Kale, arugula, Swiss chard, and collard greens are heavy-hitters in terms of nutritious leafy greens. But spinach is another vegetable that tops the list. In fact, it’s sometimes considered a superfood.
You may be wondering: If spinach is so healthy for us, is it healthy for our four-legged friends? Can dogs eat spinach?
The answer is yes — dogs can eat spinach. This nutrient-rich veggie offers several health benefits. However, it is not without its risks. If you’re going to give your dog this leafy green, you need to do so in the proper way to avoid any health problems.
Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of spinach for dogs, the potential risks, and how to feed your dog spinach the right way.
What Are the Health Benefits of Spinach for Dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat spinach. And just like humans, dogs can glean a variety of nutritional benefits from this green vegetable. Spinach contains:
Spinach is a good source of Vitamin A and its precursor, beta carotene, which supports your dog’s eye health and improves coat quality. Spinach also contains Vitamin C, known for strengthening the immune system, as well as Vitamin K for healthy bones, heart function, and blood clotting. Folate, also known as Vitamin B9, helps with red blood cell production and is also found in spinach.
Spinach is also chock-full of minerals such as:
- Magnesium: beneficial for immune function, nerve and muscle function, energy level, and healthy blood pressure
- Manganese: helps your dog’s system produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and make fatty acids
- Iron: helpful for energy production and avoiding anemia
- Potassium: an electrolyte important for heart, nerve, and muscle function
- Copper: aids in red blood cell growth
Antioxidants are one reason spinach is considered a superfood for humans, and they’re great for our dogs, too. Antioxidants fight the oxidation damage caused by free radicals — they help to reduce inflammation around the body, support the immune system, and even help battle the cognitive effects of aging.
Spinach also contains plenty of fiber. There are two types of fiber, both of which are good for your dog’s diet.
Insoluble fiber helps digestion. Because it doesn’t get broken down in the digestive tract, this kind of fiber helps move waste through the system and prevents constipation. Insoluble fiber also helps your dog feel fuller for longer, which can help prevent overeating and aids in weight loss.
Soluble fiber gets broken down in your pooch’s digestive system. It helps to lower your dog’s bad cholesterol levels and support the good bacteria in the digestive system.