Parsnips feature prominently on the dinner tables of people who are into healthy eating. These veggies are closely related to carrots, evident from their appearance and taste.
You can prepare parsnips in many ways. Whether roasting, baking, salads, or soups, you still get their essence.
Is it okay for dogs to eat parsnips? Yes. The veggies are safe for dogs and have numerous health benefits. An in-depth look at dogs eating parsnips will guide you on how to feed them and the associated advantages.
Benefits of Parsnips to Dogs
Like carrots for dogs, parsnips are very nutritious. Highlighted below are some of the nutrients and their roles.
While many of us are trying to reduce carbs consumption, your dog may need a decent serving of this nutrient. A cup of raw parsnips contains roughly 12 grams of carbs, which provide energy to your doggo. This makes a regular serving of parsnips ideal for energetic dogs. Besides, the carbs are not too much to cause issues like obesity and diabetes.
Dogs need fiber in their diet for bowel movements. Parsnip will provide fiber, increasing the bulk of undigested material and allowing for water absorption. The result is a well-formed stool that reduces the occurrence of diarrhea and constipation.
Additionally, fiber ensures a healthy intestinal PH for beneficial bacteria growth while keeping harmful bacteria away. Consumption of this nutrient shows significant progress in weight loss management and can help overweight and obese canines.
Parsnips have a low protein content but good enough to boost other dietary sources. Proteins are crucial for muscle development, tissue repair, and hormonal production.
This vegetable has a decent serving of vitamins. It is rich in vitamins C, K, and E. Vitamins C and E are excellent antioxidants that prevent cancer and aging by fighting cellular oxidative stress. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting, bone formation, and regulating calcium levels in the body. The last function is significant as some dog breeds are more prone to calcium toxicity.
Like carrot greens for dogs, parsnip greens are also nutritious and rich in B vitamins, primarily vitamin B9. Your canine needs this vitamin for brain function and the formation of RNA and DNA.
This root veggie has impressive levels of magnesium, necessary for various biochemical reactions. Moreover, it ensures sound nerve and muscle function. Parsnip is also a rich phosphorous source, essential for kidney function and nerve signaling.
Iron, calcium, and zinc are other minerals present in this carrot’s cousin.
In summary, the following are the benefits your dog will get from eating parsnips.
- Energy provision
- Prevention of constipation
- Aids in weight loss
- Promotes the growth of probiotics
- It helps prevent cancer and aging-related problems
- Ensures the sturdiness of various body systems
- Antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties
Preparing Parsnips for Dogs
You can prepare parsnips for your dog in several ways. Dogs can eat raw parsnip, but you must serve it appropriately to avoid complications.
Wash it first, then peel a thin layer of the skin. The layer beneath the skin is rich in vitamins – peeling thick skin layers will do away with most of these nutrients.
You can give it to your dog whole, where they may use it as a sweet chew toy. Optionally, chop or shred this veggie into small pieces and put them in your dog’s food bowl. When chopping, ensure the pieces are manageable to prevent choking.
Pet doctors support the idea of raw parsnips for your dog, as it helps strengthen their teeth. Moreover, your dog will get some nutrients you may lose via cooking.
The other way of preparing parsnip for your pup is by boiling or steaming. It is an excellent way to give parsnip to pups and aged dogs as it is soft. You may mash it and mix it with regular dog food, especially if your dog hasn’t yet warmed up to its taste.
You can add chopped parsnips to bone broth for your dogs for a healthy snack. Do not add salt or spices when cooking this vegetable for your canine.
How long should you cook parsnips for dogs? Five minutes of steaming or boiling will do. Overcooking the veggies depletes some nutrients.
Parsnip Skin for Dogs
Dogs love the skin due to its sweet taste, and it is very nutritious. However, the skin is good for your dogs if the parsnip is organic. If not organic, you may be dealing with pesticides and other chemicals that can harm your furry friend. In this scenario, you have to thoroughly wash the parsnip or shred away the skin.
Can Dogs Eat Parsnip Salad?
Most of us fancy parsnip salad due to its fantastic taste and nutritional value. Your dog can also dig into your plate of parsnip salad, provided it does not have toxic additives. Keep the salad away from your pup if it has onions, garlic, and excess salt.
