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Yes, spinach is safe for your dog, but only when consumed in small amounts.
Benefits of spinach
This leafy green is chock full of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, and K, and is well known for being a very healthy choice. It also contains protein, iron, beta carotene, and dietary fiber. Spinach can be consumed raw or cooked, and steaming is recommended as the best cooking option to preserve most of the nutrients.
Hazards of spinach for dogs
Spinach contains oxalates, a naturally occurring substance that is also found in other vegetables, such as kale, beet roots, collards and quinoa. Oxalates block the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can cause kidney and bladder stones when consumed in large quantities.
Many sources agree that a dog would have to eat a very large amount of spinach to cause issues, but some dogs with health issues should avoid spinach altogether. Those with kidney stones or bladder conditions should skip the spinach without a vet’s recommendation.
Additionally, while dogs with healthy kidneys can process small amounts of soluble oxalates, regularly eating significant amounts of spinach over the long term can cause damage, such as kidney stress, muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, and even respiratory paralysis.
In order to avoid pesticides, opt for organic spinach and don’t forget to wash your greens very thoroughly. Whether your pup eats spinach cooked or raw, keep it plain. Added salt and spices can cause trouble for your dog, ranging from dehydration to toxicity, and oils may cause tummy upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight gain. Maintain dog health insurance on your pets, so you’ll be able to get treatment for any kind of stomach upset.
It’s important to moderate your dog’s intake of spinach for the reasons mentioned above, but also because too much of any fruit or vegetable is never good for your dog’s tummy. Consuming a heaping amount of spinach in one sitting can cause an upset tummy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Curious about what is okay and not okay for your dog to eat? Check out our comprehensive guide on what human foods are safe and not safe for dogs.