If you’re concerned about feeding your dog’s vegetables including carrots and broccoli, I fully understand. Giving vegetables to your dog has many nutritional benefits such as increased fiber and vitamins. You might also wonder whether okra is good for them or not, well, I’ll shed some light on this highly nutritious and palatable veggie which is okra, in this post. But, first, let me share why adding some fresh veggies to your dog’s diet is a good idea.
Benefits of Giving Your Dog Fresh Vegetables:
- Fresh vegetables balance the level of alkaline and acidity, which is very important in their health.
- Fresh vegetables are good source of hydration, thus, these prevent dehydration and the formation of kidney stones.
- Fresh vegetables offer nutrients like proteins, carbs, fiber, and phytonutrients.
- Raw vegetables will provide your dog with its daily requirements of vitamins B1 and B12, C, E, and vitamin K. Not to forget the immune booster vitamin C.
- Fresh vegetables are not only rich in vitamins but these are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.
- Fresh vegetables are rich in antioxidants which is responsible for protecting the body from free radicals that destroy the cells and damage the organs in your dog’s body.
There are many kinds of fresh veggies that are okay to share with your dog. But, in this article, I will be dealing only with safety and the nutritional benefits of okra.
What is Okra?
This veggie is a flowering plant, also known as ladyfingers, and its seed pod is highly prized. There are so many things that can be gotten from an okra seed pod like an optional ingredient for a soup base dish. Since many dog owners enjoy the taste and nutrients from okra, the question is whether it can be given to dogs as well. Let’s see how safe and healthy your dog’s okra is.
Is Okra Good for Dogs?
Yes, okra is perfectly good for your dog, for as long as you do not over-feed it with okra and if you prepare it correctly.
Okra is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, but if your dog is fed too much, it can also be difficult to digest. This is because it is high in soluble and insoluble fiber, and it is, therefore, best to give it in small quantities. Thus, while giving it to your dog, moderation should be practiced despite the nutritional value of okra.
Nutritional Benefits of Okra:
History says that okra was first cultivated in Ethiopia and ever since it was known to offer a multitude of health benefits to both man and its best friend such as the following:
- Okra is high in dietary fiber. It helps in making the digestive tract healthy, making it easier for your dog to eliminate waste.
- Since Okra is also high in vitamin A, it helps improve the vision of your dog, especially at night. Okra includes zeaxanthin and lutein that are used in humans to prevent eye problems. Also, the properties found in okra are beneficial for the eye health of your dog.
- Okra is an excellent source of Vitamin C and A, which makes your dog healthy and less prone to various kinds of infections.
- If your dog is diabetic, it can eat Okra. It has a property that will regulate your dog’s glucose level. For dogs, the common type of diabetes is type 1 and other complications, such as cataracts or urinary tract infections, can occur when their diabetes is untreated.
- Okra is rich in potassium. Like us, to function normally, our dogs also require a significant amount of potassium. If your dog is low in potassium, a disease known as hypokalemia will affect it. If the potassium level is low, tissues in vital organs such as the heart, nerves, and muscles will not function well. That’s why you need to include potassium in your diet, and one source is okra.
- Okra has purgative effects on dogs. It has mucilage that removes toxic substances from your dog’s system.
Nutritional Facts of Okra (100 grams of serving):
- 7.45 farms of carbohydrates
- 33 calories
- 1.48 grams of sugar
- 3.2 grams of fiber
- 0.19 grams of fat
- 1.9 grams of protein
- 60 mcg of folate
- 36 mcg of Vitamin A
- 31.3 mcg of Vitamin K
- 23 mg of Vitamin C
- 82 mg of Calcium
- 0.27 mg of Vitamin E
- 0.62mg of iron
- 299 mg of potassium
- 0.58 mg of zinc
You can now see how nutritious okra is to the body of your pet. But it doesn’t mean that your dog can eat a large portion of this vegetable. Remember that too much may harm your dog so moderation is the key.
Is Okra Safe For Dogs? How Much Can They Eat?
Dogs are known to be omnivores, dogs prefer to eat meat rather than vegetables in plain language. Fruits and vegetables are not the main groups of foods they use to survive. For health reasons, however, their bodies need vegetables and fruits. That’s why combining some with their usual daily foods is a good idea. Nevertheless, moderation must be strictly practiced because it can lead to health problems such as intestinal blockage.
