We all are aware of how beneficial vegetables are for humans. Like their wolf ancestors, dogs require heavy protein diets. After a long time of domestication and spending life with humans, dogs have started loving certain vegetables. It doesn’t mean you can offer any vegetable to your dog & call it a day! Some veggies contain harmful chemical compounds & while some are tough for dogs to digest. So what veggies are suitable for dogs? Which veggies to skip?
Adding veggies to your dog’s diet completes its nutritional requirements. There are 20 vegetables healthy for your dog. These include carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, Brussels squash, celery, cucumber, peppers, peas, parsnips, kale, spinach, potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and lettuce.
This guide will discuss how vegetables are suitable for your dog’s health, what veggies you can feed your puppy, and how to feed veggies to your dog. So, Without any delay, let’s get started!
What Are the Benefits of Vegetables for Dogs?
No doubt dogs love plenty of meat, but veggies can supplement your dogs with nutrients absent in beef. However, your pet should eat different foods and can’t thrive alone on veggies. Being liable dog owners, we’d know how veggies are healthy for dogs.
Nutrients in Veggies for Dogs
Veggies are full of essential nutrients, including fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Vegetables also provide important phytonutrients (absent in meat) to dogs. While your pet must devour flesh to get all the essential amino acids, adding a few veggies to the diet will also supply them with nutrients.
Rich Source of Vitamins for Dogs
Raw veggies are also a rich source of vitamins for dogs, including:
- Vitamin A: Prevent skin & eye disorders. Good for bones, teeth & immunity.
- Vitamin B: Vitamin B enhances your dog’s nervous system, metabolism & immune response.
- Vitamin C & co-factors: Vitamin C is produced within the dog’s body but not the co-factors they need to use vitamin C. As your dog gets older, a vitamin C boost is essential for him or if he’s stressed.
- Vitamin E: It prevents cancer & promotes healthy hair and skin for your dog.
- Vitamin K: It improves the liver functioning of your dog.
Vegetables Provide Minerals
Dark green leafy veggies contain essential minerals like potassium, calcium & magnesium, which promote the healthy growth of your dog.
Vegetables Contain Phytonutrients & Antioxidants
Phytonutrients are disease-fighting compounds found in veggies & fruits dogs can eat. Veggies also contain antioxidants that protect your dogs from disease-causing agents. So if your pet only eats meat, he is missing phytonutrients. In dogs, phytonutrients:
- Reduce inflammation
- Support a healthy liver
- Decrease risk of cancer in dogs (kill cancer cells)
- Promote gut health
Vegetables Hydrate Your Dogs
Vegetables are a good source of water and keep your dog hydrated. Dog eats kibble, putting them at risk of dehydration and kidney diseases.
Veggies Support Dog Digestion
Vegetables are rich in enzymes that support food digestion in dogs & run metabolic processes. These enzymes are anti-degeneration, anti-aging, and pro-health.
Fiber Boost Dog’s Health
Veggies contain high fiber content, used to create fatty acids beneficial for dogs’ health. Other health benefits of fiber are:
- Reduce the risk of cancer.
- Clears toxic from the body.
- It promotes gut health.
- It has antioxidant properties.
What Veggies Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs eat vegetables delightedly. If you want to supplement your pet’s diet with some healthy veggie treats but wondering where to start, here is a complete list of edible veggies for dogs.
According to ASPCA, carrots are a good snack for dogs because they are rich in dietary fiber and can be eaten raw. Also, keep your pet’s teeth clean. Carrots are
- Low in calories
- Don’t create much gas (gas problem with dogs)
- Provide vitamins D, E, C, B, & K.
Dogs can eat cabbage, although it may cause a gassy reaction. Red cabbages are also safe and prosperous with copper, manganese, fiber, and potassium. It can boost your pet’s mineral content. Antioxidants in cabbage improve your pet’s health. Cabbages contain:
- Vitamin B6, B1, K & C.
- Tons of phytonutrients
Like other cruciferous veggies, cauliflower is safe only in small quantities but can lead to gas problems. These contain:
- Vitamin C, B, manganese, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acid & K (all good for the immune system).
Lightly steamed cauliflower is suitable for your dog.
