Can Dogs Eat Okra? Is Okra Safe for Dogs?

can dogs eat okracan dogs eat okra

Yes, dogs can safely eat okra, but it should ​be limited in your dog’s diet. Okra​, also known as “lady's fingers,”​ ​is packed with valuable nutrients​ and has been ​a good source​ of vitamins and minerals.​ It is low in calories​ ​too, ​yet, ​high in soluble and insoluble fiber ​that ​is good for your dog's heart.

​Health Benefits of ​Okra for Dogs

Okra, historically known to first appear in Ethiopia, ​offers a wide range of health benefits. ​Just like how it ​provides numerous health benefits ​to humans, okra also has benefits for dogs.

Here are some of its health benefits:

  • Okra's ​high dietary fiber content​ ​can help soften up ​​your dog's stool​, helps keep the intestinal tract healthy and prevent heart-related diseases.
  • Improves eyesight – ​​adding ​okra ​to your dog's diet improves eyesight as it contains Vitamin A ​that is vital to eye health and good vision especially in dim light.
  • Boost immune system – ​​okra is high in antioxidants. ​It contains vitamin A, C, and E which ​keeps​ your dog's immune system in tip-top shape.
  • ​​​Ideal ​​food for ​​​diabetic dogs ​- okra has anti-diabetic properties that help stabilize blood sugars. According ​to ​​a 2011 study published ​in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences​, it is believed that the insoluble fiber ​in okra helps to stabilize​ blood glucose by ​regulating the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the intestinal tract.

​Nutrition Facts

​According to ​USDA Database, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw Okra contains:

  • ​3​3 ​calories
  • ​​7.45 g​ of ​carbohydrates
  • 1.48 g​ of ​sugar
  • 3.2 g​​ of ​dietary fiber
  • 0.19 g​ of ​fat
  • 1.9 g​ of protein
  • 36 mcg of vitamin A
  • 60 mcg of folate
  • 31.3 mcg of vitamin K
  • 23 mg of ​vitamin C
  • 0.27 mg of vitamin E
  • 82 mg of calcium
  • 0.62 mg of iron
  • 299 mg of potassium
  • 0.58 mg of zinc

​Moderation ​Is The Key

can dogs eat raw okracan dogs eat raw okra

Just like with any other food, ​​you can safely feed ​okra to your dog in moderation.

Dogs are naturally omnivores who prefer meat (due to the carnivorous nature​), and so, vegetables aren’t really their priority for survival. It is key, however, for better health. This is why some may want to occasionally mix the vegetable with its food (in small bits if your dog​ is quite picky).

If you are the type of person who prefers to feed dogs with DIY homemade dog food rather than buying​, the deed may be easier. Simply chop the okras into small, bite-size bits and then blend it with the rest of the homemade food. This may be harder for those who feed their dogs with ​dry dog kibble ​or canned dog food, as dogs are notable for leaving out food that they simply don’t like.

​A whole meal filled with okra isn’t really recommended though. Because it is a vegetable, dogs may suffer from gas and stomach problems. It is harder to digest in comparison to ​kibbles.

​The perfect serving size for dogs with this vegetable is approximately one to two spoons.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Okra?

​​Yes, you can give raw okra to your dog as a treat​. But some dogs don't like the gooey taste of okras and because of this ​dogs may completely ignore the vegetable.

​To solve this, you may ​simply turn it into a mixable mush that can be completely mixed with other food. Aside from this, you can also dice the vegetable in order to make it smaller and therefore, easier to eat for your picky doggy.

Can Dogs Eat Pickled Okra?

Yes, ​dogs can have a few ​sliced pickled okra, but remember ​pickled foods are generally not good for dogs. 

Pickled okra is more delicious than a ​plainly cooked okra, but that’s only the case for us humans. ​

​Pickles ​usually contains lots of salt and spices that is bad for dogs. Also, ​one thing to note for picked okras is the presence of onions. Pickles often include onions in the process, and this is a big danger for dogs.

Eating onions ​can damage a dog’s red blood cells. This can be noticed ​when a dog's urine is darker than usual. ​Contact your vet if your dog accidentally ​gobbles up pickled okra with onions.

​How About Fried Okra? 

​While fried ​okra ​isn't toxic​,​ feeding fried okra​ to ​your dog​ ​is a bad idea, ​it can upset ​a dog's tummy ​and cause ​diarrhea and vomiting. ​If they eat enough fatty and fried foods, it can also result in pancreatitis and gastrointestinal issues.

​It is better to serve steamed okra rather than fried. Steaming make it much easier to ​digest because dogs are inefficient​ at digesting vegetables.

​​The Bottom Line

In ​summary, dogs can eat fresh or steamed okras, as long as it is served in small quantities.

Dogs don't really like vegetables in general, and so, to serve ​okra, you ​can mix it along with their food in bite-sized, unnoticeable portions.

Vegetables don’t really do that much for dogs, as the latter tends to lean more to meat for nutrients. If you think that your dog doesn’t like it in the first try, you might want to completely ditch the food as a whole and look for healthier alternatives such as radishes or even bagels.

If you want ​other healthy options to feed your dog, you check on other foods ​such as fish, lean ​meat, or whole grains.

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Heather Simons
Heather is just a great lover of animals in general. She frequently jokes that her home is like a zoo, as she has birds, lizards, fishes, two dogs, a cat, and a pair of hamsters. If she could be anywhere, it would be out in the wilderness. In her spare time, she loves to camp and go hiking. She has been providing insight into raising animals for about 10 years and has had several articles published on various sites. She not only writes, but edits materials as well, and the local newspaper in her community publishes her articles on the proper care of animals.