CAN DOGS EAT MUSTARD GREENS? As more and more people are embracing vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, the popularity of fruits and veggies is on the rise. Ultimately, there has been a great fuss over mustard greens. We know they are health-boosting for people, but what about dogs?
Can dogs eat mustard greens? Yes, dogs can eat mustard greens. In spite of the name, mustard greens do not contain actual mustard seeds (which are toxic to dogs). Therefore, when used occasionally and in moderate amounts, mustard greens make a healthy addition to every dog’s otherwise complete and nutritionally balanced diet.
In this article, we will talk about dogs and mustard greens. We will describe what mustard greens are and what they bring to the table. We will also explain the different serving forms and talk about alternatives for dogs that dislike the mustard green’s peppery taste.
What Are Mustard Greens?
Mustard greens are a peppery tasting and edible mustard plant (Brassica juncea L.) from the cabbage family. It is known by many names, including curly mustard, brown mustard, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, Oriental mustard, and vegetable mustard.
Mustard greens – nutritional profile
Mustard greens are valued because of their nutritional content and profile. Here are some of the nutrients you can find in one serving (cup) of mustard greens:
· Calories – 26
· Protein – 2 g
· Total fat – 0 g
· Cholesterol – 0 g
· Total carbohydrates – 4 g
· Sugars – 1 g
· Dietary fibers – 3 g
· Potassium – 354 mg
· Sodium – 25 mg.
Can Dogs Eat Mustard Greens?
Yes, the official verdict on mustard greens for dogs is that they are safe and healthy. Mustard greens are beneficial for all dogs regardless of their age category and overall health.
Mustard greens are safe for young puppies and suitable for senior dogs. The best thing is that they can be used in diabetic dogs and dogs with other chronic conditions.
There are three nutrients that make mustard greens a good food option for dogs – vitamin A, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.
Vitamin A plays various important roles in the dog’s body, but it is mainly needed to maintain healthy eyes and strong sight. It is also helpful in boosting the immune system, supporting the skin, and ensuring reproductive health.
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps the dog’s body increase its immune response and fight off potential pathogens. Vitamin C is also important for proper skin regeneration processes and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Dietary fibers are, in fact, a type of sugar responsible for stimulating proper digestion. They keep the dog regular or, in other terms ensure healthy intestinal motility. They also affect blood cholesterol levels and support heart health.
A word of caution
However, just because mustard greens are safe and healthy does not mean you should offer them to your dog daily or in excess amounts. Dogs need balanced diets, and mustard greens are loaded with fiber.
As mentioned, dietary fibers are critical for healthy digestion, but if consumed excessively (either too often or in large amounts), they can cause constipation. Constipation is an equally serious issue as diarrhea.
Feeding Instructions For Mustard Greens
Mustard greens have a unique peppery taste. Therefore, you should combine them with other foods and ingredients and serve them as part of a complete and nutritionally balanced meal. Here are some ways of adding mustard greens to your dog’s menu:
· mixed with the dog’s regular food (dry or wet)
· Baked with other ingredients in dog-friendly treats
· Blended and served as a food topper
· Combined with other veggies (broccoli) into smoothies and yogurts.
Regardless of the serving method you choose, make sure the mustard greens are organic or, at least, thoroughly washed before serving them to your dog.
Can dogs eat raw mustard greens?
No, dogs should not eat raw mustard greens or any other raw leafy greens. In their raw form, mustard greens are hard to digest. Since the dog’s digestive system is not designed for processing plant-based foods, eating raw mustard greens can cause a tummy upset manifested with vomiting, diarrhea, gassiness, abdominal pain, and appetite loss.
Can dogs eat cooked mustard greens?
Yes, dogs can eat cooked mustard greens. The truth is, cooking is the ideal way to prepare these leafy and juicy veggies and make them safe and healthy for dogs. However, there are two caveats – you should cook them plain (no salt or other spices) and overcooking as this would remove most of the healthy ingredients.
Can dogs eat frozen mustard greens?
