Can Dogs Eat Spinach? Many dog foods contain spinach. This green leafy vegetable is considered particularly healthy, at least for us humans. And what about our four-legged friends? Are dogs allowed to eat spinach at all? Are dogs allowed to eat spinach? Raw, cooked or creamed? The healthy ingredients benefit our four-legged friends.
Is Spinach Good for Dogs?
Yes. Spinach is good for dogs, but of course in normal quantities. Even children have to eat a lot of spinach because this is supposed to be really healthy. Many people are probably familiar with the cartoon series Popeye, which he gets his incredible powers through spinach. The vegetable has its reputation due to its supposedly high iron. Today we know that spinach does not contain as much iron as once did.
Although the calculation error in the spinach is now corrected, the vegetables still contain more iron than many other vegetables. However, spinach also contains oxalic acid. And this substance inhibits both iron and calcium intake.
Do Not Give Large Amounts of Spinach
Due to the high content of oxalic acid, a healthy dog should eat only smaller amounts of spinach. The same instructions apply as for beetroot. Puppies and dogs with kidney problems should not get any spinach because of the oxalic acid they contain.
How Many Spinach Can Dog Have Daily?
Eating spinach is healthy for your dog but you should keep an eye on how much he eats. People also say that eating spinach is not good for dogs because it contains oxalates, which are molecules that can be found naturally in plants and humans. High levels of oxalate in spinach are one of primary concerns for owners who give their pets to eat this vegetable but limiting spinach intake avoids that problem.
Related: Can Dogs Eat Tomatoes, Can Dogs Eat Eggs.
There is no real limit to how much spinach can a dog eat daily, but you could give him spinach one day and not the next, which would regulate oxalate problems.
Vitamin C Improves the Absorption of Iron
Spinach should be combined with Vitamin C-containing foods to improve iron absorption and potatoes are ideal for that.
Spinach has always been combined with dairy products. The reason for this is the extra calcium intake because absorption by the oxalic acid is inhibited. More calcium improves iron absorption.
Spinach Should Be Consumed Quickly
In addition to iron, spinach contains a high amount of beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Furthermore, spinach is rich in potassium and magnesium. So, spinach contributes to a healthy cardiovascular activity. Spinach promotes blood formation and secretion of gastric mucosa and bile. However, leaf spinach contains nitrate, which is converted into harmful nitrite by prolonged warming or frequent reheating and bacteria are responsible for that.
Now you know the chemical reason for the wisdom of our grandparents. Spinach should always be consumed quickly and warmed up only once, if at all.
Raw vs Cooked Spinach: Which is Better?
All the healthy ingredients benefit our four-legged friends and therefore dogs are allowed to eat spinach. However, there should be a lot of attention. When buying spinach, you should make sure that it is absolutely fresh. The leaves must not be withered and must look crisp.
Frozen spinach is available in portions and minced. The dog can easily absorb the nutrients contained in the spinach but it should not be given raw. Steam or blanch the spinach. Another option is to puree the leaves. Raw and uncrushed spinach leaves are very difficult to digest for dogs. As a practical alternative, there are portions of frozen spinach, which is already pureed.
A Lot of Oxalic Acid in Spinach
Due to the content of oxalic acid, however, spinach may be fed only in small quantities and only occasionally. A healthy dog can easily excrete a normal amount of oxalic acid. If he gets too much, it can lead to poisoning. These include nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. It may even come to spasmodic seizures.
However, if your dog has kidney problems or is prone to having kidney stones, you should definitely refrain from feeding spinach. Vegetables should not be missing in a balanced dog meal. They provide the necessary carbohydrates for the dog. However, you should pay attention to the choice of vegetables. Because some varieties are not only unhealthy for the dog and even dangerous.
How to Serve Spinach to your Dog
Tips for serving spinach to your dogs:
- Never serve spinach raw, cook it first.
- More fresh spinach is, more nutrients it has, also taste remains after cooking it.
- Wash it to remove all pesticide.
- You can steam, juice or stir-fry your spinach.
- Boling your spinach can lead to losing a lot of its nutrients.
- If dog doesn’t eat spinach, try mixing it with his meal.
- Mixing onions and salt will make your dog sick.
- You can chop the leaves to make it easier to eat.
Photo Credit: EmmyMik/Flickr; David Wagner/Flickr; Georgios Papaioannou/Flickr