The quick answer: Yes, plain eggplant is safe to share with dogs.
Though dogs can eat raw eggplant, they may not enjoy the flavor, so grilling, baking, or roasting is recommended. Serve plain cooked eggplant in small bite-sized pieces.
Benefits of eggplant
Though not the most commonly eaten vegetable, eggplants are a nutritious and delicious vegetable when properly prepared. Eggplants contain vitamins B6 and K as well as potassium, folate, niacin, and phytonutrients which help to protect against various diseases. They are low in calories and high in fiber which can help a dog on a diet feel full.
Eggplants are a member of the nightshade family of vegetables which means they contain a naturally occurring alkaloid called solanine. This compound is toxic in high concentrations, so it’s best to moderate your dog’s intake of eggplant. If you grow eggplants in your garden, it’s important to note that the leaves of the plant contain more concentrated amounts of solanine.
Dogs with kidney problems shouldn’t eat eggplants because they contain oxalates. Oxalates block the absorption of calcium in the bloodstream and can lead to kidney and bladder stones when consumed in large amounts. A small amount of eggplant is perfectly safe for a healthy dog to eat, but those prone to kidney stones shouldn’t eat vegetables that contain oxalates. Other vegetables that have naturally occurring oxalates include spinach, kale, beet roots, collards and quinoa.
Be sure to moderate your dog’s intake of eggplant for the reasons mentioned above, and also to keep him from getting sick. Eating a large quantity of eggplant in one sitting can cause an upset tummy, vomiting, or diarrhea. Serve eggplant in bite-sized pieces to prevent an eager gobbler from choking.
Finally, the healthiest and safest form of eggplant to share with dogs is completely plain. It can be grilled, boiled, baked, or raw, but refrain from adding oil, butter, salt, or seasonings. Certain seasonings can be toxic to dogs while salt and fats are unhealthy and can cause further issues.