Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat cabbages in moderation. Cabbage provides a nutritious source of fiber and vitamins K and C. These vitamins improve your dog’s digestion and immune system and combat sickness. However, too much cabbage might induce indigestion or impair thyroid gland function. 

What is Cabbage? 

Cabbage is a leafy green, crimson (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant used as an annual vegetable crop for its dense leaves. Cabbage is made up of various varieties of Brassica oleracea. It is linked to broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and Savoy cabbage. It descends from wild cabbage and belongs to the “Cole crops” or brassicas. 

Brassica oleracea, a putative wild progenitor of cabbage, is tolerant of salt but not an invasion by other plants. Hence, it prefers to live on rocky cliffs in chilly, wet coastal settings, holding water and nutrients in its slightly thickened, turgid leaves. However, a genetic study indicates that this population is feral, originating from plants that fled from fields and gardens. 

According to the triangle of U theory of Brassica species evolution and relationships, B. oleracea and other closely linked kale vegetables (cabbages, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) are one of three ancestral lines from which B. oleracea and other strongly linked kale vegetables (cabbages, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) are descended. 

Is Cabbage Safe for Dogs? 

Yes, cabbage is safe for dogs to consume in moderation. Red cabbages have high amounts of anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, they are an excellent choice to feed your pet. However, you should set a limit on his cabbage consumption. Avoid feeding cabbages to dogs with loose stool.

It is essential to keep away cabbages which are: 

  • Seasoned: Seasoned cabbage is harmful to dogs as it contains various spices. Spices can make your dog sick.  
  • Raw: Raw cabbages in small amounts are safe, but they are hard to digest and can cause choking in dogs. It also contains thiocyanate, which is toxic for dogs.  

Varieties of cabbage such as napa, Savoy, purple, green, white, and red are safe for dogs. Cook the vegetable thoroughly and serve your dog without spices, seasonings, and additives.

Why is Cabbage Good for Dogs? 

Cabbage is safe for dogs as it is packed with nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Let us look at the benefits of cabbage for dogs: 

  • Rich in antioxidants 

Antioxidants like phytonutrients help immune cells in aged dogs to work better. Also, they slow down the aging of biological macromolecules. In addition, they reduce the presence of free radicals in the blood and prevent diseases such as cancer.

  • Rich in fiber 

Adding good bacteria to your dog’s digestive system is vital. Consuming the correct quantity of fiber will maintain his gut health on track. So if your dogs eat cabbage, it supplies fiber for them, keeping them bright and energized. 

  • Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help your dog’s body fight free radicals, promote healthy aging, and decrease inflammation. In addition, vitamin C boosts your dog’s immune response, increases his energy, and relieves him from urinary tract infections. 

  • Vitamin B 

B vitamins, particularly B6, are essential for your dog’s general health. For example, B6 is necessary for dogs because it aids in hormone control, immunological response, gene activation, and the proper functioning of their neurological system and red blood cells. 

  • Vitamin K 

Cabbage is rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble substance required for protein coagulation, necessary for blood clotting. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), generated in plants, can be ingested through food or other supplements. It is the most common dietary source of Vitamin K. 

  • Sulforaphane 

A cancer-fighting compound, sulforaphane, is found in cabbage. Hence, dogs consuming cabbage in the correct order can have a low risk of getting cancer. 

Sulforaphane also lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart diseases. 

  • Low in Calories 

Cabbage is minimal in calories. Only 17 calories are in one and a half cups of shredded cooked cabbage. In addition, raw cabbage leaves provide only 6 calories per leaf, making them a perfect low-calorie supplement to your dog’s food. 

  • Folate 

Folate is required for proper metabolic operations, such as forming blood cells and generating amino acids to produce proteins. 

  • Potassium 

Potassium is abundant, which aids in the health of your dog’s nerves and muscles. 

  • Water

A high percentage of water in cabbage keeps your dog hydrated. 

  • Cabbage can assist and protect cells from damage, carcinogen deactivation, tumor cell growth and migration. Not only that, but it also possesses antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory qualities that will help your dog. 

Why is Cabbage Bad for Dogs? 

Cabbage, though it is suitable for dogs to consume, it also has its downsides. Let us see the drawbacks of feeding cabbage to your dog: 

High Fiber 

The high fiber content in cabbage can distress the dog’s gastrointestinal functions. It may lead to: 

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Gas 
  • Increased flatulence
  • Abdomen pain 


Cabbage includes a natural chemical called thiocyanate. It affects the thyroid gland and, if consumed in large quantities regularly, can result in hypothyroidism. The signs of hypothyroidism are: 

  • Weight gain 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Lethargy 
  • No knack for activities 
  • Cold intolerance 

Gum Diseases

Providing large amounts of cabbage to your dog affects his dental health. It damages the dog’s tooth enamel, builds up plaque, and finally results in pyorrhea.


Your dog might be allergic to cabbage. Accidently if you feed the vegetable to your dog, take him to the vet immediately. Allergic reactions in your pet include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchiness
  • Skin irritation

How Much Cabbage to Feed Your Dog? 

For every 20 pounds of weight, a dog can consume one-eighth of a cup. If you have a smaller dog, about one-eighth of a cup of shredded cabbage leaves added to their meal would be enough. If your dog is large, you may want to increase the amount of cabbage in their food. 

However, you must consult with the vet before introducing any new food to your dog.  

How to Serve Cabbage to Your Dog? 

Here are a few serving ideas for dogs: 

  • Cooked cabbage without seasoning 
  • Added to a balanced prepared meal with a good dose of protein. 
  • Added to your dog’s supper as a garnish. 

What if My Dog Ate Cabbage? 

There would be nothing to panic about if your dog overate cabbage. However, overeating cabbage can lead to a gassy stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. Therefore, it is recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian if any of the above-discussed symptoms occur.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can dogs eat purple cabbage? 

Yes, dogs can eat steamed purple cabbage. It is packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  

Can dogs eat red cabbages? 

Yes, dogs can eat steamed red cabbages. It is packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Can dogs eat brussels sprouts? 

Yes, dogs can eat brussels sprouts. It is healthy for dogs in various ways. First, it keeps your dog healthy.  

Can dogs eat broccoli? 

Yes, dogs can eat broccoli in moderation. However, steamed broccoli is the healthiest for them to consume. Avoid anything which is seasoned.  

Can dogs eat lettuce? 

Yes, dogs can eat lettuce in moderation as it is high in fiber. However, too much fiber can cause a gassy stomach and loose bowel.  

Final Thoughts 

Summing up whether dogs can eat cabbages or not, we can comprehend that it hardly has any side effects on your dog. Gastrointestinal problems and hypothyroidism are the downsides of consuming cabbages in large quantities. Your dog can eat raw cabbage occasionally. Still, it contains thiocyanate, which triggers hypothyroidism. However, it is best to give steamed and unseasoned cabbage to your dog. Not only will it be high in nutrition, but your dog will also like it.  

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