If you’ve recently brought home raw artichokes or artichoke hearts in a jar or can, you might be wondering: Can dogs eat artichokes?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat artichokes and even gain nutritional value from them. However, like other “human food” veggies that are technically safe for dogs, artichokes aren’t entirely without risk. You’ll want to feed your dog artichokes in a specific way to make sure they stay healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of artichokes, the risks, and how to feed your dog artichokes the right way.
Do Artichokes Offer Health Benefits to Dogs?
Can dogs eat artichokes? Yes, they can — and the veggie even offers dogs a variety of health benefits.
Something to note: Artichokes are not the same thing as Jerusalem artichokes (sometimes called sunchokes or sunflower artichokes), which come from the sunflower plant. Dogs can eat Jerusalem artichokes too, provided you follow the proper preparation guidelines. They’re even helpful for creating a fibrous environment where healthy gut flora can thrive, which is why we include them in our Probiotic for Dogs. However, we’ll mainly focus on non-Jerusalem artichokes going forward.
Vitamins and Minerals
Artichokes are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, niacin, and folate and folic acid. The artichoke also contains smaller amounts of vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals are important for all sorts of bodily functions and help support your dog’s immune system, heart health, skin and coat quality, and much more. Also, folic acid and niacin are B vitamins and support your dog’s red blood cell creation.
Artichokes also contain antioxidants, which are good for the immune system. Antioxidants fight the oxidation caused by free radicals, harmful agents that can damage your dog’s red blood cells. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation around the body, which can help older dogs avoid arthritis pain. They also aid in cognitive function and may even have cancer-fighting properties.
Like other plant foods, artichokes have a high dietary fiber content. Fiber helps your dog feel full after they’ve eaten, which helps to avoid overeating and weight gain. Fiber is also important for regulating your dog’s digestive system — having the right amount of fiber in your dog’s diet makes issues like constipation and diarrhea less likely.
Low in Fat and Zero Cholesterol
Artichokes are also low-fat and cholesterol-free veggies, which is good for your dog’s heart health and weight. Since some dog treats introduce unnecessary fat and cholesterol to your dog’s body, small bits of veggies like artichokes can be a good alternative.
Do Artichokes Present Any Risks?
Yes, dogs can eat artichokes and gain nutritional value from them. But artichokes also present a few health risks dog owners should be aware of. The risks of feeding artichokes to your dog include:
The biggest risk of artichokes for dogs is the possibility of choking. Artichoke leaves are tough, dense, and hard to swallow, especially for small dogs. Even the more tender artichoke heart can cause choking if a dog decides to wolf it down.