When it comes to human health, artichokes are loaded with healthy minerals, vitamins, and elements such as fiber. Although they might look a bit funny, they sure are easy to eat and cook. However, one question that would surely pop up in your mind is whether it is the right choice for your dog as well.
Artichokes aren’t just available fresh today; they also come in the preserved jars and cans. And this is where the problem lies. The chemical preservatives and add-ons make the artichokes way less healthy for your pooch as compared to the fresh ones. Even with the fresh variants, the key is in moderation.
Is artichoke the right food for your dog?
Well, artichoke is surely safe for your dog in moderation but is it the right food for your dog? Artichokes are great for pups, but only if you prepare them the right way. You surely wouldn’t want this veggie to become something they would choke on.
Does your dog like artichokes?
If you plan to feed some artichokes to your pup for the first time, the key is to first give them a small bite and notice how they react to it. While some dogs will absolutely love the taste of artichokes, others will run at the sight of it. If your dog bites into it without any hesitation, it’s a sign that they like it.
On the other hand, if they bite it and then spit it out, it means they absolutely hate it, and there is no point trying to force-feed them unless they want to.
Dogs & Artichokes: Decoding the Science behind the Veggie
Artichokes aren’t something you would want to give your dog regularly. These veggies are given only in moderation to prove healthy and safe for your pooch. Dogs can easily digest a complete artichoke, including the stems, leaves, & hearts too.
Artichokes pack in a high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants help eliminate the harmful buildup of free radicals within the dog’s body. These veggies also have a high amount of dietary fiber, folate, niacin, & potassium that are necessary for your pooch’s health.
Fiber helps keep your dog’s digestive function performing well. In case your pooch is dealing with constipation or loose stools, feeding it artichokes could be an ideal choice. This veggie is also low in fat and calorie, making up for a healthy evening or morning snack as opposed to processed treats for your dog.
Can artichoke harm your dog?
Just because your dog loves to nom on the artichokes, it doesn’t mean that you need not take any precautions. Like any other food item, dogs need to eat only small chunks of artichokes as opposed to a plate full of the same. Eating a lot of artichokes can lead to issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. This stands particularly true if the pooch is eating artichokes for the very first time. It would require them a few meals over time to help them get acquainted. So, the key is to start with the smallest possible portion and gradually increase.
Artichokes are perfect when fed to the dog, both cooked and raw. If you are going to cook them up, boiled artichokes serve as an ideal option as they won’t require any oil or butter for cooking. Apart from this, you also need to avoid any seasoning such as pepper or salt. These are some unnecessary ingredients that your dog should avoid completely.
When feeding them veggies or fruits, the best choice is to opt for plain and boiled ones or raw ones.
Raw artichokes are loaded with nutrients and ensure that your pooch gets healthy with every bite. When feeding artichokes to your pet, make sure you cut down the veggie into bite-sized, small pieces. You can also mix them with their favorite meals & disguise the veggie’s flavor.
It is also recommended that you do not feed them jarred or canned artichokes. These canned or jarred artichokes are mostly filled with salt, oils, & seasonings such as onions or garlic that could be toxic when fed to the dogs in large quantities.
Can I Feed Artichoke Hearts to my Dog?
Yes, your pooch can safely nibble on the artichoke hearts. However, you need to prepare them according to their health requirements. They are very healthy for the dog. Artichoke hearts pack in antioxidants that help your dog fight off various kinds of diseases.
They do pack in a lot of folate and potassium that helps enrich your dog’s body immunity in the long run. Since these artichoke hearts have high fiber concentration, they need to be given to the pooch in a moderate amount. While moderate fiber content helps improve your dog’s digestion, spiking it up to unnecessary levels can induce loose stools. So, you must note the amount of artichoke hearts you give them.
Can I Feed Marinated Artichokes to my Dog?
Although your dogs can easily eat the marinated artichokes, the ideal move would be to feed them the unseasoned or raw variants instead. Marinated artichokes are often loaded with salt, which isn’t safe for your dog to consume.
Can I Feed Fried Artichokes to my Dog?
Something that is safe doesn’t mean it’s good for your pooch’s health. Fried artichokes are never the right choice for your dogs as they contain a lot of fat and oil that contributes to indigestion and obesity issues.
Can I Feed Artichoke Thistle to my Dog?
Cardoon or Artichoke thistle is the stem of the plant and is braised or steamed before eating. They do have a slightly bitter taste. When it comes to artichoke thistle, it is better to keep it away from your pooch’s plate as there isn’t much information about the same or its potency factor.
What are the benefits of artichokes for your dog?
Artichokes bring in the following benefits for your pooch:
- Antioxidant-rich vegetable
- Low in sodium, calories, fat, & cholesterol
- Rich in niacin and potassium
- Helps treat digestive issues
- Relieves flatulence
- Helps defend against heart problems, cancer, or premature aging
- Boosts immune system
- Helps boost liver health
Apart from this, artichokes are a perfect solution for dogs that suffer from issues such as IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It helps ease the stomach and ensures that there is no inflammation while your dog consumes their regular food along with artichokes.
If your dog has been tired of late and doesn’t indulge in exercises, you might do them good by feeding some boiled or raw artichokes. They contain a good amount of foliate, a form of vitamin B that helps in the production of RBCs. Folate ensures that there is optimum oxygen supply throughout the body while receding any chances of health complications.
Artichokes are no doubt an amazing option for dogs to help maintain a healthy stature. They aid in better muscle functioning, healthy nerve support, an effective immune system, and optimum body activity. The best thing about artichokes is that they can be boiled, steamed, and even fed raw. So, the next time you bring home some artichokes, do keep some aside for your pooch but feed only in moderation and chop them up in small bites.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.