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Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?

Updated: Apr 2

can dogs eat cabbage

Can dogs eat cabbage?


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the dietary habits of our furry family members.

As responsible pet parents, we need to know what meals are appropriate for our pets.

Today, we delve into a common question many of us have pondered—can dogs eat cabbage?

This question opens up a world of nutritional exploration. 

The Basics of Canine Nutrition


To ensure our furry family's health and happiness, we must first grasp the fundamentals of canine nutrition.

Like people, dogs need a balanced diet that comprises lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Vegetables are an important part of a dog's nutrition.

They are brimming with vital minerals and vitamins that support general health.

Vegetables like cabbage can be a great addition to their meals, offering a range of nutrients.

The way we prepare these vegetables can also impact their nutritional value.

Raw vegetables maintain their natural state, preserving all their nutrients.

However, some dogs may find raw vegetables hard to digest.

On the other hand, cooked vegetables are easier on a dog's digestive system. Still, the cooking process may reduce some nutrients.

Cabbage and Dogs  


Cabbage is more than just a leafy green vegetable; it's a powerhouse of nutrients that can benefit our furry family.

Packed with vitamins K, C, and B6 and dietary fibre, cabbage can contribute to a dog's overall health.

There are several types of cabbage, each with its unique properties. 

Green cabbage is the most common type, known for its high vitamin C content. 

Savoy cabbage, with its crinkly leaves, has a high antioxidant content and helps strengthen a dog's immune system.

White cabbage, despite its name, is light green and is a good source of vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting prevention. 

Purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, has a higher concentration of vitamin C and contains anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that gives the cabbage its vibrant colour.

The sweetheart cabbage, with its pointed head and loose leaves, is sweeter and softer than other types. It's easy to digest, making it a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Any variety of cabbage—green, savoy, white, purple, or sweetheart—can be a nutritious addition to your dog's diet.

However, while cabbage is safe for dogs to eat, it should be given in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Too much cabbage can cause gas and digestive upset in dogs.

Case Study: Small Breeds and Cabbage  


Consider the case of Poppy, a small-breed Jack Russell Terrier living in Bristol, UK.

After consulting with a local vet, Poppy's owner decided to introduce cabbage into her diet.

The goal was to provide Poppy with a natural source of vitamins K and C and dietary fibre.

Initially, Poppy was fed small amounts of raw green cabbage as part of her regular food. 

Over time, her owner noticed that Poppy's digestion improved, and her coat became shinier.

This case study highlights the advantages of cabbage for small breed dogs like Poppy.

However, remember that every dog is different, so what's successful for one may not work for another.

Red Cabbage vs Green Cabbage  


Red Cabbage:

Red cabbage provides a wealth of nutritional benefits for dogs.

It's low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with vitamins C, K, B6, and B1.

It also contains magnesium and beta-carotene. The antioxidants in red cabbage reduce inflammation and may counteract ageing effects.

However, like all cabbages, it should be given in moderation and under a vet's supervision.

Green Cabbage:

Green cabbage is also a healthy and nutritious addition to a dog's diet. It's low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins C, K, B6, and B1.

It also contains healthy fibres and minerals such as copper, potassium, and manganese.

For dogs, green cabbage is healthy to consume in moderation. It can support your dog's digestion and prevent or reduce constipation or diarrhoea.

In conclusion, red and green cabbage can benefit dogs when included in their diet in moderation.

They are brimming with vital minerals and vitamins that support general health.

Cooked vs Raw Cabbage  


Feeding dogs cabbage, whether green, red, savoy, sweetheart, or purple, can provide them with essential vitamins and minerals.

However, the preparation method, raw or cooked, can have different effects.

Raw Cabbage: 

Raw cabbage is safe for dogs to eat. It can provide health benefits such as supporting skin health and digestion.

However, raw cabbage can be difficult for dogs to digest, leading to gas and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Additionally, thiocyanate, which is present in raw cabbage, has been linked to hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland can't generate enough hormones in this condition, leading to weariness, weight gain, and skin problems.

Cooked Cabbage: 

Cooked cabbage is more manageable for dogs to digest.

Cooking breaks down the fibres and destroys the compound thiocyanate.

However, since oil, butter, and spices can be hazardous to dogs, it's crucial to avoid using them.

In both cases, moderation is key. Overconsumption can lead to health problems.

Also, it's recommended to cut the cabbage into smaller pieces to prevent choking.

