Okra is vegetable that is rich in nutrients like high level of protein, vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium, folic acid and potassium. Okra is a multipurpose crop that generated from Ethiopia but has gained recognition all over the world today and can be found in Asia, USA, Africa and Southern Europe.
One of the many beauties of okra, asides its nutritional value, is the fact that it can be used for various purposes: it can be used as flavor, it can be used in medicines, it can also be eaten either raw or cooked.
Every part of this vegetable is safe for both human and dog consumption, including the seeds, and it does not possess any toxicity. However, that a food is safe for your dog does not mean that he has to have it. Come along with us in this article as we discuss all about dogs and okra, and answer the question can dogs eat fried okra?
Can Dogs Eat Fried Okra?
How this nutritious vegetable is prepared greatly determines what kind of nutrient it provides in the end. Cooked or raw okra are safe for dogs to eat but fried okra is not a healthy option for dogs and should be completely avoided.
It is okay for dogs to eat okra but fried okra is a definite no for them. Every kind of fried food is unhealthy for both human and dog consumption and so you should avoid feeding your dog fried okra.
Fried okra and any other fried food contains high fatty contents (most times taking up 1/3 of the total food mass) and empty calories which do not provide your dog with any nutrients. Rather, they can result in obesity, colon cancer, heart disease and other severe health conditions.
Health Benefits Of Okra For Dogs
Okra provides about the same health benefits to dogs as it does to humans. Whatever nutrients humans derive after consuming okra, be sure that your dog will get just the same. Here are some of the benefits:
- As we earlier mentioned, okra contains calcium, vitamins B and C, magnesium, folate, potassium, folic acid, high level of protein, antioxidants, fatty acids, carbohydrates and fiber. A combination of the food nutrients present in okra helps improve your dog’s metabolism, boost his immune system, promote nerves, bones and muscles health, among other benefits.
- The dietary and insoluble fiber contained in okra are responsible for healthy gastrointestinal tracts and reduction of cholesterol in your dog.
- Okra is also beneficial for purging and cleansing your dog’s system of toxic substances, and is a good remedy for inflammation and ulcer. In addition to these, it improves your dog’s skin health and regulates blood sugar level.
To be able to harness all of these excellent nutritional benefits of okra, it is advised that you cook the okra on low heat before feeding it to your dog.
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Side Effects Of Okra For Dogs
Although okra is considered to be a safe vegetable for your dog’s consumption, there are still potential side effects that can develop in your dog from consuming okra. Here are a few of these side effects:
Before introducing okra to your dog as a new treat, it is important to consult your vet doctor. His medical opinion is well needed to determine if it is okay to feed your dog some okra or if your dog has some allergies or health issues that do not permit him to eat any okra.
Once the vet gives the go ahead, you can begin with very little quantities to see how well your dog adjusts to the new treat and the n subsequently increase the quantity.
Adding seasoning to your dog’s okra while cooking it may be harmful to your dog as most of these seasonings are not safe for dogs. Your dog should eat only plainly cooked okra to avoid any health issues. Avoid using additives like salt, butter or other artificial flavor enhancers.
As with all other human foods, dogs should not be given more than a small quantity of okra per time. Moderation is key!
Consuming an excessive amount of okra can result in gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, dehydration, bloating, gassiness, weight gain and stomach upset for your dog. Feeding okra to your dog at most twice in a week is okay, but never two successive days in a week.
Feeding your dog large quantities of human foods, including okra, may get him filled up, unable to eat his regular healthy meal, thereby making his diet unbalanced as these human treats cannot sufficiently provide your dog with the essential dietary nutrients he needs to stay healthy.
The nutrients packed in okra does not replace the nutrients your dog gets from his regular diets.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Dogs Eat Raw Okra?
Already, feeding your dog raw okra eliminates the possibilities of your dog having any ingredient poisoning as there are not artificial additives or seasonings like onion, garlic and salt that are toxic to your dog.
If your dog does not mind eating the slimy vegetable, you can very well feed him some raw okra. Raw okra is a safe vegetable for dogs and humans alike.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Okra?
Of course, dogs can eat cooked okra. When planning to share a meal with your dog, it is advised that you cook your dog’s food separately from yours and okra is no different. Your dog’s cooked okra cannot have all the spicy ingredients that you put in yours like onion, salt, garlic, chili and the rest.
Okra should be cooked plainly to avoid health issues for your dog like GI tract issues, digestive issues and hemolytic anemia.
Can Dogs Eat Okra Seeds?
Yes, you can feed your dog okra seeds. You don’t have to remove all the seeds in the okra before feeding it to your dog because of one side effect or the other. However, you might need to remove the seeds only because they are quite slimy and that can undesirable to your dog; a major turn off.
What Is A Healthy Alternative To Okra For Dogs?
There are a few vegetables that are healthy options to give your dog as treats instead of okra. They include cucumbers, asparagus and celery. These are safe for your dog’s consumption and are packed with essential nutrients for your dog’s vitality.
Even though okra has been certified to be a safe food for dogs and it possess no toxicity to them, it is still necessary that you practice moderation when feeding your dog okra.
Too much vegetables do no good to your dog’s digestive system; feeding your dog with large quantities of okra can make the excellent nutritional value of little or no effect in your dog. More so, dogs’ digestive systems were not designed to process too much vegetable foods.