Eggplant is rich in many nutrients and antioxidants and it can also help you feel full for a long time. But can dogs eat eggplant?
Is aubergine in any way dangerous to them? What are the best ways of giving this veggie to your pet? Find out the answers to all of these questions below.
Is Eggplant Good for Dogs?
Did you know that eggplant contains a good amount of vitamins K, B6, A, and C? Needless to say, all of these vitamins are essential for healthy development, so they make aubergine a rather healthy food source.
Vitamins K makes it possible for your dog’s blood to clot properly. Vitamin A ensures good eye health but also great skin and coat health while vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that positively influences your dog’s immune system functioning.
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 ensures that your dog’s nervous system remains in good shape for as long as possible.
Although the number of minerals present in eggplant aren’t nearly as many or concentrated as the vitamins, they can still provide your dog with a decent number of benefits.
Aubergine is rich in manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium. All of these minerals positively influence your dog’s osteo-skeletal system.
Some of them (such as iron) are involved in very important processes, such as ensuring that your dog’s organs are supplied with nutrients and oxygen (via the red blood cells).
One hundred grams of eggplant contain at least 2.5 grams of dietary fiber. While fiber is present in other foods, such as grains, dogs are never supposed to have them. This means that wheat, corn, barley, and other such fiber-rich foods are a no-go for this species.
However, some food sources, such as eggplant, pumpkin, or squash, can add fiber to your pet’s diet and also not cause unpleasant symptoms such as digestive distress.
In other words, giving your dog small amounts of cooked eggplant every now and then (but be sure that it’s completely unseasoned) can help regulate their digestion.
Eggplants are rich in a number of ingredients that can’t be found in other foods. Whether they are flavonoids, phytosterols, or phenolic compounds, these components make it possible for your dog’s aging process to be slowed down. Phytochemicals also make it possible for your pet to benefit from good cardiovascular health even in their senior years.
Is Eggplant Bad for Dogs?
Even though an allergy to a specific vegetable is quite uncommon in the animal world, you can’t overrule the possibility that your dog is allergic to eggplant.
For this reason, we suggest giving only a very small amount to your pet at first to see how they react to it. Severe allergic reactions are very rare. The most likely unpleasant signs that your dog is likely to show are related to their digestive system, so you might notice vomiting or diarrhea.
Seasonings and spices
This is not a reason to steer clear of eggplant completely, but the truth is that when people cook aubergines, they rarely do it without adding something extra to it.
Whether it’s tomato sauce, oil, onions or garlic, or a number of other spices, an eggplant dish cooked primarily for people is simply unsafe for dogs. As such, this is a risk you have to take into account.
High levels of oxalates can be found in other types of food, not just eggplant. For example, spinach, leeks, rhubarb, Swiss chard, as well as beets contain oxalates, and they’re just as risky for dogs.
The reason we’re noting these components is that they can cause severe problems for dogs that have a history of kidney health problems. The quantity of aubergine you feed to your pet needs to be limited in this sense.
Like tomatoes and potatoes, eggplants contain solanine, too. But it’s mostly present in their skin, not the aubergine meat.
While fairly uncommon, too, an allergic reaction to solanine cannot be ignored as a possibility. This alkaloid is toxic to both pets and humans, and that’s why most people remove the eggplant skin before cooking it.
How Much Eggplant is Safe for Dogs?
This is a question that’s not exactly easy to answer. The quantity of eggplant that your dog can eat largely depends on their size, age, whether or not they have kidney health issues, and a number of other such factors.
Even with the amount of oxalates that can be found in aubergine, the truth is that a serving size such as one tablespoon per week is most likely to be safe for all dogs.
Do avoid giving your pet the hard parts of the plant, whether the stems, the leaves, or the skins, as in some cases, they can present a choking hazard and also contain toxic components.
How to Serve and Prepare Eggplant for Dogs
Even though raw eggplant, especially in small quantities, are safe for dogs, it’s very likely that your pet might not show any interest in it. When cooked, however, it becomes moist and chewy, and depending on what condiments you add to it, your dog might definitely want to have a taste of your dish.
Eggplant parmesan and moussaka are the two types of dishes that this vegetable is present in. But neither of them is really safe for dogs, so you shouldn’t give any of these meals to your pet.
If you want to cook eggplant for your dog, you should never use condiments like onion or garlic, as they can be quite dangerous and even put your pet’s health at a risk. Do not add salt or any other spices as these can be risky, too. If you generally give your dog table scraps, the chances of them developing cardiovascular health problems because of the salt content in your food are quite high.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Cooked eggplant is perhaps the safest form for dogs as it does not raise the risk of choking hazards whatsoever.
It depends on the dog. If your pet has lactose intolerance, the answer to this question is a clear no. Also, parmesan is a cheese variety that’s quite rich in salt, which means that eggplant parmesan can be risky for dogs with cardiovascular health problems, particularly seniors. If possible, avoid feeding this dish to your dog.
If the egg is properly cooked, yes. Do keep in mind that eggs can carry dangerous bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, so you need to make sure that they are completely cooked through.
No. The skin of aubergine is the part that’s particularly rich in solanine. On top of that, the skin is likely to contain traces of weed killers or pesticides, which makes it quite unsafe for all pets, including dogs.
No. The leaves, the stems, and all of the green parts of an eggplant can be toxic to dogs, which means that your pet has a good chance of experiencing very unpleasant symptoms after eating aubergine leaves.
Cooked eggplant flesh that’s been baked or grilled without any spices, seasonings, or condiments is generally safe for dogs. Do not give your pet any other parts of the plant, such as the skins, stems, or leaves, as they are dangerous.
If you have any second thoughts about giving your dog eggplant dishes, talk to your veterinarian and ask them about it beforehand.
1. Management of calcium oxalate uroliths in dogs and cats, Joseph W. Bartges et al, 2004
2. Evaluation of solanine toxicity, B.C. Patil et al, 1972
3. Health benefits and bioactive compounds of eggplant, Nergiz Gurbuz et al, 2018