CAN DOGS EAT PARSNIPS?
When you look after your canine companion, you have to make sure that it has a healthy and nutritious diet. Though many delicious vegetables that we eat are also safe for our dogs, we must understand these foods' effects on our pets and safely monitor how much they are eating.
Like most root vegetables, parsnips are safe for your dog to eat when offered in moderation. Parsnips are more nutritious than other root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Loaded with Vitamin C, B6, and potassium, they also have antioxidants to maintain the healthy function of cells and help fight diseases.
What is parsnip?
Parsnip is considered to be a root vegetable that looks very similar to carrots, but differing in colour. Parsnips have a creamy beige colour, whereas a carrot is ordinarily orange, yellow, or purple.
One can compare parsnips with rutabaga or turnips. The texture, taste, and dietary qualities of these root vegetables are quite similar to each other. A significant difference between parsnips and other root vegetables is that parsnips contain a high glycemic index.
Health benefits of parsnips for dogs
- Help against cancer
There are antioxidants in parsnips that are helpful to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are known to be reactive chemicals that may harm healthy cells. When you neutralise the free radicals, you prevent them from causing any damage and may prevent many cancer conditions.
- Digestive health
There are high levels of fiber in parsnips, which is excellent for the dog's digestive health. It keeps your dog regular, prevents constipation, and keeps the digestive system moving.
- Bone health
Parsnips are found to be rich in calcium, and we already know that calcium strengthens bones and supports dental health.
- Improved immune system
Parsnips are undoubtedly a very good source of Vitamin C because it acts as an antioxidant to help reduce any free radicals. This is very helpful to boost the immune system and help with inflammation.
Adding parsnip to your dog’s diet
Whenever you offer a new food to your dog, you have to take gradual steps to add it to your dog's diet. The digestive system of a dog takes time to adapt to new foods. When there are sudden changes in their meal composition, it can create gastrointestinal discomfort. Therefore, when introducing new food to your dog, you can start with a few bites and gradually increase.
Start by offering a few cubes of cooked or raw parsnips to your pet’s regular meal. You can increase this amount with each meal time. It's better not to add too much parsnip in their diet, so around 10% of their meals can be enough to benefit from all the minerals and vitamins found in parsnips.
You should always consult your vet when you make significant changes in your dog's diet, especially when you switch from store-bought meals to the ones that are homemade. Your vet will always offer good advice on the ingredients needed to make your dog meals balanced nutritionally.