Cabbage for Dogs

A powerful food filled with vitamins and antioxidants that offer some anticancer benefits, cabbage for dogs with cancer is a good idea.

Key Takeaways

  • You can give your dog cooked cabbage or raw cabbage.
  • How much cabbage dogs can eat depends on their size and overall health. A rough guideline is 3 ounces of cabbage a day for a 50-pound dog.
  • Raw cabbage is better for dogs because cooking can decrease nutrient content.
  • Cabbage is good for dogs.

Can Dogs Have Cabbage?

Cabbage is an inexpensive leafy vegetable readily available in most grocery stores. It comes in many different varieties. Cabbage for dogs is a good idea, because it’s a healthy cruciferous vegetable.

You may be familiar with green cabbage, January king cabbage, kale, Napa cabbage, red cabbage, and savoy cabbage. But others, like Bok choy and brussels sprouts, are also members of the species of cabbage Brassica oleracea.1

This vegetable is a healthy choice for both you and your dog.

Benefits of Cabbage

Cabbage is safe to feed dogs, and offers a number of health benefits.

  • Cabbage is only 22 calories per cup, making it a great option for dogs who need to be weight conscious.1
  • It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C and vitamin K.1
  • It also contains 1 gram of protein per serving.1
  • Cauliflower’s 2 grams of fiber help with digestion and the prevention of constipation or diarrhea.1
  • Cabbage can also be a source of magnesium in your dog’s diet, which is a mineral important for building and maintaining muscle mass and nerve function.1
  • Vitamin B6 can help support healthy red blood cells.2
  • The pigment beta-carotene promotes eye health.1,2
  • Potassium is another vitamin in cabbage that has great health benefits in its ability to lower high blood pressure.1
  • Lastly, the amount of vitamin C in cabbage can help your dog feel stronger and supports their digestion, cardiovascular function, and the ability for blood to clot normally.1 Vitamin C can even help lower cholesterol.1

Potential Anticancer Benefits

Cabbage has a couple components that may be helpful in treating cancer.

Cabbage contains anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that can help neutralize and remove toxic molecules from the body.1

It also has glucosinolates, which are compounds that can reduce inflammation that can damage cells.1

Research in humans suggests that cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables can lower the risk of developing colorectal, lung, prostate, and breast cancer.4

When to Not Use Cabbage for Dogs

It’s always best to consult your veterinarian before adding something to your dog’s diet, but there’s likely no reason why your dog can’t have cabbage in moderation. However, there are some things to be mindful of.

  • Cabbage can cause constipation, and may give your dog gas, so it’s not a great option for dogs with digestive issues.
  • Cabbage has also been identified as contributing to hypothyroidism, so it’s best not to give to dogs already diagnosed with the condition.1
  • Cabbage has the ability to release histamine, a substance that causes inflammation, in the body.3 Mast cell tumors are full of histamine that can be released into the blood stream, so it may be wise to avoid giving these dogs foods that are high in histamine.7 At minimum you’ll want to avoid fermented cabbage, which is even higher in histamine than unfermented cabbage.3

Cabbage may interact with some medications, including:1

  • Acetaminophen
  • Glucuronidase drugs
  • Oxazepam drugs
  • Warfarin
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Blood thinners
  • Medications processed by the liver and metabolized by cytochrome P450 1A2

How to Prepare Cabbage for Dogs

Cabbage should only be fed in small amounts, as it can produce large amounts of gas, leading to a level of bloat that many be dangerous for some breeds.2

For example, The Dog Cancer Diet formulated by Dr. Demian Dressler suggests adding up to 3 ounces of cabbage a day for a 50-pound dog.7

Red and green cabbage are the varieties typically given to dogs.2

Your dog will incur the most benefits from cabbage if they eat it raw.1 This makes cabbage easy to prepare.

First, make sure that the cabbage you’re preparing to give your dog is free of butter, spices, onions, and garlic.2

Next, chop or dice the cabbage into small pieces to prevent the risk of choking.2

You’re now ready feed the cabbage to your dog in controlled amounts as a treat or mixed in with their regular food.

Where to Get Cabbage

Cabbage is in-season in the spring and fall, so it is typically more readily available and cheaper during these time periods.

As a general rule of thumb, organic and farmstand veggies are typically healthier than commercially grown produce because of increased quality and safety.5 Consumers with a higher intake of organic foods reported fewer cases of infertility, birth defects, allergic reactions, pre-eclampsia, ear infections, metabolic syndromes, obesity, and even cancer.6

  1. No author. 8 Health Benefits of Cabbage. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials. September 2, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-cabbage/. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  2. Lowrey S. Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? American Kennel Club. November 18, 2022. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-cabbage/. Accessed on January 28, 2023.
  3. No author. Is cabbage high in histamine? Fig. No publication date available. https://foodisgood.com/is-cabbage-high-in-histamine/#:~:text=Cabbage%20is%20a%20histamine%20liberator,person%20has%20unique%20dietary%20triggers. Accessed January 28, 2023.
  4. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet. Published June 7, 2012. Accessed April 17, 2023.
  5. Rahman SME, Mele MA, Lee YT, Islam MZ. Consumer Preference, Quality, and Safety of Organic and Conventional Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Cereals. Foods. 2021;10(1):105. doi:10.3390/foods10010105.
  6. Vigar V, Myers S, Oliver C, Arellano J, Robinson S, Leifert C. A Systematic Review of Organic Versus Conventional Food Consumption: Is There a Measurable Benefit on Human Health?. Nutrients. 2019;12(1):7. doi:10.3390/nu12010007.
  7. Dressler D, Ettinger S. The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. Maui, HI: Maui Media, LLC; 2011.

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