It is the nature of dogs to smell and taste anything. And if they like its scent, texture, and taste, they’ll immediately gobble it up and it the entire thing, whatever it may be.
Watercress is a plant you and your dog might stumble on while on a walk.
These are water plants that naturally grow near small bodies of water like ponds, streams, and even in your backyard. And what if your dog eats Watercress? Is it safe for them?
Can dogs eat Watercress?
Yes, dogs can eat Watercress because these don’t have any toxic elements that can harm their health. However, these shouldn’t be included in their staple diet because they can cause indigestion problems, especially if overeating.
In this article, we’ll discuss the health effects of Watercress on dogs, including its uses, nutrition facts, benefits, and dangers involved.
What Is Watercress?
Watercress is a water plant that is commonly used in various cuisines like salads, soups, and sandwiches.
This plant is closely related to radish, mustard, and wasabi, responsible for its peppery and slightly bitter flavor.
One serving of Watercress, equivalent to 100 grams, contains 11 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, and zero cholesterol. This makes it an ideal diet for dogs that need to lose weight. Its sodium content is 41 milligrams alongside 1.3 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of fiber.
One serving of Watercress is also a rich source of protein because one serving contains 2.3 grams of protein. Aside from these, Watercress contains many nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.
Is Watercress Safe For Dogs?
Watercress is safe for dogs as long as it’s consumed in moderation. This green leafy vegetable contains many vitamins and nutrients essential for your dog’s proper growth and development.
Examples of these minerals are calcium, protein, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. You can also cook Watercress for your dog, but make sure that it doesn’t contain any salt and spices because these can mess up their digestive system.
Can Watercress Poison Dogs?
Watercress can poison dogs if they are grown in areas that are sprayed or treated with insecticides. Watercress grown in contaminated water can also poison dogs because they have bacteria that can cause parasitic infections in dogs.
Dogs can also suffer from gastrointestinal issues if they overeat Watercress. Diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pains are some of the most common symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.
However, Watercress that are grown properly in a safe and clean environment is safe for dog consumption, provided that they’re thoroughly washed with water.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Watercress For Dogs?
Stronger Immune System
One of the best things about Watercress is its rich source of Vitamin C, which helps strengthen your dog’s immune system. It is an antioxidant that prevents diseases and can help extend your dog’s lifespan.
This nutrient protects your dog’s cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. These are molecules produced by the body when it undergoes digestion or is exposed to UV rays and tobacco smoke.
Free radicals can damage your dog’s health, so it’s best to get rid of them.
Healthier Skin And Coat
Watercress contains large amounts of Vitamin A, essential for the healthy growth and development of your dog’s skin and coat.
This prevents dry skin and dandruff accumulation, making the coat thicker and shinier. Vitamin A also helps improve your dog’s vision, immune system, and reproductive health. It can even regulate blood flow and improve heart and lung efficiency.
Watercress contains calcium, an essential nutrient in building stronger bones and fortifying joints and tendons.
Calcium is a mineral that strengthens bones and improves your dog’s dental health. This also improves muscle contraction, blood clotting, heart rhythm, and nerve functions. It’s an essential nutrient to improve your dog’s overall health and physique.
Faster Buildup Of Muscles
Potassium is present in Watercress, making it a healthy vegetable for dogs if eaten in moderation.
Potassium is responsible for your dog’s proper muscle function and helps regulate cell fluid levels. It also supports the appropriate contraction of muscles while improving blood pressure levels.
Watercress is also rich in protein, as one serving of 100 grams contains 2.3 grams of protein. These nutrients serve as building blocks for muscle growth, thanks to their amino acids. These are responsible for building muscles and repairing worn-out cells.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Watercress For Dogs?
Pesticide contamination is the most common risk associated with eating Watercress because this plant naturally grows around contaminated water. This can accumulate toxic pollutants that are very dangerous for dogs and people.
Examples of these pollutants are insecticides, garbage, and industrial waste. You can avoid this by not bringing your dog for a walk in places with small bodies of water where they can snatch up Watercress without you knowing.
Dogs can suffer indigestion if they overeat Watercress. Examples of indigestion problems are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains, and constipation.
The peppery flavor of Watercress can also irritate their stomach because their digestive system isn’t designed to process foods with flavors. Dogs might also suffer from gastroesophageal reflux if they overeat Watercress.
Presence Of Goitrogens And Oxalates
Watercress has compounds that can mess up the normal function of their thyroid gland. These compounds are oxalates and goitrogens, which bind to calcium and cause kidney stones.
Although this isn’t a problem if your dog doesn’t have any history of kidney problems, it’s still safe to avoid this by not giving them too much Watercress.
Some dogs might suffer from allergic reactions after eating Watercress. The most common reactions are stomach pain, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Some dogs have difficulty breathing after eating Watercress because they’re not used to the rough texture and peppery flavor.
Watercress poses a choking hazard to dogs because they can obstruct the airway, especially if they’re gobbled up in whole without chewing. Signs of partial airway blockage are pawing and coughing. Meanwhile, a blocked airway can render your dog unconscious.
What To Do If Dogs Overeat Watercress?
Never panic if you see that your dog ate Watercress. Instead, you need to assess how much Watercress they ate.
There’s no worry if they just ate a small bit because these aren’t harmful to their health, especially if you know where the Watercress came from.
However, you should immediately let your dog drink water and bring them to the nearest vet if they ate lots of Watercress from a contaminated water source or polluted area.
How Much Watercress Can Dogs Eat?
One to two servings of Watercress is safe for dogs, with one serving equivalent to 100 grams. Never include this in their daily diet because there are many other safer and healthier vegetables you can give them.
Watercress can serve as occasional treats so your dog will taste something new every once in a while.
What Are The Best Alternatives To Watercress?
Watercress is safe for dogs as long as they are grown from a clean area and are washed thoroughly. However, there are many other safer and healthier food alternatives you can give your dog. Some of the best alternatives are fresh fruits like oranges, apples, and bananas.
These are rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins B and C. These nutrients strengthen their bones, muscles, and immune system and improve heart and nerve function.
You can also give them chicken breast bits as treats because these are rich in protein, boosting muscle mass and improving coat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Vegetables Are Poisonous For Dogs?
Fruits like grapes, avocados, mushrooms, and nuts, are some of the most common vegetables harmful to dogs. They can cause lethargy, choking, indigestion problems, pancreatitis, and even death when consumed in large amounts.
Can Dogs Eat Spinach?
Yes, dogs can eat Spinach because these are a rich source of potassium and Vitamins A and C.
These improve muscle and nerve function while strengthening the immune system against certain diseases.
Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?
Yes, dogs can eat fresh Pineapple because these are rich in Vitamin C and fiber, which improves digestion and the immune system. Avoid giving your dog canned Pineapple because these contain preservatives and are soaked in sugar and oil.
Is Celery Healthy For Dogs?
Celery is healthy for dogs because these are rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, which strengthen the immune system and regular blood flow.
This vegetable also contains potassium and folate, which can help make your dog’s heart healthier.
So, Can Dogs Eat Watercress?
Yes, dogs can eat Watercress as long as it is grown in a clean area. You should wash them thoroughly to get rid of impurities before giving them to your dog.
Never add spices or seasonings to Watercress because these can harm your dog. We also don’t recommend including this in their daily diet because there are many other safer and healthier foods you can give them, like fresh fruits and chicken breast bits.