Leafy greens for the win: the benefits of spinach (in small doses)
Spinach is great for a big boost of iron, a dash of green on your plate (or in your smoothie) and not a bad taste, either! (Although that last point may be debatable). But what about the benefits when it comes to feeding it to your dog or cat? In honour of National Spinach Day (March 26), we’ve rounded up some of the top reasons to add it to your pet’s bowl and let them enjoy the benefits too!
1. Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins
Spinach is packed with vitamins A, B, C and K. Wondering why that’s a good thing? Read on for more:
- Vitamin A: Promotes eye health and bone growth, supports the immune system and cell function. In cats, vitamin A is essential for optimal health, helping support their immune system, night vision and skin health.
- Vitamin B: Helps with nutrient absorption and cognitive function as well as promoting a healthy metabolism and helping to break down protein and fat.
- Vitamin C: Great for bone and joint health and supporting the immune system. It is also a strong antioxidant which can benefit dogs as they age and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin K: This fat-soluble vitamin can help to improve blood coagulation and bone health.
2. A digestive aid
Spinach can help to protect the lining of the digestive tract. It is not only a good source of dietary fibre, which aids with digestion, but also a form of roughage, which stimulates the digestive tract.
3. A boost for eye health with beta-carotene
Spinach not only contains vitamin A (great for eye health - and night vision in cats), it also helps reduce macular degeneration in dogs thanks to the beta-carotene it provides. Beta-carotene (a ‘precursor’ to vitamin A), is great for helping to build the immune system.
4. An excellent source of iron
Iron, a crucial mineral for dogs, can also be found in spinach. It aids the circulatory system by maintaining and supplying oxygen, creates red blood cells and hemoglobin and supports enzyme functions.
5. Cancer-fighting properties
Studies have shown that spinach could help prevent cancer in humans - AND in animals. This may be due to the high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
So, just like for humans, spinach can bring a big boost of nutrients to your pet. However, it is important to remember that spinach should be fed in small quantities, as it is high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and may lead to kidney damage.
Looking for the perfect way to add spinach to your pet’s diet? Check out our lip-smacking offerings below:
As with any food, too much spinach could cause issues for your pet. Start with small quantities, and always consult your veterinarian with any concerns or questions.