Can dogs have okra? Like a thousand other worried dog owners, you have the same question; we might be of help to you. This article will take you specifically through all the aspects of okra, from what okra is like to its benefits and side effects for dogs, and provide the proper cautionary warnings.
We understand that your pet is just like your family member, and you only want the best for your dog. It is okay for you to check on the foods you will give your dog beforehand because many foods may seem harmless from outside but are not suitable for dogs. So, is okra like one of those? To have an answer to this question, you need to dive deep into the article.
What is okra?
Before getting to the answer for ‘can dogs have okra?’, one must know about okra. Okra is seed pod of a flowering plant scientifically referred to as Abelmoschusesculentus. Okra has a different name due to its long, slender, and tubelike shape, i.e., lady’s fingers. Although okra is biologically classified as a fruit, it is utilized as vegetables.
Okra has two different variations, which vary in colour but not in taste, green and red. After cooking, the red one automatically becomes green. The nutrition facts might tell you if okra is okay for your dog’s diet. Let us look at those.
Nutritional facts of okra
Can dogs have okra? This might be the question popping in your mind. To know the answer, you must be aware of the nutritional value of okra first. Okra is quite interesting when it comes to nutritional facts. It is rich in protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals and is low in fat components. The study states that about 100 grams of okra contain approximately 33 calories. The protein content in okra is 1.9 grams, carbohydrate content is 7 grams, of which dietary fibre is 3.2 grams, and sugar content is 1.5 grams. Okra contains 7 grams of sodium, 299 milligrams of potassium, 82 milligrams of calcium, and 0.6 milligrams of iron. Apart from these, okra also includes a few portions of magnesium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, etc. Some antioxidants such as isoquercetin and flavonoids are also found in okra. As you can see, the nutritional components are in a very balanced state in okra, and they contain many benefits regarding a dog’s health.
Health benefits of okra for dogs
The answer to the question, ‘Can dogs have okra?’, is definitely yes. Okra has significant benefits for dogs due to its balanced nutrition and high-quality minerals. These benefits are discussed below –
- The protein content in okra, mentioned above, similar to soybeans, provides a high efficiency restoring energy to dogs, making it the perfect protein supplement in a dog’s regular diet.
- The antioxidant present in flavonoids and isoquercetin prevents inflammation in dogs and boosts the functions of the brains in dogs.
- Okra contains a type of protein called lectin, which has anti-cancer properties and thus inhibits the growth of tumours and cancers in dogs.
- The dietary fibre in okra comes in insoluble forms of pectin and gums, which reduce the cholesterol level in dogs’ blood, thus eventually decreasing the chances of diabetes.
- Okra is one of the very few vegetables which helps in the healing process of ulcers and inflammation in the stomach of dogs.
- Folate found in okra helps maintain the hormone balance in the body, especially in pregnant dogs, and boosts the nervous system.
- Okra is an effortless item to cook, so it will be easier for dog owners to add to the diet of dogs as they can use it as a side dish alongside the other veggie diets or even meat diets.
- Last but not least, okra possesses a unique property called purgative properties. It includes a kind of mucilage that washes away existing toxic substances making it harmless for dogs to consume as it binds cholesterol to it.
Side effects of okra for dogs
Even if the answer to the question, i.e., can dogs have okra, is yes, it does not mean it is entirely harmless for dogs. Nothing is 100% pure; just like nature itself, okra also carries some side effects with it for dogs. These are –
- Dogs can show signs of gas and bloating if they consume okra in a large amount.
- Sometimes dogs cannot digest cooked okra, stomach, diarrhoea, and intestinal discomforts might occur in those situations.
- Too much okra in a dog’s regular diet can cause hard stools, and dogs can face discomfort for a whole day.
- A prolonged period of regular okra consumption can cause severe gastrointestinal issues for dogs.
- Some dogs might be allergic to okra and show adverse reactions after consuming okra.
Though adverse are shown after the consumption of okra, overall, it is not very harmful to dogs. Dogs should be okay and healthy and might even acquire some health benefits given in the right proportion and served correctly.
Can dogs have okra dishes that have spices? Well, you should always have the proper knowledge about the cautions that experts have given before introducing any new food to your delicate pups. The same goes for okra. Ensure you know all about the cautionary warnings to prevent your dogs from unnecessary health hazards.
- Please do not put any salt, spice or butter, or any seasonings to okra dishes, as it can be very toxic for your dogs. If you have a habit of sharing food with your dog from your leftovers, make sure your okra dish does not contain any spice, salt, or sugar and if that is the case, refrain from giving it to your dog.
Can dogs have okra that is fried?
The answer is, no. Never feed fried okra to your dogs because fried foods are very harmful to dogs and eventually can cause obesity and heart disease after a long time of consumption.
Can dogs have okra if they are allergic? For your information, just like humans, dogs can be allergic to specific foods. If your dog shows any adverse or allergic reactions towards okra, immediately stop feeding him okra and contact your vet as soon as possible.
- Though there is no toxicity in okra for dogs, it would still be wise to feed him okra in a moderate amount as too much of everything always comes out bad. Consult your vet and provide the recommended amount of okra to your dog.
Can dogs have okra? We hope you have already got an insight into okra for your dogs. A few portions of unseasoned okra can be a delicious primary meal or side meal for your dogs without any concerns. Just be careful and look for signs if your dog shows any reactions. Give him all the love and a bit of okra alongside, and you are good to go.