Does your dog get fresh vegetables?
There always seems to be some kind of debate going on about “people’s food” for dogs. (Read the 2015 piece, The Problem with Table Food!)
I firmly believe that the reluctance to share food with dogs stems from decades of marketing that says you must feed a dog food that is specially formulated to meet your dog’s needs, as well as decades of unproven training theories that say if your dog eats people food, he will beg forever OR sharing your resources doesn’t assert your dominance. Of course, none of those are accurate.
Like humans, your dog needs to consume a diversified diet of nutritious, healthful foods. Unless you’re feeding him from the real dinner table every night, a taste of human food won’t convert your dog into a chronic bigger for it. Regarding resource sharing, your dog couldn’t give a rip if his goodies came from a bag from Petco or the fresh fruit and vegetables from Fresh Thyme. How on earth can a pup distinguish which of two objects is a resource and which is not?
I could talk for hours on those three subjects, but let’s move on to the enjoyable parts.
HEALTHY, SAFE VEGGIES FOR DOGS!
Whatever you give your dog, I can assure you that he will benefit from the addition of fresh veggies, whether as treats or food toppings or as a half-meal replacement as part of a weight-loss program. (BTW, I’m assuming you may benefit from including more vegetables in your diet, so consider this an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your dog!) Vegetables include fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and more. Even additional advantages, including iron and calcium, are offered by so-called “superfood” vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
Naturally, not all veggies are suitable for canines to consume. The ASPCA has a comprehensive list of pet food omissions, but be sure to thoroughly read each item! They apply to all pets, not just dogs and cats, but also animals like horses and goats.
Okay, now that we’ve discussed the advantages of veggies for health and the dangers of certain of them, Time to examine which vegetables ARE healthful and safe for our pets to consume!
15 DOG-FRIENDLY VEGETABLES:
- Sweet Potato
- Pumpkin: Stock up on after-Halloween deals and turn them into purees you can freeze and use all year!
- Green beans
- Brussels sprouts
- Parsnips: A bit too starchy to feed often, but if you’re preparing something for your family with parsnips (or another root veg) feel free to treat your pup to a bite
- Beets: Feed these in moderation and remember that it’ll turn your pup’s poop red.
- Kale: We give Cooper the stalks as “indoor sticks” and he goes bonkers for them!
HOW TO PREPARE VEGETABLES FOR DOGS:
Your dog can eat most vegetables uncooked. However, dogs that haven’t had a diversified diet may feel some discomfort (read: gas) due to their high fiber content. When it comes to preparing them, a mild steaming method works best for retaining all of the vegetables’ nutrients. If you are preparing a vegetable side dish for your family’s dinner—we often steam broccoli or asparagus—leave it unseasoned. Vegetables are steamed before being served to the human family, with the dog’s part being put aside.
We also have a ton of frozen vegetables in stock. Although fresh food is always preferred, frozen food works excellently in a pinch. However, avoid giving canned to your dog since it often contains too much salt, which is added to preserve the veggies.
Your dog is an excellent zero-waste helper if you’re concerned about reducing kitchen trash! All those non-skin trimmings you often compost, like kale stems, asparagus bottoms, and sweet potato skins, make a terrific treat for your dog!
3 WAYS TO SERVE YOUR DOG VEGGIES:
As a treat: Keep finely chopped carrots or peas on hand to use as delicious, nutritious, and low-calorie snacks! We also substitute stalks for sticks as a safer, healthier option, such as kale stalks or broccoli stems.
As a food topper: No matter what your dog consumes—commercial kibble, homemade food, or anything in between—adding fresh vegetables to his meal can help with digestion and offer plenty of healthy goodness!
As a weight-loss helper: If your dog needs to lose a few pounds, talk to your doctor about this, but substituting fresh green beans for a part of his usual meal, for instance, can fill his tummy with fiber-rich nutrients without adding extra calories.
Also Read: DIY BITTER APPLE SPRAY
DO YOU FEED YOUR DOG VEGGIES?
Do you give your dog vegetables—fresh or frozen, produced at home or purchased from the store? What are their favorite things? How are they prepared and served? What works for YOU and your dog would be wonderful to know! Or have you ever thought about it if you don’t feed vegetables? Have I left any questions unanswered? Comment on everything in the section below!
In conclusion, including veggies in your dog’s diet may have a positive impact on their health and provide nutrition to their meals. Your dog’s general well-being and long-term health may be improved by incorporating and properly cooking dog-friendly veggies.
To ensure your dog tolerates veggies properly, remember to introduce them gradually and watch your dog’s reaction. Because every dog is different, it’s crucial to speak with your vet about serving amounts and any dietary adjustments depending on your dog’s breed, age, and health.
Q: Are all vegetables safe for dogs to eat?
Not all veggies are appropriate for dogs, even though many of them are. Dogs may be poisoned by some vegetables, including mushrooms, onions, and garlic. It’s crucial to do your homework and make sure the veggies you choose are risk-free and non-toxic for your pet.
Q: How should I introduce vegetables into my dog’s diet?
It’s better to gradually include veggies into your dog’s diet. Start by giving them little quantities mixed in with their usual meal and see how they react. You should stop eating vegetables and speak with your veterinarian if you have any digestive problems or bad reactions.
Q: Can I feed my dog raw vegetables?
Even though certain veggies may be served to dogs uncooked, it’s usually best to boil them beforehand. Vegetables that have been cooked may be simpler to digest and may absorb nutrients more effectively. However, a few exceptions may be fed raw in moderation, such as carrots or cucumbers.
Q: Can I feed my dog only vegetables?
A balanced diet that contains proteins, lipids, and carbs is necessary for dogs. While veggies provide important nutrients, full and balanced dog food should always be provided. Supplementing your dog’s food with vegetables can improve its nutritional content.
Q: How much vegetables should I feed my dog?
Depending on your dog’s size, age, and specific requirements, you should give them a certain number of veggies. To identify suitable portion sizes and make sure you’re feeding a well-balanced meal that suits your dog’s unique nutritional needs, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.