remember, like regular kale, you have to serve curly kale in moderate amounts as a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Consume Kale Stems?
Some people give kale stem to their pet, thinking they will like them as a crunchy snack. Kale ribs or kale stems are edible but tough, bitter, and fibrous. We humans don’t eat them and cut them off. Your dog might enjoy them; furthermore, it also contains some nutrition. But kale stems also has similar risks as kale leaves due to the high oxalate content.
Raw stem poses a choking hazard to dogs, so you prefer giving cooked stem to your pet. No matter how you serve stems, most dogs see them as distasteful.
Can Kale Be Poisonous?
Kale is not poisonous & feeding a small amount of kale is not harmful to your pet. But overeating kale can pose your dog with serious health problems. Kale contains different potentially poisonous compounds to dogs, including isothiocyanates and oxalate. Kale contains paw potential to make your dog poorly if he overeats or has a sensitive stomach.
Kale overeating can lead to the following complications.
Kidney and Bladder Stones
Kale contains oxalates. Soluble oxalates are usually safe and natural, but they can bind with calcium & contribute to bladder and kidney stones. So if your pet is suffering from bladder or kidney stones, it is best to avoid feeding your dog kale or other oxalate-rich foods (beet greens, spinach, mustard greens, cabbage, etc.).
You can minimize kale’s oxalate content by cooking, but avoiding it altogether remains the best option.
Isothiocyanates are a natural compound found in kale. In humans, it is thought to decrease the cancer risk & other benefits potentially. It is only safe in small amounts, and if your pet has consumed too much kale, it can lead to gut irritation in dogs. Your dog will be excellent as long he consumes kale less than 10% of their daily calories allowance. Overconsumption of isothiocyanates can lead to:
- Tummy troubles
A large amount of kale is toxic, so it’s advised to restrict it to a safe amount.
Disturb Thyroid Function
Dogs require iodine in their diet to prevent hypothyroidism (a condition that affects metabolism) and stay healthy. But too much iodine can lead to problems like cancer or stomach upset. Kale has high iodine content, which can interfere with thyroid function or medication if overfed. If your pet mourns from a thyroid condition, avoid feeding him kale.
Before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, it’s best to seek consultancy from your vet.
Kale also has thallium, which is poisonous for dogs and can cause thallium poisoning. But it is infrequent for dogs to develop thallium poisoning. Symptoms of thallium poisoning include:
- Elevated body temperature
If the dog eats kale regularly or has eaten a lot of kale can suffer from this condition.
How Much Kale Can Your Dogs Eat?
Feeding kale will not be a problem if you obey the 10% rule. That means your pet’s snacks, treats & other complementary foods should provide only 10% of their daily calorie intake (or less). Dog food should make up the remaining 90% of its calories. Deviating from the 10% rule can put your pet’s life at stake. A small quantity of kale is not harmful, but your pet’s size plays a significant role. For instance:
The amount of kale labrador retrievers can safely consume is much larger. But the amount a Yorkshire terrier can safely devour is comparatively smaller.
My Dog Overeat Kale. What Do I Do?
If your pet accidentally overeats kale, firstly, you should monitor your dog closely for symptoms of bladder & kidney stones or intestinal upset. A dog suffering from bladder stones may show the following signs:
- Difficulty in urination
- Change in urination habits
If you notice any symptoms or changes in your dog’s behavior, go for a medical checkup immediately.
Due to the significant difference in the digestive system of dogs and humans, you have to prepare kale for your furball differently.
Whether you steam/cook and serve alongside an entrée or as a treat, there are a variety of ways to prepare & serve kale for your dog. Keep the following helpful information in mind while preparing kale for your pet.
- Buy buying organic kale as it has a minimal amount of harmful thallium
- Thoroughly wash the kale to remove the pesticides from the leaves before feeding it to your four-legged friend.
- Puree or chop the kale to make kale eating and digestion easy for your dog.
- You can feed your doggy steamed, cooked, or raw kale, whichever way your dog prefers.
- Always serve kale and other leafy greens with a protein source like beef or chicken.
- Serve plain; avoid seasoning and additives like oils, spices & other herbs as these are toxic for dogs.
- To avoid any complications, always serve moderately. Introduce new food slowly.
Be Careful with Kale Treats
When prepared correctly and served, kale can be a fantastic addition to your pet’s diet. Most adult, healthy dogs can eat plain kale in small amounts. You have to be careful with this veggie. Kale has many nutritional benefits, but excess of it or overfeeding can lead to severe medical complications like kidney or bladder stones, gut irritation, etc. Dogs suffering from hypothyroidism should not get their hands on kale as it can further complicate the situation. Your vet can best guide you on whether or not you should feed your Fido kale, as they know your dog’s health condition.
I hope this article was worth reading for you, and it has cleared all of your thoughts regarding kale.
How was your dog’s experience with kale? Please express your views and experience in the comments below.