Did you see the recent trend of “green smoothies,” and now you are a fan of kale smoothies? Well, you are not alone. Guess who is in with you? Your dog! Dogs love to have everything their owners have- but can dogs eat kale? 

Well, the short answer is yes. But should they? We explored some risks that made us question the benefits of kale to dogs. So here you can decide for yourself and get some fantastic alternatives for kale for your dog!

Why Not?

1. Kidney and bladder stones

Kale has oxalates that can be harmful to dog’s health. They impact kidney function and can cause bladder stones if consumed in high amounts (article). This is one of the most significant risk factors for giving your dog kale. This is why we do not recommend serving kale to your dog too frequently or daily. 

2. Thyroid

Serving raw kale to your dog increases the chances of goiter or triggering thyroid functions in animals (article). Even though small amounts of kale occasionally will not harm your dog, you should search for better alternatives. 

3. Proper preperation

Another thing to consider when feeding your dog kale is to prepare it properly. It would be best to wash the kale as it can have harmful infections, insects, and contaminants. Once you wash them under running water, you must cook them to reduce the toxin levels. We know how raw kale can be crunchy but healthy>>> tasty!

Are There Any Health Benefits of Kale For Dogs?

Kale is not just a healthy vegetable for humans, but might even have benefits for dogs. Surprised? Let’s check it out:

1. Low on calories

The best part about kale is its low-calorie content. If served in moderation over an occasional period of time, kale can be a great reward treat for dogs. Especially if your dog is on a weight management diet, kale can be a great addition to their treat list.

2. Promotes immunity

Kale is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that kale can help improve your dog’s immune system and give it the power to fight bacteria. Also, it is a common health problem in dogs to develop inflammation in their bodies, so kale can also help with that!

3. Liver detoxification

Another fantastic benefit of serving your dog kale in moderation is that it releases a compound called glucosinolate. These help to detoxify the liver and reduce inflammation.

It says “bye-bye” to the digestive toxins in your dog’s body, improving their immune response. The same compound is found in other green veggies like broccoli and brussels sprouts (article).

4. Vitamins and minerals

Some kale nutrients help with the proper functioning of a dog’s body. From proper vision to maintaining heart health- these vitamins and minerals play an essential role in the overall well-being of your dog:

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium 
  • Potassium

5. Fibrous

Kale is one of the fibrous human food. This will help to give your dog the best pooping experience ever! It is low in calories, yet the high fiber content helps make dogs feel fuller and helps with digestion. 

a dog stands in front of a kitchen counter top which has kale on it

Alternatives of Kale For Dogs

If your dog doesn’t like the taste of kale, don’t worry. Instead, that gives you the opportunity to look at other healthy options as well! Here are a few:

1. Brussels sprouts

The first alternative to kale is brussels sprouts! They are low in calories and have similar health benefits to dogs. From antioxidants to fibrous treats- they have it all in common. It would be best to serve your dog cooked and unseasoned Brussels sprouts. 

The best part is that brussels sprouts also help with liver detoxification as it has the same compound called glucosinolate. So, they definitely are an excellent alternative to kale. Another factor is that they have vitamin K. This may or may not interfere with your dog’s medications. So, to be sure, please consult your veterinarian before serving your dog brussels sprouts.

2. Avocados

Are you a fan of green smoothies and so ran after kale? Well, there is a better alternative! Instead of kale’s green, you can add avocado’s green. The only catch is to keep the avocado pit out of the way. It can serve several benefits to your dog that are the same as kale, i.e., avocados are also rich in vitamins A and C. And, of course, taste-wise, avocados are far better than kale. And we are sure your pooch won’t disagree.

3. Beans

Another alternative to kale is green beans. They also serve the same minerals and benefits as kale, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Also, beans are low on calories, so your dog can munch on some without worrying about weight.

Overall, beans help to promote immune health and your dog’s well-being. You cannot make a smoothie out of beans, but you can serve your dog soaked or cooked beans for their health. 

4. Beets

The beets may not be green, but the grass is definitely greener there! Meaning that beets as veggies are far more nutritious and healthy than kale for dogs. Your dog can get an even better nutritional value than kale, as beets are rich in vitamin C and are packed with fiber for a healthy gut.

Not only this but just like kale, beets also have liver-detoxifying properties of kale.

Conclusion

Our final thoughts on “can dogs eat kale?” are that we do not recommend feeding your kale. Even though kale is not toxic to dogs in small amounts, why risk your dog’s health when you can find better alternatives? Especially if your dog has kidney problems, you should not compromise their well-being.  

Rest assured, you can consult your veterinarian for better advice on how much kale is too much kale for your dog.

a dog with kale and broccoli in front of her

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat kale juice?

We do not recommend serving your dog kale smoothies. It is because kale itself is not the safest food for dogs, and most smoothies have other ingredients like sweeteners or seasonings for taste. This will bring down the nutritional value of kale and can cause more harm than good. Hence, you should only give your dog small amounts of cooked and plain kale.

Can dogs eat kale leaves?

Yes and No. Dogs can eat kale leaves as there are health benefits of kale that can boost their immunity, but dogs should not eat kale due to the risks. You should cook and prepare the kale leaves appropriately before feeding them to your dog.

Can dogs eat kale raw?

You should only serve your dog cooked or steamed kale in moderation. Even though raw kale is not hard to digest, it depends on individual tolerance. Especially if you have a small dog, you should mash the kale in small amounts and then feed your dog as an occasional treat.

How much kale is safe for dogs?

It depends on the size of your dog. A small dog, like a chihuahua, can occasionally eat up to half to 1 leaf of kale. Whereas a medium to large-sized dog can eat up to 2-3 kale leaves. Also, it depends upon individual tolerance. If your dog has kidney problems, please do not serve them kale. Although kale is low in calories and can be an excellent snack for dogs, we do not recommend serving it to your dog in massive amounts.

Can dogs eat kale chips?

Kale chips are better than raw kale, but again, frying in oil takes away the nutritional value of the kale. It would be best not to deep fry them in any oil deep. You can use coconut or sesame oil for dogs but in moderation. Please serve them plain unsalted kale chips. Please get in touch with your veterinarian before serving your dog any new food item.

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