Okra, which is also known as ‘ladyfingers’ can be given to big and small dogs but in a limited quantity only:
- Big dogs ( Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky, etc): 1 piece to 1 1/2 piece of okra only
- Small dogs ( Maltese, Shitzu, etc): 1 piece of okra only
- Puppies (regardless of breed): half okra only
So the question of whether okra is safe for dogs, the answer is YES, okra is perfectly safe for dogs as long as you give them the right amount of okra. You might wonder now what too much okra can do to your dog. Okra is healthy, as mentioned, and it is not one of the toxic foods for them. But caution must be practiced so your dog will not show any signs of issues from eating too much okra.
What Happens If Your Dog Consumes Too Much Okra?
Large amounts or eating too much of what’s necessary could cause stomach upset. Because dogs are naturally omnivores, they trimmed their digestive system to eat animal proteins such as beef and chicken. This is the reason why only a small amount of vegetables such as okra should be served. These are the possible side effects of excessive okra in dogs:
If you see your dog with any of the above symptoms, you don’t really have to worry because these symptoms are going to go away on their own. Just give your dog some time to settle until its stomach gets back to normal.
Can You Give Your Dog Raw Okra?
Okra tastes good, but it has a slimy texture if you will serve it raw. If your pooch is not bothered by its slimy texture, then there is no problem if you will feed it with raw okra.
But, if the slimy texture of okra turns your pooch a bit off, then what you can do is dice the okra into small pieces and mix the vegetables with their daily food.
Can Your Dog Eat Fried Okra?
It’s not bad for your dog to fry the okra, but what’s not good is the oil you use. When you fry the okra, you only add unwanted ingredients like cooking oil loaded with unhealthy fats and empty calories.
Cooking oil can cause heart disease and obesity not only in you but also in your furry pet. Furthermore, frying only has some carcinogenic effects which can only make your dog prone to cancer.
So, while it is not toxic to serve your dog fried okra, it is best to avoid it and give it fresh or raw okra instead.
Can Your Dog Eat Okra Seeds?
Though the seeds are slimy, but these have no negative effects on your dog’s health. So, yes, your pooch can eat okra seeds.
Can Your Dog Eat Pickled Okra?
Sure, a small portion of pickled okra can be offered. It’s worth saying, however, that anything pickled isn’t good for dogs. What’s the reason? Since pickles have salt and spices that don’t provide your pet with any nutritional benefits.
In addition, some of the ingredients of pickles are not good for your pooch, such as onions. It is proven that onions if consumed regularly by dogs, can lead to damage in the red blood cells.
So if you want to serve your pooch with okra, you can just let it taste a few small pieces of pickled okra. But if given a choice, your pooch will be better off if it stays away from anything pickled.
How to Serve Okra To Your Dog?
You are advised to make your dog’s okra meal as simple as possible. The vegetable’s taste depends on how you feed it to your pooch. You may submerge the okra in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes before cooking or serving it raw to avoid the slimy texture that may not be appealing to your pet.
- Raw: If your pooch is not bothered by the slimy texture, then you can serve it raw.
- Steamed: Boil enough water and then place the okra and cook for a few minutes. Do not add any flavorings such as salt.
- Baked: Bake the okra for about 15 to 20 minutes and then drizzle some olive oil.
Can You Give Your Dog Okra Pepsin?
Among others, the okra pepsin includes ingredients such as okra, carrot, sunflower, sunflower, buckwheat. It is used as a method to treat digestive problems among humans. There are some veterinarians who are an advocate of holistic medicine who say that okra pepsin can also be given to dogs. But every dog is special, so what’s great for one might not have the same impact on another dog. Have you got it?
Final Thoughts on Feeding Okra to Your Dog:
The dog’s main diet is meat but it doesn’t mean it should stay away from vegetables and fruits. They can genuinely benefit a lot if they only eat the acceptable amount per day. Unlike us, the digestive system of the dog works differently from us in such a way that only a small amount of vegetables such as okra can be ingested. Okra is filled with minerals and vitamins that can lead to the wellbeing of your dog So there’s nothing wrong with dogs but they eat it without salt and other ingredients such as onions.
Okra is actually a bit sturdy that it can be offered to your dog as a tasty chew treat. Sure, go ahead, buy some okra, but don’t overfeed your dog with okra. Even though the food that is nutritious and balanced is still the key at the end of the day.