Leeks and other alliums have a great aroma and taste; as a result, you might often incorporate them into most meals. While you may want to share these delicacies with your dog, you should always be careful about the ingredients used.
This brings us to the question of the day, can dogs eat leeks? Well, keep reading to find out.
What are Leeks?
They are part of the allium family. Just like onions, they are toxic to dogs. Other vegetables that are not dog-friendly and are of the same family include garlic and shallots.
Even though garlic is five times more toxic than leeks, this should not make you underestimate leek’s toxicity to your furry friend.
To protect your dog, you should not give it any food prepared with leeks, as the veggies pose a threat to your dog.
Why Can’t Dogs Eat Leeks?
The vegetable contains a toxic compound known as an n-propyl disulfide. Dogs metabolize the compound differently than humans, leading to oxidative damage.
If your furry friend has damaged red blood cells, they are likely to burst, causing a reduction in the cell count. This will cause your dog to suffer from anemia which causes a decrease in oxygen supply to their bodies and is life-threatening.
Your dog will show symptoms such as:
- General body weakness
- Low appetite
- Pale gums
- Bloody urine
How Much Leek is Toxic to Dogs?
You might have given your furry friend a meal containing leek, and nothing happened to him. That may make you doubt its toxicity, but you shouldn’t. The amount of leek that can cause health issues will depend on factors such as your dog’s age, breed, and metabolism. These factors will affect their tolerance level and how their body will fight to eliminate the toxins.
As with multiple toxins that affect canines, the smaller and younger the breed, the quicker they are likely to get sick from allium poisoning. Smaller dog breeds such as the Japanese Shiba Inu are more venerable than the German shepherd.
Since many different factors affect how dogs handle allium in their bodies, there is no hard and fast rule on how much of the vegetable a dog can tolerate. To be on the safe side, avoid feeding the veggie to your dog. If you have to, ask your vet how much is safe.
Leek Poisoning in Dogs
Meals containing leeks can have a severe negative impact on your dog’s system. If you discover that your dog ate the veggie by accident, contact the vet immediately, even if no symptoms show.
As mentioned above, your dog eating meals containing leeks will cause damage to the red blood cells. Their bone marrow will not be able to replenish the damaged blood cells quickly enough to keep them safe and healthy, and this can be fatal if treatment is not administered right away.
Diagnosis of Leeks Poisoning in Dogs
There are various types of leeks, the most common being wild leek and broadleaf wild leek. These contain different levels of toxicity. If your dog is suffering from leek poisoning, it is best to carry a sample of it to the vet. It will help them determine the type eaten and administer the proper treatment.
The vet will also check and rule out any underlying health conditions your furry friend might have. Moreover, they will conduct different tests to determine the severity of damage caused by leek poisoning.
If you visit a particular vet for the first time, it is advisable to carry your dog’s medical history.
Treatment of Leek Poisoning in Dogs
The standard approach taken after leek poisoning is administering dog IV fluids immediately. Your dog will also be de-contaminated from the leek toxins through induced vomiting. To facilitate vomiting, warm water and hydrogen peroxide are mixed and given to your dog.
They may also be given activated charcoal to help absorb the remaining toxins in their system.
If the poisoning is too severe, your dog may have to stay for some time at the clinic for proper care. Supportive treatments such as blood transfusion and oxygen therapy can be applied if your dog’s life is at risk.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Leeks?
It is not safe for your dog to eat either cooked or raw leeks. Regardless of the preparation procedure of the vegetable, it is still toxic to canines. The best way to safeguard your dog from its toxicity is by not incorporating it into the meals you share with your pooch.
Can Dogs Eat Leek Soup?
Dogs should not eat any delicacies or treats made from leek. Leek soup is made using vegetables and onions, making it more toxic to dogs.
Other than the alliums, leek soup contains a generous amount of salt, which is too not safe for dogs. Sodium intake in dogs should be limited to small amounts as it can cause dehydration and sodium poisoning. Moreover, your pooch consuming meals with high sodium levels can dangerously raise their blood pressure.
The soup may also contain full cream as an ingredient depending on the preparation technique. Though cream holds plenty of nutritional benefits, it can cause gastrointestinal issues in lactose-intolerant dogs.
What Vegetable is Safe for My Dog?
As a pet parent, it is vital to research safe and nutritious foods for your dog. Since leeks are unsuitable for your furry friend, you might want to find safe alternatives.
Remember, as with most human foods shared with dogs, even the safer veggies are to be shared in moderation or as a treat and not regularly as canines require a high-protein diet.
Some of the vegetables safe for dogs to eat include:
They are an excellent snack for dogs because they are low in calories and high in fiber. You can use carrots as a treat for dogs suffering from obesity as it will keep them full for a long without adding extra pounds to their weight.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. The vitamin is crucial in dogs as it assists in vision, cell growth, and boosting their immunity.
Whether steamed or canned, the green beans are suitable for your dog as long as they are plain. The vegetable contains essential nutrients and vitamins that will keep him healthy.
Always choose the no-salt option when buying the canned variety.
Brussels Sprouts contain plenty of antioxidants and nutrients that are good for humans and dogs. If you share the meal with your pooch, avoid overfeeding them, as they can get mild gastrointestinal issues. Cabbage is also dog safe but has the same issue as Brussels sprouts.
Dogs should not have any food that contains leeks. If the veggie is growing in your backyard, fence it off to prevent Fido from accessing it.
If you want your dog to have the nutritional benefits of vegetables, you can incorporate other dog-safe alternatives into their diets. Ensure to first check with your vet before adding any new foods to Fido’s diet.