Cabbage in the UK 


In the UK, cabbage is a widely consumed vegetable with a long history that dates back to the fourteenth century.

It's a staple in many traditional British dishes and is always in season.

The UK produces a significant amount of cabbage.

In 2014, the total British production was 283,000 million tonnes; in 2022, it slightly rose to 206K tons.

Cabbage is grown all year round, depending on the variety.

The varieties include green, red, savoy, and Napa, with some of the most popular ones being January King, Savoy, and Red Drumhead.

Cabbages are available in supermarkets as a programmed part of their 52-week supply. They are also found in specialist stores.

The round heads of the cabbage vary in size from 0.5 to 4kg in weight and tend to grow larger in the summer in the northern hemisphere.

Cabbage is a well-loved and widely available vegetable in the UK. Its popularity is undisputed and continues to be a significant part of the British diet. 

Potential Risks and Precautions  


Feeding dogs cabbage can provide them with essential vitamins and minerals.

However, there are possible hazards and safety measures to consider.

Potential Risks:

Gas and Bloating: Cabbage contains sulfur compounds that can produce gas and bloating in dogs.

Digestive Upset: Large amounts of cabbage can cause diarrhoea or vomiting.

Thyroid Issues: Raw cabbage contains goitrogenic compounds which can interfere with the thyroid gland.

Choking Hazard: Larger cabbage chunks might be dangerous for little dogs or dogs that like to gulp down their meal whole.


Moderation is Key:

Cabbage should only be fed in moderation. Overfeeding can lead to digestive distress.

Consult a Vet:

Before providing your dog with new meals, always get advice from your vet.


Dogs should only eat cabbage that hasn't been seasoned. Butter and spices you enjoy on your cabbage are not beneficial for your dog.

Serving Size:

If you want to give cabbage to your small dog, dice it up into small pieces to prevent them from choking on the fibrous vegetable.


Always lightly cook your dog's cabbage. Do not feed it raw, as raw cabbage can negatively affect the thyroid gland, and some dogs may find it difficult to digest.

Veterinarian Advice  


As long as it's fed in moderation, dogs can safely eat cabbage, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC's chief veterinary officer.

He says cabbage is "high in beta-carotene, magnesium, and vitamins C and K but low in calories and fibre."

Although cabbage does produce quite a bit of gas, he notes that "certain dog breeds, particularly those prone to bloating, may be incapable of managing a high level of gas."

faqs can dogs eat cabbage?


Can dogs eat cabbage?  

Certainly, dogs can enjoy cabbage. Cabbage offers a low-calorie, high-fibre option suitable for dogs in small quantities.

Can dogs eat red cabbage?  

Both red and green cabbage are safe for dogs to eat, but caution and moderation are essential.

Can dogs eat raw cabbage?  

Yes, dogs can consume raw cabbage, although it's advisable to introduce it gradually to avoid digestive issues.

Can dogs eat cabbage raw?  

Absolutely, dogs can have raw cabbage. Introduce it slowly to their diet to prevent any potential stomach discomfort.

Can dogs eat savoy cabbage?  

Certainly, dogs can indulge in savoy cabbage, known for its antioxidants and beneficial nutrients like vitamin C.

Can dogs eat cabbage cooked?  

Indeed, cooked cabbage is safe for dogs. However, avoid overfeeding to prevent upset stomachs.

Can dogs eat cooked cabbage?  

Dogs can enjoy cooked cabbage as long as it's thoroughly cooked to prevent digestive issues.

Can dogs eat white cabbage?  

Yes, dogs can consume white cabbage. As with any food, moderation is vital for a balanced diet.

Can dogs eat cabbage UK?  

Yes, dogs in the UK may enjoy the health benefits of cabbage, a vegetable high in vitamins and minerals.

Final Thoughts


Understanding your furry family's dietary needs is paramount to their health and well-being.

While cabbage can offer numerous nutritional benefits for dogs, including essential vitamins and minerals, exercising caution and moderation is crucial. 

Potential risks such as gas, digestive upset, and thyroid issues should be considered, along with necessary precautions like consulting a vet and appropriately preparing the cabbage.

By prioritising your dog's nutritional requirements and seeking professional advice where required, you can ensure their meals are delicious and nutritionally balanced.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

Check out these related articles for your small dog's food here:

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mary puppins can dogs eat cabbage

mary puppins can dogs eat cabbage

mary puppins can dogs eat cabbage

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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