10 Best Vegetables for Dogs: What Are They?

Filed in Dog Health on August 12, 2021

best vegetables for dogs

Vegetables are a healthy part of the human diet, but what about dogs?

Dogs are omnivores, which means their diet is made up of both plant and animal protein sources. The vitamins and nutrients found in vegetables have many health benefits for your pet.

Some vegetables can be incorporated into your pet’s meals or used as healthy treats.

Like anything, moderation is key. To maintain a balanced diet, vegetables should make up less than 25% of your pet’s daily intake.

When making any changes to your pet’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian first to make sure it’s appropriate for your dog.

This vet-written article will provide you with a list of the 10 best vegetables for dogs to consider incorporating into your pet’s routine.

1. Green Beans

Green beans are packed with vitamins K and C. They’re also a great source of fiber and manganese. Fiber is essential for digestion and can help make your dog’s bowel movements more regular. Manganese plays a vital role in the body’s metabolism.

For overweight dogs, green beans are a great low-calorie addition to the diet.

When reducing the amount of kibble you’re feeding your dog to help them lose weight, you can add green beans to their meal as a healthy filler. Your dog still gets the feeling of being full without consuming as many calories.

Green beans can be fed raw, steamed, blanched, or canned. Always wash fresh produce to remove any pesticide or fertilizer residue. Canned green beans can be high in sodium. If using canned green beans, look for low sodium options.

2. Cucumber

Another one of the best vegetables for dogs is cucumber.

The main health benefits of cucumbers include their high water content and low calories. The high water content of cucumbers makes them an excellent snack for keeping your pet hydrated on hot summer days or after a long walk. For overweight dogs, cucumbers are a great low-calorie snack that provides a satisfying crunch.

Cucumbers are also full of vitamin K and phytonutrients. The phytonutrients found in cucumbers can help reduce the bacteria in your pet’s mouth that can contribute to their bad breath.

Cucumbers are best served raw and sliced. Like any other food, make sure the size of the slice is appropriate for your pet to reduce the risk of choking.

3. Carrots

dog eating carrots

More commonly known as a favorite snack for rabbits, carrots can be an excellent option for your dog as well. Carrots are high in vitamin K, beta carotene, and fiber.

Raw carrots can promote digestive health and slow the progression of dental disease. Carrots contain a fair amount of natural sugar. For this reason, reserve carrots for use as an occasional treat.

As mentioned, dogs can consume raw carrots. Carrots can also be steamed or cooked for picky eaters or those who struggle to chew tough foods.

4. Celery

Celery is another one of the best vegetables for dogs, has a lot to offer and is packed with vitamins and nutrients. These include vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Celery is also a great source of fiber and has high water content.

Some of the health benefits of celery include improved digestive health, anti-inflammatory properties, and the potential to improve the health of your dog’s skin.

Raw celery provides a crunchy snack but can be a choking hazard for small dogs. Raw celery can also be difficult to chew and digest for older dogs. In these cases, cooked celery may be a more appropriate option.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are the healthiest potato option for dogs. They contain high levels of vitamins A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

With their orange color, sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene. Just like in carrots, beta carotene is an antioxidant that can help improve immunity.

The skin of a potato is difficult for your dog to digest, so make sure to peel the potatoes before feeding them to your pet. Sweet potatoes can be steamed, baked, or boiled. Do not feed raw sweet potatoes to your pup.

6. Brussel Sprouts

Bowl of brussel sprouts

Brussel sprouts may not be your kid’s favorite vegetable, but they are great for dogs. Filled with vitamin A, C, and K, Brussel sprouts help build healthy bones.

They are also great for heart health and a healthy immune system. Antioxidants found in Brussel sprouts have anti-inflammatory properties.

Because they are high in fiber, Brussel sprouts can be good for your dog’s digestive health. However, feeding too many Brussel sprouts can have the opposite effect.

Brussel sprouts can cause your dog to become gassy. Not only can this lead to an unpleasant odor while you try to spend time with your furry friend, but it can also make them very uncomfortable.

While Brussel sprouts can be served raw, cooking this vegetable can make it easier for your dog to chew and digest.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium. Like green beans, broccoli is high in fiber and is low in fat. Broccoli can improve bone density and strength, as well as boost the immune system.

This vegetable is best used as a treat and should make up less than 10% of your dog’s daily intake. Feeding too much broccoli can be harmful. Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates which can cause digestive upset and should be avoided.

Dogs can eat raw, steamed, or roasted broccoli. Large broccoli stalks can present a potential choking hazard for your pet, so make sure to cut the broccoli up into small pieces and avoid feeding the large stalks.

8. Cauliflower

cauliflower

Cauliflower is a low-calorie vegetable filled with calcium, potassium, omega-3s, and vitamin C. The extra calcium can help promote bone health in your dog, while the omega-3’s are great for healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Cauliflower can be served raw, steamed, or roasted. Canned cauliflower and pickled cauliflower are high in salt and should be avoided.

Some dogs may get gassy or experience digestive issues when consuming raw cauliflower. Cooking cauliflower can help reduce some of these digestive issues.

9. Peas

Although a small vegetable, peas pack a nutritious punch. Filled with vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, and thiamine peas have a lot to offer.

Peas come in a variety of flavors, including English peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, and green peas. All of these varieties are safe for your dog.

Peas are a great treat and can be used as a delicious topping to your pet’s regular meals.

Canned peas are typically high in sodium and should be avoided. Fresh or frozen peas are a better option. Frozen peas are a fun way to provide a crunchy and healthy snack.

10. Kale

fresh kale

Like many dark leafy greens, kale contains many essential vitamins and nutrients. Kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K. Antioxidants found in kale are believed to provide cancer-fighting properties. Kale is also a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Kale is typically served raw and should be fed only in small quantities. Moderation is essential when it comes to kale and other leafy greens.

These vegetables contain calcium oxalate that can cause bladder and kidney stones. If your dog is prone to these issues, it is best to avoid kale altogether.

Another consideration with kale is the potential of isothiocyanates. Like broccoli florets, this may lead to digestive upset.

Always discuss dietary changes with your veterinarian so that they can help you determine how to balance the health benefits and concerns.

A Note on Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Some of the vegetables in this list are ingredients of interest in an ongoing investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA is currently researching connections between specific diets and an increased risk of dogs developing dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

The diets of concern use potatoes and legumes such as peas and lentils as main ingredients. These ingredients are still believed to be safe in moderation. More research is required to determine precisely how the diets may be increasing the risk of DCM.

To learn more about this condition and the FDA’s investigation, visit the FDA’s resource page.

Conclusion on Best Vegetables for Dogs

Well, I hope you enjoyed this list of best vegetables for dogs. This list should give you some ideas about health additions you can make to your pet’s diet. Adding vegetables can be a great way to improve your dog’s health when done appropriately.

Avoid seasoning of vegetables since many seasonings like garlic and onion can be toxic to your pet.

As with any diet changes, check with your veterinarian to ensure incorporating new vegetables is appropriate for your pet.

Sudden changes in diet can cause gastrointestinal upset, and new ingredients should be incorporated gradually.

Making sure your dog’s diet is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients from vegetables will help your dog live a long and healthy life.

Sources:

Hand, M. S., & Lewis, L. D. (2010). Small animal clinical nutrition. Topeka, Kan: Mark Morris Institute.

USDA Nutrient Database: Full nutrient profiles
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search

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