Dogs can certainly eat lettuce, but they should not be given lettuce frequently. This is because lettuce is mostly water and does not have the vitamins and minerals that dogs need to stay healthy. Most types of lettuce, including iceberg, butterhead and romaine are notoriously low in calories. One medium-sized leaf of each one has all of one calorie. They also have a nice amount of vitamin A, folate, potassium and calcium.
How to Serve Lettuce To a Dog
It doesn’t matter if the lettuce is carefully cut up or shredded or if the owner tosses a big dog a head of lettuce to maul. But it is up to the owner to make sure that the lettuce has been thoroughly washed. Ideally, the lettuce should be organic and relatively free of pesticides.
Some dogs prefer some parts of the lettuce to others. Some really enjoy the leaves while others are partial to their crunchier hearts. There are dogs that love iceberg lettuce but turn their noses up at romaine. Others prefer butterhead. The owner can offer different types of lettuce to their dog to see which one they’ll take. If they don’t take anything, that’s fine. Dogs can live without lettuce, and so can humans, for that matter.
Some dogs even prefer lettuce with some dressing on it. The owner should make sure that the ingredients in the dressing are good for the dog’s system. However, any dressing should be added sparingly, for store bought dressings tend to be sugary and full of fat.
The owner should watch to see how the lettuce affects their dog after they’ve eaten it. They might want to keep the dog outside for a while after they’ve eaten lettuce for the first time! Lettuce causes vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal discomfort in some dogs. If that’s the case, it should not be part of the dog’s diet.
If the dog reacts well to lettuce, a few shredded spoonfuls can be added now and then to their regular food. A good idea is to cook the lettuce first. This makes it easier on the dog’s digestive tract, which works faster than the GI tract of a human.