Radishes! Often fiery (or at least zingy), these root vegetables often find their way into a salad or two at home. But since they’re commonly found in homes these days, do they pose a risk or a benefit to our canine friends if they eat them? Can dogs eat radishes or should they be locked up safely where our pooches can’t get at them?
To put you out of your misery quickly, dogs can eat radishes… but should they?
In this post I’m going to talk about the benefits and hazards of feeding your dog radishes as well as explaining how to prepare them as a treat.
Table of Contents
- What Are Radishes
- Can Dogs Eat Radishes?
- Are Radishes Bad For Dogs?
- Are Radishes Good for Dogs?
- How to Include Radishes in Your Dog’s Diet
- Related Posts
What Are Radishes?
People think of radishes as being small, round bright red salad vegetables that shouldn’t play a large role on most plates. Of course the red radish is most common to western cuisine, but radishes come in many shapes, sizes and degrees of spiciness.
Radishes can be pink, yellow, purple, black and even white… in fact white “daikon” radishes are very popular in Asian cooking.
They can be eaten raw in salads where their crisp, spicy taste can be fully appreciated, or cooked in stews where they become sweeter and more mild.
Radishes are available to most homes pretty much throughout the year. They seem to be a staple in supermarkets these days. So assuming you like radish, this means you may have them at home often.
So does this mean you should be worried about your dog eating your radishes?
Can Dogs Eat Radishes?
As I’ve said already, dogs can eat radishes… so if your dog manages to get a hold of one and eats it, it’s very unlikely it will cause health problems.
Unlike some things dogs encounter in our homes (such as house plants that are poisonous for dogs), radishes are not at all toxic to our canine friends. Of course some dogs can suffer some ill-effects eating any food if unaccustomed to it, but as a rule dogs can eat radishes without harm.
That said, it’s probably not wise to let your dog eat radishes in excess, especially if they’ve never eaten them before.
Are Radishes Bad for Dogs?
As with any foodstuff, even foods dogs can eat safely, too much of anything is never going to be likely to be beneficial.
Firstly, radishes contain a prebiotic called inulin. Inulin is a starchy substance that doesn’t get absorbed by the stomach but remains in the bowel where it encourages “friendly” bacteria to grow.
For dogs with an allergy to inulin, or those with existing digestive problems, an excess of radishes can be bad.
Even if a dog is not allergic to inulin, eating too many radishes can lead to stomach upsets, diarrhoea and vomiting. Hence, it’s always sensible not to let your dog eat too many radishes in one sitting.
Additionally, an excess of fibre in a dog’s diet can result in gas and the unpleasant effects that entails!
Finally, and on a more serious note, if your dog eats radishes whole there is a risk that they might choke or suffer a digestive blockage.
Are Radishes Good for Dogs?
We’ve established that dogs can eat radishes and although there can be some unpleasant effects, as a general rule it’s unlikely they’ll cause problems. In fact, radishes may actually be good for dogs.
Radishes aren’t perhaps the most nutritional of foods, however they definitely do have nutritional value.
Below are some of the nutritional properties of 100g of raw radishes as defined by the US Department of Agriculture:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.1g|
Radishes are high in fibre, low in fats and sugars and are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. They also contain small amounts of calcium and iron.
Since radishes are low in calories they can be used as a relatively healthy treat… assuming your dog likes radishes of course!
Dogs may benefit from the antifungal properties of radishes, which help to prevent yeast infections.
Finally, radishes contain antioxidants, which help to protect against damage caused by free radicals.
As long as you don’t allow your dog to eat too many radishes, they could well provide a nutritional boost.
How to Include Radishes in Your Dog’s Diet?
As with any vegetables you’d put into your mouth, you should wash radishes before letting your dog eat them. However, once washed you can give your dog radishes by:
- Removing the skin along with any rough patches
- Cutting them into slices large enough that your dog can chew but small enough so they won’t cause a choking hazard
If your dog enjoys the flavour and experience of eating radish you can just serve it in the raw state… but don’t let the sliced radish sit around for long periods as they’re best served fresh!
Dogs can eat radishes but you should be careful if they haven’t eaten them previously, just to be sure they don’t have an allergy to them.
Radishes can be a way to add low calorie, low fat treats into a dog’s diet. However, as with any treat they should never be overfed to a dog or be a substitute for a properly balanced and complete dog food.
You should also never allow your dog to eat radishes to an excessive level since they may cause stomach upsets… let’s be honest about it, nobody wants to deal with that!
Remember though that all dogs are different and what might be fine for one dog may not be so good for another. Some dogs have certain medical conditions that might make eating radishes a no-go.
If you’re in any doubt about your dog eating radishes, speak to your veterinary professional who may well have a better understanding of the specific nutritional needs of your dog.
Does your dog eat radishes? Do they like them? Have radishes caused your dog problems? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
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