Can Dogs Eat Lettuce and Cabbage? Is it safe?

Can Dogs Eat Lettuce and Cabbage? - Anydoggie

Affiliate Disclosure: When you buy a product via our links, we sometimes earn a referral fee. Learn more

It is undoubtedly true that greens and salads are very beneficial for our health. Packed with vitamins and essential minerals, they should find their way into your diet. However, how is it with dogs: Can Dogs Eat Lettuce and Cabbage? Is it safe? Let’s find out:

In general, Dogs can eat chopped lettuce and cabbage in small amounts. Cooked lettuce and cabbage are better because the dogs can digest it easier. What is more, by cooking, the cabbage also loses a compound called thiocyanate, which can be harmful to dogs in high amounts. 

To learn what type of lettuce and cabbage the dogs can eat and why the cooked lettuce and cabbage are better, keep on reading.


Are Lettuce and Cabbage Good for Dogs?

Lettuce and cabbage are beneficial to dogs because they aid their digestion.

Have you sometimes noticed your pup munching on grass while you are out walking her? Well, it’s because she is trying to help her digestion and get extra vitamins and minerals. You could moderate the “grass-eating” habit by putting a bit of chopped lettuce and cabbage into your pup’s meals.

As it goes with any food, if your pup likes lettuce and cabbage, you should give it to her in moderation. If your dog overeats lettuce and cabbage, it may cause bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and other serious issues. 

What Type of Lettuce and Cabbage Can Dogs Eat?

In general, dogs can eat all types of lettuce and cabbage, chopped and in moderation: 

As with any new food, if you are introducing new types of lettuce and cabbage to your pup’s diet, make sure to try small quantities first. In such a case you will notice which ones your pup likes or doesn’t like. You will also see if she has any allergic reactions or an upset stomach. 

As noted by the vets from the American Kennel Association, spinach and kale contain compounds that can harm your pup if you give them to her in large quantities. Your pup may like spinach and kale anyways, so make sure to give it to her only sparingly, chopped in small pieces sprinkled on or in her food.

Are you wondering what types of lettuce and cabbage are there? 

Let’s find out.

There are a few basic types of lettuce plant:

  • Leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Butterhead lettuce (also called Boston or Bib lettuce)

Then there is a bunch of other sorts or lettuce like plants, called cruciferous, that can enrich yours and your pup’s diet:

  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Endives
  • Radicchio
  • Frisée

When it comes to cabbage, there are a few types of cabbage plants that are cultivated around the world:

  • Red
  • Green
  • White
  • Savoy
  • Loose-headed spring greens

No matter which one you choose, each type is packed with antioxidants, water, fiber, and essential nutrients.

Types of Lettuce
Leaf lettuceArugulaRed
Romaine lettuceSpinachGreen
Iceberg lettuceKaleWhite
Butterhead lettuce (also called Boston or Bib lettuce)EndivesSavoy
RadicchioLoose-headed spring greens

Can Dogs Eat Leftover Salad?

can dogs eat salad

A safe answer is no. Your dog shouldn’t eat leftover salad.

The reason is that if you put too much salt, spices, and dressing on your salad, it can be very harmful to your pup. 

For example, dressings, are not good neither for humans nor for dogs. They are packed with useless calories and artificial ingredients. These can harm your pup and cause a lot of health issues and complications.

What is more, if you like to put onions into your salad, you should never share it with your pup. Onion is toxic to dogs and causes a lot of discomfort for your pup. 

If you like to share your salad with your pup, just make sure that you prepare a little bit for her before you start putting onions and other additional ingredients for yourself. 

In this case, plain and simple goes a long way.

How Can You Prepare Lettuce and Cabbage for Your Dog?

how to prepare lettuce for dogs

You can prepare lettuce and cabbage for your dog either raw or cooked: 

Whether raw or cooked, you should always wash the lettuce and cabbage thoroughly and chop them into smaller pieces.

Washing lettuce and cabbage is recommended due to potential contamination from harmful bacteria. There have been many outbreaks of E.coli and listeria in the United States and all around the world, so it’s recommended to wash all the vegetables before serving them to your family or your dog. 

Chopping lettuce and cabbage in smaller pieces is key when you prepare it for your dog. This is particularly important if you have a small dog. In this way you avoid a choking hazard or that the leaves get stuck in your pup’s digestive system. 

Fresh lettuce is quite easy to prepare because it is softer than cabbage. The best way is to chop lettuce leaves into small pieces and sprinkle them on or into your pup’s food from time to time. 

Fresh chopped lettuce and cabbage also make for a great treat. You can easily take them with you and reward your dog for learning new commands or tricks. 

When you are preparing fresh cabbage, you should only chop the leaves and not the core. Usually, you can just cut a smaller piece from the leaves without including the core. Then you can chop it into smaller pieces and sprinkle them on or into your pup’s food from time to time.

In the case of cooking, the preparation is similar. Just chop lettuce and cabbage leaves into smaller pieces and cook them without adding salt, spices and other ingredients. Lettuce is much softer than cabbage and, depending on quantity, needs less than 10 minutes of cooking time. In the case of cabbage, and the quantity you are cooking, allow up to 15-20 minutes of cooking time to soften it.

Is Cooked Lettuce and Cabbage better for Your Dog?

Yes, cooked lettuce and cabbage are better for your dog: 

Some dogs tend to be quite sensitive to raw lettuce and cabbage. Cooking makes lettuce and cabbage softer and thus much easier for your dog to digest without much difficulty. 

In the case of cabbage, it is actually recommended to cook it, for both dogs and humans. Cabbage contains a compound called Thiocyanate, which is toxic in large amounts. Thiocyanate overdose can cause hypothyroidism which is a disease of thyroid glands. The symptoms include the inability to tolerate cold, constant tiredness, constipation, depression and weight gain. That’s why it’s recommended that you cook cabbage before giving it to your pup. If your pup likes the fresh cabbage because of its crunchiness, you don’t need to feel upset though. You can sprinkle a little bit of fresh, chopped cabbage on or in her food from time to time. 

However, don’t cook the lettuce and cabbage with salt, spices and any other ingredients that could harm your dog. 

Can Lettuce and Cabbage Make Dogs Sick?

Although the above video looks adorable, you shouldn’t give your pup the whole cabbage, because it may make her very sick and you will have to clean up after her a lot.

If your pup overeats lettuce and cabbage, it may cause bloating, gasses (which clear the room in 5 seconds flat!), diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomach. That’s surely not something you would want your pup to suffer through.

Moderation is the key. Sprinkling a little bit of chopped fresh or cooked lettuce and cabbage on or in your dog’s food from time to time is a great idea. It introduces variety into your dog’s diet which is very beneficial. 


While doing this research, I immediately remembered the moments when Jo, my fluffy-puff Welsh corgi mix, devoured the bits of red cabbage and lettuce I gave her. I sometimes haven’t looked at how much she actually ate. No wonder the number two looked so gross afterward. 

Now I know to always chop the lettuce and cabbage in small pieces and only give her a little bit from time to time. And I am sure to introduce her to other lettuce types because they look delicious.

Pint this Article to Pinterest

can dogs eat lettuce and cabbage pinterest