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Can Dogs Eat Spinach?

Updated: Apr 2

can dogs eat spinach

Can dogs eat Spinach?


When it comes to our furry family's diet, it's crucial to understand what they can and cannot eat.

One question that appears is, "Can dogs eat spinach?"

Although this lush green vegetable is full of nutrients beneficial to humans, are they also beneficial to our canine companions?

In this blog post, we'll go into the topic and look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of feeding spinach to dogs.

We'll talk about the several types of spinach—raw, cooked, fresh, and frozen—and how they could impact your dog's health.

We'll also discuss how pertinent this subject is to UK dog owners.

So continue reading to learn more about this topic if you're wondering if you can give your furry family member any of your spinach salad.

Spinach's Nutritional Value


Fresh, frozen, cooked, or otherwise prepared, spinach is renowned for its high nutritional content.

It is brimming with minerals and vitamins necessary for sustaining healthy health.

What about our animal family members, though? Let's examine spinach's dietary advantages for dogs.

Spinach is full of vitamins B, A, C, and K. Vitamin A supports eye health, while B vitamins aid in maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Antioxidants like vitamin C combat harmful free radicals, whereas vitamin K is necessary to prevent blood clotting.

Iron is required for producing haemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout the body, and is also found in spinach.

All of these nutrients are preserved when raw spinach is cooked.

However, it's important to remember that certain dogs may have trouble breaking down raw spinach. Boiling spinach may help dogs digest it more easily, at the expense of lowering its nutritional value.

Because baby spinach leaves are soft, dogs may find them easier to eat and process. 

They might be a fantastic way to start your dog on spinach.

Dogs can also consume kale, a closely related leafy green high in nutrients. Kale contains calcium, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and K.

The choice between frozen and fresh spinach is based primarily on availability and convenience.

While fresh spinach is ideal during certain seasons, frozen spinach can be a convenient substitute.

Most of its nutrients are retained since they are gathered and frozen at their freshest. In the UK, retailers have fresh and frozen spinach for dog owners to obtain easily.

Adding spinach to your dog's diet can help him receive more nutrients.

But it's crucial to exercise moderation. If ingested excessively, spinach's oxalic acid can harm kidneys and prevent the body from absorbing calcium.

Hence, if fed in moderation, spinach can be a nutritious supplement to your dog's diet.

Always get advice from your veterinarian before adding new items to your furry family's diet.

In the following section, we will discuss the differences between cooked and raw spinach for dogs in more detail.

Cooked vs. Raw Spinach


One frequently asked question about feeding spinach to our furry family members is whether it should be served raw or cooked.

In this section, we'll examine each condition's advantages and possible drawbacks.

Raw Spinach:

When spinach is raw, none of its nutrients are lost while cooking. Iron and the vitamins A, B, C, and K are abundant.

But raw spinach also has oxalic acid, which can cause kidney injury if ingested in excess and interfere with calcium absorption.

Furthermore, some dogs may have trouble digesting raw spinach, which could cause digestive distress.

Cooked Spinach:

Dogs can digest spinach if it is cooked.

The nutrients are released and become more available as heat breaks down the cell walls.

Additionally, cooking lowers the oxalic acid content, making it safer for dogs to eat.

But it's crucial to cook spinach without including any flavours, oils, or salts that can be dangerous for dogs.

In the UK, cooked and raw spinach are frequently added to dog meals, although moderation is key.

Whether you give your dog cooked or raw spinach, always start lightly and observe your dog's reaction. If you have any concerns, speak with your veterinarian.

Spinach and Small Dog Breeds


The way that dogs respond to spinach depends on their breed's size.

Smaller dog breeds may react differently to particular foods than larger breeds due to size and metabolic rate differences.

Let's investigate this further using a UK case study.

Introducing Rose, a London-born Yorkshire Terrier.

To increase Rose's nutrient intake, her owner began to feed her small portions of cooked spinach.

Rose was apprehensive initially, but she quickly grew to love her new food addition.

Rose's owner observed that Rose appeared to have more energy when she added spinach to her diet.

She seemed healthier throughout, and her coat got shinier.

It's crucial to remember that not all tiny breeds will respond to spinach as Rose did.

Since every dog is different, what suits one may not suit another.

It's also important to remember that although Rose loved cooked spinach, raw spinach may not have gone down as well or been as quickly absorbed. 

Cooking the spinach made it simpler for Rose to eat.

It also decreased the quantity of oxalic acid, which may have caused renal problems if ingested in excess and interfered with calcium absorption.

Therefore, even while spinach can be a beneficial addition to a dog's diet, it's crucial to introduce it gradually and watch your dog's response.

Spinach's Risks


Although adding spinach to your furry family's diet might be healthful, it's vital to be aware of the possible hazards and negative effects.

This is especially valid when it comes to giving raw spinach to dogs.

Uncooked spinach has higher quantities of oxalic acid than cooked spinach.

