Can Dogs Eat Spinach? And How Much Is Safe?
Read this before giving your dog spinach 🥬
If you’re enjoying a side of spinach with your dinner, you might be wondering if you can share a little bit of it with your pup.
While spinach is typically considered a safe vegetable for your dog, there are still risks associated with it that you should know about.
The Dodo reached out to Dr. Ole Alcumbrac, a veterinarian at White Mountain Animal Hospital in Arizona, and Dr. Claudine Sievert, a veterinarian working with Stayyy, to find the answer to the question: Can dogs eat spinach?
Is spinach healthy for dogs?
Spinach is widely considered a superfood for people since it contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C and K — and your dog can get the same nutritional benefits when he eats spinach, too.
“It also has iron, beta carotene and roughage, which helps stimulate dogs' digestive tract[s],” Dr. Sievert told The Dodo. “As long as they are eating high-quality dog food and aren't fed a lot of it, it can be healthy for them.”
The magnesium alone in spinach boasts a variety of benefits for your pup, including:
- Maintains nerve and muscle function
- Increases metabolism
- Regulates heart rhythm
- Supports healthy blood pressure
- Strengthens immune system
“It's good for their eyes, packed with vitamins and provides a lot of antioxidants,” Dr. Sievert said.
Potential risks of spinach
While dogs can have a little bit of spinach from time to time, it's not one of the top vegetables you'll want to share with your pup if she has particular health issues.
“It's important to note that spinach is high in oxalic acid,” Dr. Alcumbrac told The Dodo. “This causes blocks to the body's ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage.”
The good news is a healthy dog would have to eat a lot of spinach (like almost her entire body weight) for it to be risky, but some dogs should avoid it altogether.
Dogs who shouldn’t eat spinach at all include:
- Puppies who are still developing their kidneys
- Dogs with kidney problems
To figure out whether or not spinach can be on your dog's plate, you should reach out to your veterinarian.
Can dogs eat spinach all the time?
As long as you’ve cleared it with your veterinarian, your dog should be able to enjoy small amounts of spinach in her meals.
“Your dog doesn't need much spinach to get its amazing health benefits,” Dr. Alcumbrac said. “Adding 1–3 tablespoons of chopped spinach to their food boosts the fiber content and gives their food a huge nutrient boost.”
To get the most benefit out of this leafy vegetable, you can gently steam the spinach before adding it to your dog's food. “Boiled spinach loses most of its nutrients, and raw spinach is difficult for the dog to digest,” Dr. Sievert said.
Like with any human food you’re preparing for your pup, don't add any seasonings to her spinach, because many of them are toxic for dogs.
While spinach can be beneficial for your pup in moderation, it’s best to clear it with your veterinarian first.