Dogs can eat frozen mustard greens as long as they are previously well-thawed at room temperature. Giving your dog any food directly from the freezer is an unhealthy and potentially risky choice.
Can dogs eat canned mustard greens?
No, dogs should not eat canned mustard greens. As a general rule, you should avoid food options that come in a can. However, if you can find canned mustard greens made using natural ingredients and free from added salt, spices, and preservatives, you can assume they are safe for dogs.
What About Mustard Green Alternatives?
If your dog dislikes the taste of mustard greens, there are several leafy greens with similar nutritional profiles and health benefits. Just visit the nearest farmer’s market, get a few leafy green plants, and let your dog decide which one it likes the most.
Can dogs eat escarole?
Yes, dogs can eat escarole. This bitter-flavored leafy green from the chicory family is rich in various vitamins and minerals and contains zero fats and sugars. Escarole helps strengthen the immune system, supports proper digestion, and can be useful for dogs with kidney stones.
Can dogs eat Bok Choy?
Yes, dogs can eat Bok Choy. Also known as Chinese cabbage, this leafy green has a sweet taste and crunchy texture. Bok Choy is healthy because it contains significant amounts of various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Can dogs eat kale?
There are some divided opinions when it comes to serving kale to dogs. On the one hand, it is loaded with health-boosting ingredients, and on the other hand, it contains certain compounds which, in larger amounts, can cause digestive upsets. To ensure safe feeding, give your dog small amounts of properly prepared kale.
Can dogs eat spinach?
Yes, dogs can eat spinach, but you need to make sure you feed it occasionally and in small amounts. This is because while healthy and rich in iron, spinach also contains oxalic acid, which can affect calcium absorption and metabolism.
Can dogs eat Swiss chard?
Yes, dogs can eat small amounts of Swiss chard. This leafy green is loaded with vitamins (A, K, C), minerals (calcium, iron, potassium), and dietary fiber. However, if eaten in significant amounts, it can cause gassiness.
SUMMING UP: Are Mustard Greens Safe For Dogs?
Yes, mustard greens are safe for dogs. In fact, the term safe is an understatement. When used and prepared adequately, mustard greens are a health-boosting leafy green for dogs.
By used adequately, we mean served occasionally and in moderate amounts, as dogs are not herbivores. By adequately prepared, we mean cooked but without adding salt and other spices.
Bottom line, if your dog does not like the taste of mustard greens, do not despair. You can use another alternative or use other foods or even supplements with similar nutritional profiles as mustard greens.
Are mustard plants toxic to dogs?
No, mustard plants are not toxic to dogs. Despite the misleading name, mustard plants do not contain mustard seeds and are perfectly safe for dogs. In fact, they have several health-boosting properties because they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Do dogs like mustard greens?
There is no way of knowing whether your dog will like this leafy green plant. Just like people, dogs have different taste preferences. The best way of determining is offering your dog plain cooked mustard greens and see its verdict.
Is mustard harmful to dogs?
Yes, mustard seeds contain chemical ingredients that are harmful or, better said, toxic to dogs. Mustard causes severe inflammation of the dog’s digestive tract. The good news is that mustard usually triggers vomiting, thus helping remove most of its content from the stomach.
Is honey mustard bad for dogs?
A lick or two is not directly toxic, but you should never purposely allow your dog to eat honey mustard. The honey component is not an issue; in fact, it has a soothing effect. However, the mustard is potentially toxic and must not be given to dogs.
Can dogs eat spider mustard?
Spider mustard, also known as mizuna, is a specific type of Japanese mustard green. It has a similar nutritional profile as the regular mustard greens and is completely safe for dogs.
Can dogs eat wild mustard?
Do not get confused; wild mustard does not indicate a wild version of the mustard greens. It is a specific plant more widely known as charlock mustard. The plant contains chemical compounds (isothiocyanates) that trigger digestive irritations and, in larger amounts, can be life-threatening.
Can dogs eat mustard oil?
No, dogs must never eat mustard oil. In fact, in many countries, mustard oil is banned for humans too. This is because mustard oil contains lauric acid, which is extremely toxic.