Over millions of years, dogs have evolved from wolves, not only in appearance but also in their digestive system. Being omnivores, they are capable of digesting both plant and meat products. Confused if you can feed vegetables to your dog? Let us explore the background of Indian pet owners. Back in the 1990s, what do you think Indian families were feeding their pets at home? Not chicken, fish or mutton, but just plain roti with milk or curd. Fascinating, right? Breaking the taboo of dogs being carnivores, Fur Ball Story is here with a list of the best vegetables for dogs.
Just like us, dogs also require an organic and nutrient-rich diet. They can thrive on a vegetarian diet if we simply add vegetables that are good for them in moderation. If you think meat is monotonous, now is the time to switch to vegetarian alternatives for your pet!
Benefits of Vegetables for Dogs
- Improves digestion
Vegetables contain enzymes, antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals that facilitate the process of food digestion and absorption.
On a different note, is your dog facing digestion issues? Worry no more with Pacho Pet by Fur Ball Story. It is a herbal concoction that improves the secretion of digestive enzymes while eliminating worms. Moreover, it prevents liver cell damage and intestinal spasms.
- Provides Nutrition
Raw vegetables are a storehouse of multiple vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium which are good for the nerves, muscles, and kidneys of dogs.
- Helps in Weight Loss
Feeding low-salt and low-sugar vegetables can be a huge help to an overweight dog. After consulting a vet, you can switch to green beans to reduce the calories consumed.
- Keeps Diseases Away
According to a study performed on the cancer-prone breed- Scottish Terriers, veggies for dogs protect them from various degenerative diseases and reduce the chance of cancer. Phytonutrients that are found in dark leafy vegetables possess cancer-fighting, antibacterial, and anti-ageing properties.
Top 10 Dog-friendly Vegetables
1. Bottle Gourd
Bottle Gourd is a low-calorie snack that contains high amounts of vitamin C and fibre. If your dog is overweight, and facing constipation or diarrhoea issues, then bottle gourd can soothe its tummy. This easy-to-digest vegetable for dogs also improves their immunity level.
Spinach is a rich source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. It can boost your dog’s immune system and help maintain good energy levels. It also helps prevent anaemia that is caused due to low RBC count and eliminates free radicals from their bodies.
Carrots are highly nutritious vegetables for pets that include vitamin A, potassium, and fibre. They perfectly balance the calorie count. Cold or frozen carrots also act as great teething tools for puppies and help relieve discomfort. Furthermore, they improve the dental health of adult dogs.
4. Green beans
Green beans are rich in vitamin A and C which promotes eye and skin health besides teeth and bone formation. It slows down the dog’s ageing process and controls inflammation. Also, it provides manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus which eases wound healing and metabolism processes.
Broccoli can be fed in small quantities to your dogs. However, one must be cautious since the florets contain isothiocyanates which might lead to gastric problems. So consult a veterinarian on how to include broccoli in their diet.
One of the best vegetables for dogs is beetroot since it gives a nutritional bang for your buck. Loaded with fibre, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, and magnesium, beetroot is a healthy choice. The beetroot skin has betalain pigments which contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that benefit the dog's skin and coat.
Pumpkin is a great way to treat mild constipation and diarrhoea. It promotes good bowel movements and helps avoid anal gland issues due to its high fibre content.
Cucumber is a low-calorie, crunchy snack that only contains 8 calories as compared to the 40 calories of a biscuit. It is very low in sodium and fat which can be a healthy substitute for conventional dog treats. The high water content makes it a tasty and hydrating summer treat for your pet.
9. Sweet Potato
A well-cooked, peeled sweet potato is an excellent source of dietary fibre. Regular consumption of sweet potatoes lowers the risk of heart disease & cancer and enhances the functioning of their digestive system.
10. Green Peas
Green peas are packed with vitamins A, K and C and minerals including iron, manganese and phosphorus. They are high in fibre and rich in protein content. Besides, peas also contain lutein which is good for a dog’s skin, eyes and heart.
How to Prepare Top 10 Dog-friendly Vegetables
Blanching helps to clean the vegetables thoroughly and makes a flavourful and easy-to-chew treat for dogs. Soak the vegetables in boiling water, transfer them to ice water and it is ready to be served.
Veggies for dogs that don't require to be submerged in boiling water can be steamed instead. This helps preserve their phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Such vegetables are easy to chew, swallow & digest and prevent gastrointestinal problems.
Vegetables like pumpkin are excellent veggie fare when baked. Likewise, broccoli and green beans will have their antioxidants intact even after being baked.
To freeze the vegetables for dogs, wash, cut and freeze them in an airtight container. Freezing helps the snack last longer and hold great nutritional value. Carrots and cucumbers can be offered as a fun treat to dogs in frozen form.
Raw - chopped
Finely chopped raw vegetables are an excellent way to treat your dogs. Thoroughly wash and cut the veggies into small pieces and feed them in moderation. This will prevent the dog from choking, especially if he is not used to eating raw vegetables.
Frequently asked questions about Top 10 Dog-friendly Vegetables
- Is it ok to feed only vegetables to dogs?
Yes, a dog’s body is capable of transforming certain amino acids and digesting them. Going vegetarian simply requires the right balance of plant protein to provide dogs with the necessary amino acids. However, this depends on certain factors such as the daily physical activity of the dog, his breed and his medical condition.
- Are vegetables good for dogs with sensitive stomachs?
Certain vegetables like pumpkin, bottle gourd and boiled sweet potato are good for dogs having sensitive stomachs. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, Pacho Pet can be a great help too.
- Can dogs eat the skin of vegetables?
Yes, vegetable peels are full of vital nutrients for dogs. Carrot and potato skins can be fed after cleaning and cooking them properly.
- Which vegetables are good for puppies?
Finely chopped pumpkin, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli can be given to dogs after consulting the veterinarian.
- Which vegetables are toxic for dogs?
Onion, shallots, chives, garlic, mushroom, and unripe tomatoes are some examples of toxic vegetables for dogs.
- Which are the top 5 fruits for dogs?
Fruits like apples, bananas, de-seeded watermelons, and blueberries can be given to dogs.
- Can dogs eat potatoes and cabbage?
Yes, dogs can eat cabbage and potatoes. Potatoes have vitamins C and B6 and other minerals. Similarly, Cabbage is a low-calorie and high-fibre vegetable having vitamins C & K, magnesium, and beta-carotene.