One substance that can obstruct the body's ability to absorb calcium is oxalic acid.

Overuse of it can lead to hyperoxaluria, a condition where there is an excessive amount of oxalate in the urine.

Over time, this can lead to the development of kidney stones in dogs, which can be very uncomfortable and occasionally dangerous.

Apart from the potential hazard of kidney stones, raw spinach may also present digestive challenges for canines.

This may result in signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhoea, bloating, and gas.

Cooking spinach can break down rough fibres and make it easier for dogs to digest.

Moreover, even though spinach is low in fat and calories, it's crucial to remember that it shouldn't account for a significant amount of your dog's diet.

To guarantee that they receive all the nutrients they require, dogs require a balanced diet comprising a range of foods.

Substitutes for Spinach


Other green vegetables are safer and healthier for dogs than spinach, even though they can be an advantageous addition to their diet.

Let's investigate some substitutes, with kale receiving special attention.


Dogs can safely consume moderate amounts of this nutrient-dense vegetable.

It's loaded with antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

But kale, like spinach, includes oxalates, so you should heat it before giving it to your dog to lessen the amount of oxalate.


Another nutritious choice for dogs is broccoli.

It's high in fibre, A, C, and K.

However, the isothiocyanates in the florets may cause mild or even severe gastrointestinal distress in certain dogs. Therefore, giving your dog little portions of the stalks is preferred.

Green beans are a beneficial, low-calorie option for overweight dogs. They're also an excellent source of protein, fibre, and vitamins A, K, and C.

Dogs can safely consume sugar snap peas, snow peas, and green peas.

They're a great source of protein, fibre, and vitamins B, A, and K. However, due to their high sugar content, they shouldn't be fed often.

Spinach in Dog Food


In the UK, spinach is a common ingredient in many commercial dog foods.

Its inclusion is due to its high nutritional value, providing a natural source of many essential vitamins and minerals.

Spinach in dog food can offer the same health benefits as when served fresh.

It's a good source of vitamins, iron, and antioxidants.

These nutrients can support your furry family's overall health, contributing to a robust immune system, healthy skin and coat, and good eye health.

However, the presence of spinach in dog food also raises potential concerns.

As we've already covered, spinach contains oxalic acid, which, in high doses, can cause renal issues and interfere with calcium absorption.

While cooking can reduce the levels of oxalic acid, how much oxalic acid remains in commercially prepared dog food needs to be clarified.

Moreover, the quality and preparation of spinach in dog food can vary between brands.

Some brands may use fresh spinach, while others might use frozen or dehydrated spinach. The nutritional value can differ accordingly.

Spinach Recipes for Dogs 


Spinach and Ricotta Pasta for Dogs


  • 100g of pasta (choose a small shape that's easy for your dog to eat)

  • 100g of fresh spinach

  • 125g of ricotta cheese

  • 60ml of low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Cook the pasta following the package instructions.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, steam the spinach until it's wilted.

  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and let it cool.

  4. Mix the cooled pasta, steamed spinach, ricotta cheese, and chicken broth until well combined.

  5. Serve the mixture to your dog in an appropriate portion size.

faqs can dogs eat spinach?


Can dogs eat spinach?

Yes, dogs can eat spinach. 

Can dogs eat spinach in the UK?

Yes, dogs in the UK can eat spinach. The same considerations apply as in any other location. Because spinach has a high oxalic acid concentration, it should be fed sparingly.

Can dogs eat raw spinach?

While dogs can technically eat raw spinach, it's not recommended. Raw spinach is challenging for dogs to digest and contains higher levels of oxalic acid than cooked spinach.

Can dogs eat spinach raw?

As mentioned above, dogs can eat raw spinach. Still, it's not the best option due to digestion difficulties and high oxalic acid content.

Can dogs eat spinach leaves?

Yes, dogs can eat spinach leaves.

However, like with whole spinach, it's recommended that the leaves be cooked before feeding them to your dog to aid digestion and reduce the oxalic acid content.

Can dogs eat cooked spinach?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked spinach. It's the preferred method of preparation. Cooking spinach makes it easier for dogs to digest and reduces the levels of oxalic acid.

Final Thoughts


Ultimately, understanding what our 'furry family' can and cannot eat is paramount.

The key points from each section highlight the necessity of a balanced diet, the dangers of certain foods, and the benefits of others.

It's essential to remember that not all pet diets are healthy for humans, and some can even be harmful.

Certain foods, like chocolate, onions, and grapes, can seriously harm a pet's health.

On the other hand, when consumed in moderation, foods like apples, carrots, and white rice can be advantageous.

You can guarantee your pet lives a life of wellness and joy with routine veterinary exams and a diet designed to meet their individual needs.

This information benefits our pets' general health and helps them avoid possible health problems.

Therefore, awareness of our pets' dietary needs is a significant aspect of responsible pet ownership.

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 spinach

can dogs eat spinach

mary puppins can dogs eat spinach

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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