Vegetables are one of those human foods that we can give to our pet dogs. However, it is important to understand that not all veggies are safe for your dog to consume. There are dog friendly vegetables as well as veggies that are absolute no-nos to our canine friends. In instances where you get to pick the right vegetable to give to your dog as a delicious and nutritious treat, moderation should always be on top of your mind. After all, their optimum health hinges on the near-perfect balance of nutrients. If you’re thinking of vegetables to add to dog food, then you’ve got to consider the following options.
There are some resources that say you should never give asparagus to dogs. This veggie can be very fibrous and tough for your pet to digest. Moreover, if you cook it too long, you will be removing many of the nutrients that this vegetable contains.
Nevertheless, it’s all about preparation. What you can do is to remove the asparagus’ fibrous ends. Use only the spears or the veggie’s tips. Wash these very well. Add a bit of olive oil and start grilling the asparagus by about 30 to 60 seconds. As a doggie treat, you can cut the asparagus into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K, which can help in enhancing the blood clotting mechanism of your dog. There’s fiber, too, for improved digestion. This veggie is also a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Among the vitamins, asparagus contains vitamin A, C, thiamine, and folate. It may be small but it’s packed with nutrients that your dog can benefit from.
Pumpkin or Squash
Giving dogs freshly cooked pumpkin or squash can bring a lot of good for their health. This veggie is an important source of powerful antioxidants, not to mention Vitamin A. This can help improve the overall health of the dog’s cardiovascular system. The fiber that pumpkin or squash contains can also help alleviate constipation or diarrhea in pets.
You can treat your dog with cooked pumpkin by boiling bite-sized pieces in water for about 10 minutes or until they are fork tender. Remember to remove the seeds, however. There are also those who give canned pumpkin to their pets. This is okay as long as it doesn’t contain any other ingredient.
There’s a special pumpkin dog treat that you may want to try. Combine rice flour, natural peanut butter, pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, and 2 eggs. Shape them into canine cookies and bake for about 15 minutes. Your dog will have a tasty and nutritious treat.
Like all legumes, green beans are viable sources of protein for dogs. However, take note that the protein that is present in plant food may not have a complete set of essential amino acids that dogs need. Regardless, it still makes for a worthy addition to your dog’s diet. It’s packed with fiber, manganese, and the vitamins A, C, and K.
This vegetable is one of the easiest to give to pets. You can feed your pet with steamed or canned green beans. Chop them up into bite-sized pieces but make sure to remove or cut the ends first. Some dog owners love to boil their green beans. If you do, make sure not to “overcook” it. Otherwise, you are removing the good stuff from this veggie.
If you have a dog with an upset stomach, you can create a special meal for it. Cook brown rice, skinless chicken breast, and green beans in chicken broth. Give this to your pet. It should make it feel a lot better.
Rich in Vitamin C for improved skin and immune system, potatoes are one of the dog friendly vegetables you can give to your beloved pet. It also contains more potassium than a banana. This makes potatoes extra-beneficial for the optimum development and functioning of your dog’s muscles, especially those of the heart. Potatoes are also free from cholesterol and other fats.
This vegetable is also a good source of manganese, phosphorus, folate, niacin, and magnesium. Other nutrients that your dog can get from potatoes include Vitamin B6 for energy and Iron for healthy red blood cells.
Preparing potatoes for your pet dog is as simple as cutting them into narrow wedges without peeling the skin. Wash them well, however. Drizzle a little olive oil and roast in your oven for about 20 minutes for each side of the potato wedge. If your dog loves a crispy potato, roast it a bit longer. You now have a vitamin- and mineral-rich doggie potato treat.
You don’t need to turn Fido into Bugs Bunny whenever you give it crunchy carrots to munch on. If you try to read the ingredient list of your favorite brand of dog food, chances are you will find carrots there. And why not? This is one of those vegetables to add to dog food that can benefit your pet in many ways.
We know it’s a good source of Vitamin A. But what many don’t realize is that carrots are also a good choice when it comes to Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The combination of Vitamins C and A provides carrots with an antioxidant property that is perfect for optimum canine health. There are also other more potent antioxidants in carrots like lycopene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and anthocyanins.
Giving carrots to your pet dog is straightforward enough. You only need to remove the top and the tip before giving it a good wash. Cut it up into small, kibble-sized portions then boil them for 10 minutes or until tender. An alternative method is to steam these carrot cut-ups for 2 to 6 minutes.
Like asparagus, there are two schools of thought when it comes to broccoli as one of the dog-friendly vegetables. It is safe for pet dogs. However, the florets contain a compound that can produce gastric irritation in susceptible dogs. Furthermore, there have been cases where the dog suffered esophageal obstruction because of large stalks.