Parsnip Greens for Dogs
Your dog can eat parsnip greens but in moderation. They are healthy and contain B vitamins. You should not give your dog parsnip leaves that have stayed in the sun or storage rooms for a long time. They can be toxic and cause some irritations. Also, dogs may avoid the greens due to their strong scent.
Parsnip Juice for Dogs
Your dog can take parsnip juice, though it is not a good idea due to its high sugar content. A little serving is okay if you want to share your glass of juice with your doggo. Make sure it does not have additives that are toxic to canines.
Can My Dog Have Parsnip Soup?
Your dog can eat parsnip soup as long as it does not have garlic, onions, excess salt, and other toxic ingredients. Also, do not include dairy products in the soup if your dog is allergic to milk or is lactose intolerant.
Side Effects of Parsnip on Dogs
While parsnips are safe and beneficial to canines, you should watch out for the occasional side effects. The following are some of the problems that your dog may encounter after eating this vegetable.
No need for alarm; the parsnip you get from your local grocery store is safe. The problem comes with the wild poison parsnip, which you may confuse for edible parsnip. It is an invasive species that resembles the edible variety and is highly toxic.
Its leaves, stems, fruits, and roots are poisonous. If your dog accidentally eats this plant, it may experience diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, depression, agitation, lack of reflexes, and irregular heartbeats.
Contact your vet when you notice these signs and take a picture of the plant for easy diagnosis. For safety, avoid picking parsnip-like plants growing in the wild.
Dogs are rarely allergic to parsnips and carrots. Nevertheless, it might happen, especially if your canine has existing allergies. Signs of allergies include diarrhea, ear infections, bald spots, vomiting, restlessness, and body weakness. You will notice the symptoms after exposure to the vegetable.
You should contact your vet before feeding your dog parsnip to rule out allergies.
Your dog can choke on parsnips due to their hard texture. Prevent this occurrence by cutting the veggie into manageable pieces. Also, discard the stem as it may be hard to digest.
Some dogs have a weak digestive system, and their first time eating some foods can be problematic. They may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation when they eat parsnips. The good thing is that most of the time, their systems will warm up to the new food.
How Many Parsnips Should Dogs Eat?
Your dog should have at most two cups of parsnips per week. It, however, depends on the size of your dog; bigger dogs can have more.
Always follow the 10% dog feeding rule. Here, your canine’s snacks and treats should not make up more than 10% of their daily diet.
Are Frozen Parsnips Good for Dogs?
Freezing is an excellent way of storing parsnips for your dogs. You have to thaw the vegetables first before serving them. Frozen vegetables can be difficult to chew and may present dental problems.
Why Does My Dog Refuse to Eat Parsnips?
Dogs may decline to eat food for various reasons. Your canine may avoid parsnips if it is a new food. Also, it may keep off if the vegetable is rotten or has a chemical smell, which is common with inorganic foods.
Such scenarios call for patience. Try giving it fresh parsnip, thoroughly washed to eliminate pesticides and other chemicals. You can also present the veggie differently by chopping or shredding it. You should then mix the chopped pieces with its food. This is a great way to get it accustomed to parsnip.
Can Dogs Eat Honey-Roasted Parsnips?
Honey-roasted parsnips are good for dogs, but you should limit the serving. While dogs can eat honey, excess consumption can bring about obesity, heart problems, and diabetes.
Can Parsnips be Toxic to Dogs?
The typical parsnip is safe for dogs, but you should be careful with the poison parsnip that grows in the wild. It is toxic to people and animals. Touching it may cause a severe reaction.
Do not eat or feed your dog parsnip picked in the wild, particularly if you cannot differentiate the edible one from the poisonous one.
Wrapping Up on Dogs and Parsnips
Parsnips are safe for dogs and pack several nutrients. Your furry friend can have them raw, boiled, steamed, roasted, or mashed without additives.
While parsnip is a healthy snack, talk to your vet to rule out possible side effects like allergies.
Feed your doggo a cup or two of parsnips a week to strengthen its immunity and other body systems.