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Can Dogs Have Kale – Everything You Need To Know

Can dogs eat kale? Yes, most dogs can eat kale in moderation. Kale is unlikely to be toxic to most dogs in limited quantities, and it may also have specific dietary benefits. However, in some cases, kale can upset your dog’s stomach under certain circumstances and amounts, cause gastric irritations, kidney stones, etc. Be very careful with how you introduce kale into your dog’s diet and how much you kale you feed your dog.

What is Kale?

Kale is a hardy, leafy vegetable that belongs to the Brassica oleracea family which includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Kale comes in various shapes and sizes, but the traditional curly-leafed and flat-leafed. Lacinato varieties are the most common for of Kale. Vitamins K and C, beta-carotene, calcium, carotenoids, and sulforaphane are abundant in this leafy vegetable.

Is Kale Good for Dogs?

Kale can be served to your dog in moderation. Kale is filled with nutrients such as

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Kale also has antioxidants that fight cancer and other diseases.

What Are the Health Benefits of Kale for Dogs?

Antioxidants are essential in preventing oxidative stress in your dog. Excess free radicals and oxidants in your dog’s body cause oxidative stress. Free radicals are compounds of unstable electrons, and they’re a byproduct of normal processes like metabolism and exercise.

Free radicals are also found in chemical pollutants such as:

  • Pollution
  • Pesticides 
  • Secondhand smoke

Free radicals interact with other molecules in an attempt to balance themselves. Proteins, DNA, and other cells can be harmed as a result. And, over time, this disruption can result in diseases such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Premature Aging
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Inflammatory conditions

Kale is a fantastic choice as it has antioxidants and can help cure many health issues. The antioxidants present in Kale that help fight health issues are Carotenoids, Flavonoids, and Chlorophyll.

Nutritional Contents of Kale

Kale contains several natural compounds that can be harmful, such as calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates. 

  • Calcium Oxalate: According to veterinarian Mara Ratnofsky, calcium oxalate can cause health problems such as kidney and bladder stones. These problems go away with veterinarian care, so they’re a solid reason to avoid giving dogs kale a tasty treat. Other diets rich in calcium oxalate can be avoided by dogs vulnerable to kidney or bladder stones. Spinach, beet greens, beet hearts, Swiss chard, collards, parsley, collards, leeks, quinoa, okra, and, of course, Kale are a few of them. 
  • Isothiocyanate: In humans, isothiocyanates have been linked to a lower risk of cancer. They can cause gastric discomfort in dogs, ranging from moderate to extreme. “Broccoli is deemed healthy for dogs if the overall volume eaten is less than 10% of their daily intake,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s chief veterinary officer. More than a quarter of a percent may be called toxic. Since broccoli and Kale also contain identical concentrations of this compound and come from the same vegetable family, we may presume that Kale can be healthy in limited amounts; it should not be eaten regularly. 

What Are the Risks of Kale? 

If consumed regularly, Kale can disrupt thyroid function. If your dog has hypothyroidism, eating large quantities of Kale regularly may cause drug interactions. Talk to your doctor about any potential human food-related medication interactions before feeding table scraps to your dog. 

Thallium, a chemical element considered a heavy metal, present in both Kale and Broccoli. Large quantities of Thallium can be toxic for your dog. Fortunately, Thallium poisoning is a rare phenomenon. However, as a dog parent, you should be careful with the quantity of kale you are feeding your dog.

Ensure that kale is fed to your dog in moderation. Even a few broccoli florets or kale stalks can be dangerous to a miniature or toy breed dog who eats three-quarters of a cup or less food per day. 

Is Kale Safe for Dogs?

Many dogs should not be affected by a small quantity of kale. It has a decent number of vitamins A, C, and K and essential antioxidants. It also contains iron, helpful to your dog’s bone health. 

If you plan to introduce kale to your dog’s diet after consulting with your doctor, make sure you give him a small quantity. Stick to the ten percent rule: If the meal accounts for fewer than ten percent of the dog’s daily diet, it shouldn’t have so many negative consequences.

What if Your Dog Eats Kale? 

If your dog consumes Kale, you should keep an eye on him for signs of digestive issues, kidney and bladder stones. Vomiting, diarrhea, trouble urinating, or a change in urination patterns are indicators that your dog might be suffering from a bladder stone problem that requires health care. 

Although small amounts of Kale is likely to be harmless, not all dogs respond in the same manner. The size of your dog is an important factor. A Labrador Retriever, for example, can eat much more Kale than a Yorkshire Terrier without having unpleasant side effects.

As always, contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns. 

Final Thoughts

Kale can be consumed in small quantities. However, since it contains some potentially dangerous compounds, mainly if it is raw, feeding it to your dog can result in an unintentional trip to the veterinarian.

There are other less risky greens to feed your dog such as peas, green beans, cucumbers, and your veterinarian can give you more detail on nutritious snacks and homemade diets. Although feeding minimal quantities of Kale to dogs won’t impact them in most situations, some vets may warn against using Kale as a reward or as part of a personalized diet if there are any medical condition concerns.

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