Eggplants or also known as aubergine are one of them foods that not many people really think about. They are actually a fruit and not a vegetable which shocks a lot of people. So not many people usually choose to eat it, how about dogs though? can dogs eat eggplant?
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?
The simple answer is yes, dogs can eat eggplant. Although they may not enjoy it in its raw form. It is not poisonous in its raw form; it is just a lot of dogs prefer it cooked as it tastes better. Your options for cooking it are roasting, boiling, grilling, and baking,
Please make sure you do not add any flavoring or anything else, it should be cooked plain. You are best giving your dog small treat sizes, no matter the size of the dog. This will stop the eggplant from becoming a choking hazard. You should not give your dog eggplant on a regular basis. This should only be on a treat basis.
If your dog is known to have a sensitive stomach, then giving your dog something part of the nightshade family is not advised. Nightshade fruits and vegetables can cause stomach upset. Which can sometimes aggravate an existing condition they already have. We go into more detail below about this.
Benefits of Eggplants
Even though eggplant is not the most common fruit eaten. Eggplant can be a delicious fruit as long as it is not prepared with anything else. For example, any fats, oil, salt, and cheese.
Eggplant contains quite a few nutritious items such as potassium, niacin, folate, phytonutrients, and vitamins B6 and K. All these can help with fighting against any various diseases.
If you have spoken to your veterinarian and they have mentioned that your dog needs more fiber. Then eggplant as a treat can be a good option, as long as your veterinarian agrees.
Please do not replace it with your dogs’ diet. Eggplant may have some good health benefits, but it does not provide the correct protein your dog needs.
Eggplants are low in calories and high in fiber. Which can be a good option as a lot of high fiber foods can be high in sugar or calories.
Hazards of Eggplant
As we have mentioned above, eggplant is not poisonous although some dogs have had an allergic reaction to it. Some of the signs that your dog is having an allergic reaction could be upset stomach, facial swelling, rash, vomiting, sore stomach, and itchiness.
If your dog has had an allergic reaction from tomatoes before. Then that is a good indicator that your dog should not be eating anything from the nightshade family.
You should contact your local veterinarian if your dog is having any of the above symptoms from eating eggplant.
When feeding your dog anything new, you should do it in very small portions. You do this in case they have any allergic reactions. By keeping it a small portion you limit how bad the allergic reaction could be in some cases.
You should then start increasing the size, only by a bit each time. Do not jump from a bit of a carrot to the whole thing.
Nightshade Fruit and Veg
Nightshade family fruit and vegetables contain something called solanine, which is a naturally occurring alkaloid. Solanine can be toxic in high concentrations. So for this reason you should not be feeding your dog eggplant on a regular basis. You should moderate the amount they are having.
Can Dogs Eat Eggplant Leaves?
No, they cannot. The eggplant leaves contain higher concentrations of solanine. Which would increase the chances of your dog getting kidney or bladder stones. If you have a bit of a green thumb and like to grow your own fruit and vegetables, then you should fence up that area.
Oxalate in Eggplant
Dogs that have arthritis or kidney issues should not be eating eggplant, as they contain something called oxalates. Your dog should avoid eggplants as they can make their condition worse. Other foods to avoid are beetroots, spinach, collards, quinoa, and spinach.
A build-up of oxalates can lead to bladder and kidney stones when eaten in large amounts. Oxalates stop the intake of calcium in their bloodstream, which leads to bladder and kidney stones.
Small amounts of eggplant are totally fine and safe for a dog, as long as they do not have a kidney or bladder problem, as well as arthritis.
The reason we mention arthritis is that eggplants can have an inflammatory effect on your dog. Which could make your dog’s arthritis or any other inflammatory condition worse.
What Type of Eggplant is Best For Your Dog?
When it comes to your dog’s health, we will always say organic over anything else, even though organic can be a bit pricey.
The main problem with anything that is not organically grown is that they will usually be covered in something called pesticide. They do this to make sure no insects or creatures start eating their crops, this will usually be done on big farms that grow thousands of eggplants.
People say that pesticides have not been researched properly and believe that they can cause some health issues.
Living an organic lifestyle is expensive and not something most people can do. When buying fruit and veg from your local supermarket you should wash all your fruit and vegetables you buy.
You can go one step further and peel them as well, which can reduce the pesticide levels even more.
This is the best approach for both humans and dogs. If you are unsure check out how to clean your fruit and veg properly.
How to Feed Your Dog Eggplant
Your best options for feeding your dog eggplant is roasting, baking, boiling, and grilling. You should never consider frying eggplant or any other fruit or veg. You are basically just adding a layer of oil and fat that your dog does not need.
The best approach when feeding your dog eggplant is to cook it, feeding them raw eggplant is not the best idea, for two reasons. One, most dogs do not like raw eggplant, it does not have much of a taste for them. Two, by cooking the eggplant thoroughly you are destroying anything harmful that was in the eggplant, for example, any harmful bacteria.
So, can dogs eat eggplant? Yes, they can, as long as you take what we have mentioned above into account. To review, your dog should not be eating eggplant if they have a kidney or bladder problem. Along with any inflammatory health condition like arthritis.
Your dog should only be eating eggplant as a treat and not on a regular basis. Any human food no matter how nutritious it is, should not be replacing your dog’s daily dog food.