Vegetables for dogs? Unless they are vegan or vegetarian themselves, many pooch parents will not have given the idea of feeding vegetables to their dogs much thought. Turns out, adding vegetables to your dog’s diet is a good idea!
Puppy parents want what’s best for their pups, and when it comes to choosing dog food for their fur kids, things have never been more complicated.
As little as 20 years ago, you basically went for any brand of kibble at the supermarket, but times have changed. Today dog food diets are as varied as those of their human counterparts.
Vegan, vegetarian, grain, no grain, raw food, wet food, kibble, or cooked food? It takes real effort navigating all the arguments for and against every diet out there and then making an informed and educated decision in the best interest of your pet.
But this article will hopefully help shed some light on part of the modern pet food diet debate: Feeding Vegetables to Your Dog.
Your Pooch is an Omnivore!
First of all, your dog is an omnivore.
Dogs have evolved alongside humans for thousands of years, so it is hardly surprising, that their diet has evolved to include some of the food we eat.
Think of the Giant Panda. Those guys used to be carnivores, but today? They eat mostly bamboo leaves.
Like the Giant Panda, dogs today are capable of digesting certain vegetables, and although technically they can survive on an all meat diet, that is not to say that they could not massively benefit from a meat diet supplemented by vegetables.
Are Vegetables Safe for Dogs?
Some of them are, some of them aren’t, and it every dog owner’s responsibility to make sure the vegetables they feed to their dogs are safe.
Another thing to take into consideration is that although some vegetables might be safe for most dogs, that is not to say that your pooch will tolerate them as well as other dogs.
Most importantly, they are safe in moderation, served in a particular manner, and as a supplement to a nutritionally balanced dog food diet.
If you’re ever unsure of whether or not it’s safe to feed something to your dog, please consult your veterinarian.
Why Your Dog Should Eat Fresh Fruit & Vegetables!
Fresh fruit and vegetables can add immense nutritional value to your dog’s diet.
Whether you feed your dog kibble, raw food or wet food, chances are, as wholesome as their food may be, that fruit and vegetables can add nutritional benefits which their other food cannot.
This goes for everyone, even to those pup parents who are forking out the big bucks for their dog’s food.
Yes, it may be wholesome and nutritionally balanced, but the benefits of supplementing that diet with fruits and vegetables can be massive. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, folic acid, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Carrots, Green Beans, Pumpkin, and More! What Vegetables Are Good for Dogs? Part 1!
- Broccoli – Feeding broccoli to your dog (in small quantities) is a great idea! It is high in fiber and loaded with calcium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. Only feed the florets to your dog as the stalks can be a choking hazard. Also, feeding your dog too much broccoli can lead to all sorts of gastric issues.
- Brussel Sprouts – All hail the Brussel Sprout! King of veggie goodness for man and his best friend. Brussel sprouts contain sulfur (great for circulation and keeping the skin healthy), vitamin A, vitamin B1 and B6, vitamin K and vitamin C. On top of that they also contain a good dose of fiber, manganese, and potassium.
- Carrots – Carrots are a great snack. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain Vitamin A-producing beta-carotene, as well as vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin D. Raw carrots can pose a potential choking hazard, so cut them to size.
- Green Beans – Green beans are a great addition to the diet of any dog who’s looking to shed some pounds. Green beans are low in calories, high in fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals.
- Pumpkin – Fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, fatty acids: Pumpkin has it all. Just be careful when you’re feeding your dog canned pumpkin, that there aren’t any added toxic ingredients
Vegetables for Dogs with Diabetes
Dogs with diabetes benefit from a low-fat/high-fiber diet, so any low-calorie vegetables that are high in fiber can be good veggies for your dog.
Vegetables for Dogs with Allergies
There are loads of vegetables that can help improve the health of a dog with allergies, and there are loads of vegetables which are packed with antioxidants that will help boost your pup’s immune system.
With conventional dog food diets, the sources of antioxidants are rather limited, and as most pup parents whose pooches suffer from allergies know: a healthy immune system is a key to conquering allergies.
Vegetables for Dogs with Cancer
Vegetables with isothiocyanates are a godsend in the battle against cancer.
Although too much of it (as with most things) does not do good things to your dog’s digestive system, in small quantities they can do real damage to carcinogens. Brassicas (the cabbage family) is a good starting point when looking for vegetables with isothiocyanates to add to your dog’s diet.
What Vegetables Your Dog Can’t Eat?
Dogs love apples.
Many people feed their dogs apples all the time without giving it too much thought because apples (like bananas) are known to be safe and nutritious for dogs.
But what about vegetables?
As a puppy parent, it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to deciding whether or not to give your pet dog fruits or vegetables.
Sure, you may have read online that some people feed their dogs avocados and macadamia nuts, and those dogs have the healthiest shiniest coats, but is it worth the risk when the general consensus is that: avocados are toxic to dogs.
