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7 of the Best Vegetables for Dogs to Add to Your Pet’s Diet

June 8th, 2020

How would you feel if you had to eat the same thing day in and day out? You will be tired of your meals in no time at all. So why would we expect our dogs to do this without misbehaving during meal times? While it is true that we can try to vary the flavor of food that we give to our dogs, it's also true that frequently changing brands and their food, in general, isn't advisable.

So what can you do to make your dog excited about his/her meals again? You can add vegetables to his/her diet. There are a large number of vegetables for a dog's diet, and some of them are very healthy.

Can Dogs Eat Vegetables?

Yes, dogs can eat vegetables. There has been an on-going debate about dogs being strictly carnivorous, but scientists are now starting to rethink that stance. This is mostly because dogs tend to have a much longer intestinal tract than say cats -strictly carnivorous animals. The science behind it is that meat protein is quite easy to digest, and that's why carnivores have a much shorter intestinal tract.

Since plant-based minerals tend to take a longer time to break down, omnivorous and herbivorous animals, therefore, have a much longer intestinal tract. Dogs have longer intestines, which suggests that they are physiologically designed to digest plant-based minerals even if it isn't always their first choice. The trick lies in how you present the vegetables for your dog's diet.

How to Prepare Vegetables for Your Dog's Diet?

How you prepare the vegetables for your dog is almost as important as the veggies themselves. Typically, you want to choose the method that ensures your dog gets as much of the nutrients as possible without developing a disdain for the taste. Here are some effective ways of vegetable preparation that you might want to try:

  • Blanching: This is where you submerge the veggies in boiling water and quickly do the same in cold water. It cleans the veggies and helps to retain the vitamins and taste.
  • Steaming: This cooks the vegetables yet preserves the vibrant color and most of the nutrients.
  • Pureeing: This is the best method that provides maximum benefits as well as digestibility. Some vegetables such as spinach and celery won't need to be cooked before blending, but others such as sweet potatoes and carrots might have to be steamed or blanched before blending. This method breaks down the vegetable cell walls making them easier for your dog to digest.

As a rule of thumb, you should always make sure that the vegetable content in your dog's food is below 25%. Again, they might have the biological constitution to digest these foods, but that doesn't mean that vegetables would be your dog's first choice. Besides, feeding them too many greens could increase alkalinity or interfere with their gut flora, thus leading to kidney problems.  

The Best Vegetables for Your Dog's Diet

Here are some of the most nutritious and non-toxic vegetables for your dog's diet:

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Carrots

These are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which go a long way in boosting your dog's immune system as well as eye health. You will also be taking care of your dog's dental health when you serve him/her raw carrots.


Furthermore, carrots can be used as digestible chew toys that help calm your dog by giving him/her something to do and focus on. However, they are a potential choke hazard and should, therefore, be administered with caution.


Should you find raw carrots in your dog's stool, then you are better off chopping and cooking it before feeding it to the dog. Try not to feed him/her more than one carrot every two days or so.


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Kale

Adding kale to your dog's diet will help reduce urinary tract issues, arthritic symptoms, and even fight heart disease. The beauty of kale is that it's versatile. You can serve it steamed, blanched, or even dried, provided you add it to the dog's main meal.


You are, however, advised not to feed your dog too much kale (no more than an ounce per meal or so) because it could lead to a great deal of bloating and gas.


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Pumpkin

Thanks to its high fiber content, pumpkin is nothing short of a miracle food when it comes to fighting constipation and diarrhea in your dog. You, however, want to serve it sparingly because it might take your dog's system a bit of time to get used to it. Pumpkin is best served pureed.


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Sweet Potatoes

Apart from also being high in fiber, sweet potatoes have a great deal of minerals and vitamins which offer a number of health benefits for your dog. Because of the high fiber content, this vegetable is great for your dog's digestive health. It also contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is excellent for your dog's muscle growth, vision, and growth. Plus, dogs love the taste.


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Green Beans

High in fiber and have omega 3, which means that they are wonderful for your dog's bowel regulation, digestion, and health in general. They also go a long way as a weight loss aid thanks to the high fiber content. To safely feed your dog green beans, don't add any more than 5% of it as a replacement to your dog's food.


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Broccoli

Broccoli stocks have been known to boost your dog's immunity, fight the inflammation that is often caused by arthritis as well as help to ward off cancer. They can also help your dog to maintain good dental health by fighting off plaque when chewed on. However, just like Kale, too much Broccoli can cause digestive issues and gas in dogs. It should, therefore, never replace more than 5% of your dog's diet.


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Asparagus

Full of vitamins, minerals, and flavor, asparagus is a good way to renew your dog's interest in what might have become a mundane diet. This provides some much-needed texture as well as flavor to his/her regular meals. Asparagus should always be cut into small pieces, and then steamed before being added to the dog's regular meals.


Not only will your dog appreciate the change in taste, but these vegetables will also help improve his/her health.