Broccoli is a cruciferous plant made of two edible parts – florets and a stalk. The florets or dark green tops are, in fact, underdeveloped flower buds. The stalk is the paler green part that resembles a tree trunk.
Today, we consider broccoli to be a “super-food”. We eat it raw and crunchy, steamed and soft, or baked into tasty delicacies. Basically, the broccoli is an exceptionally healthy and delicious addition to a wholesome diet.
But, what about dogs? Can French Bulldogs eat broccoli? Yes, French bulldogs can eat broccoli. It is a low-calorie food packed with healthy phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, it would be best if you did not feed it in excess.
Namely, you should feed your French bulldog a complete and nutritionally balanced diet. The broccoli is not a staple food and must not be treated as such. The broccoli is a treat which means it should not account for more than 10% of the French bulldog’s daily food intake.
HEALTH BENEFITS: IS BROCCOLI GOOD FOR FRENCH BULLDOGS?
From boosting the immune system to fighting cancer, there are not many things broccoli cannot achieve. These are some of the health benefits associated with broccoli.
Ideal for overweight Frenchies
Broccoli is exceptionally low in calories and high in fiber, making it suitable for French bulldogs that need to lose weight.
The low caloric value provides a long chew time without adding unnecessary calories, and the fiber will keep the Frenchie feel satiated for long after it has finished eating.
Lots of fiber for smooth digestion
With nearly 2 grams of fiber in half-a-cup of broccoli, this tasty veggie will feed your French bulldog’s healthy gut bacteria and ensure digestive health.
Fiber is fantastic for healthy digestion because it regulates digestion speed, nutrient absorption, and waste disposal. Basically, broccoli will keep the intestines running smoothly.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
French bulldogs need omega-3 fatty acids for various reasons, from brain health to beautiful glossy skin and coat.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also linked with immune boosts, fighting off cancer, and reduced inflammation. They are also beneficial for Frenchies with behavioral issues such as anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity.
Vitamin K and bone density, heart health, and coagulation
Vitamin K is basically a powerhouse essential for plenty of bodily functions. Vitamin K is promotes increased bone density, a healthy functioning heart and is a vital part of the coagulation cascade. When it comes to vitamin K levels, broccoli beats all veggies.
Vitamin C and immune system boost
Unlike people, dogs can produce their own vitamin C. however, that does not mean your French bulldog will not benefit from the additional intake. This is particularly true for senior Frenchies whose natural vitamin C production is decreased due to age.
Vitamin C gives the immune system a boost and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Folic acid for healthy pregnancies
Broccoli is exceptionally rich in folic acid. Folic acid promotes cellular regeneration, especially in pregnant dogs. Therefore, if you have a pregnant Frenchie, broccoli should be your treat of choice.
An abundance of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties
Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants known for their ability to fight off free radicals, thus decreasing cell damage and cancer risks. They also reduce inflammatory properties and protect from infections.
A powerful phytonutrient
Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane – a compound highly-valued for its potency to slow down cartilage destruction. This feature will keep your Frenchie’s joints healthy and allow it to be physically active even at an older age.
BROCCOLI NUTRITION FACTS
Here is a short overview of the nutrients found in 100 grams of broccoli.
|Nutrient||Amount (per 100 gr)|
|Total fat||0 gr|
|Vitamin C||56.5 mg|
HEALTH RISKS: IS BROCCOLI BAD FOR DOGS?
As with any other food there are certain considerations. Here are the potential health risks associate with broccoli.
When it comes to the broccoli’s safety, moderation is the key. Namely, all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) contain a compound known as isothiocyanate.
The isothiocyanate is primarily found in the broccoli’s florets. It protects the plant from bacteria and insects, and it is responsible for this vegetable’s signature flavor.
While all treats should not account for more than 10% of the dog’s daily caloric intake, you must not feed broccoli in amounts greater than 10% because of an additional reason – the isothiocyanate.
It is because, at high concentrations, the isothiocyanate turns into a potentially deadly toxin. The isothiocyanate’s levels reach toxic levels if the broccoli accounts for more than 25% of the daily caloric intake.
Broccoli is a gassy food which means the digestion process, especially in sensitive individuals, might be followed by excessive gassiness, loose stools, and nausea.
Sensitive French bulldogs may experience tummy troubles even if the broccoli is served in the recommended amounts. If excessive gassiness is an issue with your Frenchie, remove the broccoli from the menu, stick to commercially available diets, and do not experiment with treats.
In non-sensitive French Bulldogs, tummy troubles can develop only if exceeding the recommended portion size and feeding frequency.
Plenty of lingering bacteria can be found on the broccoli’s surface. The most dangerous one is Salmonella. Even though dogs are more resistant than humans, they can still become ill and show signs of Salmonella infections.
To avoid such problems, it is necessary to wash the broccoli, especially if serving it raw.
If your French bulldog tends to gobble up on foods, raw broccoli can pose a choking hazard, especially if the broccoli chunk enters the wrong pipe.
Plus, raw broccoli is hard to chew and digest. In those terms, it is best to serve the broccoli, both florets and stalks, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
It should be noted that raw broccoli stalks are a popular chew toy option among puppy parents. They are edible and provide a long, high-quality chew time. However, because of the significant choking risk they are not safe for puppies. Luckily there are many safe treats for French bulldog puppies.
