Dogs mainly feed on proteins and dry or wet dog food. But they like to have vegetables and fruit snacks every now and then as they’re refreshing and tasty. For example, green leafy vegetables are delicious, highly beneficial, and easy to prepare, and bok choy is no exception.
But can dogs eat bok choy? Generally, yes, they can. But if you want to share a fresh, leafy meal with your pet, there are some points you should know about. So read on to get all the information you need.
Is Bok Choy Safe for Dogs?
Bok choy is a highly nutritional Chinese cabbage, and it seems to be safe for dogs. However, it depends on how you prepare the cabbage before giving it to your dog and the amounts you offer. For example, you should never give your dog an uncut, large bok choy. Since it’s big and leafy, the little animal might choke on it.
Also, as a rule of thumb, you should always give your dog a tiny proportion of any new food so that you’ll know if it has an allergy or any adverse reaction against it.
Health Benefits of Bok Choy for Dogs
If fed in moderation, Bok choy can have many health benefits for dogs. Here’s a brief roundup about why you should give your pet occasional bok choy treats.
Rich in Fibers
Like most vegetables, bok choy leaves have a high fiber content that benefits dogs. For example, they help relieve constipation and lessen irregular bowel movements. However, if you give your dog a large quantity of bok choy in one day, it may suffer from diarrhea.
High Vitamin A Content
Vitamin A isn’t only essential for humans; it also helps dogs develop and maintain their eyesight. Thankfully, bok choy is an excellent source of vitamin A, especially for growing puppies. That said, you should take care of the amounts you give to your dog because bok choy has a high percentage of vitamins. Therefore, there’s a considerable risk of overdosing.
Rich in Antioxidants
Bok choy is a highly nutritious vegetable containing many antioxidants that protect your body cells against free radicals. For example, it contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which help improve your dog’s eyesight.
High Vitamin C Content
Vitamin C has many benefits that are all essential for young and old dogs. For starters, it strengthens their immune systems, making them stronger against diseases and infections. Also, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant.
However, dogs’ diets already contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, so be careful when you feed bok choy to your pet to avoid overdosing.
Contains Vitamin K, Magnesium, and Phosphorus
Vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus are all vital for your dog’s bone and skeleton health. For instance, vitamin K significantly helps your dog absorb calcium, which gives your pet healthy bones.
Improve Dog’s Heart Health
Bok choy contains healthy nutrients for your dog’s heart, like vitamin B6 and folate. They both ensure your pet’s heart is strong and properly functioning.
Tips for Feeding Bok Choy to Your Dog
If you’re keen on feeding bok choy to your dog, you should know some tips on how to prepare it so that your canine friend doesn’t suffer from any health issues.
Wash Your Vegetables
This step isn’t limited to bok choy; you should wash any vegetable or fruit you want to feed to your dog beforehand. Those foods are continuously exposed to a lot of dirt and chemicals, so you should wash them thoroughly with water to make sure they’re clean.
Also, don’t leave any unwashed vegetables around your house because dogs are curious, and they might munch on a dirty bok choy without you noticing.
If they’re within your budget, you can get your dog organic vegetables. They often contain fewer pesticide traces, chemicals, and bacteria than regular vegetables. Therefore, they won’t adversely affect your pet’s health.
Cut Bok Choy Into Tiny Pieces
Bok choy cabbages are big vegetables, so you should cut them into small pieces before serving them to your dog. First, cut the white stem part since it doesn’t have any nutrients and won’t benefit your pet. Second, cut the green leaves into tiny squares so that your dog can eat them without chewing.
This step is essential because dogs don’t have teeth like ours, so they can’t cut leaves as efficiently. That’s why they pose a choking hazard if served uncut.
Moreover, if your dog eats small bok choy pieces, it’ll digest them better; therefore, it’ll benefit from the vegetable more.
Serve a Small Amount First
It’s never a wise choice to give dogs a whole bok choy without testing it first. In addition to the fact that they may choke, they may have an allergy to the vegetable.
Instead, it’d be best if you gave your dog a small handful of bok choy leaves to munch on. Next, keep an eye out for any odd reaction, like runny stools or diarrhea. If you detect any unusual symptoms, take the meal away and contact your vet immediately.
If you have a puppy, give it an even smaller amount. This is because puppies’ digestive systems can’t digest food high in fibers like big dogs do, so that they may suffer from an upset stomach.
Offer Bok Choy in Moderation
Bok choy is full of nutrients, and while that benefits your dog’s immune system, heart, and bones, it might also give it digestive issues. Not to mention, if dogs eat bok choy more than they should, they might overdose on nutrients.
As for fibers, they might give your dog diarrhea if ingested in large amounts. As a result, you should always give your dog bok choy in small quantities. Also, avoid doing it day-to-day; instead, offer it every couple of weeks or so.
This goes for any treat you give to your dog. In general, it should be in moderation whenever dogs eat fresh vegetables or fruits.
Choose the Green Leaves
A bok choy leaf has a bright green color that indicates the presence of nutrients. Therefore, when preparing bok choy for your dog, you should always leave the white part aside and serve the green leaves, as they have a higher nutritional value.
Make Sure Your Dog Likes It
The fact that bok choy is beneficial doesn’t necessarily mean you should feed it to your dog. Your pet might not like it.
Dogs are primarily carnivores, which means they take all of their essential nutrients from meat, chicken, fish, and other proteins. So a healthy canine diet shouldn’t necessarily contain leafy vegetables. You should only serve them to your dog if it doesn’t get enough nutrients from meat.
But if your dog likes its taste, you can offer bok choy as a delicious treat occasionally. After all, treats are meant to be refreshing and healthy, and bok choy provides both. Just don’t make it regular or offer it more than you’re supposed to.
To be completely safe, you should consult your dog’s vet before introducing any new food to its diet. This way, you won’t take risks as the vet will walk you through the ins and outs of your dog’s nutrition.
To Wrap Up
Bok choy has a delicious taste and a crunchy texture that dogs seem to love. And although it isn’t an essential part of their diets, it wouldn’t harm to offer your dog a small bok choy treat every once in a while. Just make sure to wash and cut it into small pieces first to avoid adversely affecting your pet’s health.