Dogs love it when we give them human food. From vegetables to meat and eggs, we tend to share the same taste buds. But how safe are human foods for dogs? Vegetables are known for their immense health benefits in the case of humans. They are filled with rich nutrients and fiber. But will vegetables benefit dogs the same way they do in humans? If yes, then are all vegetables safe for dogs?
The vegetable we will focus on in this article is radish. Like any other vegetable, radishes have immense potential in the healthy well-being of humans. But how about dogs? Well, the good news is, radishes are good for dogs too!!! Yes! It is totally safe for you to feed radishes to your dogs, provided the amount/ quantity is monitored.
Benefits of radish for dogs
Like any other vegetables, radish is a really good source of fiber for your dog. It will help in case your dog is constipated and regulate its bowel movement. This way, radishes will maintain the digestive health of your dog, since they are prone to many digestive issues. Radishes are known to contain the following nutrients in abundance-
- Vitamin C
All these nutrients, along with vitamins such as riboflavin, B6, folate, and niacin, work together to keep your dog’s immune system strong and digestive system healthy. Other nutrients present in radish are magnesium, calcium, and manganese. Radish also contains a small number of oils, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. These acids work to keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy.
Different types of radishes have their own unique properties. Of all, red radishes are known to be super beneficial because of the presence of anthocyanins in them. These anthocyanins help in fighting cancer, have anti-inflammatory properties, and also improves the cognitive function in dogs.
Incorporating bits of chopped radish in your dog’s diet will highly benefit their health. Due to the presence of high amounts of fiber, it is also a great food for weight management. In the case of overweight or obese dogs, giving radishes will help in controlling the blood sugar levels and reduce the chances of diabetes.
Another added benefit of giving radishes to dogs is for their dental care. The hard, crunchy covering of the vegetable cleans the plagues or any other dirt on their teeth as they chew it.
How many radishes to give?
Too much of anything is never good for dogs. Yes, radish has its benefits, but feeding too much of it can imbalance your dog’s nutritional needs. Radish should be given as treats to your dog and not a whole meal. Even though it has high protein content, not all essential amino acids can be found in radishes. A treat should only compose 10% of your dog’s diet, so watch out!!
What about the seeds and leaves of radish?
Since dogs love munching grass in the backyard, you can give radish sprouts to your dogs. Soak the seeds in water for a few days and feed your dog once they sprout. Radish sprouts have their own distinct flavor, which is loved by most dogs. Not only that but the sprouts are also packed with essential nutrients and can highly benefit your dog’s digestive system and overall health.
However, care should be taken in not feeding radish greens to your dog. Radish leaves are pungent in taste and can have a healing effect on your dog’s body. It can produce too much gas in the stomach and make your dog feel uncomfortable. Hence, it is best to avoid radish greens.
Precautions while feeding radish
As mentioned above, radish should only be fed in moderation. One reason being, radish contains a chemical known as isothiocyanate, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. Though the amount of this compound in radish is minimal, it is better to be aware of it.
Another reason is the chance of the vegetable making your dog feel gassy. Too much radish can produce gas in the stomach.
Beware of wild radishes as they are toxic to dogs. Though they are not related to the real radishes, they look quite similar to each other. The seeds of wild radishes are very toxic to dogs. You can identify them through their hairy, thick, and dark green-colored leaves. Their flowers are also usually yellow, white, or sometimes lavender.
If you think your dog has eaten wild radish by mistake, then take him to the vet immediately.
Horseradish is another type of radish that is easily found at home to be used in salads or as sides. However, you should never feed horseradish to dogs, since they are very spicy. Since it is very spicy, this radish can irritate your dog’s stomach and cause indigestion.
As such, dogs are carnivores in nature. Their digestive system is more compatible with digesting meat rather than vegetables. And, to top it all, radishes are not among the vegetables that can be easily digested by dogs. It is best to give radishes as thin slices or finely chopped, rather than as a piece.
Beware of choking
Some dogs are fast eaters, and they may be impatient to chew on the radish if you give them a whole one. Eating full radishes may lead to choking, and hence it is not recommended.
Radish is a nutritious vegetable for your dog and can be given without any dangers. However, other vegetables can benefit your dog much more than a radish. Radishes also have a bitter, spicy, and pungent taste that most dogs may not even like. Other vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers have a sweet taste, and your dog may actually be fond of them.
While feeding radishes, keep in mind the precautions stated above, and make sure that you keep changing your dog’s diet regularly. This way, your dog won’t be bored with eating the same vegetable every time.