Many root veggies are great for a dog’s digestive system and healthy coat. Beets help your pet better absorb all the nutrients. Beets add minerals to your dog’s diet like:
- Vitamin C
- Manganese and potassium
- Dietary fiber
Raw beets pose a choking hazard & can obstruct your pet’s digestive tract, so prefer giving cooked beets. Keep the quantity small, as these can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and upset your dog’s stomach.
Broccoli also causes gas like cauliflower. It can be an uncomfortable experience for your pet. Despite this, broccoli is:
- Free of fats
- Provide vitamins C, A, E, & K and tons of fiber.
Ensure to chop stalks into tiny pieces because there is a risk that these stalks can get logged in your partner’s throat. Broccoli can also upset the stomach of some dogs.
6. Green Beans
Green beans are another crunchy veggie safe for your pet. These are rich sources of plant nutrients and proteins. Green beans contain:
- Vitamin C, A, and K.
- Minerals like potassium and magnesium.
- Folic acid and fiber.
Overeating can cause a gas problem. Green beans can be served steamed, raw, or even canned (but should be plain).
7. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash contains an ideal combo of nutrients. It is gentle on the tummy and low in calories. It can supplement your dog with:
- Vitamin B6, A & C
- Helps to improve the cardiovascular system or immune system.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can cause gas, too, so slowly introduce it to your pet. These are good for constipated dogs as these aid in digestion. Brussels sprouts contain:
- Vitamin C (boost immunity) and vitamin K (boost bone health).
- Antioxidants (fight against inflammation).
Ensure to cook Brussels before offering them to your dog.
Celery is a low-calorie veggie and natural breath freshener for your pet. Many dogs love to chew celery’s crunchy texture. Celery is:
- Full of vitamins A, C, and B. Vitamin A helps to improve the dog’s vision.
- Also, contain manganese and potassium.
Celery is a diuretic so serve it in a small amount; otherwise, your pet will urinate frequently.
Cucumbers are low in calories and boost the energy level of your pet. Cucumber is ideal for obese dogs. Cucumbers contain 96% water, making them a perfect snack on hot summer days. Cucumber will provide your dog:
- Vitamin C, K & B1
- Minerals: magnesium, copper, potassium
- Biotin (according to AKC).
Peppers are very low in calories and contain vitamin C, three times greater than oranges. Peppers are appropriate for dogs as these:
- Strengthen immunity
- Protect eyes
- Fight against inflammation
Stream peppers to soften their outer skin before serving. Don’t feed spicy pepper varieties to your dog.
If your pet can’t meat products, adding peas to their diet will provide protein and fiber to your pet, like sugar snap peas, English peas, or garden peas. Peas are rich in:
- Vitamins: K, B, A
- Minerals: zinc, potassium, magnesium & iron.
- Nutrients: protein, fiber & lutein.
Overfeeding can cause diarrhea & kidney issues in dogs
Parsnips are suitable for dogs having kidney issues. Parsnips contain:
- Folic acid: beneficial for the nervous system
- Vitamin C and B6
Before offering this treat, consult with your vet.
Kale is considered a good tasty treat & provides many health benefits to dogs like:
- Iron increases red blood cells & blood oxygen levels
- Vitamin A improves vision & immunity
- Calcium makes bones healthy
Overfeeding can lead to bladder stones or gastric irritation in dogs.
Spinach can be an excellent addition to your pet’s diet. It contains vitamins E, C, & A and minerals like magnesium and iron. It is effective against:
- Cardiovascular diseases
Spanish contains oxalic acid, which can damage a dog’s kidney due to overeating.
Dogs can eat only cooked potatoes (boiled or steamed) without toppings. Raw potatoes contain solanine, which is toxic for dogs.
Fried potatoes are high in fat and should be avoided.
Pumpkins are full of minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber. Canned pumpkin is better than raw because it is easier to digest. Pumpkins can:
- Boost your dog’s vision
- Relieve from constipation
- Help in digestion
Plain pumpkin seeds are also appropriate for dogs.
Zucchini is rich in fiber and low in calories. It fortifies your pet’s kidney, bones, and heart with potassium, calcium, and vitamin A.
19. Sweet Potatoes/Yams
Besides having tons of fiber, sweet potatoes are also a rich source of:
- Vitamin C and B6 (for brain health).
- Beta-carotene which improves skin and vision
Only serve cooked sweet potato (steamed or baked) without any seasoning.
