Radishes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They may not be as popular as other vegetables like lettuce, carrots, and potatoes but they are still considered some of the healthiest. In fact, they have many medicinal benefits. Eating them regularly can improve one’s health and hydrate the body. If you love adding them to your salad, you are giving your immune system a boost. They are good to eat, but are they also good for pets? Read on to know if radishes are something people can safely share with their dogs.
Are Radishes Dog-Friendly?
There are certain veggies dogs should not eat, so how about radishes? The good news is yes, small servings of the radishes you usually buy from the supermarket are safe for pets. Seeds from sprouted radishes are also not toxic to pets. In fact, if your dog likes vegetables, you can offer it to them as a treat. Don’t forget to throw the radish peelings, because your dog might eat them and they can cause diarrhea in canines.
In holistic veterinary centers, black radishes are sometimes prescribed to dogs to help ease liver problems. It is because black radishes are a chock full of antioxidants, not to mention that they are also free from fat and they contain very low amounts of carbohydrates. Like most varieties of radishes, they have a sharp taste. You can find them in the produce section of most grocery stores, but mostly during the winter months only.
If your dog is diagnosed with a liver problem, your vet will likely advise you to stop giving him processed foods, like commercially prepared dog food and focus on a homemade diet consisting of liver-cleansing items, like radishes. The common symptoms of liver problems in dogs include unexplained severe tiredness, skin itching, yellowing of both eyes and skin, as well as pain in the abdominal area. In case you observe all of these, immediately schedule an appointment with your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Never self-medicate your dog because it may harm him.
Keep in mind, though, that some types of radishes can be a bit spicy and we know most dogs are not really into pungent food. French breakfast, for instance, is a type of radish known for its strong and pepper-like taste. The spice coming from radishes is due to the allyl isothiocyanate, a compound also found in mustard and wasabi. It will be better to accept it if your dog hates it rather than try to convince him to eat radishes because you want him to get the health benefits.
If your dog does not like the radish right from the moment he smelled it, understand that it may be because of the smell of radish. There are certain types of radish that produce the same heat as raw garlic. It can be off-putting, since raw garlic is known for its pungent and uninviting odor. It’s normal for a pup to refuse it the moment he smelled it and that’s ok. There are other kinds of vegetables you can offer, like potatoes, carrots, and zucchini. These are as nutritious as radishes and are even more palatable for canines.
How About Wild Radishes?
Just a warning, avoid wild radishes because they are deemed to be poisonous to dogs. These types of radishes are found in regions where the weather is warm and the soil is moist. It is believed that they are the “ancestors” of the radishes we commonly buy from the grocery or local produce markets. They have a white or yellowish color and the poisonous part can be found on their seeds. In case your pet happens to consume it, probably because you live in a temperate region where it is abundant, immediately check for signs of adverse reactions like vomiting and diarrhea.
Symptoms of poisoning in dogs may vary, depending on the cause. In most cases, poisoning is exhibited by diarrhea, kidney failure, and abnormal heartbeat. Diarrhea caused by poisoning will exhibit an unusual color and texture of stool. Your dog’s poop will appear runny and you might notice that he is defecating more than once or twice a day.
If the adverse reactions continue, stop giving radishes to your pet and seek medical help as soon as possible. You may also call your local animal poison control center. Take note, not all dogs have the same reaction to a specific food. Just because it’s safe for others it does not automatically mean it will be okay to give to any dog. Some dogs, especially the young ones or the month-old pups, tend to have a sensitive stomach.
For humans, radishes are usually added to salads as they are a perfect addition because of their sharp taste and crunchiness. But there are a few ways you can serve radishes to your pet other than tossing them onto your greens. Here are some serving suggestions for feeding radishes to dogs, in case he happens to like the taste:
Fresh – Dogs may eat raw radishes as long as they are thinly sliced to prevent choking. Black and daikon radish should be sliced thinly. Do note that choking can be dangerous, hence it is important to slice vegetables and fruits in small proportions. Some people serve small radishes whole, but if you believe your dog may find it hard to chew well, just slice them in bite-sized pieces. Some people actually love putting butter and salt on raw radishes but if you are sharing them with your pooch, omit these items please. Butter will only leave your pooch with an upset stomach.
