Microgreens have taken off in health and culinary circles because of their potent flavor and nutritional content.
But did you know that these powerful greens could also do a world of good for your dog?
Packed with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, feeding microgreens is one of the easiest ways to up your dog’s vegetable intake.
As every responsible pet owner knows, though, not all human-friendly foods are safe for dogs to eat. In this article, we will answer the following questions.
- Are microgreens 100% safe for Fido to eat?
- What are the health benefits of adding microgreens to your dog’s diet?
- And which varieties should you start growing for a puppy-approved microgreen garden?
Let’s find out the answers.
Home Microgreens Note:
This article is a guest post written by Aiden of FurDooz.com. The cover photo is Home Microgreens' newest employee. Well, he doesn't do much work, but his food & vet bills are expensive. He is a Springer Spaniel puppy named Caden. We feed him microgreens frequently, sometimes in this dinner kibble, but other times right out of my hand as in the photo.
All photos are original HomeMicrogreens.com photos.
Are Microgreens Safe For Dogs?
Just like their full-grown counterparts, many vegetables are safe for dogs to eat as microgreens, as well.
Very few microgreens are potentially toxic to dogs. However, some varieties are more likely to trigger indigestion than others.
Avoid microgreens that are unsafe for dogs to eat as mature plants, such as onion and garlic. It’s also a good idea to skip spicy or pungent microgreens, which are more likely to cause stomach issues.
The grasses sold as pet grass are safe too, but we suggest skipping buckwheat.
Why You Should Add Microgreens To Your Dog’s Diet
And when it comes to picky eaters, microgreens are incredibly easy to disguise. Chances are, your dog won’t even notice the addition to their daily meals.
If microgreens aren’t the right option for your pup, there are plenty of other green vegetables for your dog to choose from!
How To Feed Microgreens To Your Pup
As a general rule, microgreens shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily diet. This is true whether you’re feeding microgreens as a treat or meal supplement.
The most important step to introducing microgreens to your dog (or any other pet!) is to go slow. New foods can trigger side effects like an upset stomach or excess gas — even if said foods are otherwise safe and healthy.
Some dogs will gobble up microgreens without hesitation. Others will need to have these mini veggies mixed into their regular meals.
If your pup prefers the latter method, chop or blend the microgreens into smaller pieces before adding them to their canned food or kibble.
Many owners also use microgreens to make homemade dog food.
7 Best Microgreens To Feed Your Canine Companion
Microgreens are a convenient source of plant-based nutrition for humans and dogs alike.
If you want to feed your dog the best of the best, start with any of these canine-friendly microgreens:
If you’ve ever bought your dog or cat potted pet grass, there’s a good chance you were actually feeding them wheatgrass.
This grass species is packed with nutrients like chlorophyll and amino acids. It’s also completely safe for canine consumption in moderate amounts.
While mature wheatgrass is a go-to option for adding roughage to any dog’s diet, this plant is equally delicious and nutritious in the form of microgreens!
Lettuce varieties like romaine, butterhead, summer crisp, and baby lead are all pup-safe and make excellent low-calorie snacks.
Mature lettuce contains a surprising number of key nutrients. But if you’re looking for a way to increase your dog’s vitamin and mineral intake, lettuce microgreens will pack an even healthier punch!
If you’re new to growing microgreens, lettuce seeds are also incredibly beginner-friendly. Start your pooch out with some nutritious Australe Butterhead Lettuce or your variety of choice.
3. Red Cabbage
Cabbage microgreens offer plenty of flavor and nutritional value in a remarkably tiny package.
These microgreens offer several essential vitamins, including vitamin A, B, C, and K. They are also high in beta-carotene and other antioxidants.
Cabbage microgreens, like Red Acre Cabbage, also help reduce inflammation.
Many nutritionists call red cabbage a superfood. They contain many vitamins, cancer-fighting flavonoids, and antioxidants that improve eye, teeth, bone, & immune health.
Cabbage microgreens are one of the best microgreens for dogs.
You might be surprised to see mustard listed as a dog-safe option…
It’s true that mustard seeds — which are used to make the eponymous condiment — are toxic to dogs. However, properly prepared mustard greens are completely safe.
Although mature mustard greens can be difficult for dogs to digest, microgreens are much more forgiving. You can offer mustard microgreens to your pup as a snack or puree them for a healthy meal additive.
We suggest staying away from the more pungent varieties like Wasabi Mustard; instead, try Southern Giant Curled Mustard. This variety is milder and less intense, and easy to grow.
Mustards have a lot of health benefits but shouldn't be fed to pets on a regular schedule.
Broccoli is one of the best dog-friendly veggies out there. It can be fed raw or cooked and provides a nice dose of fiber, calcium, and vitamin K.
On the other hand, some owners find that feeding their pup broccoli florets has… undesired consequences. Broccoli contains isothiocyanate, a compound that can trigger stomach upset, diarrhea, and excess gas.
If your dog loves broccoli, microgreens may be a gentler option for their stomach (and your nostrils)!
Microgreens indeed contain more nutrients than mature vegetables by weight. But it's also true that microgreens contain less complex sulfur compounds like isothiocyanate.
Remember, gradually add microgreens into your dog's diet and don't exceed 10% of its calorie intake with microgreens.
Sunflowers are perfect for any dog-friendly garden because every part of the plant — from root to petal — is non-toxic. But did you know that sunflowers can also be a healthy snack for your furry companion?
Sunflower microgreens contain vitamins A, B, D, and E. They’re also a great source of minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium.
If the nutritional benefits of sunflower microgreens weren’t convincing enough, they’re also some of the easiest and fastest-growing seeds available.
7. Mighty Micro Mix
Want to add a variety of microgreens to your dog's diet?
Try the Mighty Micro Mix; it contains the most nutritious microgreens all in one mix. These include Broccoli, Red Acre Cabbage, Red Russian Kale, and a mild mustard microgreen.
Not only is this mix nutritious, but it is also easy to grow and is ready in as few as 7-days.
The cover photo of this article is of Caden eating some Mighty Micro Mix from Todd's hand.
Final Thoughts on Microgreens for Dogs
Dogs thrive on primarily meat-based diets. But vegetables are still an important source of nutrition.
All of the top branded dog foods now include vegetables incorporated into the kibble.
Remember that you don’t need to grow microgreens exclusively for your canine family members. Stock your micro-garden with seeds that are safe for both you and your pup for nutritious options the entire household can enjoy.
While feeding microgreens to your canine companion isn’t 100% necessary, it can be a great way to ensure he or she gets plenty of fresh vitamins and minerals in their diet!
Aiden Taylor is founder and head dog groomer at FurDooz. Having battled to learn grooming at home with his 'challenging' husky Houdini, Aiden picked up the skills needed for grooming even the most un-cooperative of pets. Now, he and his wife, Helen, run a part-time mobile dog grooming business and Aiden shares tricks of the trade on FurDooz.com.