Eggplant belongs to a family called nightshade, which contains vegetables and fruits commonly found in most kitchens such as tomatoes, peppers, goji berries, and potatoes. There are a lot of arguments surrounding the nightshade vegetables, and they usually get a bad rep lately. That is why the dog owners who want to share some eggplant with their dog want to know the answer to the question below.
Is Eggplant Good or Bad For Dogs?
The answer to that question is, it depends. Even though eggplant gets a bad reputation because it is in the nightshade family, it has significant nutritional value. But, nightshade vegetables increases the inflammation and can be bad on joints. Also, some people claim that glycoalkaloids, a natural pesticide that eggplant produces might have various negative effects on dogs.
We’ll touch upon both potential benefits and harms that eggplant might cause in a detailed way. But first, let’s take a look at the origins and the nutritional value of eggplant.
As we mentioned above, eggplant belongs to the nightshade family. The term comes from the fact that some of these plants prefer to grow in darker areas. It is believed eggplant has originated in India and they continue to grow in the wild there.
Nutritional Value of Eggplant
Even though eggplant is lower in macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbs) and micronutrient (minerals and vitamins) levels compared to the vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, it is still very nutritious and offers a lot of different benefits.
Eggplant has a high amount of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and B6. All of them have different benefits, and they are known for reducing the risk of heart-related diseases.
They also contain vitamin K, and it is a very crucial vitamin for clotting the blood, and it also prevents calcification.
How Is Eggplant Good for Dogs?
To answer that question, first, we have to explain dogs’ relationship with carbohydrates and vegetables.
We need to start by saying that canines are different than humans in the way that they do not need carbs for their well-being. Dogs can live a very healthy life just by eating protein, and they will probably won’t encounter any issues.
However, some carbs have some benefits for them, especially vegetables. Because most vegetables have good nutritional value and that can be very good for some dogs. Let’s see if that is the case for eggplant.
First, as mentioned above, eggplant has a high fiber content, which is very crucial for a well-functioning digestive system. What that means is that if your pooch has digestive issues, it can be helpful if he eats a lot of food with high fiber content and eggplant is one of them.
Fiber has other many benefits, and reducing the risk of diabetes is one of many. We always advise you to feed your pooch the dog foods that have low carbohydrates to prevent diabetes but if you don’t have the budget for it or if your tail-wagger already has diabetes, feeding him eggplant can be a good choice because of its high fiber content.
Fiber is also crucial regarding the prevention of potential heart disease.
Another mineral that is highly founded in eggplant is iron, which is very significant in the sense it has a massive role in the synthesis of blood. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen through the blood cells, and iron is the mineral that generates the hemoglobin.
Iron is essential for your pup, and its deficiency can cause a condition called anemia. Therefore, it is vital for dogs to eat enough food with high iron content, and eggplant can be very helpful in that sense.
Eggplant also contains a fair amount of potassium in it. Potassium is known for its effects on muscle and bone health. Other than that, it stabilizes blood pressure and can be very helpful for pups if they have a kidney or liver disease.
Other than that, eggplant also contains vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties so it can be useful for combating the “harmful free radicals” that are in your pup’s system. Those harmful radicals most of the time are associated with cancer, so, it is essential for your dog to get an adequate amount of vitamin C in his diet.
How Is Eggplant Bad for Dogs?
We mentioned that eggplant could be good for dogs in many ways; however, as we said earlier, there is a lot of controversy regarding whether nightshade plants like eggplant can be harmful in some ways.
First, we should mention that there is some research suggesting nightshade vegetables can negative effects on inflammation so, senior dogs arthritis or sore joints should probably not eat eggplant if they have arthritis or painful joints.
However, there are more heated debates going on regarding the harmful effects of eggplant.
Because eggplant, like all of the other nightshade plants, produces a natural pesticide called glycoalkaloids. Nightshades produce them to protect themselves against various viruses, bacteria, fungi, and harmful insects.
However, research shows that glycoalkaloids can harm the membrane, and it is also linked to a syndrome called leaky gut.
Also, some dogs can have allergic reactions if they eat eggplant and glycoalkaloids are usually the culprits of those allergies.
Other than that, glycoalkaloids can cause birth defects in laboratory animals.
Conclusion: Is Eggplant Good or Bad For Dogs?
As you can understand, the benefits of eggplant are undeniable for both dogs and humans. It has a good amount of micronutrients and minerals and can be very effective in the prevention of certain kinds of conditions.
However, there is also research suggesting that the glycoalkaloids that it produces can have several harms both for dogs and humans. However, we can say in moderate amounts; there is not much to be scared of.
Other than that, we already mentioned glycoalkaloids could trigger allergic reactions in some dogs. So, you choose to feed your pup eggplant we advise you to watch for the negative after-effects such as vomiting or diarrhea and always be cautious.