Also referred to as rocket, Arugula is a leafy, peppery green vegetable often used in pasta, salads, pizzas, etc. Unlike the relatively flavorless leafy greens such as lettuce, Arugula features a strong flavor that is perfect for wilting as a healthy side dish, salads, and mixed with other greens. The green also has tons of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutrients that are brilliant for your health. If you regularly consume Arugula as a dog owner, you might have wondered if your dog can also eat some of the healthy and flavorful Arugulas.
Arugula originated from the Mediterranean region, where its commonly incorporated into local cuisine. It was formerly used as an aphrodisiac and medicinal herb but has become a famous addition to most dishes, mainly Italian cuisines. Arugula is in the same family as mustard and cabbage, explaining the peppery flavor. Its leaves are deep green with notches that run up both sides. Readily available and affordable, the vegetable is usually eaten raw in pasta or salads and cooked lightly in dishes.
So, Can Dogs Eat Arugula?
Yes, dogs can safely eat Arugula. Arugula is a nontoxic veggie for your dogs to eat. In fact, according to research, the cruciferous vegetable has essential benefits for your dog. However, like any other human food, you should feed it in moderation, so you shouldn’t overfeed Arugula to your dog. Arugula has lots of essential minerals and vitamins that can provide essential benefits to your pup’s health. Moderate amounts of Arugula won’t have detrimental effects on your dog’s health. However, it’s recommended only to give Arugula to your dog steamed or cooked because raw Arugula is goitrogenic, meaning it might result in thyroid issues.
Essential Health Benefits of Arugula for Dogs
Although dogs don’t need Arugula as a part of a regular diet, it can have beneficial effects when given to dogs in moderation. According to My Pup Naturally, the leafy vegetable has high vitamin A and K levels which help in promoting good eyesight, and potassium and calcium that boosts bone health. Arugula also has relatively low amounts of fat and calories, making it a perfect low-calorie snack for your dog. Like other leafy green vegetables, including spinach or kales, Arugula has high chlorophyll amounts that enhance digestion, lessen lousy breath in dogs, and boost immunity. According to NCBI.com, Arugula contains phytochemicals that might be effective in slowing down cancer progression in humans and can also potentially do so in dogs. Arugula is in the cruciferous family. This class of vegetables has Glucosinolates containing sulfur, giving Arugula the peppery, spicy taste. Your dog’s body breaks down Glucosinolates into several beneficial compounds, such as sulforaphane. According to one study, sulforaphane has beneficial effects in canine osteosarcoma.
Are There Any Risks of Feeding Arugula to Dogs?
When giving any human foods to your dog, moderation is essential, which also applies to Arugula. You should always introduce any new food slowly over some weeks while checking for signs of allergic reactions. In massive amounts, Arugula has some potential health concerns worth knowing. These include:
Although Arugula does not have high oxalic acid compared to other leafy greens such as spinach and kale, it still has moderate amounts of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid binds with vital minerals and might prevent your dog’s body from absorbing the minerals properly. However, steaming or cooking Arugula mostly lessens the effect though.
Goitrogen is a substance that represses your dog’s thyroid gland in massive amounts; it might affect the iodine uptake, an essential part of keeping your thyroid healthy. According to AMY MYERS MD, goitrogen compounds are present in about all cruciferous vegetables, including kale, broccoli, and even Arugula. These arugula potential health concerns are not a severe cause of concern if you feed Arugula to your dog in moderation and ensure you cook the herb lightly first.
How To Cook Arugula for Dogs?
Arugula has a peppery and spicy flavor, and there are high chances that your pup won’t enjoy it. Cooking or steaming Arugula and combining it with other flavorful foods will significantly decrease the peppery flavor. All cruciferous veggies, including Arugula, should be cooked lightly before consumption because the cooking decreases the amounts of goitrogens, making them safer to consume. It is hence recommendable to lightly cook or steam the Arugula, chop it up and add it to their existing food, such as canned food or lean meat, to mask the flavor.
Will Your Dog Like Arugula?
Now that you know dogs can eat Arugula, you might wonder whether your dog will like it? Given its taste, some dogs might not like the Arugula. This is why it’s recommendable to cook the Arugula and mix it with your dog’s main meal or other flavorful ingredients that your dog loves. Even though Arugula has beneficial nutrients for your dog, it may not like its taste. Unlike most lettuces, Arugula has a unique, distinct taste. Your dog might not eat Arugula or may spit it out if they don’t love the intense flavor.
That’s it. We hope you now understand everything you need to know about feeding Arugula to your dog. It’s entirely safe to feed cooked Arugula to your dog in moderate amounts as a treat. Arugula is nontoxic, affordable, readily available, and simple to prepare, making it a perfect additional snack to mix with your pup’s regular meal. However, as it’s the case when introducing any new diet to dogs, you should consider consulting with your veterinarian and watch out for signs such as diarrhea or vomiting. Also, ensure to steam or boil Arugula before giving it to your dog to lessen any potential harmful effects.