Is Kohlrabi Good For Your Dog’s Health?
Commonly known as German Turnip, kohlrabi falls in the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and kale.
Have you brought home a bunch of kohlrabi from your evening stroll in the market? Are you thinking of adding kohlrabi to your dog’s diet?
If you are concerned about whether or not you should feed kohlrabi to your dog, then you have come to the perfect place. In this article, we would understand in detail the benefits and risks of giving kohlrabi to your dog.
What Actually Is Kohlrabi?
Derived from the German words kohl (meaning cabbage) and rabi (meaning turnip), kohlrabi is a green vegetable mostly eaten in Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy.
It has become quite prevalent in the Indian subcontinent and recently in the United States too.
Kohlrabi weighs nearly 150 gm (without leaves) and 200-250 gm (including leaves). Its commonly available varieties are:
- Purple Vienna
- White Vienna
- Grand Duke
- White Danube
- Purple Danube
Author’s Note: The stem and leaves of kohlrabi are also edible. It even has a better taste and texture than typical cabbage or broccoli.
Can Kohlrabi Be Considered a Safe Option For Your Dog’s Diet?
The taste palette of most of the dogs is pleased by the slightly sweet and mild taste of well-cooked kohlrabi. Not only this, but many dogs also prefer the sharper and raw version of kohlrabi.
Although the brassica genus (comprising cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi) is not considered a classic component of the dog diet, kohlrabi is very beneficial for their health.
This is evident by the fact that Kohlrabi is very low in calories and super easy to digest.
Cooked kohlrabi is safe and generally recommended for dogs, otherwise, there is always a chance of them having an upset digestive system.
However, despite being cooked, some dogs still face diarrhea and gastric issues after consuming kohlrabi.
Therefore, dogs can be fed kohlrabi in moderate quantities. You must confirm whether you should add it to your dog’s diet in the long run by a small initial test serving.
Fortunately, if your dog promptly finishes off kohlrabi purée, you can monitor him for future negative reactions.
What Nutrients Does Kohlrabi Contain?
As mentioned earlier, kohlrabi is a highly nutritious vegetable. It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin B6, folate, and phosphorus among other nutrients.
Following is the chart depicting the nutritional value provided by a cup of raw kohlrabi (135 grams approx) :
|Vitamin B6||12% of the Daily Value (DV)|
|Vitamin C||93% DV|
Kohlrabi is healthy for dogs because of the following reasons:
Potassium: Kohlrabi comprises potassium in generous amounts. Being an electrolyte, potassium is necessary for dogs in regulating their water balance.
Magnesium and Calcium: Magnesium and calcium are the primary components of kohlrabi and strengthen your dog’s bone density. They both also play a pivotal role in the development of your dog’s musculoskeletal system.
Vitamin C: Kohlrabi is abundant with various minerals and vitamins. Do you know Vitamin C helps dogs in warding off infection and reducing inflammation? Not only this, but Vitamin C also lowers dogs’ cholesterol levels and improves their overall immunity.
Minerals: The nutritious bunch of minerals present in kohlrabi help in the maintenance of the acid-base ratio in dogs.
Phosphorus: Dogs are generally meat-dependent creatures and thus need alkaline additives. Moreover, they have got to balance their calcium-phosphorus ratio. Enriched with phosphorus, kohlrabi is the go-to veggie for your dog.
Antioxidants: Rich in carotenoids and other antioxidants, kohlrabi protects the tissues of your dog’s body from free radical damage.
Metabolic Health: Kohlrabi strengthens the overall metabolism of your dog. Being a low glycemic index food, kohlrabi improves your dog’s satiety and glycemic control.
How Much Kohlrabi Is Appropriate For Your Dog?
We know that you do not wish your little pup to suffer from gastric issues and bloating. Therefore, keep in mind to feed him not more than 150 g of kohlrabi.
Feeding your dog more than this will most likely interfere with the normal functioning of his digestive system. You are also advised to consult your veterinarian in case you are not sure about the amount to be given.
How To Prepare Cooked Kohlrabi For Your Dog?
Following steps should be followed for cooking kohlrabi for your dog:
1. Slowly steam the whole kohlrabi until it becomes tender and soft.
2. Pick up your kitchen masher and mash the kohlrabi. After it is well-mashed, serve it to your dog in his bowl.
3. You can even add some Kohlrabi leaves to the mashed version. This offers extra fiber and nutrients to your dog.
4. Simply steam or boil the kohlrabi leaves and stem (if you want). Mash it and mix it into your dog’s bowl.
5. You can also look up online for different tasty yet healthy kohlrabi recipes for your dog.
Author’s Note: Do not feed kohlrabi to your dog daily. Twice or thrice a week is more than enough for him.
How To Prepare Raw Kohlrabi For Your Dog?
Go through the following steps if you are planning to feed kohlrabi in its raw form to your dog:
1. Before doing anything, thoroughly wash the kohlrabi.
2. After washing, carefully peel out its outer layer.
3. Dice the kohlrabi in very little pieces. Serve it in tiny amounts to your dog.
4. As done while cooking, you can also cut the raw kohlrabi leaves into little pieces. Then, simply mix it with the cut pieces and let your dog relish this tasty salad. You may add this raw salad on top of your pet’s normal dog food also.
Can Eating Kohlrabi Put Your Dog At Risk?
Do not feed kohlrabi to your dog in immoderate amounts otherwise, he would experience diarrhea, vomiting, and a really upset stomach.
When it comes to dog allergies, kohlrabi is an extremely obscure vegetable. If your dog is quite sensitive, he will most likely react to histamine present in kohlrabi. Histamine is released in a dog’s body to indicate an allergic reaction.
Thus excessively eating kohlrabi might cause your dog skin burns while being exposed to sunlight. Thus, moderation should be your motto while feeding kohlrabi to your pup and you will be good to go.
Warning: Raw kohlrabi contains psoralens. These plant-based substances make a dog’s skin temporarily yet extremely sensitive to long-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVA).
Q. Can little puppies consume kohlrabi?
Yes, little puppies can consume kohlrabi but only in its mashed purée form. However, raw or undercooked kohlrabi is harmful to them.
Q. Can full-grown dogs consume kohlrabi?
Yes, full-grown dogs can eat cooked and mashed kohlrabi in considerable amounts. However, just a minuscule quantity of raw kohlrabi should be given to them.
Keeping your dog healthy is your responsibility, there is no denying that. You must be aware of the beneficial and harmful edible items for your dog.
The bottom line is that kohlrabi is a very good veggie for your dog when fed in moderation. You can feed him this superfood without thinking too much.
Given the aforementioned qualities of this superfood, dog health experts across the globe have started recommending kohlrabi in their list of healthy veggies for dogs.
Without any serious side effects (read moderation) and a plethora of rich nutrients, kohlrabi is a wonder vegetable for your four-legged friend. We believe that now you won’t be confused anymore about adding kohlrabi to your dog’s diet.
Did this article resolve your queries? Let us know in the comment section!
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.