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Okra for Dogs: Nutritional Benefits, Preparation & Risks

okra for dogs


Hello, pet lovers!

Many of us struggle to find the right balance when it comes to our pets’ diet. Human food doesn’t necessarily mean forbidden food. It can sometimes be a nutritious choice and such a choice is okra. 

Many pet parents seek “human food” that is safe for their furry friend in order to include diversity in their diet. We have carefully investigated the safety, nutritional benefits, preparations, and risks of okra! Let’s take a look!


Disclaimer: Check with your veterinarian before including okra in your pup’s food.

Is Okra Good for Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Okra?

Okra for Dogs - How to Prepare and Serve

In general, okra is safe and good for dogs, but this does not mean that it is completely harmful. This veggie is still not included in the Common Food Index of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), but it is considered to be included since it is generally safe and non-toxic for dogs. 

However, there is a difference between prepared and unprepared okra. Unprepared okra can provide the animal with vitamins and fiber, while prepared, especially when prepared with spices and oil, can be harmful for our dogs. 

So, if your dogs eat okra "accidentally" from the kitchen floor, don't panic!

Also Read: Best Glucosamine for Dogs in 2024


Nutritional Benefits of Okra for Dogs


According to the National Agricultural Library, 100g of raw okra has the following composition: 

  • Water: 89.6 g
  • Calories: 33 kcal 
  • Protein: 1.93 g
  • Fat: 0.19 g
  • Fiber: 3.2 g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.45 g


Okra is a veggie that is rich in fiber which can improve digestion in dogs. Canines mostly consume food rich in proteins, but in cases of constipation or some other gastrointestinal issues, food with fiber can improve overall digestion. 

This veggie is also low in fat and calories which makes it a suitable snack for dogs who struggle with weight balance.


Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Okra also contains the following bioactive compounds


  • Calcium: 82 mg 
  • Iron: 0.62 mg 
  • Magnesium: 57 mg (14% of the Daily Value - DV)
  • Phosphorus: 61 mg 
  • Potassium: 299 mg 
  • Sodium: 7 mg
  • Zinc: 0.58 mg 
  • Copper: 0.109 mg 
  • Vitamin C: 23 mg (26% of the DV)
  • Riboflavin 0.06 mg
  • Vitamin K 31.3 µg

This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. These are vitamins that support the immune function and the blood clotting process in animals. 


Note: To get the desired effects of these nutrients, the dogs need to consume the recommended dosages of these vitamins. Consult with a veterinarian to check the recommended dosage based on your dog’s current health status.


High Fiber and Low-Calorie Content


This veggie is great for your dog's health! It's packed with fiber that helps keep their bowel movements regular, reducing the risk of constipation and promoting overall digestive health. Plus, the dietary fiber supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, making digestion smoother and improving nutrient absorption for your furry friend.

Fiber-rich foods can also make your dog feel full, helping to prevent overeating, which is a leading cause of obesity in pets. Additionally, this food can slow the absorption of carbohydrates, aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels. 

What makes this vegetable especially suitable for dogs is that it's low in calories, making it a great snack for overweight dogs. 

However, remember to incorporate okra into your dog’s diet in moderation and ensure it’s properly prepared.

Also Read: Chondroitin for Dogs - 5 Things You Need To Know


Contribution to a Balanced Canine Diet


We don’t like seeing our pups struggling to poop. It's uncomfortable for them, and we definitely want to prevent that. 

Okra can help by absorbing water and adding bulk to their stools, preventing constipation.

This leads to various health benefits for their gastrointestinal system. Plus, okra has a wide range of medicinal values used to treat many issues.


Okra for Dogs: How to Prepare and Serve?

Is Okra Safe for Dogs?

This is a safe vegetable, but it still needs to be prepared with caution to avoid any side effects for dogs.

Here we will discuss the safe ways to incorporate okra into your dog’s diet!


Safe Ways to Incorporate Okra Into a Dog’s Diet


Whenever you are planning to include something new in your pet’s diet, remember to consult with a veterinarian to get individualized advice based on your dog’s current health status. Especially with an ingredient that is still not included in the AAFCO’s recommendations.


Cooking Methods (Steaming, Boiling)


Even for humans, nutritionists suggest that the best way to get the most nutrients from any food is by steaming or boiling. You should also try not to break down the food too much so it does not get overcooked during the process. 

We advise you to avoid canned or pickled okra as some dogs might be sensitive to it due to the preservatives and additives. 

Preparing okra should not last for more than 7 minutes and it should be cooked until tender. If you decide to only steam it, it should be done as long as it helps to soften the okra for easier consumption. 

Roasted okra is another option because it can lead to veggie softening, however, don't add oils or any spices while preparing it.

Many dogs eat cooked okra and believe it or not they like it as any other treat.


Avoiding Harmful Additives (Salt, Spices)


During the cooking process, you should avoid spices, especially salt because it can lead to dehydration and sodium ion poisoning when used excessively. You should especially avoid spices that are garlic or onion-based because they are toxic and even poisonous to dogs. 

Besides this, you should avoid adding cooking oil or butter. Fried okra can lead to gastrointestinal side effects in dogs.


Suitable Portion Sizes for Dogs


And now the most important thing. If you forgot to chop the okra before cooking, do it later, but prepare it in bite-sized pieces so you can prevent choking hazards. 

