Dog owners are often concerned about their pets' nutritional balance, as dogs cannot feed themselves. There are heated and endless debates about the safety of feeding fresh and cooked vegetables to pets. Even plain white cabbage is a cause for doubt and fear! Let's find out if it's really necessary and understand the misgivings of cautious owners who look after their pets' health.
Dog's need for vegetables
To understand the domestic animal, we must remember its distant ancestors: wolves, jackals and foxes. The 'relatives' living in the wild eat meat in case of a good hunt. Predators usually feed on plants, eggs, small rodents, amphibians and insects.
The "pasture food" includes fruits, berries, roots, algae, grasses and even mushrooms. This shows the genetic necessity of plant food in the daily diet of a four-legged friend.
The central part of a dog's menu consists of 70-80% protein-rich foods. Vegetables and cereals rich in natural vitamins and trace elements take up the remainder, but no less important.
Cabbage contains natural antioxidants, vitamins and essential fibre for digestion; it is a source of calcium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorus, beta-carotene and vitamins A, B and C; it prevents cancer and improves skin and hair.
There are reports that many dogs love to chew on the bunches, the hard parts of the leaves and love playing with them. After such a feast the mischievous dog's stools may contain undigested bits. Don't worry about this. Vegetable food is not well digested by dogs. Their digestive system lacks the enzymes involved in breaking down cellulose.
Question: why feed your pet something it can't digest? The content of cabbage in a pet's diet is essential! The available vegetable is rich in vitamins and trace elements, so it is necessary for a dog and takes an active part in digestion.
Why is plant food so important?
Carnivores are unable to extract energy from complex carbohydrates, a peculiarity of herbivores. The coarse fibre of raw vegetables provides a nutrient medium for the development and formation of healthy microflora, stimulates the intestines of carnivores and removes excess cholesterol.
Cabbage is a source of slow carbohydrates and dietary fibre, creating a healthy microflora and helping the animal digest it.
How often and in what quantities?
But do not fanatically put your dog on a plant-based diet. Once your dog has been introduced to this vegetable, it should be introduced gradually and in small portions.
All you have to do is limit the little one from overeating, even if it's a very healthy product.
Are there any harms?
Fresh cabbage eaten in large quantities can harm your pet. A common glutton is finished off with gas, bubbling in the stomach. Sometimes this is accompanied by intestinal discomfort. Dogs suffering from gastrointestinal and thyroid problems should be given cabbage on the doctor's advice, in doses, after appropriate treatment.
The owner must bear in mind that even small quantities contain a natural compound called thiocyanate. High doses suppress the thyroid gland and result in hypothyroidism. If a dog cannot live without it and wants to eat it often and in large quantities, it's better to boil it before consuming it to neutralise the unwanted substance.
What do I do if my dog gets full and feels sick?
In the case of overeating, some symptoms may occur:
- Difficulty in digestion caused by excessive food intake.
- Excessive flatulence accompanied by abdominal bloating and intestinal pain.
- The animal is sedentary, lying down for long periods, stretching out unnaturally and whining.
- She does not let herself be examined because of pain in the peritoneal area.
The owner should go to the vet and not self-medicate or give any medication. At the visit, detail the dog's behaviour since the onset of the illness and try to be as specific as possible about the condition's time and cause.
Raw, boiled, stewed or fermented cabbage?
Precisely because the dog is unable to digest cabbage fully, it is the primary source of fibre. It participates in the processes of stool formation and the maintenance of favourable microflora. The question is: In what form should it be given?
Whether you offer vegetables finely chopped or pureed, it doesn't matter. The main thing is to be guided by his health, his vet's advice, his preferences, his digestive system and the state of his teeth.
For better absorption of the vitamins, the cabbage is crushed, or it can be boiled.
Can I feed a cauliflower?
Cauliflower is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. It contains C, K, PP, B2, as well as: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. It has anti-inflammatory properties and prevents obesity. These properties are essential for older dogs with musculoskeletal disorders and low mobility. But, as always, moderation should be observed.
© 2021 Anjlee Yadav