Okara is one of the most common green veggies across the globe. Its health benefits are not unknown. However, when it comes to our four-legged furry friends, you should be extra careful.
Has the power-packed okra made you wonder whether it’s safe to add it to your pooch’s diet?
If so, this article will help you learn all about feeding okra to your dogs, including its benefits, risks, and alternatives to it.
Is it safe to feed your dog Okra?
Yes, it is safe to feed your canine okra. In fact, when meat was getting expensive, okra was researched as a practical substitute for dogs’ nutrition.
As long as it’s given in moderation, okra is safe for consumption by your dog. Nevertheless, overconsumption can lead to health issues. More about feeding recommendations in the next section.
How to serve Okra to your dog? And, what is the correct serving quantity?
Okra is a nutrient-rich vegetable with some protein content. However, that leads to another question how much is too much!
Well, the perfect serving quantity is 1-2 spoons. And that too occasionally, once a week.
Despite being nutritious for humans, okras still lack all the essential nutrients a dog requires to thrive.
The best way to feed them okra is in raw form as a chew toy or a treat. It could also be cooked and served. However, ensure that it doesn’t contain salt, butter, and seasoning. In addition, garlic and onions are the main culprits. So avoid that too!
Also, pickled and fried okras aren’t safe for them.
Consuming too much okra can affect their digestive tract and give your dog gas or other digestive issues.
Vegetables you can feed your dog instead of okra:
Ways to prepare Okra for your dog
Chopping up okras into small bits and mixing them with your dog’s food is one way of serving it. However, people feeding their dogs with dry kibble or canned food could find this challenging.
If the slimy texture of the insides of okra doesn’t bother your dog, you can feed a few raw cubes. You could boil the okra and mix it with your dog’s favorite food too.
If it’s the first time your dog is eating okra, give a small amount and wait 24 hours to see how they react to it.
Author’s Note: If your dog suffers any gastrointestinal problems, stomach pains, or diarrhea, that means they’re allergic. Skin issues are also an indicator of allergic reactions.
Benefits of feeding your dog okra
Okra’s dietary fiber is insoluble and in the form of pectin and gums. This helps in reducing serum cholesterol. The insoluble fiber is overall good for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
Moreover, okra acts as a great protein supplement as it contains amino acids with high efficiency. High levels of potassium, calcium, folate and vitamin C are also present in okra.
The purgative properties in okra are also very useful as they help in eliminating toxic substances from your dog’s body.
Okra treats inflammation and ulcers. It also stabilizes your dog’s blood sugar. It also helps in recovery from weakness and depression.
One cup of Okra contains the following:
- 35 calories
- 4g of sugar
- 4g fiber
- 7g carbohydrates
- 3g protein
Some other health benefits of okra are:
- Better eyesight – Vitamin A in okra improves your dog’s eyesight. It is important for eye health and provides good vision even in dim light.
- The high fiber content is okra softens your dog’s stool and keeps their intestinal tract clean and healthy. It also prevents heart diseases.
- Since okra is high in anti-oxidants it boosts your dog’s immune system. Vitamin A, C, and E keep their immune system healthy.
- The anti-diabetic properties in okra stabilize the blood sugar content and regulate the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the intestinal tract.
The risks involved in feeding your dog okra
Excessive consumption of vegetables can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs. The same goes for the overconsumption of okra. It can cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, etc.
Again, It is important to make sure that the okra is not salted, buttered or covered with any seasoning. Okra should be boiled and served to your dog.
Take total care in ensuring that you don’t feed your dog fried or pickled okra as this can cause obesity and heart diseases.
Author’s Note: Only feed your dog small amounts of okra. One to two spoons are enough. Make sure your dog isn’t allergic beforehand.
Q. Can dogs have an allergic reaction to okra?
Yes, but it is very rare. Okra was used as an alternative when the prices of meat shot up. If your dog does have an allergic reaction, consult a vet immediately.
Q. Is it safe for dogs to eat okra seeds?
Yes, it is safe. However, the texture of the seeds is slimy so your dog might not like it.
Q. Can dogs eat cooked Okra?
Absolutely. Dogs can eat cooked okra as long as it is not fried or pickled. Do not add any seasonings of flavor-enhancing additives, onion, garlic, salt, or butter to it as it can be harmful to your dog.
Yes, it is totally safe to feed your dog okra! Okra contains many vitamins and minerals that are good for your dog. The protein-rich veggie strengthens your dog’s bones and muscles.
The best way to serve okra to your dog is to give it boiled or raw. Avoid feeding fried and pickled okra to your dog as it is harmful to their health.
Ensure that you are not feeding your dog too much okra. Over-consumption can cause digestive issues. As always, moderation is key.
I hope this article was beneficial and resolved all your doubts. Do let us know your thoughts, opinions, and feedback by leaving a comment down below!
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
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.