Dogs will eat pretty much anything we give them, but that doesn’t mean that what we give them is always healthy! With so many foods out there, it’s hard to know exactly what is ok and what isn’t. Today, we are going to take a look at a food we don’t normally consider giving to dogs in order to see if it’s safe for them. Let’s find out: can dogs eat eggplants safely? Here’s what science says!
Can Dogs eat Eggplant?
Yes, dogs can eat eggplant safely, although they probably won’t prefer it raw, and the woody stem isn’t edible.
Eggplant, or aubergines, for the rest of the world, are a plant species that are generally purple and elongated. Most of the time, eggplants are used as a vegetable, although they are technically classified as a berry. Dogs are able to eat eggplant, but they probably won’t want to! The raw form of this plant isn’t all that appetizing to most pups, although it won’t cause any problems should they develop a taste for it. A good way to think of your dog and eggplant is through the lens of a human. Although we could eat raw eggplant, we generally only eat it when it’s been roasted, baked, or otherwise seasoned.
Knowing that, if you want to give your dog some eggplant, the best way to get them to eat it is via cooking. Once it’s been pan-fried or baked in the oven, a dog would likely be more open to eating it. Beware of seasonings, however, as some could cause your dog to get a little sick!
Can Dogs eat Raw or Cooked Eggplant?
Dogs can eat raw eggplant, but they probably won’t like it. The best way to give eggplant to your pup is to cook it in a way that a human would enjoy. It’s important to know, however, that cooking eggplant will make it more appetizing, but adding seasoning may not be ideal for your dog.
Members of the allium family are toxic to dogs, with onions and garlic being among the most common examples. Alliums are tasty to humans, but they can cause extreme health risks to dogs when ingested. With that in mind, cooked eggplant should be free from garlic, onion, or the powdered forms of either. Otherwise, your dog could get quite sick.
When looking at an eggplant, there are two primary elements; the actual “meat” and the stem. The body of the eggplant is the part that we eat and the part that is safe for dogs. The green, woody stem, however, isn’t ok for dogs to eat. It’s much too fibrous and can cause digestion problems.
If you plan on giving your dog an eggplant, quickly removing the stem is usually all the prep that needs to be done. Once the stem is removed, your dog is able to eat the rest, whether cooked or raw.
Eggplant skin is very thin and usually purple. Like humans, dogs are able to eat the skin and the flesh of the eggplant without any health complications. Although this isn’t always the case with vegetables, eggplant skin isn’t dangerous at all. In fact, most of the vitamins and nutrients are found in the skin of the eggplant.
How much Eggplant is safe for a Dog?
If it’s your dog’s first time having eggplant, it’s wise to start with a small amount in order to make sure there isn’t a reaction. Once they’ve had a small portion and no adverse effects occurred, you can give them more. If the eggplant is roasted in the oven and doesn’t have oil or seasonings on it, you can give a decent amount to your dog (depending on its size). If the eggplant has been seasoned with anything other than salt or pepper, it’s better to avoid it entirely as it could cause a stomach ache. Otherwise, eggplant that has been pan-fried or baked with oil is ok for your dog in small amounts. Too much oil is unhealthy for dogs and should be avoided.
Side effects of your dog eating eggplant
Since eggplant is safe for dogs, there aren’t any side effects. Still, be sure to make sure that your dog doesn’t have a reaction to eggplant by testing with a small amount first.
There is the potential for minor side effects if the eggplant has been cooked with onions, garlic, or oil. Too much of any of these things can cause stomach aches, diarrhea, gas, shaking, and vomiting.
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/lisa_l
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