Tuesday, 16 August 2011

dogs and asparagus

It's strange, but fortunate, that Penny doesn't eat the vegetables and fruit in our garden, even though she likes the occasional vegetable offcut in the kitchen. (Oh, she has taken to eating a couple of the fallen olives lately, but luckily they're in the front garden where she's not allowed, so she only gets to snatch one if she's out the front with us welcoming visitors.)

I'm growing lots of baby asparagus plants from seed and I know I'll have to wait about four more years before I can harvest them, but I got to wondering whether it would safe for Penny to nibble on them. I found some sites that say it is safe to feed asparagus. However, I've posted a question on Dr Renee's Roar Kingdom blog, because I'd like to confirm the information with a local vet.

One of the sites mentions the possibility that the dog's faeces might become green, and I'm sure glad to know that in advance, because we had a scare one time when Penny ate black dog biscuits and her poo turned blue.

Another site warns of 'bad odors in their dog’s gas or urine'.

Okay, we'll be prepared, when our asparagus comes up nice and lush - in three or four years!

On my other blog, I'm writing about the history of asparagus, and, guess what? It makes some human's urine smell stinky, also.

But the funny thing is that even though for more than two and half thousand years people have been writing about growing, cooking and eating this plant, no one ever wrote anything about this stinky effect until the seventeenth century.


Lassiter Chase and T said...

Wow -- that's exciting. You must have a really green thumb to grow vegetables from seeds. Usually Mommy just buys the little tomato and pepper plants from the store. But this year she put some pepper seeds in a little container of dirt and they are actually growing. She transferred them out of the container and put them in the ground yesterday. Seems a little late in the season to plant them -- but it's worth a try.

Maggie and Mitch said...

We have had tidbit of asparagus before and we like it! Mom says it definitely makes her peepee more stinky but it's worth it. She's a huge asparagus fan!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, I wonder what you dogs make of it when we humans eat things that smell. In our family we love all sorts of vegetables and green leaves and I don't have to tell you what effect many of them have, do I?

parlance said...

Lassiter Chase, I hope your peppers grow well, and I'll tell you a little secret - green pepper off-cuts are one of Penny's all-time favorite treats.

Dr Renee said...

Hi Parlance. As with anything from the plant kingdom, small amounts of asparagus are fine for dogs, however unless finely pureed in a food processor or blender they won't extract much nutrition from the food as they can't digest the cellulose in the plant walls. But they will provide fibre!
I think Penny would have to eat quite a lot of asparagus to get green poo but I will be interested to hear about that in 3 years!
I sometimes recommend including asparagus in the diet of doggy patients with heart or kidney disease as it has a nice gentle diuretic action, as does the common dandelion leaf. Good luck with the seeds!

parlance said...

Dr Renee, thanks for the reply to my question on your blog. I might think about putting some asparagus through my blender if I decide to include a little in Penny's diet. On the other hand, I love it so much she probably won't get any, lol.