Again, these issues are not absolute contraindications to the giving of broccoli to your pet. You can always add small amounts of broccoli florets to your pet’s food and make sure to cut up the stalks in smaller sizes. Wash these broccoli florets very well before you cook them in a steamer for 6 to 8 minutes. Other pet parents also microwave broccoli florets for about 2 minutes.
Broccoli is excellent because of its rich content of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It is also abundant in folate, manganese, and vitamin A. Everyone knows that Vitamin A is not only great for your dog’s eyesight. It can also help improve its immune system because of the vitamin’s antioxidant properties.
If you have a dog that has some serious weight issues, giving cucumbers can be a good idea. One cup of this veggie packs only 16 calories. If your dog requires about 1000 calories per day, you can give it up to 6 cups of cucumbers and you’d still be within the 10-percent rule of dog treating. Of course, giving 6 cups of cucumbers will also not be good since it can also upset your pet’s stomach.
The point here is that cucumbers are great for dogs that have to lose weight. This veggie also contains magnesium, Vitamin A, potassium, Vitamin C, manganese, biotin, copper, and Vitamin K.
Some pet parents give their dogs fresh cucumbers. Remember to remove the seeds, however, and to slice them into bite-sized pieces. Most dog owners boil cucumbers for 5 minutes. This helps ensure that it still has those nutrients that dogs need while also retaining that crunch. It can be a bit bland, though.
Brussels sprouts are rich in Vitamin K, a nutrient that is critical for healthy blood clotting. There’s also Vitamin C for enhanced collagen production necessary for healthier skin. Of course, Brussels sprouts are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 as well as the antioxidant vitamin A. There is manganese and folate for healthier blood cells, too.
Preparing Brussels sprouts for your pet dog is easy. However, it is important to choose only those that do not have a very strong smell. It would also be nice to pick one that still feels firm and has a nice green color to it. Always wash vegetables very well before you cook them.
You have two ways to prepare this vegetable for your pet. First, you can steam the sprouts for about 5 minutes. For some, this is better since your dog will still get all the nutrients. For those who may be averse to the “taste”, boiling the veggie seems like a more viable option. If you do decide to boil Brussels sprouts, make sure not to boil it longer than 10 minutes.
There are many kinds of peas. You can go for snow peas, sugar snap peas, or English peas. The important thing to remember here is that different kinds of peas require different methods of preparation and cooking. For instance, one has to de-shell English peas. Sugar snap peas and snow peas, on the other hand, do not require de-shelling since they’re edible with their skin on.
In cooking peas, English peas are best boiled for 2 to 4 minutes. Sugar snap and snow peas are perfect for grilling. To add more flavor to the peas, you can drizzle a little olive oil. Of course, you can always skip this part.
Peas are excellent choices for high-quality plant proteins. They are also rich in Vitamin C for improved immune system and healthy skin. Peas contain Vitamin K, too, a nutrient that’s critical in normalizing blood clotting in the dog’s body. Other nutrients include manganese, folate, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and potassium. Peas contain Vitamin A and the vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6.
One of the vegetables to add to dog food that has an impressive nutrient profile is cauliflower. A single cup of this vegetable contains only 25 calories. You can give your dog a cup of this veggie and it will not require significant adjustments in its regular diet.
This vegetable is also rich in Vitamins C, B6, and K. Cauliflower is also a good source of folate and pantothenic acid. The fiber that it contains should help improve your dog’s digestion. The phosphorus, choline, potassium, magnesium, and manganese that cauliflowers contain can also aid in the dog’s other bodily functions.
Preparing cauliflower for Fido is not that difficult. As always, washing the vegetable very well is crucial. Cut it up like broccoli florets. It would be great to leave a bit of the stalk to make it easier to handle during cooking. Don’t boil the cauliflower. The best way to cook it is by grilling it for about 5 minutes on each side. It should be tender yet has that crispness to it.
Most pet parents don’t know that sweet potatoes are excellent alternatives to conventional doggie chews. As such, instead of giving your pet a Nylabone, you can create your very own sweet potato jerky sticks. The issue here is that you need to have a dehydrator at home so you can draw out the moisture from the sweet potato.
Like the other dog friendly vegetables on this list, sweet potatoes can provide the fiber that pets need for healthier digestion. This veggie also comes with Vitamin C and Vitamin A, two renowned antioxidants that can improve the health of Fido. There’s potassium, manganese, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B6, too.
If you are a fan of mashed potatoes, then you might want to give your dog a healthier version of this side dish. The process of making mashed sweet potatoes is similar to conventional mashed potato-making. The difference is that you’re not supposed to add anything else. On the good side, this is one of those vegetables to add to dog food.
While these veggies are safe for your pet, you should always exercise moderation in giving these to them. Remember, different dogs may have different reactions to the same vegetable.