FEEDING GUIDELINES: BROCCOLI FOR FRENCH BULLDOGS
With that being covered, it is time to say a word or two about the broccoli’s feeding guidelines – how much, how often, and in which forms.
Are all parts of the broccoli dog-friendly?
The broccoli plant has three parts – florets, stems or stalks and leaves. However, only the florets and stems are edible. The leaves are not, at least not for dogs.
Although the stems are edible they are not suitable for all French bulldogs. It all depends on its chewing personality.
For example, if your Frenchie likes to gulp down its food the stem may pose a choking hazard. On the other hand if it chews its food thoroughly, the stems are safe.
How much broccoli can French Bulldogs eat?
You should serve broccoli in small amounts as more significant portions may lead to digestive troubles. Plus, as already mentioned, while a small amount of broccoli is safe and healthy, more substantial amounts can be toxic.
French Bulldogs are considered a small dog breed which means they can safely eat half a broccoli cup per serving.
However, the French bulldog’s size is not the only determining factor for the portion size. The digestion system’s sensitivity is also important. French bulldogs with sensitive stomachs can show adverse effects even if feeding in amounts more minor than the recommended.
How often can French Bulldogs eat broccoli?
French bulldogs can eat broccoli but not too frequently. It is ideal to limit the broccoli intake to once or twice per week. That way, your French bulldog will appreciate the taste of broccoli more, and you will prevent potential tummy troubles such as diarrhea, excessive gassiness, and nausea.
A word of caution
If feeding broccoli for the first time, keep a close eye on your French bulldog for 24 hours. Also, when feeding for the first time, start small – offer just one small floret. If there are no digestive trouble signs, you can gradually increase the amount until reaching the recommended portion size.
Where to buy broccoli for French Bulldogs?
To prepare the broccoli for your French bulldog, start by shopping either at the grocery store or the farmer’s market. If possible, it is always a better choice to buy organic. That way, you will not have to worry about pesticide residues.
Plus, organic farming is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way of growing foods. You can also choose between bagged or fresh.
How to store and clean the broccoli?
Once you bought the broccoli, store it in the refrigerator before serving it. Before serving it, wash your hands and open the bag. If using fresh, you need to carefully and thoroughly wash the broccoli in the sink.
The broccoli journey from the farm to the store is quite long, and the broccoli is handled by lots of people on its way. Washing is a good way of getting rid of the germs it might have picked up along the way.
Bagged versions are already washed, so there is no need for you to repeat the procedure.
How to prepare broccoli for French Bulldogs?
Always make sure the broccoli is fresh and edible – as a rule of the thumb, if you would not eat the broccoli, you should not feed your dog either. Check for moldy spots and rotted parts. If you see any, discard the broccoli.
If the broccoli is fresh, you can continue with the preparation. It is quite a blessing that French Bulldogs can safely enjoy both raw and cooked broccoli. The most popular broccoli cooking method is steaming.
Alternatively, you can roast the broccoli, but roast it plain. The French bulldog’s digestive system is sensitive and not equipped for digesting intense flavors such as spices, seasonings, sauces, or condiments. Therefore, plain is the only dog-friendly way of preparing broccoli.
French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic dog breed which means they are flat-faced with squashed snouts. Because of that if feeding the broccoli raw, it is advisable to puree it first. If you do not have a blender or a food processor on hand, you can hand-chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
How to serve broccoli to French Bulldogs?
This is the part where you get to be quite creative. There are many ways of implementing this healthy veggie into your French bulldog’s diet.
For example, you can use the broccoli as a treat, sprinkled on the tip of its regular kibble, paired with some meat into a homemade meal, or incorporated in dog-friendly treats.
To prepare the homemade treats, you can puree broccoli with other dog-friendly fruits (blueberries, strawberries, bananas) or veggies (sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, green beans) and bake the mixture in the oven.
Alternatively, you can add low-fat, unsalted yogurt to the mix and prepare a smoothie.
Finally, you can freeze the puree in ice-cube trays and serve it as a refreshing chew treat.
What about other broccoli products?
Frozen broccoli (mixed veggies)
Frozen broccoli is generally safe for dogs. However, once again, due to the French bulldog’s specific jaw anatomy is better to let the frozen broccoli thaw before feeding.
It should be noted that you must never feed frozen veggie mixes containing broccoli to French bulldogs. These mixes often contain veggies that are not safe for dogs, such as onion, leek, tomatoes, and chili peppers.
Pickled broccoli is a no-go for French bulldogs because of two reasons – too much salt and an array of potentially harmful preservatives.
Same as pickled broccoli, canned versions are rich in salts and preservatives. Plus, many canned broccoli options are additionally flavored with spices or dipped in sauces.
French bulldogs can enjoy the taste of a homemade broccoli soup prepared with dog-friendly ingredients. However, store-bought broccoli soup powders are not safe as they contain garlic, onion, and other risky elements.
French bulldogs can eat broccoli sprouts. In fact, the younger the broccoli, the more healthy nutrients it holds, and broccoli sprouts are the most youthful edible version of this cruciferous plant. However, as with any other food, you should feed broccoli sprouts in moderation.
TO SUM UP: CAN FRENCH BULLDOGS EAT BROCCOLI?
All in all, the answer to the question can French bulldogs eat broccoli is yes, as long as it is fed adequately and moderately.