Too small pieces are also not the best option. You should choose the size based on your dog’s size. Always remember that treats, including okra, should not make up more than 10% of your dog's calorie intake, even though okra is low in calories.

Okra is safe, but it should be given only as a treat unless proposed by your vet.

Is Okra Safe for Dogs?


The short answer is: yes. Okra is safe for dogs when prepared and served properly. There is a Latin proverb that says “Sola dosis facit venenum”. In simple words, this means that "All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing, not a poison." And we couldn’t agree more with this!

So dose okra carefully and always check if your dog dolerates it well first. 


Risks of Raw Okra


Raw okra can be too tough for some dogs to ingest and it is also a potential choking risk. If you decide to give it in a raw form, you should cut it into small pieces. On the other side, raw okra contains much more fiber than cooked okra and it might cause digestive upset. Yes, fiber is good for dogs, but everything should be given in moderation.


Possible Digestive Issues


Too much okra can lead to gastrointestinal upset in dogs. It can lead to gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. 

Diarrhea usually occurs because of the high fiber and water content. If you notice some similar side effects, you should stop giving it to your dog and call your veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms need to be managed symptomatically and treated adequately.


Importance of Moderation and Monitoring


Dogs should follow a protein-based food, but including a healthy snack like okra will not lead to any side effects as long as it is given in moderation. 

When introducing your dog to okra, you should do it gradually and see how your dog reacts. If you notice some side effects like digestive upset or even an allergic reaction, exclude the vegetable from your pet’s diet.

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Okra vs. Other Vegetables for Dogs


Most dogs enjoy eating vegetables. If you are a pet parent, you can include vegetables as an occasional treat and try to include other dog-friendly vegetables.


Comparing Okra to Popular Dog-Friendly Vegetables


Some of the most popular dog-friendly vegetables include the following: 

  • Carrots 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli 
  • Pumpkin

Carrots contain high contents of vitamin A and can potentially lead to positive effects on eye health. When compared to okra, it contains more vitamin A, but less fiber. Veggies rich in vitamin A are especially recommended for dogs with eye health problems like cataracts and conjunctivitis. 

Sweet potatoes are a vegetable that dogs adore due to their specific taste. It is high in vitamins A, C, and B6, and fiber, but when compared to okra it is higher in calories and carbohydrates. It is a great snack, but high-caloric snacks might do more harm than good in dogs. 

Broccoli is rich in vitamins K, C, and A, and also fiber, but the downfall of consuming broccoli is that it can cause bloating and gas. 

Pumpkins have similar nutrients as okra; they are rich in vitamins A and C and have a high fiber content. All of these veggies possess a positive gastrointestinal effect which leads to a better metabolism.


Benefits of Variety in a Dog’s Diet


Various vegetables in your dog’s diet can provide enough nutrients like vitamins, fibers, and minerals to promote overall health.
The best thing when including different vegetables is that you will enrich the “boring” commercially bought food. This is especially crucial for picky eaters.


Okra’s Unique Nutritional Profile


What makes okra unique is that it has a low calorie and high fiber content which makes it a perfect option for snacks. The fiber will make the dog feel full and it will prevent overeating which indirectly helps in preventing obesity.

Recipes: Okra Treats Your Dog Will Love


If you wonder how you can prepare okra for your dog, we have a few suggestions.


Disclaimer: Be aware that these recipes are for one shot and should not be used for regular feeding.


Okra and Chicken Stew


This recipe requires only 1 cup of chopped okra and carrots and 1 cup of chicken breast. Boil the vegetables and the meat in separate pots. 

Then, mash the boiled okra and the meat into one bowl, and voila: the lunch is ready!


Baked Okra Chips for Dogs


This is the most simple recipe that you can prepare if you decide to give your dog okra.

You just need to boil or steam the okra, and then mash the vegetable. Try to form thin layers of the mashed okra and then place it on a baking sheet. Bake the okra for about 15-20 minutes, or until the okra is crispy.

After it cools, you can serve it for your furry friend!


Okra and Sweet Potato Mash


Another easy recipe includes okra and sweet potato. You just need to boil the vegetables and then mix them in a bowl. You can also choose to add any other dog-friendly vegetable.


Also Read: UC-II® Supplement for Dogs



Okra is a dog-friendly vegetable that is safe and nontoxic for our pets. It has a high nutritional value and makes it a healthy addition for dogs due to its low caloric and high fiber content. There are many dog-friendly recipes that include this vegetable. Pet owners can either use this vegetable as a snack or can decide to include it in some recipes and prepare a whole meal - always check with a nutritionist vet if you plan to make it a regular food. If you decide on this veggie, make sure to prepare it properly to avoid the primary concern which is the choking hazard.


What recipes with okra have you prepared for your dog? We are curious, let us know in the comments below!

Author: Dr. Sandra

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Meet Dr. Sandra, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). Sandra combines her two passions—writing and veterinary medicine.
Dedicated to animal welfare, she is conducting research aimed at solving the problem of stray dogs. In addition to her research, Sandra has experience in the pharmaceutical industry and works as a veterinary advisor. Her main goal is to inform pet parents about dog health and to "translate" complex veterinary language into simple, easy-to-understand terms.

Join Dr. Sandra to learn more about pets and discover how simple advice can improve your dog's life.

The content presented here is for informational purposes and reflects Sandra's own opinions, expertise, and experience. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized advice and care for your pets, always consult with your veterinarian.

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