Many of the top name brand foods on the market contain veggies, and for good reason. Vegetables are necessary in your dog’s diet, believe it or not. Vegetables have so many vitamins and minerals, and they can also boost healthy digestion. Some of the veggies are more starchy than others, and these have more calories and should be given in smaller portions. Veggies that are non-starchy don’t have as many calories or fat, but they offer fiber and other nutrients. So, what vegetables can dogs eat? This is a question that we are asked often.
There are many veggies that are okay for your pup, but there are some that should be avoided. This is why you have to be really careful. When you introduce your pet to a new veggie, you will want to make sure that you look out for any nausea, loose stools or flatulence. This may be a sign of intolerance.
Take a look at the veggies that are safe for your pet. We will not only go over some of the best veggies to add to your pup’s diet, but we will also take a look at portion size and ideal preparation, along with the benefits that come along with the veggies. This will help you when it comes to offering your pet the best nutrition possible.
10 Vegetables Dogs Can Eat
Asparagus offers a great deal of health benefits for your pup. First of all, it is a great source of many vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E and K, along with B1 and B2. It is also a good source of folate, copper, fiber, iron, potassium and manganese minerals. To prepare asparagus for your dog to eat, start by removing the ends and washing them. Toss them in olive oil, and grill them for a minute on each side. Cut them into bite size pieces, and feed your pup a couple of the pieces. Save the rest for a snack later, or as a side dish for your own meal.
Broccoli is another great veggie that is packed full of benefits. It contains Vitamins A, C and K, and it also offers your pup folate, fiber and manganese. To prepare broccoli for your pup, start by cutting it into small pieces and washing it. Then, steam it on your stovetop for about 8 minutes, or until tender. If you prefer to microwave it, you can do that too. Put it in a bowl of water and microwave for 5 minutes. One or two broccoli florets makes the perfect sized healthy snack for your pup.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts offer Vitamins A, B1, B6, C and K. They also have manganese, fiber, folate and potassium. When you choose Brussels sprouts for your pup, you will want them to be firm and green. Cut the stems off and wash them thoroughly. Then, steam or boil them on your stovetop until they are tender. Some dogs prefer them crunchy, but this is something that you can play around with a bit. When serving the sprouts, make sure that you cut them in half. You will want to start out giving them just a half, but if they tolerate it well they can have up to two whole sprouts as a snack or treat.
Carrots are not just healthy for humans. They offer great benefits to your dog as well. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A, and they also offer vitamins C and K, along with potassium and fiber. To serve carrots, it is recommended that you cut them up into bite size pieces and boil them for ten minutes or so, until they are tender. A couple bite sized pieces will be plenty for your dog to get the nutrients, so don’t overdo it. Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing, if you really think about it!
Cauliflower is packed with vitamins B6, C and K. It also has certain minerals, including choline and folate. To prepare cauliflower, it is recommended that you wash it thoroughly and grill it for five minutes on each side. You can boil or steam it as well, but grilled cauliflower will provide the perfect texture and crunch that your dog will be sure to love. A couple florets is an ideal size snack, depending on the size of your dog. Of course, if they are a small or mini breed, you may want to go with smaller florets.
Cucumbers are one of the best sources of Vitamin K. To serve cucumbers, you will want to wash them and peel them first. Then, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Cut them into bite sized chunks and boil them for five minutes. Next, you will want to strain them, and they will be ready to serve. The truth is, sometimes cucumbers are a little bland. Seasoning is okay, as long as it is a dog safe seasoning, and nothing that contains salt because it is bad for their heart health. A couple bite sized pieces is ideal.
7. Green Beans
Green beans are probably one of the most common veggies served throughout the world. They offer your dog an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, along with decent amounts of fiber and manganese. You don’t want to go with canned green beans, because they have preservatives. Instead, take fresh green beans, and cut the ends off. Wash them thoroughly and cook them for about ten minutes in boiling water, covered. A few bite sized pieces of green beans is the perfect size. As with other veggies that you boil or steam, let them cool before serving them to your pup.
Peas are probably one of the most nutrient rich veggies that you can serve your pup. They are full of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and K. They are also an excellent source of fiber, manganese, folate, protein, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium. Choose from snow peas, sugar snap peas or English peas. If you are feeding sugar snap peas or snow peas, you can serve them with the shells, but the English peas need to be shelled. Grilling them or boiling them for a few minutes is the best way to prepare them, and you can serve one or two of the snap peas or snow peas, or a tablespoon or two of English peas.
Potatoes are actually an ingredient found in many commercial dog foods. They offer vitamins B6 and C, along with manganese, fiber and potassium. To serve potatoes, you will want to roast them in narrow slices, with the peel. It is best to roast them for around 20 minutes, unless your dog likes them a bit crispier. If so, then you can roast them a bit longer. Give them one or two slices, depending on their size. It is an excellent carbohydrate source, but you don’t want to overfeed them when it comes to potatoes.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Finally, we have sweet potatoes. They are excellent sources of Vitamins A, B5, B6 and C. They are also full of fiber, potassium and manganese. To prepare sweet potatoes, it is best to dehydrate them. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, then you can boil them and serve them in small bite sized chunks. You can even mash them if you would like. Just make sure that they are tender, and cooled before you serve them. The perfect portion size is around a tablespoon of mashed, one or two small cubes, or a slice of dehydrated sweet potato.
As you can see, there are a variety of different veggies that are completely safe, and nutritious, for your dog. That doesn’t mean that you can feed them any and all veggies. Dogs cannot safely consume garlic or onions, as it can lead to stomach upset and other health concerns. The truth is, most dogs have allergies to these veggies. As long as you stick with the top ten veggies on our list, then your dog should be safe. Just remember to introduce veggies slowly, to make sure that your pup will be able to handle them. Just as you would feed a growing baby new foods one at a time to see if they agree with them, you will do the same with your dog.
Now that you know what vegetables dogs can eat, you will be able to offer them healthier treat options. You will also be able to take a closer look at the ingredients on your dog’s food and see what veggies are offered, and understand the benefits that come along with them. This may really help when it comes to choosing the best dog food for your pup, so that you can ensure optimal nutrition.