As a pet parent, you want to give your furry friend the best of everything—including the best food. While you might think that all dogs crave is meat, this isn’t necessarily the case. Many dogs eat vegetables and enjoy them as well!
We’ve got you covered if you’re wondering what vegetables dogs can eat. This blog post will introduce dog owners to the top 15 dog-friendly vegetables and a few preparation tips.
Top 15 Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
You should keep a few things in mind when feeding your dog vegetables. Not all the dog-safe vegetables on this list are safe for all dogs—some may cause digestive issues or allergic reactions in certain pups. For example, feeding spicy pepper varieties can harm your dog’s digestive tract and healthy red blood cells!
While most fruits and vegetables have healthy food value, it’s always best to check with your veterinarian before you feed your dog the first time.
One of the most popular dog vegetables, carrots are a crunchy and healthy snack. According to the American Kennel Club, they’re packed with fiber, important vitamins (K & B6), and minerals and can even help clean your dog’s teeth. Fiber is an important part of any dog’s stomach, and carrots are an excellent source. Vitamin K and B6 are essential for a healthy coat, and the minerals like beta-carotene in carrots can help support your dog’s immune system.
2. Green Beans
Green beans are another excellent source of fiber and vitamins (A, B6, C, & K). They’re also low in calories, making them a great choice for dogs watching their weight. This is also a good vegetable for dogs who need to stay hydrated! So, if you want your four-legged friend to lose some weight, green beans are a great snack.
Like green beans, cucumbers are a low-calorie food that’s high in water content. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamins. Cucumbers can help keep your overweight dogs hydrated and help manage weight. They also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients and have anti-inflammatory benefits for your pups.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious root vegetable packed with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and minerals like potassium and manganese. They also contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that can help boost your dog’s immunity. Sweet potatoes are a great energy source and make a tasty treat for dogs! However, please remember that raw potatoes can be toxic to dogs as they contain a toxic material called solanine. So, don’t feed your dog raw potatoes!
Pumpkin is a popular ingredient in many dog foods and treats. It’s packed with fiber, vitamins (A, B, & C), and minerals like potassium and magnesium. Pumpkin pie filling can also help with digestive issues—it’s a natural source of soluble fiber, which can help with diarrhea and constipation. Please remember that pumpkins should not be eaten raw.
6. Butternut Squash
There are many different types of squash, but all of them are packed with all the nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, A, B6, and minerals. Butternut squash can also help with digestive issues and is a great source of soluble fiber. Like pumpkin, canned squash is often more digestible for dogs than raw squash.
If you want to maintain well-balanced nutrition in your dog’s diet, Broccoli is a great option. Broccoli is a nutrient-dense vegetable high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and minerals like calcium and iron. It also contains phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can help boost your dog’s immune system. Broccoli florets are healthy dog food, but they should be given in bite-sized pieces—too much can cause an upset stomach.
8. Brussels Sprouts
Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts contain nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re also a good source of glucosinolates, which have been shown to have cancer-preventative properties.
Cauliflower is another nutrient-dense vegetable high in fiber, vitamins (C, B6, & K), and minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also contains phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can help boost your dog’s immune system. Cauliflower is a healthy dog treat, and most dogs love it.
Kale is teeming with vitamins A, K, and Iron which are all important for maintaining proper vision, bone health, fetal development, immune function, and energy metabolism. It’s also a good source of fiber, calcium, and antioxidants.
Spinach is another nutrient-rich vegetable for dogs. It’s packed with vitamins (A, B, C, & K), minerals like iron and calcium, and antioxidants. Like kale, spinach can help support vision, bone health, immune function, and energy metabolism.
Broccoli maybe your dog’s favorite—it’s high in nutrients, including C, K, and potassium, which fight diseases, boost bone density, and support heart health in dogs.
Beets are a great source of fiber, manganese, potassium, folate, and vitamins A and C. They also contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Beets are also good for your dog’s coat and skin.
Celery is a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Celery is a crunchy treat perfect for teething puppies or adult dogs who need to gnaw on something.
Though mushrooms don’t look appealing, they’re a healthy dog treat. They’re a good source of vitamins B and D, copper, potassium, selenium, and fiber. Some mushrooms also contain antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. However, don’t feed your dog wild mushrooms—some can be poisonous and toxic to dogs. They can harm your dog’s blood cells, which can harm the dog’s kidneys.
Healthy Human Food Might not be Healthy for Dogs
Some vegetables, like carrots, sugar snap peas, and garden peas, can be fed to dogs raw. Others, like potatoes and squash, should be cooked before feeding dogs as the raw vegetables contain materials toxic to dogs. When you prepare vegetables for dogs, steam or bake them until they’re soft, avoid adding salt, butter, or other seasonings, which can harm dogs.
Prepare the vegetables and feed your dog in small pieces so they are tiny enough to be chewed and avoid a choking hazard. For certain vegetables, your dog can eat safely when cooked and not served raw. Here are a few easy preparation methods:
Blanching is a quick cooking method that retains nutrients and color. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the vegetables for 1-2 minutes. Remove them from the water and place them in an ice bath to stop cooking.
Steaming is a healthy way to cook vegetables because it doesn’t require any added fat. Boil vegetables for a short time, then place them in ice water. This will help retain nutrients and color.
Pureeing is a good way to sneak vegetables into your dog’s diet. Pureed vegetables can be mixed with wet food or used as a topper for dry food.
Baking is a slow cooking method that browns and dries food. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the vegetables on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Freezing is a great way to preserve nutrients. You can freeze vegetables by putting them in an ice cube tray or bag. Thaw the vegetables in the refrigerator or microwave when ready to use them.
Dogs can eat various vegetables, but some are better than others. The best vegetables for dogs are high in nutrients and low in sugar. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach are great for dogs. Avoid feeding your dog processed vegetables or those that contain added salt, fat, or sugar. Feeding your dog a healthy diet is important for their overall health and well-being.
However, please remember to feed them in small quantities, too many fruits and vegetables may cause stomach pain. Being pet parents, your objective is to look for the vegetables’ health benefits and nutritional value, not to hurt your dog’s stomach!
What are your thoughts? Do you give your dog vegetables? Let us know in the comments below!