Your four-legged friend needs to have a good dietary intake. Vegetables are a tremendous plus to your dog’s diet, yet, not all vegetables are safe for dogs. It’s important to add every now and then some safe-to-eat vegetables to your dog’s diet and handout the right amount.
You can share many of the vegetables you eat with your dog. Introducing vegetables will help you re-create your dog’s normal food or snacks in an easy-to-make and low-cost way.
Let’s delve into the veggie world and get to know which vegetables your dog can eat.
Can Dogs Eat Vegetables?
Omnivores are different from carnivores and herbivores.
A carnivore’s digestive system is built to consume only meat; they have a very simple straightforward digestive section.
Herbivores only consume plants. Their digestive system is very complex with multiple sockets for regurgitating, and plants require effort to be digested.
Omnivores, your dog included, have a digestive system complexity that’s somewhere in between carnivores and herbivores. They consume meat and are equipped to digest particular plant elements and get rid of the harder-to-digest material.
Vegetables aren’t created equal. Once they enter your dog’s digestive system, each vegetable type needs a specific time and effort to be digested. Some are harder to digest than others. Some can be easily digested by humans, but for dogs, they can cause trouble. That’s why some vegetables are suitable to be part of your dog’s dietary plan, while others shouldn’t be included in the first place.
Knowing which to include and which to avoid is crucial to maintain your dog’s health.
Are Vegetables Good for Dogs?
Yes. You’ll be giving your dog a healthy dose of nutrients. Vegetables are good for your dog’s teeth, coat, vision, bones, blood circulation, and overall well being.
Fresh vegetables provide necessary vitamins and minerals in a natural way. They contain a myriad of vitamins like A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, and others. Such vitamins can fight disease, improve fat burning, boost the immune system, and many more health benefits.
Minerals found in vegetables, like iron and potassium, are required to maintain a healthy blood-stream and heart condition.
Vegetables act as antioxidants, which provide protection to your dog’s body by slowing down cellular damage to important organs. They strengthen the overall immune system of your dog, leading to a longer and much healthier life.
Vegetables also provide fiber. The nutritional value of fiber to dogs is low. However, it has other important value to a dog’s health. Fiber works as a helping factor in the digestive process. It absorbs moisture and acts as a lubricant, and both are important to help smoothen the food’s journey through the intestines.
The proper vegetable intake you’ll provide to your lovely dog will evidently benefit his health in a positive way.
In short, incorporating vegetables to your dog’s diet will:
- Add protein, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fiber
- Help your dog to lose excess weight
- Help to deter cancer and other ailments
- Make use of any vegetable leftovers
- Lower your dog’s dietary cost
Tips for Adding Vegetables to Your Dog’s Diet
Make sure all vegetables used are thoroughly rinsed; food hygiene is paramount to prevent any bacterial infection.
Fresh vegetables should be your first choice when adding veggies to your dog’s diet. Save vegetable trimmings that are safe for dogs from your cooking activity. Every now and then, give him some as a treat.
In today’s hectic lifestyle, using packed, frozen vegetables is convenient. Mix small portions with the dry food gradually to get your dog hooked little by little. Blend them, arrange them into snack-size bites, freeze them, and just grab them whenever you think your dog deserves one.
Always have some freshly minced vegetables ready in the refrigerator for a quick healthy treat for your dog. Large leaf vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower, are better served steamed or boiled to your dog for easier digestion.
You can feed your dog fresh raw vegetables, or you can opt for steamed vegetables. Don’t add any oil or seasoning. Your dog will most likely gulp down the whole portion, so it’s better to have the vegetables thinly sliced. Sometimes it’s even better to have them pureed.
As with humans, avoid giving your dog any moldy old vegetables.
To avoid allergies caused by vegetables, always introduce one type of vegetable at a time and in gradual quantities. That’ll help you observe any adverse symptoms and identify the source of allergies if any.
Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
Don’t assume that the vegetables you normally eat are safe for your dog.
Vegetables come in different shapes and sizes. The main types are green leaves, root vegetables, legumes, stalks, and squash. Any will do.
Following is a list of vegetables suitable for your dog.
Carrots are a great low-calorie snack for dogs. They’re high in beta carotene, which works as an antioxidant, rich with vitamins A, C, and K. They provide potassium and fiber which is good for vision, coat, teeth, and general health.
If you properly minced it and served small portions as a treat, broccoli will provide a low-fat intake that delivers vitamin C and fiber. Make sure there are no chunky broccoli stalks, as they might choke the dog while swallowing.
This is a leafy low-calorie vegetable loaded with calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K. It’ll help maintain strong bones and teeth, and it’s good for your dog’s heart. The leaves are filled with water, and they’ll help provide much-needed hydration on hot summer days.
Full of nutrients, sweet potatoes are good for the heart, they’re high in fiber. Thus they break down easily when digested. They also provide vitamins A, C, E, and B, which makes them helpful in lowering blood pressure and weight management.
