Spinach could be one of the most contentious treats when it comes to debates about whether human foods are suitable or inappropriate for use with canines. Start by keeping in mind that wild dogs are carnivorous animals.
They could consume plants to complement their diet if there aren’t many meat sources available.
Dogs don’t have any nutritional need for fruits and vegetables, and some of them may even be poisonous to them. Some veggies, however, are nutrient-dense and helpful enough to be eaten as low-calorie snacks in their own right.
Here, then, are opposing viewpoints on the spinach debate. Can dogs eat spinach?
Pros of Spinach
Vitamin A, B, C, and K are all abundant in spinach. (1)
It’s high in digestive-system-energizing roughage while also providing iron, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.
Your dog’s diet should already be complete with all the nutrients it needs, but adding a little bit of spinach here and there can’t hurt.
Cons of Spinach
Oxalic acid is abundant in spinach and may prevent the body from absorbing calcium, which can cause kidney injury.
This is supported by research. Oxalic acid is found in soluble oxalates, which binds to calcium and magnesium in the blood and reduces their availability.
It causes a calcium deficiency in the blood, which may disrupt metabolism suddenly. High levels of calcium oxalate in the body may damage or possibly lead to failure of the kidneys.
There is widespread agreement that for a dog to suffer any ill effects from eating spinach, the dog would need to consume an extremely large amount.
To a modest extent, soluble oxalates may be processed by the kidneys of healthy dogs.
Long-term usage, however, puts the kidneys at risk, weakens the muscles, disrupts the heart’s regular rhythm, and may even paralyze breathing.
Dogs with a predisposition to developing kidney or bladder stones may benefit from avoiding spinach in the diet.
So, Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Yes, as long as your dog doesn’t have kidney disease.
Some owners are concerned that the oxalates in spinach may harm their dog’s kidneys, but the animal would have to eat almost his own body weight in spinach for this to happen.
The health advantages of this green vegetable for both people and canines are extensive. Vitamins A, B, C, and K are found in spinach, and so are a plethora of other vitamins and minerals.
It’s a great way to increase your vitality, energy, and immunity. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
More About Oxalates
There are a lot of oxalates in spinach. Plants include substances called oxalates, or oxalic acid, which might cause metabolic disruption in your dog.
Calcium oxalate crystals may occur when oxalate levels within your dog’s body are too high. The dog’s calcium levels will drop because the crystals inhibit the body from absorbing calcium. This may have devastating effects.
The kidneys are particularly vulnerable to oxalate accumulation.
The kidneys are responsible for excreting them, but an excess of them may lead to renal damage or bladder stones.
Kidney failure and death might occur if this condition is not treated.
Due to the risk of renal failure, spinach should never be fed to a dog.
The symptoms of an oxalate excess include:
- Muscle weakness
- Kidney stones
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Respiratory paralysis
Give your dog plenty of water to flush out the oxalates in their system and see your doctor if any of these symptoms develop.
It’s been debated among dog owners whether or not to feed their pets spinach.
Some say it’s safe, while others worry about the effects on their dogs’ health.
Since this is the case, it’s best to check with your vet before feeding spinach to your dog.
If the oxalates in spinach are making you nervous about giving it to your dog, try switching to another leafy green like:
- Swiss chard
Other Spinach Ingredients
Here are some other ingredients you should think about before feeding your dog spinach.
As always, consult with your veterinarian first.
Similarly to many other vegetables, spinach is quite rich in salt. Sodium content in spinach at 30 grams per serving is 24 mg.
This is one more justification for keeping sick dogs away from spinach.
Your dog will benefit from weight loss since fiber helps them feel fuller for longer, assists with digestion, and prevents constipation.
But like with everything, too much may be bad.
The stalks of spinach are quite stringy. Your dog may have digestive distress if it eats them.
Because undigested fiber causes bloat, feeding it to your dog might make him or her extremely gassy.
The danger may be minimized by offering just little amounts of the stems and by not making them too big.
Because of its modest growth, spinach attracts a wide variety of insects. Farmers often spray pesticides in the fields, which may be harmful to pets.
Because of this, organic spinach is the best food you can give your dog.
Can Your Puppy Eat Spinach?
Puppies can’t get rid of calcium oxalates since their kidneys aren’t fully developed yet.
This may increase their risk of renal disease or kidney stones. In the absence of veterinary approval that a puppy’s kidneys can handle spinach, refrain from giving the vegetable to the pet.