Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
A Siberian Husky gets his ears checked at the vet (Photo: Adobe Stock)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on July 16, 2019
Fact Checked

While dogs love treats, many owners like to feed their pups some healthy vegetable greens.

Now, we must point out this article doesn’t constitute expert advice so you should speak to your vet about what your dog can and can’t eat.

While this article has been thoroughly researched using resources online, we’re not vets. We always recommend that you speak to your local animal healthcare expert before changing your pet’s diet.

Indeed, not all fruit and vegetables are safe for dogs to eat so pet parents should consult with their vet before feeding their pooch a new food for the first time.

You can find plenty of information on the internet detailing what types of food are safe for canines to eat but there’s no substitute for speaking to someone with years of experience in the veterinary field.

Some vegetables are perfectly fine for a dog to eat but responsible pet owners will need to consider whether they could pose a threat to their health with regards to choking or blockage in their system.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at whether dogs can eat asparagus.

We’ll break down the article into the following sections:

• What is asparagus?
• Can dogs eat asparagus?
• Does it have nutritional value?
• How should asparagus be served to dogs?
• Things to look out for
• Vegetables that are dog-friendly
• Where can I learn more?
• Anything else to consider
• In conclusion

With the introduction over, let’s delve a little deeper into the world of asparagus.

What is asparagus?

Asparagus is a type of vegetable that is commonly eaten by humans.

We usually consume asparagus as young shoots before the turn woody in flavor and texture.

The stem of the plant will usually indicate the age. A thick stem denotes an aged asparagus, while young shoots will have a slim stem.

Asparagus is usually consumed as a side dish or as part of a vegetarian meal. They can also be served by themselves as a starter.

They’re made up of 93 per cent water, so as you might expect, they’re very low in calories. For humans, they can make a healthy, guilt-free snack.

One of the common side effects of eating asparagus for humans is the distinctive smell of urine following consumption.

Can dogs eat asparagus?

While dogs can eat asparagus, it’s generally recommended that dog owners recommend for a more dog-friendly vegetable if you’re looking to feed your pup a healthy snack as a treat.

The American Kennel Club, who are an authority on all things dogs, have dedicated an article on their website to the very issue of dogs and asparagus. They write:

“Asparagus is not toxic for dogs, so they can safely eat it.”

However, the AKC go on to warn pet parents about the potential risks associated with feeding your pooch some asparagus.

In fact, on another article listing what fruit and vegetables you can safely feed your pooch, the AKC take a decisive stance:

Dogs shouldn’t eat asparagus. While asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, there’s really no point in giving it to them. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down so it’s soft enough for dogs to eat, asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. If you really want to share a veggie, something more beneficial is probably best.

One of the potential issues is the stem of this vegetable. It can clearly pose a choking hazard given it’s tough and difficult to chew.

So we don’t recommend feeding your dog a whole asparagus given it can pose a serious threat to their health.

Does it have nutritional value?

The American Kennel Club write the following about Asparagus in their article dedicated to this specific type of veg:

Asparagus is a yummy vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Our thorough research found little proof that Asparagus has much nutritional value for dogs.

Some research claims this vegetable can help to reduce inflammation, joint pain and the risk of cancer. However, there is no concrete proof to back up such assertions.

MapleHolistics outline the nutritional value of asparagus as:

• Vitamin B6 Calcium Dietary Fiber.
• Vitamin C Magnesium Protein.
• Vitamin E Zinc Beta-Carotene.
• Vitamin K Iron Riboflavin.
• Thiamin Potassium Rutin.
• Niacin Copper Amino Acid.
• Manganese.
• Selenium.
• Phosphorous.
• Chromium.

If you’ve got any concerns about feeding your dog asparagus, your safest bet could be to just avoid giving the green veg to your pup.

How should asparagus be served to dogs?

As you’ll know if you’ve ever tried asparagus, they’ve got extremely tough stalks. So if humans can find them difficult to eat, you can bet a dog may struggle too. While asparagus is safe to feed in moderation, it could cause a blockage if your dog tries to swallow it without properly chewing.

If you are really adamant that you want to feed your dog asparagus, you should cook it to soften it. You should also chop this green veg into small pieces as well as ensuring you feed your pup asparagus in moderation.

Things to look out for

A vet inspects a Labrador pup (Photo: Adobe Stock)
A vet inspects a Labrador pup (Photo: Adobe Stock)

As we’ve already touched upon, asparagus is safe to feed your dog.

However, the inedible part of the asparagus plant (called asparagus fern) is toxic for dogs. It could result in vomit, diarrhea and stomach pain.

This will be a consideration for any dog owners who are growing asparagus plants in their garden or vegetable patch. If you think your dog might have eaten some of the asparagus fern, contact your vet immediately.

Vegetables that are dog-friendly

While asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs (apart from the asparagus fern), you may prefer to err on the side of caution and feed your pup a vegetable that is much safer. We’re not short on veggie options for canines so why not play it safe?

Here are a list of vegetables that AKC list as safe for dogs:

• Brussel Sprouts
• Carrots
• Celery
• Cucumbers
• Green beans
• Peas

Where can I learn more?

If you want to learn more about what fruits and vegetables you can safely feed your dog, you should check out some established and respected websites for organisations such as AKC, RSPCA, UKC, Battersea and Dogs Trust.

• Fruits & Vegetables Dogs Can and Can’t Eat: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/

• Toxic Food For Dogs: https://www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/dog-care-advice/toxic-food-dogs

Anything else to consider

As we stated above, this article is designed to give you more information about asparagus but is not a recommendation to feed it to your canines.

If you’ve got any questions about your dog’s diet, what foods are safe or toxic, we urge pet parents to talk to their local vet for expert advice.

In conclusion

So there you have it, asparagus is not toxic to dogs but there are other vegetables that you may prefer to feed your pup ahead of asparagus.

Veggies such as carrots and celery are safer to feed your dog than asparagus.