Is your Labrador Retriever’s diet as healthy as you think it is?
Cabbage is a great food for humans—it’s nutrient-rich, low-cost, and widely available. That’s why many Labrador Retriever owners have turned to feeding their pets cabbage.
But can you really feed cabbage to your Labs?
The short answer is “Yes,” but there are a lot of questions about whether this food is truly safe for Labs. If you’re looking for answers, look no further: we’ll tackle the most common questions about feeding cabbage to your Labs here.
Is cabbage safe for Labs?
Yes, cabbage is safe for Labs to eat. However, it is not recommended to feed your Labrador Retriever too much cabbage at one time, as it can cause gas or other stomach issues.
Cabbage that has been cooked is a better option than raw because the cooking process breaks down the fiber in the vegetable and makes it easier for your Labrador Retriever to digest. If you are feeding your Labrador Retriever cabbage for the first time, start slow and watch for any abnormal signs.
Although rare, some Labs can show a food intolerance or allergic reaction to cabbage. If you observe any abnormal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea after feeding your Labrador Retriever cabbage, consult with a veterinarian.
Benefits of cabbage in Labs
Cabbage is a very healthy vegetable for your Labrador Retriever. Here are some benefits:
-Antioxidants, like vitamin C, stop free radicals from damaging healthy cells. Antioxidants also help to prevent and control cancer.
-Vitamin B complex helps break down carbohydrates and transport nutrients. It is also vital for nerve function, which helps protect against dementia in older Labs and muscle spasms.
-Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Without enough vitamin K, wounds will not heal properly and Labs can lose blood internally with no obvious signs of injury.
-Potassium helps regulate fluid balance in your Labrador Retriever’s body, as well as muscle contractions and nerve signals. A potassium deficiency can cause muscle weakness and lethargy.
-Calcium strengthens bones and teeth, as well as preventing muscle cramps. Calcium is also essential for proper blood clotting and regulating heart rhythm.
-Phosphorus works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth; phosphorus also helps your Labrador Retriever’s muscles to contract and kidneys to remove waste from the body while managing its energy stores.
-Fiber keeps your Labrador Retriever regular by moving food through the digestive system so that it doesn’t build up. Fiber also acts like a broom for the digestive system.
-Moisture: keeps Labrador Retriever hydrated
Do all Labs like cabbage?
Unfortunately, no. All Labs are unique, and they have unique food preferences. If you introduce cabbage to your Labrador Retriever and it doesn’t seem to like it, don’t force them to eat it. Just because food is good for one Labrador Retriever doesn’t mean that it’s good for all of them!
Consult with your vet before introducing a new food to your Labrador Retriever’s diet.
Can my Labs have cabbage every day?
You can feed Labs the recommended amount of cabbage every day if they like it. The amount varies based on the health and size of your Labrador Retriever.
However, there’s no rule that says you have to give your Labs cabbage every day, or even at all. We recommend you vary their treats because Labs can get bored with eating the same thing, just like people will get sick of eating the same food repeatedly! Also, different treats contain different nutrients. Cabbage is great for your Labrador Retriever because it has lots of fiber, vitamins, and water—but other foods have other benefits too.
Can Labrador Retriever puppies eat cabbage?
Sure, Labrador Retriever puppies can eat cabbage—but only after they’re two months old. In the meantime, they should be on a specialized puppy diet that gives them all the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. Once you’ve started introducing new foods into your puppy’s diet, though, you can give them a small bite of cooked cabbage once or twice a week.
As with any new food for your puppy, it’s important to introduce it slowly and watch for any signs of digestive upset. Puppies have much more delicate digestive systems than adult Labs do, so if you notice any vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs that things aren’t going well in there, stop feeding cabbage to your puppy and check in with your vet as soon as possible.
How much cabbage can Labs eat?
Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new food into your pet’s diet.
Depending on the age, size, and activity level of your Labrador Retriever, you can offer your puppy a small morsel of cooked cabbage. For smaller pup breeds (<20 lbs), a bite or two will suffice. For larger pup breeds (>20 lbs), you may offer a few more cooked morsels or bites.
Portion control is important for your Labrador Retriever’s diet and treats. Start out with a small piece and if there are no negative reactions, you can offer more.
Always follow the rule: Your Labs need a completely balanced diet, so all treats combined should not be over 10% of the total diet.