Lettuce contains 90% water and is a perfect snack for obese dogs. To avoid choking hazards, chop lettuce properly.
What Vegetables Dogs Can’t Eat?
Some veggies are harmful to dogs. Make sure your dog doesn’t get its hand over these veggies.
Onions belong to the allium plant family and are poisonous to dogs. If you don’t know whether your dog has eaten onions, leeks, garlic, or chives, look for symptoms:
- Dark yellow urine
- Unusual bowel movement
- Decreased energy level
Call your vet immediately
A ripe tomato is not harmful, but unripe tomato, the stem, and leaves of the tomato plant are toxic. Solanine is present in these parts, which cause:
- Seizures and tremors
Wild mushrooms are poisonous, and you should avoid feeding those to your dog. These poisonous wild mushrooms can cause:
- Internal damage
- Poor coordination
- Excessive drooling
Mushrooms bought in the local market are safe for consumption. But these are less appealing to dogs.
Rhubarb is not suitable for dogs as it contains oxalates that can cause:
- Nervous system issues
- Kidney issues
Large quantities can decrease the calcium level in your dog’s bones
Garlic belongs to the allium plant family & contains thiosulfate, which can negatively react with your dog systems. Eating garlic can lead to:
- Vomiting & diarrhea
Another allium family member which can cause:
- Upset stomach
If leeks are ingested a lot, your dog’s red blood cells can rupture.
According to AKC, asparagus is not harmful to dogs, but its nutritional value is low. So feeding it to dogs is not beneficial. If not appropriately chopped, these also pose a choking hazard.
Corn is not toxic, but less nutritional value makes it less remarkable. Corn on the cob is dangerous because of:
- Choking hazard &
- Intestinal blockage hazard.
Most dogs can’t tolerate eggplant as it can cause allergic reactions. Offer a small amount to see if your pet can handle it.
What Veggies Can Puppies Eat?
You can offer your puppy pieces of plain, finely cooked, and chopped dog-safe vegetables like green beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, broccoli, & cauliflower.
Ensure treats comprise only five percent (or less) of your puppy’s diet. So offer veggies in small amounts as occasional treats.
Consult your vet about whether it is safe to give your dog vegetables (included in my list).
Can Dogs Eat Veggies Every Day?
Yes, you can feed your dog veggies daily but keep the amount small. According to professionals, vegetables shouldn’t exceed 10% of your pet’s daily calorie intake. Your pet may feel stressed or sick due to overfeeding.
How to Prepare Vegetables for Your Dog?
When feeding veggies to your dog, remember following preparation guidelines.
Introduce Vegetables Slowly
While giving new food to your pet, it is recommended to introduce it slowly. Meanwhile, look for any adverse reactions like diarrhea or gas. Always keep in mind moderation is key. Don’t ever feed your dog too many veggies. Feed vegetables in a minimal amount. With time, you can raise type and amount, keeping your dog’s likeness.
Cut, Mince, Or Chop
Serve veggies in small chewable sizes to your dog to avoid choking.
Server plain vegetables don’t add seasonings like oils, sauces, or spices. Even adding salt, or butter to veggies can harm your dog.
Blanching is submerging veggies in boiling water & then in ice cold water. Blanching cleans the veggies, enhances flavor & makes the veggies soft (easy to chew).
Steaming soften the veggies, preserve most of the nutrients, and make it easy for your pet to chew, swallow & digest. It doesn’t require submerging veggies in boiling water.
A pureed vegetable is easy for the dog to digest. Tough veggies (carrot, cauliflower & pumpkin) steamed before pureeing becomes more palatable for your dog. It is a good way of combining different vegetables into one meal.
Cooking veggies in large amounts & storing them in the freezer saves a lot of time & effort, and food remains healthy.
Let’s Supplement Your Dog’s Diet with Veggies!
Haven’t you served veggies to your dog? You can give it a try now. There are 20 veggies that your dog can feed. These veggies are rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients absent in meat. Remember you’ve to serve your dog only a moderate quantity at the start to avoid adverse reactions. Contact your vet immediately if you notice anything unusual.
I hope this article has answered all of your concerns related to vegetables. What is your dog’s favorite vegetable? Is it on the list? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to know about your dog’s experience with veggies.