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A healthy diet for humans includes a large amount of leafy, green veggies. As you try to take care of your family and provide them healthy options, vegetables become a larger part of your shopping list. Your dog is probably curious about the green vegetables on your dinner plate, and you’re probably wondering what human food your dog can eat.
The great news is that dogs can eat lettuce. In fact, they may even enjoy it! Here’s what you should know about lettuce and your dog.
There are many varieties of lettuce. Generally speaking, lettuce contains large amounts of water and chlorophyll. Research on the benefits of chlorophyll for humans and our pets is in its infancy but we know that chlorophyll is a compound similar to hemoglobin that can support blood flow.³ The amount of water in lettuce may help your dog stay hydrated during hot summer days. Some of the additional nutritional benefits lettuce can give your dog:⁴
● Vitamins: Lettuces are full of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K! These vitamins together can support your dog's immune system, the health of their soft coats, and how well their muscles work while they play.
● Choline: This little-known nutrient supports cell regeneration and lung function. Usually found in meats and eggs, choline is present in lettuce!
● Calcium: Your dog needs calcium to support their bones and their muscles. How else are they able to jump and follow you around all day? Lettuce is a nutritious source of this critical vitamin.
● Magnesium: Leafy greens and nuts contain a portion of magnesium that supports nervous and muscle system functions by helping the body reconstruct damaged DNA.
Romaine lettuce is a great option for dogs. It’s easy to digest and affordable for most families. However, it’s not the only type of lettuce your dog can eat. Experiment with iceberg lettuce, kale, spinach, and arugula to see which types of greens your buddy enjoys. All of these options are safe in moderation. If you’re unsure how much your dog should be eating, chat with your veterinarian about your lifestyle.⁵ They will offer guidance on how best to manage their diet.
In general, you can feed small pieces of lettuce to your dog in its raw form. Make sure that the greens are thoroughly washed so it doesn’t have harmful pesticides, bacteria, dirt, or other contaminants.
Some dogs may find it difficult to chew tougher lettuce, so consider cooking some of the rougher roughage. Cook the lettuce by either steaming or sauteing it in olive oil.
How about lettuce’s famous side dish? Can dogs eat salad? We don’t recommend it. Don’t give your dog any salads that are covered in dressings or toppings, especially garlic and onions. Some salad dressings also contain xylitol, which is a potentially deadly toxin, so it’s best to avoid it.
All of that said, get creative! Prepare a pup-safe salad, with lettuce, carrots, and chicken — all plain, of course. You could also add lettuce to a dog friendly smoothie, freeze it, and offer it as a high value treat during training sessions. The sky's the limit with this leafy treat.
Keeping your dog healthy is a top priority. Lettuce is a safe, nutritious treat for your favorite companion. Consider giving it to your dog occasionally or prepare a special treat so they can join you near the dinner table.
While you’re shopping for veggies, consider adding MetLife Pet Insurance to your list!¹ Our dog insurance plans may help you save on veterinary bills and related care services.² Get your free quote and “lettuce” take some worry off your plate.
¹ Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.
² Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.
³ “What are the benefits of chlorophyll?,” Medical News Today
⁴ “Lettuce, Raw,” NutritionValue.org
⁵ “Are You Feeding Your Dog the Right Amount?,” PetMD