Are you wondering what dog-friendly vegetables you can give to your beloved pet? Luckily, several varieties are safe for dogs and even come packed with health benefits. This guide will show you why vegetables might be the perfect new treat for your pup, as well as which ones are best and how to serve them to your furry best friend.
Why Feed Vegetables to Your Dog?
There are several benefits to feeding vegetables to your dog, including:
Some dogs even seem to love the taste of vegetables, so you can feel good about rewarding them with their favorite snack.
Things to Keep in Mind When Feeding Vegetables to Your Dog
Before giving vegetables to your dog, keep a few rules of thumb in mind:
What Vegetables You Can Feed to Your Dog
Ready to test out a new treat with your pup? Here are ten different dog-friendly vegetables.
Does your dog seem to be interested in broccoli at the dinner table? Feeding them one or two pieces of steamed and unseasoned broccoli isn’t going to hurt. It’s full of fiber and vitamin C that can benefit dogs. It’s also low in fat, so if your dog is struggling with his weight, you won’t feel guilty about giving him broccoli as a treat.
Just be sure not to overdo it. In large quantities, broccoli can give dogs gas, an upset stomach, or diarrhea.
If you’re a fan of Brussels sprouts and often cook them for dinner, you may be tempted to share one or two with your dog. But should you?
On the one hand, the nutrients in Brussels sprouts that positively affect humans are also beneficial for dogs. Some of these benefits include helping to reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, and improve blood circulation and clotting.
Before you give them a big portion, be aware that just like with humans, these cruciferous vegetables can give dogs gas. Stick to giving them only a small amount to prevent upset stomachs and diarrhea.
Just like with humans, carrots help improve the health of your dog’s eyes. They’re good for dogs’ coat health, too.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber, making them a nutrient-dense and low-calorie snack for your pup. Teething puppies will love chewing on cold or frozen carrots, while older dogs can gnaw on large carrots as an inexpensive chew toy that also improves dental health. You can serve carrots to your dog both raw or cooked.
If your dog is struggling with his weight, celery is the perfect diet-friendly treat. The vegetable is packed full of nutrients like vitamin A, K, and C, but it’s also low in fat and cholesterol. As a bonus, celery can help freshen your dog’s breath.
As with most vegetables, it’s best not to replace a full meal with celery and only to use it as a special treat.
The next time you’re chopping up a cucumber, don’t feel bad about sneaking a piece to your dog. Some dogs love this crunchy, low-calorie snack. It also has a high water content, making it the ideal treat for hot summer days.
Some humans get an upset stomach after eating too much cucumber, and dogs are no different. To prevent any gastrointestinal distress, peel the cucumber before feeding it to your dog and limit the amount you give to them.
Green beans are perfectly safe to give to your dog. They’re high in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, iron, and calcium.
However, avoid the “green bean diet.” This diet says that you can substitute up to 50% of an overweight dog’s diet with green beans to help them lose weight, but veterinarians disagree. Stick with carefully controlled portions of your dog’s regularl commercially-prepared food and use green beans only as an occasional treat.
When fall rolls around, you may find yourself preparing more dishes with pumpkin. Set aside a piece or two for your pup to enjoy as a safe and healthy reward.
Dogs who are having digestion issues such as constipation or loose stools may benefit from all the fiber in pumpkin. Some veterinarians even recommend it. A few tablespoons of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may be just what your dog needs to soothe their tummy troubles.
Spinach has something of a reputation as a superfood for humans, and dogs can benefit from its vitamins, too.
However, dogs should only eat steamed spinach. Raw spinach is hard for them to digest, and boiled spinach loses the nutrients that make it beneficial to eat in the first place.
Large quantities of spinach can also theoretically cause kidney damage. A few bites won’t hurt your pet, but for all the trouble it’s worth to prepare it, it may be easier to give them one of the other vegetables from this list.
Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are a common staple in fall and winter. It can be tempting to feed a piece or two to your dog, especially if they seem to enjoy it. While veterinarians generally consider sweet potatoes safe for dogs to eat (they’re even used in commercial dog foods as a source of carbohydrates), dogs with diabetes should avoid them because of their high glycemic index.
Before serving, peel and cook the sweet potato. Served raw or with the skin may make it difficult for your dog to digest.
Zucchini may be one of the most dog-friendly vegetables. If your dog seems to favor it, you can feel confident that it’s safe enough to give to them as an occasional treat.
Zucchini is low in calories but full of nutrients. You can serve it to your dog raw or cooked as long as it hasn’t been seasoned.
As with any vegetable, don’t give your dog too much zucchini to prevent them from getting an upset stomach.
Reward Your Dog with a Healthy Treat
The next time you want to reward your pet, think twice before giving them a biscuit. Several vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, and perfectly safe for your dog to snack on. Chances are, there’s a dog-friendly vegetable on this list that they’re sure to love, and you’ll love giving to them.
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