So can dogs eat okra? Yes, dogs can eat okra. You may have come to this article because you were preparing dinner, dropped some okra on the floor and your pup gobbled it up. The good news is that there’s no need to panic- okra is not poisonous to dogs.
As a dog owner it is essential that you know what is and isn’t safe to feed your dog. Dogs are natural scavengers and will eat a wide variety of food items given the chance. But sometimes this isn’t good for them and it is important to be aware of what foods might be dangerous.
You may be considering adding a few extra veggies to your dog’s diet and want to know if you can add okra to the shopping list. Generally speaking, yes- dogs can eat okra. But is it good for them? Should you cook it first? How much okra can they eat? Read on to find out more…
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Is okra good for dogs?
Okra is technically a fruit, but it is eaten as a vegetable. Also known as ‘lady’s fingers’, the long green pods are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In particular, okra is high in vitamin C and B, manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium and folic acid.
They are surprisingly high in protein and low in calories. Okra also contains healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Added to your dog’s food as part of a balanced diet, okra is beneficial to your dog’s immune system and can help maintain healthy skin, metabolism, coat, eyes and it’s good for the brain.
Suggested reading: How many treats can my dog have a day?
Do dogs like okra?
Just like people, dogs have different tastes. Some will love the taste of okra but some will turn their nose up at it. Some dogs will prefer okra gently cooked and others will like to eat it raw. Try both to see which your dog prefers!
Can dogs eat raw okra?
Yes, dogs can eat raw okra as long as they don’t mind the slimy texture of the seeds. It is recommended to wash all raw vegetables before you feed them to your dog to ensure they are clean and free of chemical residues.
Okra does contain a chemical compound called saponin, which can cause digestive issues in some animals. If you do decide to feed raw okra to your dog, only feed a small amount, to begin with, and monitor them carefully for adverse effects.
Can dogs eat fried okra?
Fried food is not good for dogs so it is not advisable to feed your dog fried okra, although if they eat a small piece by accident it is unlikely to be harmful. Fried food is very fatty and this can cause digestive problems in dogs.
Can dogs eat pickled okra?
Pickled okra is not recommended for dogs. Pickles often contain spices, salt, garlic and onions, all of which can be harmful to dogs. If your dog eats a tiny piece of pickled okra by accident it is unlikely to pose a significant risk to their health, but phone your vet if you are concerned.
How should I prepare okra for my dog?
If your dog likes raw okra, try chopping it up and adding it as a yummy topping to his normal food. If you would prefer to cook it, try boiling or gently steaming it to retain the many health benefits.
How much okra should my dog eat?
Okra may be good for your dog, but you should not feed it in large quantities. It is really important that your dog eats a balanced diet, this is usually in the form of commercial canned or dried food.
Adding in a few safe fruits or veggies here and there is a great way of maximising the health benefits for your dog, but adding too much of anything can risk deficiencies or excesses of nutrients.
A small amount of okra, occasionally, is good for your dog but it is not recommended to feed it daily. It is also important to consider the size of your dog when deciding how much okra to feed- small dogs will need significantly less than large dogs.
Can okra pose a risk to my dog’s health?
Okra is generally a safe food to feed to dogs, but if it is not properly prepared then there may be health risks. Fried or pickled okra may cause digestive upsets or other health problems.
If the okra is not organic, there is a risk of chemical residues being left on the pods so it is important to wash them thoroughly.
Okra is high in fibre and while some fibre is required, too much can cause bloating and other digestive issues.
As with all foods, there is a risk that your dog could be allergic so it is advisable to only feed small amounts and keep a close eye on them for signs of an allergic reaction. This may include digestive upsets, skin problems, vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.
Contact your vet for advice if you are concerned.
Are there any alternatives to okra for my dog?
If you are unable to get hold of okra or if your dog doesn’t like the taste, there are many vegetables that you can use instead.
Feeding green, red, yellow and orange vegetables will provide your dog with a range of health-giving vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Papaya, basil, olives, plantains, and beets are also all good additions to a dog’s diet. When adding any fruit or vegetable to your dog’s normal food, always check that it is safe and only feed in moderation.
Can dogs eat okra – Final thoughts
In general, it is fine to add a small amount of okra to your dog’s usual food. It is highly nutritious and it has many potential health benefits if fed in moderation and properly prepared.
There may be some dogs who are sensitive to okra or some of the compounds within it so all dogs should be carefully monitored after eating it.