What Does Mustard Do for Dogs?

by Juliana Weiss-Roessler Google
    Dogs can eat some prepared greens.

    Dogs can eat some prepared greens.

    Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

    Mustard is one plant that in some forms is healthy for your pet and in other forms can be toxic. Dogs can safely eat mustard greens, as long as they are properly prepared. However, mustard seeds are toxic to dogs, while mustard powder and the condiment mustard are sometimes used to induce vomiting.

    When dogs ingest something poisonous, a vet may induce vomiting to get the poisonous substance out of the dog's body. Mustard, in both powder and condiment form, is a relatively safe product that can do this. A vet may allow you to administer it yourself. Mix a couple teaspoons of mustard in either form with water, then get the dog to swallow it. Owners should make sure not to use any condiment mustard with seeds in it and should never try to induce vomiting without first talking to the vet.

    While prepared mustard greens are fine for dogs to eat, you should absolutely never feed your dog mustard seeds. Mustard seeds contain compounds that are toxic to dogs; consuming them can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. If you have a tendency to feed your dog scraps from the table, make sure the food does not contain any mustard with seeds in it. If you think your dog has accidentally consumed mustard seeds and appears to be ill, contact your vet.

    Mustard greens and other cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, are healthy food options, but you should never feed them to your dog in raw form. Dogs don’t chew their food the same way humans do and therefore don’t break down the plants’ cell walls. Eating too many raw vegetables can suppress a dog's thyroid function. To make mustard greens safe for your dog to eat, either puree them with other approved dog foods or steam them.

    While steamed mustard greens or a small amount of yellow mustard on a sandwich or hot dog bun will not seriously harm dogs, it is always better to avoid feeding dogs large amounts of foods that would not be part of their natural diet, as this can cause digestive problems, diarrhea and vomiting. If you think your dog has eaten anything he shouldn't, such as mustard seeds or a quantity of condiment mustard, call your vet and ask how to proceed.

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    About the Author

    Juliana Weiss-Roessler has been writing since 2000. She worked as the head of the Web content department for the star of an Emmy-nominated reality series. Her ghostwriting has appeared in "PARADE" and "People." Weiss-Roessler is a blogger for Resumark and an editor for Pink Raygun. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida.

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