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Can Dogs Eat Kale? What You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

August 1, 2021

Kale is a popular health food in America and around the world, so it’s natural to wonder if our dogs can eat kale too and get the same health benefits. The short answer is yes. Your dog can eat kale in small amounts, but there are some risks to consider as well. Join us while we take a closer look at kale to learn more about the benefits and risks of feeding it to your pet. We’ll also discuss the best way to feed it and how often to keep your pet healthy and happy.

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Is Kale Bad For My Dog?

Close up of beautiful dog eating from the bowl
Image Credit: dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

Thallium

Thallium is a natural chemical in many greens, including kale. If your dog eats too much, it can lead to thallium poisoning. Thallium poisoning can cause trembling, seizures, elevated body temperature, and even death. While most experts agree that a dog would need to ingest a lot of it to lead to poisoning, thallium is a heavy metal similar to lead, and it stays in the body for a long time, and toxicity can build up.

Can Affect Thyroid

Raw Kale can damage the thyroid gland in your dog, causing it to operate incorrectly. While it’s unlikely to be an issue for healthy dogs, those suffering from hypothyroidism will need to avoid foods like kale.

Calcium Oxalate

Kale contains calcium oxalates that can clump together to form stones in your dog’s bladder. A small amount of kale here and there is unlikely to be a problem, but dogs that suffered bladder stones before should avoid this food.

Isothiocyanates

Isothiocyanates are another compound found in many greens, and while these don’t pose any serious health risk, they can cause gastric irritation, which can lead to gas and potentially diarrhea.

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Is Kale Good For My Dog?

kale
Image Credit: Pixabay

Vitamins and Minerals

Kale has plenty of vitamins and minerals that are essential for a dog’s health. Kale provides your pet with a good amount of Vitamins A, C, and K, all of which help boost the immune system and help your pet heal faster. It also contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, and other minerals that your pet needs to build strong bones and develop properly.

Low Calories

There are almost no calories in kale, so you will not need to worry about putting weight on your dog by giving them some as a treat. It’s also low in sugar that would contribute to tooth decay, and it has no fat that might contribute to heart disease.

Fiber

Kale is very high in fiber, which can help balance your pet’s digestive system by regulating the water in the intestines. A dog with a diet high in fiber is less likely to be constipated or have diarrhea. Fiber may also reduce the risk of colon cancer by expelling toxic waste faster.

Water

Kale is almost all water, so eating it will help your dog stay hydrated. It can be especially helpful if your pet hasn’t been drinking enough or is constipated. There is some risk from feeding it to a well-hydrated dog because the high moisture content can cause diarrhea.

How Should I Feed Kale to My Dog?

  • To feed your dog kale, the first thing you will need to do is wash it. The large surface area of kale can hold potentially dangerous pesticides. Wash both sides of the leaves with water before giving them to your pet.
  • You can feed a small amount of kale raw whole or diced, but we recommend cooking or steaming it first to make it healthier for your dog even though it robs it of many of the healthy nutrients.
  • Only serve a few leaves once a week as a treat to avoid any health risks.
varieties of kale
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Summary

If your dog ate some kale when you weren’t looking, there is no reason to be concerned. It will be fine, and your pet will have gotten a few healthy nutrients. You can find kale listed in the ingredients of many dog foods. However, we recommend avoiding adding it to your pet’s regular diet because health problems can develop over time. The amount of kale in dog food is very small, and there are plenty of other healthy alternatives you can feed your pet, like peas, green beans, and cucumbers.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into this human superfood and the safety of giving it to your dog. If we have helped answer your questions, please share this guide to feeding your dog kale on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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