Believe it or not, both my dogs love to gorge on lettuce. The very sound of lettuce crunching is enough to bring both of them charging to my table side. If a similar scene is enacted in your home every time you add lettuce to the salad or to the sandwich, then you might be wondering if you can give a little to your dogs.
After all, we have always maintained that dogs and greens don’t mix.
So, is lettuce safe for dogs? If so, what variety?
Here’s all that you wanted to know about lettuce for dogs.
No, it isn’t. In fact, lettuce is one of the vegetables that does not induce any type of toxicity in dogs. Also, you can give your dog just about any variety of lettuce without having to worry about toxicity, be it iceberg or romaine or crisp.
However, ensure that you make it easy for the dog to chew. I like to chop up the lettuce into tiny pieces before giving it to the dog.
Salad dressings are loaded with sodium and the dog’s dry food usually has 100% of the daily recommended sodium limit.
So, if your dogs like lettuce, keep it plain and unseasoned. You can steam it too as this makes it easier to chew, especially for smaller breeds of dogs.
Lettuce is packed with Vitamins A, C, K, folate, beta carotene and iron. However, the amount of beta carotene varies significantly among different varieties of lettuce. Romaine lettuce for example, contains almost 10 times more beta carotene and vitamin C as compared to Iceberg lettuce.
The rule of thumb is that the darker the variety, the more nutritious it is for your dog. Almost forgot to mention that it is rich in dietary fiber as well. So if your dog has constipation, a little lettuce can be immensely beneficial in helping reduce it.
While lettuce is generally well tolerated by most dogs, it is still recommended that you start off with a small portion to see how your dog responds to it. Shredding or pureeing can also help. If there are no sudden changes to the dog’s behavior or it does not trigger an allergic reaction, then you are good to go.
Even if you are switching between two varieties of lettuce, introduce it in small doses.
With a little creativity, you can come up with your own lettuce treat recipes as well. One of my personal favorites is to mix lettuce with some spinach and add a little bacon or chicken to it. The dogs love it.
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