Can Dogs Eat Raw Cabbage?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Dogs can eat raw cabbage without any problems. A toxin called thiocyanate poses minimal risk to your dog but only if he eats buckets of it over weeks. Just gently steam the cabbage to destroy the toxin if that frightens you a little.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Raw Cabbage?“.

It is only really quite recently that I have realized how much I like the taste of cabbage.

I mean not raw cabbage but lightly steamed green cabbage.

Its a real treat to eat red cabbage.

Cabbage needs to be peeled just like most vegetables.

We tend to shed the outermost leaves before we start preparing it for dinner so I’m not talking about using a physical peeler.

These leaves make me uncomfortable and I tend to put them to one side ready to offer them to my dogs when their next meal comes.

Is giving my dogs raw cabbage the best thing to do?

Is steaming the best method?

Can dogs eat raw cabbage?

Dogs can eat raw cabbage without any problems. 

A toxin called thiocyanate poses minimal risk to your dog but only if he eats buckets of it over weeks.

Just gently steam the cabbage to destroy the toxin if that frightens you a little.

On the other hand raw cabbage is great because it comes in a variety of textures and it contains many vitamins and minerals (mainly vitamins) that can boost your dogs health.

It is easy to find cabbage all year round it is cheap to buy and many of us have ahead in the vegetable drawer in our fridge.

Therefore the question is whats holding you back?

What are the main types of cabbage?

At our local grocery store we have a wide variety of cabbages to choose from including Green cabbage Red cabbage Napa cabbage and even Savoy cabbage. 

Like most people I tend to consume green cabbages or savoy cabbages.

I will examine all the different nutrients that can be found in cabbage in the next section and I will conclude by saying that overall no matter what type of cabbage you buy the nutrients it provides are very similar. 

How nutritious is a raw cabbage?

A box on your right shows some of the most important nutrients found in a 100 g portion of raw cabbage. 

I do not think there are many surprises here either.

As it has very few calories low fat and salt content and high fiber content it is very healthy food. 

Raw cabbage contains the following vitamins: Thiamin (B1) (.061 mg) Vitamin B6 (.124 mg) Vitamin C (36.6 mg) and Vitamin K (76 mcg).

Raw cabbage contains a lot of calcium (40 mg) phosphorus (26 mg) and potassium (170 mg). 

What are the nutritional needs of a dog based on these factors?

In fact scientists know exactly what your dog needs in the way of vitamins and minerals.

Moreover they know every little detail about it.

In our case each nutrient is expressed either as a percentage or as an amount per 100 grams.  

Vitamin Raw Cabbage (100 g) Dog amount 
Riboflavin (B2) .04 mg .52 mg
Thiamin .61 mg .225 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) .124 mg .15 mg
Vitamin C 36.6 mg
Vitamin K 76 mcg

Here is a quick chart for you to review.

The first column provides a list of the most common vitamins found in raw cabbage.

In column 2 you will find a list of the amounts of vitamins present in 100 grams of cabbage.

A dogs needs are displayed in the third column. Per 100 grams of food that they eat how much of each vitamin are they supposed to get.

It is important to note that Vitamins C and K have “blank” values in the third column because dogs do not need these vitamins. 

What a surprise!

Following this we can see that a dog needs more riboflavin than raw cabbage can provide but that cabbage provides more thiamin than a dog needs.

Dogs receive the right amount of vitamin B6.

Now do not be concerned about these differences.

This does not mean that raw cabbage should not be given to your dog I am just trying to show how raw cabbage fits into the picture. 

Your dog should be eating a complete diet that meets all of his or her nutritional needs without a bit of raw cabbage.

If you will a little cabbage every now and then will boost your immune system. 

Its time to examine the minerals. 

Minerals Raw Cabbage (100 g) Dog amount 
Calcium 40 mg  .04%
Potassium  170 mg  .17%
Phosphorus 26 mg  .026%
Iron .47 mg  11.7%

The first column shows the four main minerals found in cabbage.

In column two you can see how much of each mineral you can get from 100 grams of raw cabbage.

Three columns show how much a dog needs in percentage terms.

This amounts to .4% of the calcium that a dog needs.

Hence raw cabbage does not meet a dogs mineral needs!

You should not be concerned about that because they should be getting these minerals from their main meal. 

Raw vs cooked cabbage: nutrition

I want to examine whether cooking cabbage affects its nutritional content in this next section. 

The vitamins in cabbage are reduced when it is cooked. 

A reduction of 10-20% in riboflavin thiamin and vitamin B6 was observed. 

