Vegetables for Dogs

When we think of dog food, we typically think of meat. We don’t tend to think of things that we tend to reserve for humans: things like vegetables and fruits.

But actually, if you take a look at the ingredients list on the back of one of the better dog food brands, you’ll find that some of them are actually quite creative with their inclusions. You have things like roast dinners with stuffing and bread sauce, you have a combination of grains and oatmeal. Some contain bits of fruit and vegetables.

And this is good! In the wild, dogs would have enjoyed a wide variety of different foods and it’s up to us as their owners to ensure we’re able to mimic this as they grow up. Your dog could be requiring a lower protein diet. If you don’t give a dog enough of these types of foods, then it can lead to a whole host of problems. And conversely, if you make the effort to try and get your dog to eat a more nutritious diet, then they will be happier, healthier, and less likely to fall ill.

The problem with the way that a lot of people feed their dogs is that they just give them one brand of dog food – normally whatever is available affordably from their local store – and they rely on that forever. Their dog likes it, it’s predictable. Why not?

The problem is that with the best will in the world, your dog isn’t going to get the variety of nutrition that it needs from any one product! It simply can’t replace an entire varied diet, just as humans can’t live off one item of food either.

Thus it is very important that if you do rely on one brand of dog food, you also find ways to further supplement that food with other ingredients and other nutrients.

One of the very best ways to do this? Give them some vegetables!

Why Vegetables Are Good for Dogs

Vegetables are ideal for dogs in a number of ways. Most notably, they are of course rich in nutrients and specifically minerals like calcium and magnesium, along with vitamins like vitamin C. You can give your dog vegetables and this way you’ll be helping them to strengthen their bones, to improve their eye and tooth health, to fortify their immune systems, and more. It can even make them happier, seeing as vitamin C found in things like broccoli gets converted into serotonin (the “happy chemical”) and then melatonin (the sleep hormone). Your dog will be happier, healthier, and more energetic as a result of these benefits.

The same goes for fruits too, but the problem with fruit is that it is rich in sugar. Sugar can be very bad for both humans and dogs, but especially so for dogs due to their relatively small stature. Not only that, but fruit is also more likely to contain seeds or pits. These can contain cyanide (yep, the poisonous kind) and also present choking hazards.

Thus, vegetables are preferable.

Good Vegetables for Dogs

Broccoli: Broccoli is a safe option for dogs to eat. It contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium, it is soft and low in sugar, and it isn’t too fibrous as compared with some of the other items on this list.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is in the same family as broccoli and has many of the same benefits.

Brussels sprouts: Sprouts are divisive among humans but they’re sure healthy for dogs! As well as the usual vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, sprouts are high in iron which helps to encourage blood flow.

Carrots: Dogs really enjoy carrots because they’re crunchy and sweet. They’re also high in vitamin A, which is very good for vision and can help to prevent some of the issues in this area that affect older dogs.

Kale: Kale is a little more risky as compared with other veg on this list because it is so high in fiber. Keep it to moderate portion, but there’s no harm in occasionally letting your pup partake in some kale.

Celery: Celery is predominantly water and is very good for hydration. It’s low in calories and has a satisfying crunch. All this makes it a great choice for making dogs feel as though they are getting a treat!

Warnings and Notes

While it’s true that dogs can eat vegetables, it’s important not to let them overindulge. These are highly fibrous and while fiber is good for dogs and humans alike in small portions, it can lead to digestion and bowel issues in larger quantities. Not only that but vegetables can also contain small amounts of sugar which might become dangerous in higher quantities.

Keep it to a minimum, but occasionally sprinkling some vegetables on your dog’s dinner, or giving them a bit of carrot as a treat can be a very good way to keep their diet diverse and healthy.

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