Both fruits and vegetables for dogs make a perfect snack or a healthy addition to their meal course. Vegetables are the best sources of vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy living. This fact applies not only to humans but to dogs also. Does it look like your pet is always hungry, and at the moment you sit down to have dinner or lunch, it begins begging for food? Giving the dog one of the best vegetables is the healthiest snack choice.
However, if your dog has never tried to eat a vegetable in its life, first talk to a veterinarian about adding something new to the dogs’ diet. It is essential to mind the amount and to make sure that dogs chew it slowly and don’t choke.
You should introduce vegetables for dogs one at a time and monitor the pet closely for any reactions. Some of them may cause diarrhea, gas, or even vomiting. No one knows whether a pet will have an allergic reaction or not, but still, you should be very careful with offering it new foods.
Vegetables can be given to dogs in various ways - cooked, baked, grilled, or steamed. Most dogs don’t like to eat raw vegetables and will refuse if you give it that way. So, it is best to offer the dog a cooked vegetable or even pureed. But remember when preparing the dog’s food not to add any spices to it, especially salt, since it has a lot of side effects and is harmful to dogs that have heart problems.
But Can Carnivores Eat Vegetables?
The fact that dogs are carnivores doesn’t mean that they have to translate the same feeding preferences as all other animals of this class. There are many factors that assume that dogs should be considered omnivores. And the primary one is that these animals can stay healthy and easily tolerate both of the types of food. It means that they eat vegetables, too.
Some researchers claim that the best term that describes the dog’s food preferences is ‘opportunivore’ since they want to eat whatever they see available, regardless of whether it is a chicken breast or a piece of zucchini. It may be a surprise for you, but many of the fruits and vegetables for dogs are safe.
How Much of Vegetables Can a Dog Consume?
For every dog breed, depending on its size, there is a recommended daily vegetable intake that would be best for it. For example, larger dogs can consume more food, and of course, vegetables, then the smaller ones.
If you are only beginning to introduce vegetables to your pet, go slow. Offer one type of vegetable a day and carefully watch your dog for any allergic reactions. If you notice that your dog is behaving not, as usual, contact the vet immediately. Later on, in this article, you will find out about the average portion of the best vegetables to offer.
Best Dog-Friendly Vegetables
Offering dogs vegetables is the best way to supplement them with the needed vitamins and not overfeed them. But you must be careful with choosing what type of foods to give, how and in what quantity.
Some people think that a dog has to eat only meat, but they are mistaken. Of course, you shouldn’t give your pet your leftovers, but offering a small piece of any of the allowed vegetables for dogs won’t do any harm. Read on to get a detailed description of the best vegetables for dogs.
The vegetables of this group that dogs prefer the best are celery and asparagus. However, not every pet is going to enjoy this vegetable since it has a specific taste. For older dogs, it may be difficult to chew them.
- Best way to serve: you can steam or grill it. It is best to cut into smaller pieces before offering it to dogs
- Amount: don’t give too much, be sure that the portion is appropriate for your pet. It is advisable to offer one or two pieces
- Nutrients and vitamins: K, A, E, C, B1, B2, iron, copper, potassium, and fiber.
This group of vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. All of them have numerous advantages. Brussels sprouts are considered the best and most likable vegetables for dogs. So, if you are letting your dog explore various vegetables and want to begin with cabbage, there are chances that your pet will enjoy brussels sprouts the most.
Another great choice is broccoli. These vegetables have the power to improve the immune system and can release cancer-fighting enzymes. But be careful with the amount you give to dogs since too much of this vegetable can cause thyroid problems.
- Best way to serve: you can steam it if your pet likes cooked vegetables better
- Amount: one or two tiny florets will be more than enough
- Nutrients and vitamins: A, D, C, calcium, folic acid, chromium, and plenty of fiber.
You can offer your dog both normal-sized carrots and baby ones. If your dog is a bigger breed, you won’t even need to cut the baby carrot, just offer it to dogs and see how much they will like it. It has numerous benefits for the dog’s vision, teeth, and gums. Moreover, this type of vegetable for dogs provides the best support for the immune system and digestion.
- Best way to serve: raw, or even frozen if your dog is teething. You can also cook, steam, or boil it
- Amount: 1 medium-sized carrot
- Nutrients and vitamins: A, K, C, D, potassium, fiber.
The advantages of feeding dogs green beans are uncountable, which makes them one of the best vegetables for dogs. The primary one is that these vegetables help to maintain bone health. It is necessary to add such a product for older dogs. Also, if your pet has any heart issues, offering this food is a must. String beans contain Omega-3 fatty acids that provide the best support to the heart.
- Best way to serve: the possible ways to cook this vegetable are to steam or boil them as if making for yourself, but without adding any spices. Also, you can try to feed dogs raw beans, but rarely dogs like them this way
- Amount: ½ cup
- Nutrients and vitamins: A, K, C, niacin, iron, riboflavin, fiber, copper, thiamin, manganese, others.
