Also referred to as “ladies fingers,” okra have quite the history. Originating on the shores of the Nile River, the Egyptians were the first to cultivate this vegetable way back in the 12th century B.C. It first came to the Americas in New Orleans before making its way north towards Philadelphia. Now, widely consumed, okra can be considered a super food and comparable to kale in terms of health benefits. If it’s so super for us, is it also super for our dogs? Can dogs eat okra? Is okra good for dogs? Read on to learn more!
Can Dogs Eat Okra? (The Short Answer)
Yes, dogs can eat okra! Okra contains multiple vitamins and minerals! It also has only 33 calories per cup, making it a healthy option. Its high fiber content can help regulate your pup’s digestive system as well. While there are many benefits to okra, there’s some things to be aware of before feeding it to your dog. First, too much okra can cause some negative gastrointestinal side-effects due to the high fiber content, resulting in gas, bloating, or diarrhea. Another thing to be cautious of is how it is prepared. Okra ,whether raw or cooked, is safe for dogs—the one exception is fried okra. Fried okra is not healthy for dogs and should be avoided.
It’s important to remember, that even with the best of intentions, accidents happen and dogs can easily eat things they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, even if those accidents aren’t fatal, they can result in huge, unexpected veterinary expenses. That’s why we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.
Is Okra Good For Dogs?
We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat okra?” Now, let’s learn about the benefits of feeding your dog this food! Is okra good for dogs?
Yes, okra is a great vegetable for dogs! It’s known for containing important vitamins and minerals, having anti-cancer properties, and helping lower and maintain blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which the intestines absorb glucose! With low levels of calories and fat yet a good amount of fiber, okra makes for a healthy food for dogs.
To start, let’s look at the nutritional value of okra. In just one cup of okra, there are only 33 calories! This makes it a low-calorie treat, unlikely to greatly upset your dog’s caloric intake for the day. In those 33 calories, it contains 3.2 grams of fiber! Fiber is super important for digestive health as it helps regulate digestion. In addition to low calories, there are also low levels of fat—only 0.2 grams in one cup! These are all aspects that contribute to a healthy snack.
Now let’s get to the vitamins and minerals in okra. Okra contains around 23 mg of vitamin C in one cup. Dogs can actually synthesize vitamin C in their liver, but some additional vitamin C in a snack is not harmful! Out of the 12 B vitamins that exist, okra contains half of them! B vitamins help your dog with everything from regulating energy and metabolism, to facilitating enzyme function, to glucose regeneration, and more! Okra contains the minerals calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Why are these minerals important for your dog’s health? Well, calcium is important in building and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Manganese also helps with bone health as well as improving mitochondria function. Magnesium is especially important because it regulates hormone secretion and helps maintain electrical balance across membranes.
Is Okra Bad for Dogs?
We’ve already answered the question, “can dogs eat okra?” Now, let’s learn about the dangers of feeding your dog this food! Is okra bad for dogs?
Overall, okra is considered safe for pets and there isn’t a ton to worry about. There are a few minor things that should be noted before you let your pup dig in. The main thing to be concerned about when giving your dog okra is quantity.
Too much okra can cause digestive issues in dogs, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. There is a significant amount of fiber content in okra and while fiber is great for your dog’s health, too much can really shock their digestive system. Fiber helps normalize bowel movements, but too much fiber added to their diet too quickly can cause it to speed up too much resulting in some less-than-pleasant digestive distress.
Another concern about okra is the way that it is prepared. There are many ways that okra can be cooked. Dogs can safely eat okra raw or cooked as long as it’s not fried. Fried okra contains lots of fat which is not good for dogs. It causes stress on their pancreas which may cause it to become inflamed—this could eventually lead to the condition pancreatitis. Safe cooking methods include boiling, steaming, or baking! Remember, as with most foods, do not add any spices to it if you plan on giving some to your dog, as many spices that we enjoy are unhealthy and potentially dangerous for pups.
Other Varieties & Related Foods:
Can Dogs Eat Fried Okra?
No, dogs should not eat fried okra. Fried foods in general are bad for dogs as they cause inflammation of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis. This can be a potentially lethal disease that develops because the pancreas goes into overdrive trying to produce enzymes that breaks down fat which causes it to become inflamed.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Okra?
Yes, dogs can eat raw okra! Raw okra may have a slightly slimy texture that some dogs may not enjoy, but it is safe for them to consume.
Is Pickled Okra Safe for Your Pup?
No, dogs should not eat pickled okra. A small bite once in a while may not cause serious harm, but it’s not advisable. Most pickled foods contain some risk to dogs. Therefore, it’s best to stick with either raw or cooked (but not fried!) okra. For more information on why pickled food can be unhealthy for dogs check out our article: Are Pickles Bad for Dogs?
In Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Okra?
Yes, dogs can eat okra! As long as dogs are not given large quantities of okra and as long as it isn’t fried, your dog can reap the many health benefits this vegetable provides. Whether raw, steamed, or boiled, your pup can enjoy this new food while also getting extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals in their diet!
Want to Learn More?
Check out these related articles from our “Read Before You Feed” series for more advice on safe foods for dogs!
- Are Cranberries Good for Dogs?
- Is Asparagus Good for Dogs?
- Are Olives Bad for Dogs?
- Can Dogs Eat Prunes?
- Are Radishes Good for Dogs?
Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and this article should not be taken as medical or veterinary advice. If you have any questions about your pet’s health or dietary needs, please contact your local veterinarian.