Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?

A jack Russell puppy sitting up at a table
credit: gorodisskij/iStock/GettyImages

Since the dawn of time, one question has plagued mankind. Can I feed my dog asparagus?

Maybe you and your dog are vegan, or maybe you're just looking for a new vegetable to give your dog some more nutrients. Whatever your reason, I have good news for you: The answer is yes, with a few caveats.

Nothing in asparagus is toxic for dogs. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Cooked asparagus is king.

Asparagus stalks can be very tough, as you probably know. That's one reason why we humans don't typically eat asparagus raw. Similarly, dogs might have a hard time chewing raw asparagus stalks, and they could become a choking hazard. For that reason, it's best to lightly cook asparagus before feeding it to your dog.

In addition to the choking hazard factor, raw asparagus might be tough on your dog's digestive system, which is another argument in favor of cooking. Cook the asparagus with no butter or oil (steaming or boiling is a good idea).

Dog in kitchen with asparagus on its head
credit: V-Dog

Chop up the asparagus.

Chop the asparagus up into small pieces before feeding it to your pooch. Just like for humans, long stalks of asparagus are difficult and unpleasant to chew. Cutting the asparagus into smaller pieces will minimize choking risk to your dog, and will make her much happier.

Issues to watch out for.

When feeding your dog any new food, always keep an eye out for signs of digestive problems. There's always the chance that asparagus won't agree with your dog's stomach. If that happens, or if your dog manages to get a hold of a large quantity of raw asparagus, monitor them closely for signs like diarrhea or vomiting. If you observe multiple instances of either, call your vet immediately.

Words of warning

  • With any food that's new to your dog, watch for signs of upset stomach, and call a vet if your dog experiences diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Just like with humans, asparagus can make your dog's urine smell funny. This shouldn't be a problem if your dog is house trained — just don't be alarmed if you notice a funny smell next time you take your dog outside.

Conclusion

Asparagus is safe for dogs to eat. Just be sure to follow the guidelines of cooking and chopping asparagus before serving it to your dog. Of course, always watch for signs of digestive problems like vomiting or diarrhea whenever feeding a new food to your pet.

Always consult your veterinarian if you have serious concerns about your pet's diet.