Everyone knows Popeye, who gets incredible powers from spinach alone. Of course, it’s not quite like that, but spinach is actually healthy – at least in good doses. This is not only true for humans, but also for dogs, the vegetables are healthy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding.
The Most Important Things Summarized
- Spinach contains oxalic acid, so you should only feed your dog small amounts of spinach. For puppies and animals with kidney problems, however, spinach is completely taboo.
- Since raw and unchopped spinach is difficult for dogs to digest, steam the vegetables beforehand, puree them or use frozen spinach that has already been chopped up.
- In order to improve nutrient absorption and to compensate for the negative properties of oxalic acid, it is advisable to feed spinach in combination with other foods.
That’s Why Spinach is so Healthy for Dogs
The fact that spinach is a particularly good source of iron has now been refuted. Nevertheless, spinach is extremely healthy. Spinach contains a high amount of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. It also contains potassium and magnesium, which contribute to good cardiovascular activity.
At the same time, spinach contributes to improved blood formation and the secretion of gastric mucosa and bile.
How to properly feed your dog spinach
Uncut spinach is difficult for dogs to digest. It is best to steam the vegetables beforehand and then puree them. For better tolerance, it is also recommended to mix it with a calcium-containing product such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
Alternatively, you can chop the raw leaves or simply use frozen spinach that is already chopped (no creamed spinach, as it often contains additional spices or lactose-containing cream). However, both are somewhat more difficult to digest than previously steamed spinach.
Since oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of iron and calcium, spinach should be combined with foods containing vitamin C. This improves iron absorption. Potatoes are ideal for this.
If you want to make the effort, simply put your own spinach biscuits here, which are ideal as a treat for your four-legged friend. In this way, you can feed your pet small amounts of spinach in a well-dosed manner.
Only in Small Quantities!
Spinach contains oxalic acid. Therefore, adult dogs should always be fed only small amounts. However, spinach is just as taboo for puppies as it is for dogs prone to kidney stones. These include, for example, breeds such as Dalmatians or English bulldogs, which have a disposition to urinary stones from birth.
Too high a dose of oxalic acid can cause nausea, vomiting, or even bloody diarrhea. However, the animal excretes normal amounts without any problems. In addition to spinach, beetroot, rhubarb, nuts, and chard are also rich in oxalic acid.
In addition to oxalic acid, spinach contains nitrate. This is not particularly dramatic at first, but under certain circumstances, the body can convert this to nitrite – which in turn can be carcinogenic.
All in all, you can feed your dog small amounts of spinach without hesitation, but you should not overdo it. The variety in feeding is the be-all and end-all.