The same holds true for minerals cooking cabbage destroys some minerals as well. 

By cooking the levels of calcium potassium phosphorus and iron are all reduced by about 10%. 

Raw vs cooked cabbages- pros and cons


According to a few dog blogs raw cabbage is harder to digest than cooked cabbage so if your dog eats raw cabbage you can expect more unpleasant odors.

There is some evidence to suggest that the cabbages fiber content is part of the cause of the odor.

Raw cabbage is higher in fiber than cooked cabbage.

Green or Savoy cabbages do the trick.

Raw cabbage does not have a higher fiber content than cooked cabbage.

The fiber content of red cabbage increases when it is cooked.

A second chart follows.

Type of cabbage Raw fiber content Cooked fiber content
Savoy 3.1 g 2.8 g
Green  2.5 g  1.9 g
Red 2.1 g 2.6 g

Therefore if you are concerned that your dog may vomit if you feed them raw cabbage try feeding them some red cabbage.


Thiocyanate which is found in raw cabbage is a toxin that if ingested in large quantities over a long period of time damages the thyroid gland and can lead to hyperthyroidism. 

You can cook the cabbage as a workaround.

There is no information available on how much thiocyanate raw cabbage contains how much a dog would need to consume in order to be poisoned or how long a dog would need to consume raw cabbage in order to be poisoned.

My impression is that dogs would have to consume large quantities of raw cabbage for several weeks or months before any real risk arises.

It is likely that if your dog was eating raw cabbage in such large quantities you would have to stop them from eating it due to the smell. 

Whether it is you or anyone else living in the house your dog could simply live with you.

Even so the consequences are very real no matter how slight the risk is.

Moderation is key when it comes to raw cabbage!

Now lets move on to a more fragrant topic.

How long will raw cabbage keep fresh in a fridge?

I am often accused by my wife of keeping old vegetables for too long.

The vegetables that I keep until they rot or show any signs of mold are not physically rotting but I do keep them past their prime.

What is a reasonable number of days? Is it better to store cabbage in the refrigerator?

It is possible to keep unused cabbages in the fridge for two weeks or longer. 

However there is a problem.

When you begin to use the cabbage and remove the outer leaves it will begin to deteriorate.

In addition to protecting the more tender inner leaves the outer leaves help them retain moisture.

When the outer leaves are gone the clock starts ticking and you only have a few days (less than a week) to use it. 

It might be possible to extend the grace period by wrapping it tightly in a bag but even so speed is crucial.

Donot leave loose cabbage leaves uncovered in the refrigerator as I did. 

How much cabbage to feed a dog?

I would say that if you are thinking of feeding your dog raw cabbage you should think of three to four tablespoons per medium to large dog.

You should only be thinking of one tablespoon if your dog is smaller. 

Because most of you will be feeding cabbage to your dog as a treat rather than as a fundamental part of their diet.

Consider it almost as a “garnish” that goes on top of your canned food or kibble. 

According to the AKC pumpkin can be added to a dogs diet between one and four tablespoons and I believe that guide can also be used with other vegetables.

How often should you feed your dog cabbage?

It depends on how you use it so it is an interesting one.

The majority of dogs will get a bit of raw cabbage when their families eat it so that is about once every two weeks or once a week.

Its possible that some of you are thinking of buying a cabbage to feed your dog only.

Thats fine too but keep a couple of things in mind.

To begin with buy cabbages of medium or smaller size.

In addition once your dog eats the cabbage he will be “cabbaged out” in more ways than one.  

For a few weeks or even longer do not make him eat cabbage again.

It will be good for his body to eat another vegetable as well as for everyone else if he stops eating cabbage!

Can my puppy eat raw cabbage?

We see no reason why your puppy should not be fed raw cabbage.

However I would keep the amounts that they are given very small.

Wait at least three months before making a decision. 

Puppies should have been weaned by that time and they should be eating well and enjoying their main food. 

Puppy stomachs are more delicate than those of adults and we have learned that cabbages are difficult to digest. 

Make sure you introduce cabbage to your puppy very gradually- for example you might start by lightly steaming it for a few minutes. 

Best alternatives to raw cabbage

The most important thing for me is that you should choose several alternatives no matter what they are.

A broad range of raw and cooked vegetables would be beneficial from a nutritional standpoint for dogs.

They will also be stimulated by a variety of textures.

Donot give your dog onions garlic or wild mushrooms because they are toxic and just begin experimenting. 

Begin with the ones you keep in the fridge regularly and work your way up.

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Cabbage? (Watch Video)

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