In today's society, our dogs are viewed as members of the family. Rightfully so, our canine companions are now treated with the same love and attention that new parents would shower upon their newborn child. More than ever before, we are specifically paying attention to what our dogs eat. You may surely be thinking that dogs can eat vegetables, they are healthy after all. Well, yes and no. In this article we are going to answer all the facets of the question: can dogs eat vegetables?
Table of Contents:
- Are Vegetables Good for Dogs?
- Tips for Feeding Dogs Vegetables
- What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
- More Healthy Vegetables for Dogs
- Unhealthy Vegetables for Dogs
- Nutritional Supplements for Dogs
Are Vegetables Good for Dogs?
Simply put, the answer is "yes, but...". To enumerate, many vegetables are just as healthy and nutritionally beneficial for dogs as they are for people. Conversely, there are some vegetables that can be downright toxic when consumed by canines.
Keep in mind, the following list is exclusively referring to fresh, unseasoned, unflavored vegetables. Furthermore, all dogs are different - they require varying amounts of nutrients and have unique reactions to certain foods. As always, check with your trusted veterinarian regarding the type (and amount) of vegetables that are healthy to feed your special pup.
Read on to find out which veggies are healthy and which to avoid when it comes to feeding Fido.
Tips for Feeding Dogs Vegetables
Before we go down the rabbit hole of which vegetables dogs can eat, it is important to note a few ground rules. Regarding canine-friendly veggies, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Raw vegetables have more nutrients than cooked vegetables (go raw!)
- If you choose to cook the veggies, do no use any seasonings, oils, butter, or other flavors which can be incredibly toxic to dogs and finds its way into a lot of pre-made human food - another good reason to avoid table-scrap feeding
- Small bites! When raw, a lot of veggies (hello, carrots) are really hard and can present a choking hazard. Always cut up veggies into small, bite-sized pieces
- Remove all skins, seeds, stems, and leaves before feeding
- Think of vegetables as healthy treats for your dog. Of which, treats should make up less than 10% of your dog's daily food intake - the same rule applies with vegetables!
- When serving, you can cut into small pieces (or puree!) and sprinkle directly into your dog's food. Additionally, you can serve alone as a healthy, tasty treat between meals!
- Any new food should always be introduced slowly to your dog. This promotes a healthy gastrointestinal reaction and gives you the opportunity to easily spot a potential allergic reaction
What Vegetables can a Dog Eat?
Now that we know the ground rules, let's get into it! The internet has spoken, and below are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to canines and vegetable intake.
Can dogs Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is the perfect example of the answer "yes, but...". In short, dogs can safely eat broccoli. In fact, broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat, making it a healthy snack for dogs.
However, when over consumed, broccoli can cause gastric distress. Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which in large amounts can upset the canine tummy.
Can Dogs Eat Celery?
Yes! This crunchy vegetable is incredibly low in cholesterol and fat, making it a preferred weight-loss snack for dogs and humans alike! Better yet, celery is packed with folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamins, K, C, and A. Additionally, celery is a great source of fiber.
To further sweeten the pot, celery has been known to freshen stinky dog breath!
Can Dogs Eat Asparagus?
When it comes to dogs and asparagus, the lines are a little blurred. Technically, asparagus is safe for dogs to consume. However, the hard, stringy texture of raw asparagus makes it incredibly hard for dogs to eat and digest. This means you would really only give your dog cooked asparagus, which loses most of its nutrients in the heating process. Therefore, there is really no reason to give your dog asparagus.
Bonus tip! If you are growing asparagus in your garden, the asparagus fern that grows on asparagus is toxic to dogs. Play it safe and make sure your garden has a secure fence around it to keep Fluffy from snacking on unsavory snacks.
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage?
Yes! Raw cabbage is rich in antioxidants that help promote healthy skin and digestion.
However, like broccoli, when overconsumed cabbage can cause issues. Specifically, raw cabbage contains thiocyanate, which in large amounts can cause hypothyroidism over time. So as always, practice healthy moderation!
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes! While you may not be able to get your kids to these tiny, mini-cabbage like veggies, your dog will have no trouble gobbling up this healthy treat! Brussel sprouts contain a number of healthy nutrients. Such as:
- Vitamins A, C, B1, and B6
- Vitamin K
These nutrients help promote strong bones, protect the heart, and fight free radicals.
The only downside? Lots of puppy toots. Brussel sprouts contain isothiocyanate, which promotes the healthy flow of waste throughout the intestinal tract. In tandem, this substance creates a natural build-up of bacterium, which leaves your dog's body as harmless, albeit perhaps stinky, farts.
Can Dogs Eat Radishes?
Yes! Radishes are a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. This combination of nutrients promotes a healthy immune system, strong muscle function, and proper digestion. Better still, the crunchy texture of radishes helps remove plaque from your dog's chompers.
Can Dogs Eat Okra?
Yes! While this veggie may not be as common in your crisper drawer, okra can be a nutrient-packed snack for your four-legged friend. Okra is chock-full of vitamins B and C, calcium, folic acid, and potassium. This unique blend of vitamins and minerals promote healthy metabolism, immune system, muscles, bones, and nerves. On top of all that, okra helps regulate blood sugar levels, making it perfect for dogs with diabetes.
Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower?
Yes! In fact, cauliflower is a good source of vitamins C and K, fiber, calcium, folate, and potassium. When combined, these nutrients support healthy blood, vision, muscles, liver, and immune system.
Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Yes! A member of the squash family, zucchini is full of beneficial fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Better yet, zucchini is low in fat and calories, and a cup of raw zucchini only has about 20 calories. Therefore, zucchini is often a great snack for obese dogs looking to shed a few pounds.
Can Dogs Eat Basil?
Yes! Like the other aforementioned veggies, basil is safe for dogs in small quantities. In fact, basil natural contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. These factors help battle harmful free-radicals, prevent cellular damage, and calms arthritis pain. Interestingly enough, basil has been known to calm anxious dogs as well.
More Healthy Vegetables for Dogs
In addition to the aforementioned list, there are several other vegetables that are safe for canine consumption. Such as:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Bell Peppers
Each of these vegetables offers its own unique nutrient profile and offers your dog some amazing health benefits. For example, pumpkin is known to promote a healthy gastrointestinal system. Carrots, on the other hand, are famed for their powerful eye health properties. To learn all about the specifics of these veggies, check out our Pet Honesty article on What Vegetables Can a Dog Eat? This article will also dive a bit into the world of fruits and dogs.
Unhealthy Vegetables for Dogs
While many veggies can be tasty nutritional treats for dogs, there are some vegetables that can be toxic to canines. When feeding your precious pup, always avoid the following vegetables:
Learn more about why to avoid these veggies on our Pet Honesty blog post about What Vegetables Can a Dog Eat?
Nutritional Supplements for Dogs
Just like us people, dogs would have to eat an insane amount of vegetables to fully reap the benefits of their nutrients. Therefore, in addition to a healthy regime of dog-approved vegetables, it is a good idea to supplement your dog's diet with a canine multivitamin.
Our Pet Honesty 10-for-1 Multivitamin contains glucosamine, vitamins A, C, D3, omega fatty acids, and probiotics. This unique combination of ingredients encourages healthy joints, improves digestion, and helps support the immune system.
Can Dogs Eat Vegetables: In Summary
At the end of the day, vegetables can be a tasty and healthy treat for your dog. However, always check with your vet first before incorporating fruits and vegetables into your dog's diet. Your vet can confirm the appropriate quantities of veggies that are appropriate for your dog's age, weight, and breed.