Did your dog secretly eat a piece of Bok Choy from the kitchen?
Or perhaps you’re wondering what would happen if you fed them one yourself?
If you’re asking yourself even one of these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll discuss everything about Bok Choy and whether your dog should eat it or not.
But before that, let’s take a look at what Bok Choy actually is:
What is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy is a type of leafy green Chinese cabbage often used in Asian cuisine. The origination of this vegetable can be traced back to around 15th century China. Since then, it’s become common in Southern China and Southeast Asia.
It’s different from regular cabbage such that it doesn’t form the typical round shape; instead, it has leaf blades. With the spread of Chinese cuisine around the world, Bok Choy has spread and is being grown around many parts around the world today. This includes Northern Europe, North America, as well as some parts of Canada.
This vegetable has a crunchy texture with a slightly sweet taste. It’s also very nutritionally dense and contains multiple vitamins and minerals and has many health benefits that we’ll cover later in this article.
Can Dogs Eat Bok Choy?
To sum it up in one word; Yes, dogs can eat Bok Choy. But there are some conditions to this which you must meet before you straight away just grab a piece of Bok Choy and throw it to your dog.
Just like everything else, you must practice moderation while feeding this vegetable to your dog. There’s also always a risk that your dog might not react properly to a new food. Which is why you must first test to be sure that it isn’t causing any unwanted reactions.
Veggies Beneficial for Dogs (Video)
Luckily, we’ve prepared the steps for you through which you can begin incorporating this vegetable into their diet. Stop whenever you feel like something is going wrong, or you can continue if everything is going fine. We still recommend that you talk to your vet before beginning, to be on the safe side.
Steps to Feed Your Dog Bok Choy
If you’ve made the decision that you’re going to feed your dog Bok Choy, follow these steps to smoothly carry out the process.
1. Always wash and clean your vegetables
Before you feed your dog Bok Choy or any other vegetable or fruit for that matter, always make sure they’re clean. Rinse them thoroughly with water to remove any dirt or rind, as they’re usually exposed to a lot of chemicals and grime. And you definitely don’t want your dog consuming any of those.
If you can, purchase organic fruits and vegetables. These contain even lesser chemicals, pesticides, or any other bacteria that might otherwise upset your dog’s stomach.
2. Cut them into very small pieces
First, remove the whole white part of the stem as it contains no nutrients. Once you’re left with the green leaves, cut them up into very small pieces, enough that your dog can swallow them without chewing.
This is because dogs usually don’t have teeth like ours with which they could tear the leaves into smaller pieces. So, if you give them the leaves without cutting them up, it’ll pose a choking hazard when a dog tries to swallow them without chewing. Also, cutting them into smaller pieces will also ensure that your dog properly digests the leaves and receives complete nutritional benefits from them.
3. Test them with a small amount
Giving your dog the whole bunch would be sheer foolishness. It’s a general rule of thumb that whenever you introduce something new into your dog’s diet, you always test a small amount of that food before you give them a lot of it. The same is the case with Bok Choy.
Try feeding them a half handful or less of cut up leaves and give around a day to digest it. Keep an eye out for any symptoms such as diarrhoea or runny stools. If you notice anything unusual, discontinue immediately. For puppies, try an even smaller amount during the test because their bodies aren’t capable of digesting such a high-fiber food.
4. Keep it in moderation
Because Bok Choy is so nutrient-dense, it’s crucial to practice moderation while feeding them this vegetable to avoid any problems. It can pack a lot of vitamins which can even fulfill the daily requirements of a grown adult, so a dog might overdose if you feed them too much of it.
Similarly, Bok Choy contains a large amount of fibre as well. If you feed too much Bok Choy to your dog, it’ll cause diarrhoea and runny stools and mess up their digestive health. So, it’s important to keep a steady hand at the amount of Bok Choy you’re feeding your dog.
5. Go as green as you can
As with all vegetables, the greener the better, and the same goes for Bok Choy. Always look for one that has green leaves as they contain the most nutritional value. The white stem isn’t particularly of any use, so you might as well ignore that.
Benefits of Bok Choy for Dogs
If fed the proper way and in moderation, Bok Choy can have several brilliant health benefits. If it works for your dog, you can replace it with their treats and occasionally feed them some amount of it when they’re hungry.
1. Lots of fiber
Bok Choy is rich in fiber and contains around 1 gram of fiber per 100 grams. This can help dogs that suffer from constipation or irregular bowel movements. Due to fiber, your dog will pass stools easily, but you must practice moderation as too much fiber can also lead to runny stools and diarrhoea.
2. Rich in vitamin A
Just 100 grams of Bok Choy contains 89% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A for a human being. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining and development of eyesight for dogs. Especially for puppies, Vitamin A is a crucial requirement as well as for ageing dogs. But be careful as it’s easiest to overdose your dog on Vitamin A due to its high percentage in Bok Choy.
3. Contains anti-oxidants
Bok Choy also contains antioxidants that help improve eyesight, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
4. Rich in vitamin C
Similar to Vitamin A, Bok Choy is also very rich in Vitamin C. For comparison, 100 grams of Bok Choy contains 79% of the daily required intake of Vitamin C for a human. Vitamin C is particularly helpful in strengthening your dogs’ immune system and making them more resistant to diseases. However, they can usually get enough from their regular food, so be careful with feeding them too much.
5. Develops a healthy heart
Nutrients such as folate and vitamin b6 help strengthen and support the proper functioning of your dog’s heart.
6. Magnesium, vitamin K, and phosphorus
These minerals are necessary for the healthy development of your dog’s bones and skeleton. Vitamin K is essential for absorbing calcium, which promotes healthy bones, as well as plays an important role in the healthy functioning of the heart.
Should You Feed Your Dog Bok Choy? Should Dogs Eat Vegetables?
Although Bok Choy might have all of its health benefits, dogs really don’t need it as a part of their regular diet. This is because dogs are actually carnivore by nature, and survive best on proteins. They’ll naturally absorb nutrients better from meat such as beef, chicken, fish, or other proteins. However, they can and should consume some quantity of vegetables and fruits as only meat does not fulfill their entire nutritional requirement.
Keeping this in mind, there’s really no need for Bok Choy in a canines’ diet in order to complete it. However, this vegetable is still very nutritious and can replace their occasional treats from time to time, which actually provides much fewer benefits. Despite this, you should always remember that because the nutrient content in Bok Choy is usually so high, it’s possible that your dog can overdose on a few of those.
Usually, an overdose will present itself with symptoms like diarrhoea, lethargy, constipation, and light sensitivity in the case of excess vitamin B6. Some dogs also suffer from allergies to particular vegetables, so it’s important to keep this in mind when testing Bok Choy on your dog. We highly recommend a talk with your dog’s vet in order to be on the safe side.
Vegetables You Should Never Feed Dogs
While Bok Choy might be a safe choice for dogs, not every vegetable is. In fact, most of these vegetables are those that we consume on a daily basis without knowing how harmful they are for dogs. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check up on a vegetable, fruit, or any other food before you feed it to your dog.
- Onions: This might seem surprising, but onions are actually toxic to dogs. Chives, leeks, and onions are all part of Allium, a family of plants that is toxic to both dogs and cats. Feeding to many onions can cause their red blood cells to rupture, causing anaemia and symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
- Mushrooms: Dogs, in particular, are susceptible to mushroom toxicity. Despite the fact that only a very small number of species of mushrooms are toxic, the wrong ones can wreak havoc on your dog’s health. This includes causing death in some circumstances. Even if the mushroom is safe for human consumption, it’s best not to experiment on your dog and regret it later.
- Asparagus: The problem with asparagus isn’t that it’s toxic or anything, but it really has no nutritional benefit to them. And that’s aside from the fact that asparagus is actually pretty tough for your dog to eat raw. But even if you decide to cook it, it’ll lose all of its nutrients.
Fruits You Should Avoid Feeding Your Dog
The topic of vegetables might make you think, “What about fruits? Which ones are safe for dogs?”. Although most fruits are safe for dogs, there are a few which you should be careful about. The main problem really lies in the seed, which can be toxic to dogs and their health.
- Cherries: Apart from the fleshy part of cherries, the whole fruit including the pit, leaves, and stem contains cyanide. Dogs are particularly sensitive to cyanide poisoning, and even small amounts can trigger symptoms like difficulty in breathing and dilated pupils due to a disruption in cellular oxygen transport.
- Grapes and Raisins: Both of these are highly toxic to all breeds and types of dogs. Although the reason why grapes are toxic and in what amount is not known, they can result in the onset of some very severe symptoms. This mainly includes acute kidney failure, which can be life-threatening in some cases. Other symptoms also include vomiting, weakness, low appetite, and dehydration.
- Avocado: You should avoid feeding your dog avocadoes as these contain a compound called persin. This compound is toxic to dogs in large quantities and can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea. More so, the pit of an avocado poses a choking hazard to dogs due to its size.
To summarize, Bok Choy is quite safe for dogs, and there’s nothing to worry about if your dog secretly ingests one. If you want to feed your dog Bok Choy, make sure you follow all the required steps and keeps in mind the precautions to be safe. Also, be aware of all the dangerous vegetables and fruits that your dog should never consume and keep them beyond the reach of your pet.