Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
Dogs aren’t obligate carnivores. In fact, you see dogs and wolves in the wild munching on berries for nourishment during tough hunting seasons. But for your domesticated companion, are the rules the same, can they have fruit and veg too?
You can mix vegetables with dog food. Veggies are good for their health, digestion, and immune system, and can also help them to lose a few extra pounds. As long as you are keeping their diet balanced, there is no harm in adding a few crunchy treats.
If you’re looking to start giving your dog some of nature’s candy, check out the rest of this guide for everything you need to know.
Should Veggies be Used as Treats?
Definitely, veggies make GREAT treats for dogs. In fact, you know the dental sticks you give them for clean teeth and fresh breath? Well, they’re actually full of calories and carrots are just as effective (if not more so). Switch out the dental sticks for a healthier alternative.
Veggies make for fantastic snacks as they are hard and crunchy, especially carrots and broccoli. My dogs love cucumber, and I will often find them making those crunch sounds for ages before they actually eat it.
Just remember that treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. While they are low in calories and fat, you can have too much of a good thing. Veggies should be fed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Is Veg Good for Overweight Dogs?
If your dog is suffering from a little excess weight (who isn’t after lockdown?) this can be remedied by adding a little veg to their kibble. Since vegetables are low in calories, it helps them to feel fuller without eating too much and also provides them with nourishing vitamins.
Changing up your dog’s diet can be a little rough on their stomachs. To minimise the risk of diarrhoea, make sure you slowly add small amounts of veg to their food. Softening the vegetables first or blending them can also help with this transition.
Take a look at the best dog food for weight loss. Although you may not realise how much of a difference the choice of dry dog food you choose will affect your dog’s weight.
How to Prepare Vegetables for Dogs
Prepping veggies for your pooch is an easy task (phew). You can feed all vegetables to them raw, but we would recommend chopping them up a little to make them easier to eat. Unless you are giving them a carrot for their teeth, then leave it whole.
If you aren’t too keen on giving your dog raw veg (or they have very few teeth) you can steam or boil them to soften them a little. This makes them easier to chew and can also offer a gentler touch to their digestive systems.
Remember to always serve the vegetables plain. Your dog doesn’t need oils, herbs, and spices added to their veg. In fact, these additions are incredibly bad for them and could cause them to become very sick as a result. Raw or boiled/steamed plain is the only way.
Which Vegetables are Safe to Add to Dog Food?
The most important thing is that you are giving your dog vegetables that are safe for them to eat. For example, onions and garlic are toxic and you must never add them to their food. We actually have a few guides on what to stay away from that you can check out.
Here’s a quick list of veg your furry friend can munch on:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Sweetcorn (cut it off the cob though)
The Benefits of Vegetables for Dogs
Having seen which vegetables are safe, you might now be wondering what the BENEFITS of giving them to your dog actually are. Well, there are quite a few.
Broccoli is a great source of fibre and vitamin C while also remaining low in fat. Carrots are great for their teeth while also providing plenty of vitamin A. Following this, green beans are not only a high source of fibre but also packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals.
These vitamins help to improve their immune system, keep their bones and teeth strong, and also increase their energy while supporting the nervous system. Even in the wild dogs will eat veg, it’s good for their bodies as part of a balanced diet.
Veggies are great for humans and dogs alike, offering nutrition, great flavour, and something they can sink their teeth into. Just make sure you check you are feeding them vegetables that are safe for them to eat and ensure they aren’t having too many.
Did you enjoy this quick guide? If so, you should check out the rest of our canine care guides, each of which takes you through common questions about diet, health, and general care. We’re here to help so that you can become the best dog owner possible.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.