These bite-sized veggies are exceptional treats for dogs. They release high doses of nutrients and antioxidants, which are great for a dog’s health. Point of caution though, the excessive intake of brussels sprouts will cause gas, so if you don’t want awful smells, give them sparingly.
These elongated green veggies are low in calories, yet, they’re very fulfilling. Once chopped into small pieces, your dog will chew them easily, and benefit from the natural fiber and healthy dose of vitamins A, C and K, and the mineral manganese.
Most types of peas are good for dogs. Either fresh or frozen, they’ll add value to your dog’s diet by providing protein, minerals, fiber, and an assortment of vitamins. Don’t opt for canned peas; they’re full of unhealthy food preservatives.
A natural breath freshener, that alone makes celery worthy to be in your dog’s diet. Celery is full of nutrients needed for a healthy heart. It releases vitamins A, B, and C, and provides important minerals like iron, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus. Celery lowers blood pressure and is believed to help fight cancer.
Your dog will love them! Cucumbers are basically low-calorie and low-sodium water reservoirs. On hot days, your dog will savor small chunks of cold, watery cucumbers. Mix a sliced cucumber with yogurt and see how fast your dog will chow down!
Cucumber should be chopped into manageable chunks to prevent choking. It can be an excellent element in a weight loss plan for your beloved dog.
Spinach leaves provide fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Just make sure that you only give your dog a handful every month or so. Excessive spinach intake can be harmful to your dog’s kidneys.
Loaded with beta carotene, fiber, and with its sweet flavor, your dog won’t be able to get enough of pumpkin! Present it raw or a bit steamed in bite-sized chunks, and it’ll help with your dog’s constipation, if any, and will improve the dog’s overall digestive system.
Any color will do. Remove the seeds and the stem, cut into manageable chunks, and give your dog a treat. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, bell pepper will boost your dog’s immune system.
To keep your dog hydrated and full, thinly slice the lettuce and spread it over his normal food. Its low calorie, high fiber structure helps the digestion of your dog.
Zucchini is a good source of minerals like magnesium and potassium, accompanied by vitamin C. Adding zucchini in thinly shredded strips to your dog’s usual food intake prevents heart issues, cancer, and infections.
Turnips contain folic acid and magnesium. They provide vitamins B6 and C. Turnips will increase your dog’s metabolism, vitalize kidney functions, and help maintain a healthy nervous system. Take care though, if your dog has thyroid issues, you shouldn’t add turnips to his diet, as they tend to interfere with thyroid gland functions.
You can serve your dog beets in moderation. You can serve the beets cooked, steamed, mashed, or even in raw small chunks. Your dog’s digestion and immune systems will benefit from the potassium, manganese, folate, fiber, and vitamin C, all present in beets. Beets will also add to the beauty of your dog’s skin and coat.
Cabbage leaves are considered effective in fighting cancer They also help the digestion process, and improve the health of your dog’s skin and fur.
Cabbage is loaded with beneficial elements such as protein, iron, folate, manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B6, C, K, and other micronutrients. It has high fiber content, so it’s recommended to cook it prior to serving for easier digestion. Add it in moderation, as excessive portions can negatively affect your dog’s thyroid gland.
Vegetables Dogs Shouldn’t Eat
The wrong veggies for your dog might cause health problems in the long run, such as allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, and in some cases, death.
If you think your dog ate any of the following items, even in small portions, and you notice issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and/or skin problems, you should take him to the vet at once.
Raw asparagus is difficult for dogs to digest, and when cooked, iit loses most of the beneficial nutrients. Asparagus adds no value to your dog’s diet.
There are countless mushroom species, many of which are poisonous, and dogs don’t digest them very well. To eliminate the risk altogether, don’t give your dog mushrooms, even those you do eat by yourself.
The Onion Family
All members of the onion family are classified under the name Allium. They have an element called thiosulfate, which if eaten by dogs destroys red and white cells, causing many health issues, one of which is anemia. You need to avoid any form of onion be it raw, cooked, dehydrated, trimmings, and any remains within leftover dishes. Leeks, chives, and garlic are also included in the allium family.
Dogs don’t digest tomatoes well. If your dog eats a tomato, it’ll cause him harsh stomach pain.
If you’re looking to add healthy food elements to your dog, if you want to get him slimmer, or you just want to add a supplement to his regular food, vegetables are the answer. With their low-calorie, low-fat, rich antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, they can be your dog’s healthy boosters. However, you need to know your veggies for the sake of your dog. Pick the beneficial ones, and avoid the dangerous ones, gradually adding vegetables to your dog’s food intake in small quantities. You may also use vegetables as snacks.
Serve the vegetables chopped, minced or shredded, and clean. You can steam, boil, and bake the vegetables as per the liking of your dog. If serving raw vegetables, always make sure that they’re a manageable size for your dog.
If you’re about to change the dietary plan of your beloved dog, I do recommend that you check with your vet, don’t push your dog, go slow and easy, and pay attention once you do the change.
Give it a go, and add vegetables to your dog’s dietary plan. Keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy.