Aubergines (Or “eggplants” as any American reader might call them,) don’t always make it to the dinner table unless you like your Mediterranean recipes. And the less said about the emoji, the better!
This purple vegetable probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of treats for Fido or ingredients for dog food, but can dogs eat aubergine and is it possible to use this nutritious veggie in your dog’s diet?
Yes, dogs can eat aubergines and this funky purple vegetable is considered non-toxic to canines. It can make a healthy addition to their diet if it’s fed in moderation alongside a healthy dog food.
However, not every dog can safely eat aubergines. If your dog suffers from arthritis or kidney problems they should avoid eating aubergine because this vegetable is known to exacerbate those conditions. This is because aubergine has an inflammatory effect, so if your dog has any sort of health condition involving inflammation, you should avoid feeding them this veggie. Pups prone to bladder stones and kidney stones should also avoid eating aubergine.
It is also possible that your dog could be allergic to aubergine, but this is very rare. If your dog seems sensitive to other members of the nightshade family of plants, like tomatoes, it might be best to avoid feeding them aubergine just in case it makes them sick.
Dogs can eat cooked aubergine. It doesn’t matter whether you roast, grill, or steam your aubergines, your dog can eat them as long as they’ve cooled down, been cut into bitesize chunks, and are served plain.
The only kind of cooked aubergine to avoid feeding Fido is fried aubergine. Although it isn’t poisonous, the extra fat and oils from frying just aren’t good for your pooch and it could irritate their stomach and cause gastrointestinal illness or even pancreatitis. Plus, eating too much fat over time can lead to obesity.
Dogs can eat raw aubergines too, but they aren’t as appetising or as easy to digest as a gently cooked aubergine. Your dog can eat a little bit of raw aubergine if it’s finely chopped or grated and kept plain. Raw aubergine must be fed in moderation because if your dog eats too much it can give them a sore stomach and diarrhoea.
No, dogs should not eat fried aubergine. Although fried aubergine isn’t toxic to dogs, the fat and oil used to cook the veggie just isn’t good for your pup. Excess fat in your dog’s diet can lead to weight gain and obesity as well as chronic pancreatitis, whilst eating too much fat in one go can cause acute pancreatitis which can put your dog’s life at risk.
Aubergine can easily be considered good for dogs because it’s natural and nutritious. It also doesn’t contain anything nasty your dog needs to moderate or avoid in their diet like additives, fat, salt, or sugar.
These colourful veggies are pretty healthy and contain lots of vitamin B1, B6, and potassium as well as a few other minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and folate.
Vitamin B1 is important in your doggy’s diet because it supports the function of their muscles and nerves and they need it to be able to turn sugars into energy. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 is used by amino acids and helps to promote healthy growth. It also prevents problems like dental cavities, kidney stones, and anaemia. Potassium is im-paw-tent for regulating the electrical current that keeps your dog’s heart beating and keeps all their organs working.
Aubergines are also a great source of dietary fibre which helps to keep your dog’s digestive system in good shape. It ensures they have regular bowel movements and keeps their poop nice and firm and easy to pick up. But bear in mind that eating too much fibre can cause the opposite and lead to diarrhoea!
Some of the natural compounds found inside aubergines have a host of benefits for humans including cancer prevention, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improved cognitive function, and controlled sugar absorption which can help with managing diabetes. It’s possible that our dogs could also reap all of these benefits, although the effects of these compounds on canines needs further study, it’s certainly no bad thing if they do the same things for our dogs!
Typically, aubergine is not bad for most healthy adult dogs because it is non-toxic and nutritious. Provided it hasn’t been fried, this veggie is also low in calories, fat, salt, sugar, and all the things you need to moderate in your dog’s diet. That means aubergine could make a healthy snack or ingredient in your dog’s dinner.
However, because it contains a lot of fibre, eating too much aubergine can give your dog gastrointestinal troubles but this shouldn’t last for more than a few hours.
Not every dog can safely eat aubergine though. If your pooch suffers from an inflammatory illness, like arthritis, they should avoid eating aubergine because it can make their condition worse.
Aubergine is also an oxalate-rich food, which can be a problem for pooches. Oxalate crystals can irritate the walls of the kidney and the bladder, and they can bind with calcium to form kidney stones or bladder stones. That means if your pup is prone to stones or other urinary issues, they should eat a diet low in oxalates and avoid oxalate-rich foods like aubergines or spinach.
Finally, some dogs just might be more sensitive to aubergine than others. Nightshade veggies like tomatoes and aubergines might disagree with some dogs' tummies, and some pooches can even be allergic to aubergine. If your dog ever shows any signs of discomfort or sickness after eating aubergine, stop feeding it to them and contact your vet for advice.
Yes, dogs can eat aubergine as long as it’s kept plain and served in bitesize chunks. Your pooch can eat aubergine raw or cooked, but most dogs find cooked aubergine much more appetising and easier to digest.
The only kind of aubergine to avoid feeding your dog is fried aubergine because it is fatty. You should also avoid feeding your dog any aubergine that’s been covered in various sauces, seasonings, and spices because these could make your dog sick.
Aubergines are a fairly nutritious vegetable and could be used as part of a healthy diet for dogs. It’s safe to use as a snack or “treat”, but it probably won’t get your dog’s tail wagging the same way a sweeter veg like carrots or pepper would, or a tasty tidbit of chicken. If you're looking to up your dog's veg intake, why not feed them a dinner that's already jam-packed full of veggies anyway? Pure is complete and balanced nutrition, giving your dog everything they need in every bite, fruit, veg, meat and a whole lot of flavour.
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.