Pet owners naturally want their pets to eat a well-balanced diet, but is it wise to give our pets asparagus to eat? Probably not. Served raw, asparagus can be tough to eat and cause stomach distress, and when cooked and seasoned in butter, oil and salt, asparagus can present other health risks for pets.
Benefits of asparagus
Asparagus is considered a healthy vegetable for most people because it’s low in fat and sodium, high in potassium and folate, not to mention it’s a good source of fiber and Vitamin B6.*
Risks to pets
The raw or cooked asparagus stalks that we bring home from the grocery store are not toxic to dogs and cats. However, there are a few important things to consider before serving this green to your pets.
- Raw stalks are tough to eat and digest, causing a choking hazard or an upset stomach.
- When asparagus is cooked with spices, oil or butter pets can experience vomiting, diarrhea and other medical issues that come with high-fat and toxic flavor enhancers.
- You may also notice your pet urinating more frequently if they eat large quantities of the vegetable due to its diuretic effect.
What parts of the asparagus are toxic to pets?
Do not feed your pet the fern and the fruit, appearing at the tip of the stalk – these are toxic! Allergic dermatitis occurs with repeated physical contact, while vomiting and diarrhea occur if ingested.** It’s also wise to keep your pets out of the garden if you grow asparagus at home.
Before offering any human food to your pet, always consult with your veterinarian first. With so many veterinary-recommended, well-balanced and delicious food options available, supplementing your pet’s diet with vegetables is often unnecessary.
** ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
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