Can Dogs Eat Fennel?

Fennel is not a very popular vegetable, but it is one of the healthiest. It’s very low in calories and offers a lot of important nutrients. Because fennels have a very unique anise-like taste, it’s either loved or hated. If you happen to be one of the people who loves to eat fennels, then you might want to give a little bit to your dog as well.

For us humans, all parts of fennel (bulb, stalks, leaves and seeds) are edible, but what about dogs? Can dogs eat fennel too? The short answer would be yes, dogs too can eat fennels. In fact, fennels are sometimes even used in commercial dog foods to make them more nutritious[1].

The Benefits of Fennel for Dogs

Fennel can be beneficial for your dog. It’s actually used as a natural treatment for many health issues in dogs.

can-dogs-eat-fennelFor one, fennel seeds can help to regulate your dog’s digestive system. They have proven to be especially helpful in fighting flatulence in dogs[2].

For two, fennel contains unique and valuable phytonutrients, which have an antioxidant effect and are helpful in the prevention of cancer[3].

For three, fennel is a good vegetable source of calcium and iron. Fennel also contains many other valuable nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid[3]. All of these nutrients are very important for your dog to be healthy, so it’s definitely a good idea to add some fennel seeds or other parts of the vegetable into your dog’s diet.

Can Dogs Eat Fennel? Things to Consider

If you buy fennel from the grocery store, then it’s very likely to contain pesticide residue. Pesticide residue, however, can be dangerous for dogs, so before feeding your dog fennel, make sure you thoroughly wash it with clean water.

As with any other vegetable, only a small amount of fennel is okay for your dog to eat. Feeding your dog too much fennel or other vegetables is likely to cause diarrhea in dogs.

When you first introduce fennel to your dog, then I’d recommend to be extra cautious and only feed your dog a very small amount. As with all new foods, there’s a slight chance that your dog is allergic to fennels, and that’s why it would be smart to give your dog a very small amount of this vegetable the first time. If everything goes well and your dog doesn’t show signs of a food allergy (diarrhea, excessive gas, licking of the feet, itchy rear end), then you can feed your dog a little bit more the next time.

Conclusion on Can Dogs Eat Fennel

Fennel is a safe vegetable for dogs to eat. Because of the impressive nutrient content it can even be beneficial for your dog to have some fennel in her diet. You could either feed your dog a few piece of fennel stalks or add fennel seeds into your dog’s normal food for a boost in nutrition.

References

  1. Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Fennel.” Slim Doggy. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.
  2.  “Fennel for Dogs and How to Safely Use It.” Your Old Dog. Web. 16 Apr. 2016
  3.  Fennel.” The World’s Healthiest Foods. Web. 16 Apr. 2016

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