We all like to treat our dogs so you might have asked yourself, “Can dogs eat eggplant?”.
As pet owners, we have a natural drive to want to give our dogs the best diet that we can.
This can include adding a selection of vegetables into their food.
Whether as healthy snacks or supplemental vitamins and minerals.
Eggplants are part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, and can be a tasty treat for your dog.
It is important to distinguish it from the deadly nightshade (Belladonna), which is the same family but distant relative.
But, there are a couple considerations to be aware of when feeding your dog eggplant.
Is Eggplant Safe for Dogs?
It can be a really tasty treat for your pup!
Eggplant is not toxic or poisonous for dogs.
It can be served raw, but just like us, your dog might prefer the flavor of it when cooked.
Eggplant is full of vitamins and minerals that benefit your dog.
However, there are a couple of potential hazards to be on the lookout for.
Benefits of Eggplant for Dogs
Eggplant can be a healthy and nutritious vegetable for your dog!
But only when cooked without oils or fats.
They’re low in calories but high in fibre, leaving your dog feeling fuller for longer.
Great if you’re looking to help your pooch lose a few pounds.
The extra fiber also helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Eggplants are full of B6 – an essential vitamin needed for dogs.
B6 is needed for a healthy nervous system as well as hormone regulation and a strong immune response.
They’re also a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for the clotting cascade.
Eggplants are a good choice for a treat or food additive for dogs with or at risk of heart disease, but it is not used to fight or treat heart disease. It should not be considered an alternative to treatment.
Potential Hazards for Dogs
Dogs can have an allergic reaction to eggplant, and you’re unlikely to know that they have this allergy until it happens.
So it’s important to know the signs of an allergic reaction:
- Upset stomach
- Facial swelling
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, take them to see a vet immediately.
If you’re worried about your dog having an allergic reaction, just feed them a small amount to begin with. Allergic reaction can develop with time. Even if you feed them a small amount initially, the reaction could develop after a few days.
If a dog has a history of food allergies, an allergy to eggplant is possible. It is probably not highly likely. If a dog has other allergies (flea, environmental), there is no reason to suspect an allergy to eggplant.
However, if your pup suffers with no allergies, it’s likely that they’ll be fine.
When in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian.
Eggplants are part of the nightshade family, as are tomatoes.
So if your dog has an allergy to tomatoes, it’s probably a good indicator that they will be allergic to eggplants also.
Nightshade family vegetables, like eggplant, contain an alkaloid called Solanine.
In high amounts, it can be toxic to dogs.
So it’s important to regulate how much eggplant you feed your dog.
Eggplants also contain Oxalates – which can be harmful if your dog suffers from kidney issues or arthritis.
Due to it causing inflammation, it can actually worsen your dog’s condition.
It can also contribute towards an increased risk of kidney stones formation.
Feeding Eggplant to Your Dog
The healthiest way to serve eggplant is plain.
You can boil, bake, grill or just leave it raw!
Just avoid adding any seasoning like salt, butter or anything similar. Eggplant should be prepared specifically for the dog, eggplant made as part of a recipe for example (eggplant parm) is not a good option.
Some dogs might prefer the taste of eggplant once it’s been roasted, as this will bring out the flavor.
It can also be advised to serve your dog cooked eggplant to avoid any potential harmful bacteria entering your dogs system.
Cooking will kill any bacteria and reduce the risk to your dog.
The key is just not to feed your pup too much of this vegetable.
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant Leaves?
This is the part of the plant that is the most dangerous to your dog. All green parts of the plant and immature/green eggplants can be toxic.
Consuming eggplant leaves can make your dog very sick, and even lead to death.
The leaves contain a much higher concentration of the toxins described above so increases the risk of making your dog ill.
What Type of Eggplant Should You Feed Your Dog?
Feeding your dog with organically grown eggplant is a beneficial practice, if it works with your budget.
The rationale behind this is that conventionally grown eggplant usually contain pesticides, which are often insufficiently researched and suspected to have negative health consequences.
Admittedly, organically grown eggplant may be pricier than their non-organic counterparts.
Nevertheless, numerous people view this as a reasonable expense to incur, given the reduced risk to their dogs’ health.