Can Dogs Eat Rhubarb? (Pros and Cons)


can dogs eat rhubarb

You might have seen this plant growing nearby your house or when out walking your dog since rhubarb is a common plant found in many different countries and regions. Used in dishes of Asian food cultures, rhubarb is one of the popular ingredients in sweet desserts such as pies, tarts, and jams. 

If you are thinking about feeding rhubarb to your pet, you actually can, but beware of rhubarbs leaves since they contain a toxic ingredient that is harmful to both humans and pets. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into the specifics about the answer to the question “can dogs eat rhubarb”?

Benefits of Rhubarb for Dogs

Even though it might contain just a small amount of toxicity, plants contain many vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog’s overall health. Similar to celery, the stems of rhubarb contain large amounts of fiber, which can further aid your canine companion. 

1. Ancient Medicinal Properties

Rhubarb was a popular trading item during the usage of Silk Road since it was used as a medicine for people with digestive problems. In small amounts, rhubarb can make your digestive organs healthier by feeding your gut bacteria (good). 

  • Only Use It in Small Amounts to Make Your Dog Healthier Inside!

In large amounts, rhubarb will basically increase your visit to the bathroom and makes your digestive organs work better and faster. However, you cannot do this regularly since purgatives and laxatives have side effects after being used. 

2. Rich in Antioxidants

Being from a plant family, the stalks of rhubarb contains a high amount of antioxidants, which are good for your dog’s immune system and cardiovascular system. To show you all of its benefits, I have listed the ingredient with its role in your dog’s body. 

  • Vitamin K – Aids in Making of Protein and Strengthening Bones
  • Vitamin C – Vital in Body Tissues 
  • Potassium – Regulate Fluids, Muscles, and Nerves
  • Manganese – Bone Health

Rhubarbs contain additional vitamins and minerals, but we are going to stop here because you get the point. This plant is a healthy ingredient for your dog, but be sure to feed only the stalk and in small amounts! The source for all rhubarb’s benefits came from this online source

Drawbacks of Feeding Rhubarb to Your Dog

If you have read over the previous sections, you probably know that this plant contains a substance that is toxic to both dogs and humans. That toxin will be the main focus of our drawback, and due to that toxicity, you have to be careful when adding rhubarb to your dog’s diet. 

1. Oxalic Acid – Highly Toxic

High amount of oxalic acid is found in rhubarb leaves, but just a tiny bit is present in rhubarb stalks. Because it has such a low dosage of oxalic acid, stalks are safe to eat. Your dog probably doesn’t know this fact, so you need to keep your dog away from this plant since he probably wants to get a little taste.

  • Drooling in Large Amounts 
  • Sudden Change in Appetite
  • Weakness and Slowness of Movement
  • Unusual Tremors and Shaking
  • Changes in Thirst and Urination

The symptoms above show signs of rhubarb poisoning, so if you think that your dog has consumed rhubarb leaves, you can either wait and observe your dog for symptoms or just take your dog to the vet for a quick check-up. The rhubarb poisoning symptoms were all gotten from this online source

2. Stick With Small Servings

Because of its toxicity, rhubarb should be served in small amounts, and don’t think about increasing it either since excess fiber is not really good for your dog. Even though you are feeding your dog rhubarb stems, just keep in mind the high fiber content in the back of your mind. 

3. Don’t Serve It With Dessert

If you are thinking about giving him a piece of rhubarb pie, tart, ice cream, or any sort of dessert, please reconsider your actions. Even though it might be homemade, the health benefits of rhubarb are negated by large amounts of sugar. 

  • Artificial Sweeteners Are Harmful for Your Dog

If you bought that dessert from a store, you probably don’t have any idea what they put in that dessert, so please double-check for any ingredients that might be harmful to your dog. Even though it might be a small amount, artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can be fatal for your dog. 

Is Rhubarb Good for Dogs?

Yes, rhubarb can provide great nutrients for your dogs such as essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, high amounts of fiber will aid your dog’s digestion and even stimulate it to be better and faster. So, the answer is dogs can eat rhubarbs if you follow some caution. Be sure to feed it in low amounts since excess fiber in your dog is not a pretty sight to see. 

Is Rhubarb Bad for Dogs?

The answer is maybe. Rhubarb leaves are harmful for your dog since they contain a toxin called oxalic acid. When consumed, they will take away essential nutrients from your dog’s body, and if consumed in large amounts, it can be fatal. 

  • Rhubarb Leaves – Bad / Rhubarb Stems – Good

On the other hand, stems of rhubarb are safe to eat since they contain only a small amount of oxalic acid, which can be ignored. Being full of fiber and antioxidants, rhubarb stems are a great addition to your dog’s diet. Be sure to pick the right ones for your dog’s consumption!

What is the Right Amount of Rhubarb for Dogs?

There is no exact amount for dogs since every dog is different such as varying breeds, sizes, and eating amounts. The recommended amount should be no more than 2/3 cup, and you can start from 1/3 cup and work your way up. 

If your dog shows unhealthy signs after eating rhubarb, it might be better to either lower the rhubarb amount or not feed him any rhubarb at all. The final decision is up to you, so choose wisely!

How Do I Prepare Rhubarb for My Dog?

You can treat rhubarb stems the same way you treat celery. To prevent that stem from becoming a choking hazard, you need to chop the rhubarb into small pieces before adding it to your dog’s bowl. Due to its tart taste, only feed it in small amounts even if your dog keeps on asking for more.

What Are Some Alternatives of Rhubarbs That I Can Feed My Dog?

You can find many plants and fruits that have large amounts of fiber and antioxidants, but I would remove fruits from that list since they contain large amounts of natural sugar. I would recommend green-leafed plants such as lettuce and radishes. 

If you have enjoyed reading this post about can dogs eat rhubarbs wa, be sure to check out our most recent posts regarding dog food. As always, be sure to comment down below if you have any questions or concerns about this topic. See you soon!

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