Can Dogs Eat Spinach?

If Popeye Had a Dog, Would the Dog Eat Spinach Too?

Popeye was a popular cartoon character from back in the day. He was originally developed to help sell kids on eating spinach and eating healthier in general. It turned into a cartoon and tons of merchandise and has remained a popular character ever since.

A question a lot of people ask, however, is whether or not Popeye had a dog. If so, did the dog also eat spinach? It is a reasonable question to ask if you are not familiar with the character and the cartoons. In truth, the leading character did not have a dog, but it still leaves this burning question as to whether or not his dog would eat spinach.

Would a dog normally eat spinach anyway? Could you even get a dog to eat spinach? Why would you want your dog to eat spinach? A simple question draws up more questions, but the answers follow.


Would A Dog Eat Spinach? It Depends On The Dog

Dogs are willing to eat just about anything. (Just look at how many dogs are willing to eat their own and other dogs’ feces!) However, that does not mean that every dog will eat spinach and other fruits and veggies.

Most dogs prefer meat, but they are omnivores, meaning that they do, they can, and they will eat vegetables. Some dog foods even contain corn, peas, carrots, and other green foods like kale.

It really just depends on the dog and the breed of dog. There are dogs that eat literally everything you drop on the floor or leave laying around, even if it isn’t actually edible by human standards. These “garbage disposal” dogs will consume leftovers out of the trash, raid your fridge if you do not close it all the way, and will dig for bugs to eat in the yard.

These are the dogs that will more than likely eat spinach (and whatever else you put in front of them!). If your dog “hoovers” everything up from the floor the minute a family member drops it, you can feed this dog spinach.

Why You Might Want Your Dog To Eat Spinach

  • It should not surprise you that there are health benefits for dogs that eat spinach. It is a very nutrient-rich food extremely high in a particular vitamin. Vitamin A is found in spinach, and it is excellent for your dog’s eyesight as well as your own.
  • Spinach also contains several B vitamins, which contribute to healthy brain function and alertness in your dog. Pregnant bitches can benefit from eating spinach as well because the folate in it will help with neural tube development in their pups and ease fatigue some bitches have during their pregnancies.

Safe Consumption Of Spinach For Dogs

  • Dogs can consume about a cup or so of spinach safely. Because it is a leafy green vegetable, you do not want to give your dog too much, or it may develop diarrhea. If your dog is constipated, you may feed your dog a cup of spinach twice a day for a couple of days until the constipation is relieved.
  • If your dog develops a taste for spinach, try to limit it to just that one cup of leaves. If you grow spinach in your own garden and your dog likes it, you may want to keep the spinach heads covered until you can harvest them.

When Your Dog Should Eat Spinach

It is not common for a vet to “prescribe” spinach, but if your dog should eat spinach, there is a medical reason for it. The vet will give you that reason during an exam, as well as provide you with specifics for feeding your dog spinach.

It may be that your vet feels that your dog could really benefit in one or more of the previously mentioned ways. If spinach is “prescribed,” then your vet will tell you how often and how long you should feed your dog this vegetable before stopping.


Can Dogs Eat Spinach

When You Can’t Get Your Dog To Eat Spinach, But You Want Him/Her To Eat It

Whether a vet tells you that your dog needs to eat some spinach for a while, or you want your dog to eat spinach for a particular reason, your dog may resist. Dogs are more likely to eat the fresh spinach than the cooked or frozen versions, just because fresh spinach tends to taste like grass and the frozen or cooked/canned stuff has a less pleasant taste.

If you cannot get your dog to eat any version of spinach, try the following approaches:

  • Dice it up into small bits and stir it into wet dog food. Start with a small amount at first and gradually increase it.
  • Empty half a can of wet dog food into your dog’s bowl. Then put spinach leaves on top of that. Finally, add the rest of the wet dog food on top. Your dog will be so busy chomping down that he/she will not notice the leaves in the middle.
  • Soak spinach leaves in gravy. Dogs can’t resist gravy.

Essentially, you are masking the taste of the spinach leaves in any of the above approaches. Your dog will detect a faint difference in odor in his/her food, but the lure of his/her usual food or gravy will be enough to encourage him/her to eat the spinach.


Special Circumstances Where Dogs Eat A Lot Of Spinach

Finally, it should be known that there are special circumstances where dogs eat, or are fed, a lot of spinach. Generally, champion show dogs are fed spinach and lots of other nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat.

The idea is that if the dogs are eating natural foods for the nutrients and vitamins, the dogs will have brighter eyes, glossier coats, healthier body compositions, and plenty of energy to trot around a show ring. If you do have a show dog, you might want to start feeding it spinach.

There are other dog-safe fruits and veggies too, but you should ask your vet which ones he/she recommends.

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