Frozen – if you have a fur baby who has a penchant for crunchy treats, consider freezing them first to give them a bit of crunch. You can buy fresh radish from the grocery or from your food market and keep it in the fridge. But don’t let them stay in the fridge for too long, because they will not have the same freshness and taste anymore.
Cooked – one of the ways you can serve radishes cooked is by adding them to your stew. Most dogs love stew especially if it contains bones, since it adds flavor to the dish. Actually, all radishes taste great for braising but daikon radish is the ideal type for braising for its sharp and juicy taste. You may also sauté them to give them extra flavor. For dogs who love steak, you may grill the radishes along with the meat for a healthy twist. Just be extra cautious when giving steak and make sure it was cooked medium well.
Health Benefits of Radishes for dogs
They are packed with Vitamin C. Did you know that every 100-gram serving of radishes comes with 25% Vitamin C? While dogs don’t really need as much Vitamin C as humans, they benefit from foods containing high amounts of vitamin C. In fact, there are several studies suggesting that Vitamin C can help dogs suffering from a bladder infection and hip dysplasia. As many people already know, hip dysplasia is a common canine disease and can affect a number of breeds. If your pet was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, ask your vet if Vitamin C-rich veggies can be part of her natural treatment.
They are a great source of fiber. Like humans, dogs also need fiber for good digestive health. As with people, they need it to help add bulk and water in the content of their intestines. It may be a good option for dogs suffering from constipation. By moving the waste into the intestine, it now becomes easier for your pooch to defecate and even prevent constipation. This, in turn, promotes good bacteria in the gut. If your pooch is always constipated, serve fiber-rich food like radish, from time to time.
Radishes are anti-inflammatory. Dogs that are at risk for arthritis should be given anti-inflammatory foods to help manage the pain naturally. Many large breeds like German Shepherds, St. Bernards, and Rottweilers are more predispose to arthritis than the others. Aside from breed, old age is also responsible for bringing arthritis to canines. If your own pooch was confirmed to have arthritis or any related disorders that may require anti-inflammatory treatments, ask your vet if radishes can be part of their diet.
They are detoxifying. Detoxification is not something we usually associate with pets but believe it or not, it can also help them especially if they were recently exposed to heavy metals, pesticides, and additives on their food. One of the ways you can do it is by offering detoxifying vegetables, like radishes. The high potassium content in them acts as a natural diuretic to sodium in the body.
They help with weight loss. Is your pooch on the heavy side? You might want to start offering radishes, since they are ideal for weight loss. Just remember not to give him too many, otherwise he will suffer from diarrhea and will lose too much weight. In addition to helping your pooch get rid of the extra pounds, this veggie also helps in lowering cholesterol levels and normalizing blood sugar.
Radish is a root vegetable that belongs to the brassica family, the same family as cauliflower and kale. Brassicas, also known as cruciferous veggies, should only be offered to dogs in moderate amounts. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with fiber which, if consumed by pets in large quantities, can cause constipation and even diarrhea. If it’s the first time you are serving them, give just a slice or two and see how your dog reacts to it.
Also, make sure your pet maintains a balanced diet by giving him protein-rich foods like meat. Anyone with a dog should know that these animals thrive in foods rich in protein. While proteins from vegetables are fine, protein coming from high-quality meat is still a better choice for them. Above all, don’t forget to consult your veterinarian if your pet has a sensitive stomach. Occasional vomiting, loose stool and flatulence or too much gas are signs of a sensitive stomach in canines.
Radishes are among the vegetables humans can safely share with their pets, but only in small amounts. Vegetables like radishes are not commonly given to dogs but they are still good for sharing. If your dog has not tried them yet, give them in small amounts first just to see if she will like it. If she does, just make sure it’s sliced thinly to avoid choking that can eventually lead to intestinal obstruction. Dogs with a sensitive stomach should be checked by a vet first before consuming anything out of their usual diet.