Spinach is one of the more controversial food items for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club, “here are the two sides of the spinach controversy:
Spinach contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and K. It also contains iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and roughage, which stimulate the digestive tract. Presumably, you feed your dog a healthy, nutritious dog food that contains everything he needs, but small amounts of spinach can provide benefits.
Spinach is very high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage. There’s some science to back this up. Soluble oxalates, which contain oxalic acid, bind with magnesium and calcium in the blood, which limits the availability of these electrolytes. It leads to a low level of blood calcium, which can cause a sudden metabolic imbalance. Calcium oxalate is excreted through the kidneys and a large amount can cause kidney damage, even kidney failure.
Many sources agree that a dog would have to eat very large quantities of spinach to cause damage. Dogs that have healthy kidneys can easily process small amounts of soluble oxalates. But long-term consumption can cause kidney stress, muscle weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, and even respiratory paralysis.
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