How to serve cabbage to your Labs?
If you’re looking to feed your Labrador Retriever cabbage, be sure to follow these guidelines:
First, consult with your vet to make sure that cabbage is a good fit for your Labrador Retriever. If they give you the green light, proceed with caution and follow the 90/10 rule. Cabbage should comprise no more than 10% of your Labrador Retriever’s diet.
Next, be sure that the cabbage you’re feeding is organic, as it contains no harmful pesticides and other additives.
Finally, cook the cabbage moderately—about 20 minutes—without any seasoning that includes harmful ingredients like garlic or onions.
It’s easier for your Labrador Retriever to digest cooked cabbage than raw, so be sure not to feed them raw cabbage. To make things even easier on digestion, try adding the cabbage to a homemade meal that’s balanced with a good source of protein. Or sprinkle some chopped up cabbage as a topping for their favorite food.
When are cabbage bad for Labs?
Cabbage is one of the safest and most nutritious green veggies you can feed to your Labrador Retriever. In fact, some people even use cabbage as a weight-loss tool for their pooches. But there are times when it’s not a good idea to give your pup cabbage, such as:
Your Labrador Retriever has underlying health issues like allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid problems, or liver disease.
You feed too much cabbage to your Labs. It can cause loose stool and diarrhea in some Labs.
Cabbage contains a small amount of thiocyanate, which can cause hypothyroidism in your Labrador Retriever if they eat too much of it.
What happens when your Labs eat too much cabbage?
If your Labrador Retriever has eaten too much cabbage, they may experience feelings of nausea. Nausea is a feeling that makes you want to vomit, and it can make you feel weak and dizzy. Once your Labrador Retriever’s stomach has settled down (which could take a while), they should feel better.
After eating too much cabbage, your Labrador Retriever may experience abdominal pain. These are pains felt in the stomach area that can make moving around or breathing deeply uncomfortable or painful. The abdominal pain will go away once their stomach settles down.
When a Labrador Retriever eats too much cabbage, it can lead to flatulence, which is excessive gas in the digestive tract that can be uncomfortable for Labs—and not so pleasant for humans, either! This should pass over time as the excess cabbage is digested and passed from their body.
Eating too much cabbage can lead to diarrhea in Labs. Diarrhea causes frequent watery stools and bowel movements, and since it can also cause dehydration, it’s important to keep an eye on your Labrador Retriever for signs of dehydration (like dry mouth or lethargy). If the diarrhea persists after 24 hours or seems severe, contact your vet right away.
What to do if your Labs eat too much cabbage?
Cabbage is a good source of fiber and vitamin C, so it can be tempting. But giving your Labrador Retriever too much cabbage can cause gastrointestinal problems. A few signs that your Labrador Retriever might have eaten too much cabbage are diarrhea and vomiting.
If you think your Labrador Retriever might have eaten too much cabbage, don’t panic! Just remove any remaining cabbage from your Labrador Retriever’s reach, and make sure it doesn’t have access to additional food for a few hours. Monitor your Labrador Retriever for symptoms of illness, especially if its stool becomes very loose or if it begins vomiting frequently. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can Labs eat red cabbage?
Yes, Labs can eat red cabbage. In fact, cabbage of all colors—red, green, and everything in between—is safe and healthy for Labs to eat.
Cabbage is low in fat and high in fiber, so it’s great for your pup if they’re watching their waistline or have a sensitive stomach. Red cabbage is even more nutritious than its lighter-hued cousin: it contains 10 times the vitamins that green cabbage has!
Other human foods Labrador Retrievers can eat
What other human foods can Labs eat? Here is a list of some other human foods your Lab can eat.
So, can Labs eat cabbage?
Well, the good news is that you can absolutely feed your Labrador Retriever cabbage. In fact, it’s quite nutritious for them, and a wonderful treat if given in moderation.
Cabbage is rich in vitamin K, which helps promote bone health, as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants. It also has a high water content, which helps keep Labs hydrated (especially when the weather gets warmer), and this makes it an excellent treat for Labs.
Just cook it moderately before feeding it to your Labrador Retriever: boiling cabbage destroys many of its nutrients, but raw cabbage can present choking hazards to your pup. Also, be sure not to overfeed: follow the 90/10 rule when feeding your Labrador Retriever treats like cabbage (i.e., only give them 10% of their recommended daily intake as treats/snacks).