Also, bear in mind that some vegetables might have toxic leaves or skins. The same goes for seeds. Taking a chance is a recipe for disaster!
Without further ado, here are some vegetables to steer clear from:
- Onions – Affect red blood cells and are, from root to leaves to seeds: highly toxic
- Garlic – More toxic than onions
- Aloe – Family of onion and garlic
- Leek – Yet another unwelcome member of the asparagales (onion) family
- Scallions – See above
- Mushrooms – There are just too many varieties out there to know which might possibly be safe for your dog. Besides, you don’t want to encourage your pet to eat mushrooms, because they won’t hesitate when they see a mushroom in the park or on the lawn, and that might have fatal consequences
- Rhubarb – Highly toxic to dogs!
- Grapes and raisins – Fruits, but worth mentioning as they are also toxic to dogs
- Avocado seeds, bark, leaves, and fruit – Contain Persin, which is, you guessed it, toxic to dogs
- Seeds – Some seeds, and the pits of many fruits contain cyanide
Many vegetables contain oxalates, which in large quantities are detrimental to a dog’s health, especially in dogs suffering from kidney disease. Just be sure you’re not feeding large quantities of vegetables with high oxalic acid to your dog.
Good Food! The Vitamins and Protein Your Pup Gets from a Healthy Diet
Don’t be like Cookie Monster.
Know that a nutritionally balanced diet is essential to keeping your pooch happy and healthy.
There is no one size fits all dog food diet that will work the same for every dog, of every age or state of health. It is up to pup parents to make sure that their pups are on a diet tailored to the nutritional needs of each fur child.
There certainly are wholesome dog foods out there that may contain sufficient vitamins and proteins for your dog. What matters is that your pup is on a healthy diet.
Cooked, Raw, and More! What Vegetables are Good for Dogs? Part 2!
An important factor in adding vegetables to your dog’s diet is to do your homework and learn the best way each veggie should be served.
Information on which vegetables are good for dogs varies vastly, and many have got it wrong.
Is it better raw? Will it still be nutritious cooked? Should you chop it up or pulverize it?
- PLAIN Vegetables – Plain vegetables are good for dogs. Leave out the sugar, salt and pepper, and also be careful of feeding your dogs human leftovers.
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) – Chickpeas are a great source of fiber, and chickpea flour is a wonderful alternative to wheat flour. This is for all those dog moms who like to bake their own dog treats!
- Kelp – Kelp is a superfood. Even for our canine companions. It is extremely nutrient rich and helps with everything digestion to keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy and shiny. It contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin D, and vitamin E. It also contains an incredibly high concentration of calcium!
- Seaweed – Also very nutritious and a great supplement to your dog’s diet. It can be a choking hazard, so just make sure you serve it in bite sizes.
- Peas – Peas are pure veggie goodness in all forms except canned, which probably means a bunch of unwanted sodium. Peas can be especially beneficial to the diet of dogs battling with bladder stones. They contain vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, as well as magnesium, zinc, protein, phosphorous, iron and more.
- Sweet Potatoes – Calories be damned! Sweet potatoes are real goodies. They are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and also contain some of that glorious beta-carotene. Most dogs would gladly gobble down sweet potatoes!
Best Vegetables for Dogs for Any Fussy Pooch!
Is your dog is a picky eater? then you may need to trick them into eating their fruits and vegetables.
Id so, then you may need to trick them into eating their fruits and vegetables.
A great way of doing this is by popping it into the food processor and mixing it with something that they do like, such as a piece of chicken perhaps. This is, in any case, the better method of preparing vegetables for dogs.
Dogs have a much shorter digestive tract than humans, and many vegetables are simply not easily absorbed in the digestive process, so by blitzing the vegetables, you are ensuring maximum absorption during the short digestive process.
If your dog is not deceived by the sneaky leafy greens you blended into their food, you are in for a process of elimination. You can and will get them to eat their fruits and veggies!
Your Pooch Will Thank You! The Many Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs
The health benefits of supplementing your dog’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables can be massive. Whether you have a perfectly healthy dog, an old dog, or a sick dog, the benefits of fruits and vegetables for dogs are plenty.
People get (rightfully) caught up in the importance of not feeding their dogs “people foods”, but in some cases, the food we eat can be just as good for our dogs. Besides, most dogs will go gaga for anything extra fed to them. Vegetables here and there are an amazing way of mixing up the monotonous meal of kibble.
Crunchy, Juicy & Full of Nutrients and Minerals!
It’s time to rethink your dog’s diet and consider slowly adding in the odd vegetable to their meal here and there. If your dog (i.e. his tummy) responds well, you can try the next vegetable, until your dog is getting a myriad of nutrients and minerals not found in his normal food.
Calling all pooch parents. Your pups will love you for getting on board with the idea of vegetables for dogs! In some cases, what’s good for us can be good for them too.