Most dog owners spend a great deal of time carefully selecting their dog’s diet. Untold hours are devoted to studying and researching the latest in canine nutrition trends. Trips are made to the local pet store to read the labels of the leading high quality pet foods to try to ascertain which food is going to be the best suited to Fido’s needs. Often owners pay more diligent attention to their dog’s diet than they do to their own!
While most dogs heartily enjoy their own meals, they are also easily enticed by the food their owners eat. Puppy dog eyes are a familiar sight when favorite foods such as bacon, steak, and cheese take pride of place on their owners’ dinner plates. While some human foods given in moderation are not harmful for our dogs, there are other that are highly toxic and must be avoided at all costs. Fruits and vegetables are foods that pack a powerhouse punch when it comes to vital nutrients, fiber, and even vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are particularly beneficial, delivering on added fiber with few natural sugars and very limited caloric input. The challenge then is deciding which vegetables are safe for canine consumption and which offer the most benefits to our dogs.
The Top 9 Vegetables for Dogs
While nearly all vegetables are safe for dogs to enjoy, some are offer more health benefits than others. Not all dogs like the taste of vegetables, but if your dog happens to be one that thinks they are “the bomb,” here is a list of the top 8 vegetables for dogs:
Cucumbers are a healthy snack for dogs to enjoy. Naturally low in calories as well as sodium and fat content, cucumbers give dogs that satisfying crunch they are looking for.
When it comes to feeding cucumbers to your dog, the greatest concerns are choking and gastrointestinal distress. Since cucumbers are quite large, it is best to cut the vegetable into small manageable pieces for your dog to enjoy. It is also wise to feed cucumber in limited amounts to prevent any stomach upsets or diarrhea.
Because of their high fiber and water content, cucumbers are an excellent choice for dogs needing to lose a little extra weight. However, it is best to feed cucumbers in their raw form as opposed to pickled.
Though many people are unaware of this fact, cabbage is a safe and healthy food for dogs to consume, and many of them quite enjoy it. Cabbage in all its varieties is a healthy addition to any dog’s diet. It is rich in antioxidants which gives an added boost to your dog’s immune system. Additionally, it is effective as a digestive aid and is a proven cancer-fighting food.
Excess cabbage consumption can lead to flatulence, so care must be taken to feed it only in moderation. If fed in higher quantities, it can impair thyroid function.
If your dog has a fondness for peas, you can feel free to indulge his snack choice. Peas are among the best options of human foods that you can feed your dog. They are rich in vitamins A, K, and B as well as numerous essential minerals. Naturally high in fiber, peas are also a friend to your dog’s digestive tract.
For dogs with kidney issues, peas should be avoided. While you can safely feed your dog fresh, frozen, or thawed peas, you must never feed him canned peas as they are far too high in sodium.
Rutabagas and Turnips
If you are a fan of rutabagas and turnips, you might not be alone! Many dogs love this fan favorite vegetable as well. When prepared without added butter and sugars, both rutabagas and turnips are a great addition to any dog’s diet. High in calcium and folate but with little caloric content to contribute, these root vegetables are a safe snack option for Fido to enjoy.
While broccoli is a food that dogs can eat in small amounts without experiencing any ill effects, it is best to limit it. While broccoli scores quite highly with its dense fiber content and vitamin packed stems, it is also a carrier of isothiocyanates, a compound known to irritate the sensitive tissues of the stomach and intestines. Eaten regularly or in excess, broccoli can be toxic to dogs.
Most dogs love carrots, and baby carrots are a particular favorite snack. Because carrots are a denser vegetable, they are an ideal treat to assist puppies who are teething. They are also a great low calorie option for dogs who could benefit from losing a few pounds.
Baby carrots are naturally sweet which makes them even more appealing to dogs. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your dog’s health and growth.
Cauliflower is a vegetable that is perfectly safe for canine consumption. It contains both antioxidants and essential vitamins for optimal health. Cauliflower is also an anti-inflammatory, making it a natural for dogs suffering from arthritis or other joint-related issues.
Though dogs can safely enjoy cauliflower, it is a vegetable with a penchant for causing flatulence. For best results, feed this beloved vegetable in moderation.
In moderation, yes, asparagus is good for your dog. Along with vitamins and minerals, asparagus is a good source of dietary fiber which can help digestive health.
If your dog likes vegetables, why not let him try a few Brussels sprouts? They are safe for dogs to eat in moderation and many dogs love them.
If Fido loves his veggies, you can feel safe to indulge him every now and again. As with all non-toxic human foods fed to dogs, it is best to limit the frequency and amounts you feed your dog for best results. Stock up on some veggies for Fido to enjoy today!