Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
A Christmas dinner or Sunday roast staple, the parsnip is a common vegetable in British homes. They are delicious, nutritious, and the leftovers usually end up in the dog’s bowl as a little treat. But are parsnips safe for them to eat?
Dogs can eat parsnips, and they are just as good for them as they are for you. They can help boost kidney function, are packed with vitamins and minerals, and keep their immune system healthy. They are a brilliant treat to add to the bowl.
Want to learn more about how parsnips can benefit your dog as well as how to prepare them? We answer all of your most pressing questions below.
Benefits of Parsnips for Your Dog
Parsnips are actually a pretty healthy snack for your pup to have. There are several benefits to adding these to part of a healthy and balanced diet – just remember that treats should never be more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet.
Parsnips are rich in vitamins C and B6, alongside folic acid and potassium. These are beneficial in that they boost your dog’s metabolism, support their nervous system, and even stimulate kidney function. As a result, they are a great treat for pups suffering from kidney disease.
They also contain antioxidants, which help to fight off diseases such as cancer and keep your dog’s immune system healthy. Parsnips are rich in calcium to help promote healthy bones, and they are also low in calories making them a great snack for chunky puppies.
However, if your dog is suffering from diabetes, you should NOT feed them parsnips. This is because they have a high glycemic index that can cause a spike in sugar levels. Therefore, you should contact your vet before you give your dog parsnips.
Are Raw Parsnips Poisonous?
No, raw parsnips are NOT poisonous. In fact, they are great for your dog’s teeth and can help keep them clean – just like carrots. If you’re here feeling confused, it might be because you mixed up the vegetable parsnips with the plant poison parsnip.
The plant looks a lot like cow parsley, and the sap is poisonous to humans and dogs alike. It can cause acid burns on the skin, burn away the hair, and can be fatal to ingest. If your dog comes into contact with poison parsnip sap, make sure they go to the vet immediately.
How to Safely Prepare Parsnips for Your Dog
Are you ready to introduce your canine companion to a world of crunch and nutrition? Well, roll up and learn how to safely prepare parsnips for snacks, an addition to dinner, and tasty treats.
Here’s a top tip, most of the nutrients in parsnips are found in and directly under the skin. So, make sure you don’t peel them before you let your dog have a snack. However, the skin should only be fed to your dog if it has been cooked and softened first.
This is because parsnip skin is incredibly thick and tough, making it difficult for your dog to digest. This can lead to an upset stomach as well as discomfort. So, if you are feeding them raw parsnip make sure you peel it first.
You can boil or steam parsnips, just make sure you do NOT add any seasoning to them.
They should be given to your dog plain as additional seasonings are often bad for their health. It should also be cut into chunks to make it easier for your dog to eat.
A few spoons of parsnip are all you really need to add to their food in order for your dog to benefit from the additional nutrition. Cooking them also breaks the fibres down, which makes these veggies much easier for your dog to digest.
There you have it, parsnips are a great and healthy treat for your dog to have by themselves or slipped in with their food. With so many great health benefits (and a crunch that you know they’ll love), it might be time you headed down to the supermarket and picked up a bag.
Did you find this quick informational on parsnips interesting? If so, you should check out the rest of our canine care guide series. In it, we explore their dietary needs, how to care for their health, grooming, and even behavioural issues. All of this to help you become the best dog owner.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.