We all know that the key to staying healthy is a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg and lots of exercise, and the same is true for our furry friends! While dogs don’t need the same volume of veggies as we humans do, (no five a day needed for Fido!) some vegetables in their diet can provide nutritional and health benefits.
Out of all of the veggies in your cupboard or fridge, you’ve probably got a swede kicking about ready to mash up as part of a Sunday roast or to sling in a stew. As we continue exploring what human foods dogs can or can’t eat, we’re going to answer “can dogs eat swede?” (Or “can dogs eat rutabaga” for any Americans reading.)
So can dogs eat swede, and are these robust root vegetables as healthy and nutritious for our pups as they are for people?
Yes, dogs can eat swede. They can eat raw swede as long as it is chopped very finely or pureed. Remember to scrub your swede before you or the dog eat it to get rid of any dirt or traces of pesticides or other nasties. You should also peel the swede before offering it to your pup.
There are many ways you can prepare swede for your pooch, and as long as it is served plainly and pureed or chopped up into bitesize pieces, it should be perfectly safe for your furry friend to eat.
As with almost any fruit of vegetable, eating too much swede can upset your dog’s stomach because it’s packed with fibre. If a dog eats too much swede they can be sick or have diarrhoea, but they shouldn’t be in any serious danger. As with any food and diet, balance and moderation is key to keeping happy and healthy!
Not every pooch can eat swede though. If your dog has a thyroid problem, you should avoid swede and check with your vet if it is safe for your dog to eat. This is because swedes and other brassica veggies like the closely related turnip are known to suppress thyroid function.
Dogs can eat cooked swede as long as it’s served plain without any oils, butter, spices or seasoning. However you like to have your swede, be it boiled, mashed, or roasted, your pup can have a little bit too. You can even dehydrate slices of swede to make a tasty, chewy treat!
As long as it’s plain and cut into bits to prevent choking, it should be perfectly safe for your pooch.
Yes, dogs can eat carrot and swede mash. Both carrots and swede are safe for dogs to eat, but if you are going to make some mash for your mutt you should keep it plain. That means no added butter or seasoning because they can upset a dog’s stomach, and your pooch doesn’t need them to make the food palatable.
Although even if they eat a little bit of seasoned carrot and swede mash, it shouldn’t do them any harm as long as it was a very small amount and they aren’t eating it regularly.
It’s easy to keep the mash plain and dog-friendly though. Just steam or boil the veggies and mash them up slightly, separate a spoonful or two for your pooch, then add in all the butter and salt and pepper you would normally use to anything left in the pan, maybe mashing it some more to get the consistency you like.
Technically, they can but it’s tough and isn’t easy for your pooch to digest, so it’s more likely to cause some gastrointestinal problems like tummy ache or diarrhoea. Your dog probably won’t like the taste of swede skin either because it’s pretty bitter, and they’ll probably just spit it back out.
Yes, dogs can eat swede leaves and so can you. A swede is in the brassica family which includes other plants like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Swedes are actually a cross between a turnip and a cabbage and the leaves are safe to eat. However, shop-bought swede usually has the top and bottom cut off already, so you don’t often see the leaves. But if you grow your own swede, you could consider cutting off the leaves and steaming them to give to your dog for a bit of roughage and fibre. As always, moderation is key so only give them a little bit.
Swede can be good for dogs because it is a “healthy” food with little calories or fat, and it provides a lot of nutrients.
In terms of nutritional content, swede is rich in vitamin C which helps to support your pup’s immune system. Dogs can create their own vitamin C inside their body so they don’t need loads from their diet, but a little extra shouldn’t do them any harm because any excess is excreted in their urine. Regularly eating too much vitamin C can increase your dog’s oxalate levels though, which can make them more likely to develop kidney stones.
Swede also contains vitamin B6 which your dog needs to be able to use amino acids to make proteins, making them essential for growth and repair.
As far as minerals go, swede is rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Your dog needs potassium because it is an electrolyte that supports the electrical impulses throughout their body. It allows cells to communicate, helps nerves to function correctly, and even keeps the heart beating regularly. Meanwhile, magnesium is needed to help absorb other vitamins and minerals, including calcium. As for calcium itself, you should know it’s vital for forming strong bones and teeth but it is also an electrolyte like potassium.
Swede is a cruciferous vegetable so it also has some cancer-fighting properties. Cruciferous vegetables are known to reduce the risk of cancer in humans and hounds, making it a good addition to their diet once in a while. Humans can see a reduced risk of certain cancers with as little as one serving of cruciferous vegetables a week. The greatest reduction comes from eating leafy green cruciferous veggies, so letting the pup snack on the swede leaves could be super for them.
Dogs can eat swede as long as you keep it plain and in bitesize pieces. Your pooch can eat swede whether it’s raw or cooked, but cooked swede is more appetising and easier to digest. You should check with your vet if swede is suitable for your dog’s individual needs before introducing the veggie into their diet, and always introduce new foods gradually.
All of the health benefits that are included in swede are also packed into Pure, so your dog gets all the goodness and nutrients they need with every single morsel of food. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and totally natural ingredients that you recognise, Pure provides the best for your dog.
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.