Top 10 Healthy Vegetables For Dogs
Finally, something from your plate that’s safe to sneak to your pooch – and healthy to boot. Check out which veggies are not just dog-friendly but tasty to canines, as well.
Even dogs need to eat their veggies. Sure, kibble bag might boast to contain all the important nutrients and vitamins, but nothing beats fresh vegetables when it comes to nutritious punch they offer. Sliced, diced, served in a cooked dish- veggies can complete your dog’s diet with the essential nutrients they lack, working to promote better immune system, shinier fur, and better oral health- and that’s just to start with. Veggies are one of the rarer human foods that are not just safe to sneak off of your plate to your pooch, but experts will actually encourage you to do so. Naturally, not all veggies are safe for dog consumption. For instance, onions are on the no-no list of vegetables for dogs, as raw, powdered, or cooked onions can damage your pet’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.
Of course, like any food, even the dog-safe veggies need to be given in moderation. Don’t go overboard when it comes to portion sizes- a few bites a day is usually a good rule of thumb for veggie servings. You can cook them, feed them raw or mix it in with your dog’s food. I like to add vegetables to Oscar’s homemade stews. It’s a great way to sneak in some of the less loved veggies to your pooch. It’s for their own good and the flavor of meat and other veggies will deceive them enough for them to gobble their food down without a second guess. Another great way to introduce veggies to your pet’s diet is offering them a bite to chew on, especially if it’s something harder, like carrots. They’ll love chewing on it! And, if all else fails, just offer it straight out of your plate while it’s dinner time- we all know that dogs are obsessed with food we eat, so it’s bound to do the trick. In the end, no matter how you slice and dice it, you’ll want to add these top 10 healthy vegetables for dogs into your pooch’s diet. They are nutritious, help your pet ward off certain health issues, and taste good- what more could anybody ask for? (©iStock.com/Damedeeso)
Carrots: Rabbit love ’em and so do dogs! All that beta carotene is great for eyesight and skin. And not to mention, chowing down on a crunchy carrot is super fun when you have those “big” canines- they can be a healthy, homemade, cheap alternative to chew toys. Hey, sometimes you gotta improvise. Carrots are rich in vitamins C, A, K, high in fiber and potassium and are full of antioxidants. This powerful combo of benefits has been credited with lowering chances of cancer, amongst other things, so it’s easy to see why you should want some of this orange goodness in your pet’s bowl. They are also a low calorie treat- cut them up into bite-sized portions for easy chewing and to prevent choking.
Pumpkin: I’m a huge fan of pumpkin and add puree into many of my treat recipes. That’s because it’s beneficial for a dog’s digestive system. Also, because it tastes awesome- your dog will agree with me. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, diarrhea or constipation, the pumpkin’s fiber absorbs water and helps ease a rumbly tummy. Not only that, but pumpkin also boasts vitamin A, antioxidants, helps regulate blood sugar and promotes cardiovascular health. If you’re not mixing pumpkin into your homemade treats, you can also give your pooch a spoonful of the stuff plain- chances are he’ll snarf it up like it’s a restaurant-worthy dish. (Photo credit: arbyreed/Flickr)
Sweet potato: A great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamins B5 and B6, the sweet potato packs a powerfully healthy punch. Not only is it high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium, the sweet potato offers antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. On top of that, it helps regulate your dog’s digestive system. Now that is a powerful potato! (Photo credit: Llez/Wikimedia)
Broccoli: This veggie is good in moderation, as it causes gas (just like in people!). But every once in a while, broccoli is a healthy snack most dogs enjoy, even when it leads to a fart fest afterwards. Rich in vitamins and soluble fiber, in small amounts broccoli can help with digestion and inflammation, and clean keep their teeth clean. (Photo credit: Steven Lilley/Flickr)
Spinach: If your dog has inflammatory and cardiovascular problems, you’ll want to feed him spinach as part of his well-balanced diet. But it’s not just for dogs that suffer from health issues – puppies should be noshing on it, as the calcium it contains is wonderful for bone structure support. And really, all dogs can benefit from spinach’s high sources of iron, fiber, potassium and vitamins K, A and B6. (Photo credit: Nillerdk/Wikimedia)
Asparagus: A summer staple, this veggie is an amazing source of vitamins K, A, B1, B2, C and contains folate, copper and iron. You might not be steaming the stalks to serve to your pet with their grilled salmon, but you can mix cooked asparagus in their cooked meals nevertheless. Make sure you feed in small doses, though, and never too much at one time. An asparagus overload can turn your dog’s poop green! (Photo credit: Michael Patterson/Flickr)
Cauliflower: I like my cauliflower smoothed in cheese sauce, but Oscar prefers his raw. He doesn’t know that it’s a great source of vitamin C and contains vitamins K and B6, folate and choline. Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, it’s also a good source of soluble fiber, which helps with digestion. Other benefits of this vegetable are that it cleans a dog’s teeth and can reduce the risk of many diseases, including inflammation. (Photo credit: Jeremy Keith/Wikimedia)
Lettuce: From Boston to Romaine, all types of lettuce are good for dogs. Dark, leafy lettuces are dense in nutrients and all of them have high water content. But don’t let your dog eat lettuce daily, as it can cause diarrhea. Ensure that lettuce is cut up into bite-sized portions for easier eating. (Photo credit: Dwight Sipler/Wikimedia)
Cucumber: Loaded with phytonutrients, silica, vitamins A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, cucumbers are a delicious and nutritious treat. If your dog has bad breath, the phytochemcials in cucumbers will kill the bacteria in their mouth. Full of water, enzymes and low in calories, it’s the perfect snack on a hot summer day. (Photo credit: Muu-karhu/Wikimedia)
Green beans: Fresh or frozen, you can’t go wrong feeding your dog green beans. If your dog as a weight issue, adding in green beans and taking out some dry kibble will help your pooch keep her girlish figure. Known to help blood fat levels and offer cardiovascular benefits, green beans are also high in vitamins A, K, C and manganese. (Photo credit: Dave DeSandro/Flickr)