For most dog owners, it is quite a surprise that some dogs love to eat lettuce and kale. Any type of green leaves is safe for a dog to consume and even considered to be the best raw vegetables for dogs. Before giving these vegetables to dogs, make sure that you washed it since there is a risk of getting contamination from poorly washed leaves. Also, if your pet has diarrhea, it is best to avoid giving kale, or any other type of leafy greens to your dog until the situation gets treated.
- Best way to serve: chopped into small bites. It provides the most vitamins and nutrients if served raw
- Amount: 1 small leaf
- Nutrients and vitamins: K, A, D, E, folate, iron.
Are mushrooms safe vegetables for dogs? Well, the answer is simple. The same mushrooms that you eat can be offered to your dog. However, if you are walking with dogs somewhere in the forest, and you noticed that your dog ate a mushroom of an unfamiliar kind, you should seek help right away.
The thing is that if you have no idea what that mushroom was, it means that there is a chance that it could be poisoned. In such a situation, it is best to contact a veterinarian immediately and take your pet to the hospital. If you badly want your pet to taste a mushroom, buy them at a grocery store and cook by yourself.
- Best way to serve: these vegetables can be cooked, boiled, steamed, or any other way. However, it is not recommended to offer this vegetable raw
- Amount: half a mushroom
- Nutrients and vitamins: C, choline, selenium.
Not all of the available herbs options can be safe for dogs. You should be extremely careful when adding any herbs to dogs’ diet. Among the safe ones, we can single out oregano, parsley, rosemary, peppermint, and basil. They provide the best support for the dog’s immune system, heart, and digestion.
If you haven’t offered your pet any of the herbs yet, a good one to start with would be parsley. It is considered to be one of the best vegetables for dogs. If your pet has tummy problems, this herb is a must to add to the dogs’ meals and is the best way to cure such a problem. But be careful not to mistake parsley with the ‘spring parsley’ since the second one is very toxic for animals and can cause photosensitization.
- Best way to serve: you can sprinkle it over the dog’s meal or offer it uncooked as a breath freshener
- Amount: begin with a pinch and slowly increase the portion
- Nutrients and vitamins: E, K, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, phosphorus, protein.
Any type of squash is considered to be one of the healthy vegetables for dogs. Some dogs are picky eaters. If yours is also, then you can try offering your pet some pumpkin. And if you have been growing pumpkins in your garden, then you definitely should give it to dogs.
It is especially helpful for dogs that have diarrhea or other stomach problems. Before serving it, thoroughly clean out the inside of the pumpkin, including the seeds and the meat, and peel it from the skin. Avoid giving too large portions of pumpkin since it has a lot of fiber.
- Best way to serve: steamed or cooked
- Amount: 1-4 tablespoons along with a full meal
- Nutrients and vitamins: B, C, potassium, calcium.
All of the potato kinds are safe for dogs. They have numerous benefits for the dogs’ overall health. But it is best to remember that you can serve this food to your pet only if you cook it yourself. Canned vegetables for dogs or pre-made sweet potatoes are not allowed. You can prepare it the same way as you cook for yourself, but avoid giving any additives to it.
- Best way to serve: boiled, grilled, mashed, bakes or any other way you prefer
- Amount: since an average-sized potato contains 110 calories, one teaspoon will be enough
- Nutrients and vitamins: B, C, D, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and many others.
If your pet has problems with maintaining his body weight and you think that sometimes you may overfeed him, offering zucchini is the best idea. It is low-calory and can help your pet stay fit.
Dogs love the taste of courgettes since it is sweet, which is why it is one of the vegetables good for dogs. You can prepare it any way you like, or even serve this vegetable raw. Do not add anything to the zucchini. It is best to serve it plain without any additives.
- Best way to serve: to keep all of the vitamins serve raw. Also, you can cook it in any way
- Amount: no more than one cup
- Nutrients and vitamins: A, C, K, folic acid, many important antioxidants.
What Additives Should Be Avoided?
The best way to serve any of the best fruits and vegetables for dogs is without adding any other ingredients to it. The fact that humans like to spice up their meals by adding onions, garlic or chives, doesn’t change the fact that offering such products to your pet is harmful and definitely should be avoided.
Moreover, too much salt is also bad for any pet. It is why when preparing a meal for your dog, it is best to avoid any salt. Dogs like their food prepared in any way, and there is no need to enhance the taste by adding spices.
No pet owner knows how his pet will react to an additive. It is a good idea to avoid giving your pet the same food that you eat since your pet may develop an allergic reaction to something that was added there. It is best to cook your dog’s meals separately from yours and be aware of what ingredients you add.
The Bottom Line
Thinking that dogs eat only meat is wrong. Fruits and vegetables are not a must in a dog’s diet but are extremely beneficial. There are so many incredible and tasty vegetables to offer to your pet. And they are not just simply safe for your pet to munch on, but also have numerous health benefits.
However, not all of the available vegetables are okay to be offered to a dog. The options mentioned in this article are the best and safest ones. If you are wondering, “Can dogs eat strawberries?”, contact your dog’s veterinarian and ask that question. Since if a pet is prone to allergies, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian before adding a new product to your dog’s diet.