Can Dogs Eat Okra: Raw or Fried? (with Vet’s Comments)

Some of us love the soft flesh okra fruits, rich in proteins, antioxidants, fiber and good fats, including linoleum acid and some other polyunsaturated fatty acids.  The type of fiber you find in okra comes is water-soluble, and it helps to lower cholesterols levels. So, it’s not surprising that we, people, can’t defy ourselves with such healthy food. But how about our pets?

So, can dogs have okra?

Yes, dogs can take advantage of all the okra’s nutrients. Okra’s protein composition is similar to the soybean’s proteins, but it’s even more efficient as an energy source. Okra also has a great deal of calcium, folate, vitamin C, and potassium.

Of course, your pup has to receive all the needed nutrients from his standard mass-produced and balanced dog food diet. But who said that variety is such a bad idea?   

In fact, for several years, okra has been researched as a valid viable protein substitute for dog’s nutrition while the meat was getting more expensive.

So it clearly can be a component of well-balanced dogs nutrition, and a sound source of antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy amino acids.

Is okra bad for dogs?

Overall, it’s fine to incorporate a bit of okra in pup’s diet. But as always, start smaller and proceed with moderation even if the product is well-received by your pet.  A couple of bites can certainly still be part of a variable balanced nutrition plan. Excessive amounts of human food may screw your dog’s diet so it won’t be meeting pet’s nutritional needs.

Also, before serving any okra, you have to be sure it’s not salted, or buttered or seasoned anyhow. Dog’s guts (and to be fair, his taste buds too) won’t enjoy flavorings as much as you will.

As a result, the pet can suffer from gas, diarrhea, bloating, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.

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Can a dog eat raw okra?

If you choose to include okra in your dog’s eating plan, you have to remember that it can be only served raw or cooked in a special way.  The final choice depends on your pet’s likes. Some dogs may not approve of raw okra’s gluey texture, and they might enjoy cooked okra better.

If that’s the case okra has to be cooked plainly. It has to be boiled. Not fried. No seasoning added. No butter.  You can also experiment with blending okra in your pet’s normal food.

Another thing to recognize: humans do encounter okra allergies, and dogs are in the same boat. You must be careful when adding new foods like okra to pups’ menu.

So observe your pet when you’ve both decided to give okra a shot and begin with the smallest bit of the veggie first. Signs of allergies in dogs can include gastrointestinal problems leading to stomach pains and diarrhea along with recurring skin issues.

Can dogs eat fried okra?

Definitely no. You have to avoid giving fried okra to your pet! This type of cooking contributes with more fat and extra calories to any meal with no nutritional value.

Fried dishes are very fatty. In some cases, up to 30% of the meal weight can be fats. And we are not talking good fats here! Those type of fats is often linked to obesity and the full range of various heart diseases in humans.

Dogs and okra. Summary

As with any new food for your dog’s diet, serve okra in moderation.

“Use okra to supplement smaller portions of their normal food, and introduce vegetable to their diet gradually,” suggests Dr. Kerri Marshall, DVM from Trupanion Pet Insurance.

Also, be aware that each dog is unique and has an individual reaction to the food, along with personal taste preferences and likes.

So maybe your dog has trouble loving okra with the first bite, so take the time to gradually add it to your dog’s menu to make the final decision on keeping this product as a part of pet’s life.

Credits: thanks for the photo to ericamccaig from Pixabay and Canva.