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Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, need protein-heavy diets. Over centuries of domestication and life with humans, canines have grown to love certain vegetables, too. This doesn’t mean plopping a salad down in front of Luna and calling it a day! (And psst: Dogs should not be vegan.) Some vegetables are difficult for a dog’s digestive system to process. Others contain acids and chemical compounds that react negatively with a dog’s system, potentially leading to organ and nervous system damage. As long as you stick to our list of vegetables dogs can eat (and avoid the vegetables known to be toxic to canines), your dog will be a happy pet with a well-rounded diet.

According to Bridget Meadows, Head of Food at Ollie , a company that makes human-grade meals for dogs, it’s safe to feed canines vegetables as long as you ensure their diet is between 40- and 70-percent protein. “They can also provide your dog with an assortment of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients, which are natural compounds found in plants that have disease-fighting potential.” Of course, how much of your dog’s diet comes from vegetables will vary based on your pup’s activity level, age, breed, health issues and veterinarian recommendation. Podolsky also notes studies have found green leafy vegetables may reduce the risk of cancers in some dogs. So, if you own a breed predisposed to cancer, like a Golden retriever, adding these veggies to your dog’s diet in the form of snacks during long walks or mixed in with their favorite kibble is a good idea. Red cabbage is also a safe choice for down owners looking to boost their pet’s fiber, manganese, copper and potassium levels. Ideal for dogs who need to maintain a healthier weight, cucumbers boost energy yet have a low caloric count. Dogs will get an infusion of vitamins B1, C and K when they eat cucumbers, not to mention potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin, according to the American Kennel Club. But, these veggies are full of folic acid (good for the nervous system), potassium and vitamins B6 and C. If your dog has kidney issues, consider adding parsnips into her diet after consulting with your vet. Vitamins A, C and E also make this leafy green veggie a winner (plus, it can fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation). As with peppers, try steaming to soften the skin (zucchini is known for retaining its nutrient density even after cooking, unlike some vegetables). The AKC says asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, but it doesn’t offer enough nutrition value to make serving it to them worth it. Garlic is part of the allium plant family and contains thiosulfate, an inorganic compound that reacts negatively with dog systems. While mushrooms we buy at the grocery store are safe for consumption, they aren’t typically appealing to dogs nor do they surpass other veggies in terms of nutritional value. If you’re unsure if your dog has ingested leeks, onions, chives or garlic, look for dark yellow urine, a dramatic decline in energy levels, unusual bowel movements and vomiting. Rhubarb contains oxalates, an organic compound that could lead to kidney stones or nervous system issues in canines. If eaten in large quantities, rhubarb can also decrease the amount of calcium present in your dog’s bones, which is no good. “Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than their human counterparts, so they have less time to break down raw foods,” says Ollie’s Meadows. Keep in mind, your dog may still reject a vegetable even if it’s cooked, pureed, chopped or mixed into their regular kibble. If it seems like your dog has lost interest in any food, or won’t eat a prescribed diet, consult your vet. “A small amount… might be a good place to start, while keeping an eye out for any adverse reactions like gas or diarrhea. Over time, you can increase the amount, and variety, until you find the optimum level for your dog’s particular tastes and digestion.” Even sauteeing veggies in butter or adding salt can ruin the nutritional value of a vegetable and even cause harm to your pup. Steaming vegetables, without submerging them completely in water, softens them and makes them easier for your dog to chew, swallow and digest. This is also an excellent way to combine several veggies into one meal—especially if you want to trick your dog into eating bell peppers (for the vitamin C) but they prefer pumpkin.

What vegetables can dogs eat?

Kale. Benefits: Kale’s key vitamins like K, A and Iron provide bone health, proper vision and immune function, fetal development and energy metabolism. ….Spinach. Benefits: Spinach contains potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E. ….Carrots. ….Green Beans. ….Broccoli. ….Beets. ….Celery. ….Cucumber.

What vegetable do you not feed a dog?

Keep onions and garlic — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — away from your dog. They can kill their red blood cells, causing anemia. That’s even the onion powder in some baby food. Eating a lot just once can cause poisoning.

It’s not uncommon to want to spoil your dog by sharing table scraps or your favorite people food snack instead of a dog treat. After all, if it is safe for you to eat, it must be OK for your dog to eat, right? Not necessarily. While many people foods are perfectly safe for dogs, some are very unhealthy and downright dangerous, so it’s critical to learn which fruits and vegetables dogs can eat.

They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog’s main diet. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning. Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. Just remember, as with most fruits, remove the hard pit first, as it contains small amounts of cyanide and can become a choking hazard. Vets do recommend tossing the peel and only offering your dog the flesh of the orange, minus any seeds. Orange peel is rough on their digestive systems, and the oils may make your dog literally turn up their sensitive nose. Small amounts of cut-up fresh or frozen peaches are a great source of fiber and vitamin A, and can even help fight infections, but just like cherries, the pit contains cyanide. As long as you completely cut around the pit first, fresh peaches can be a great summer treat. A few chunks of pineapple is a great sweet treat for dogs, as long as the prickly outside peel and crown are removed first. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help aging joints. Strawberries are full of fiber and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them. It’s important to remove the rind and seeds first, as they can cause intestinal blockage, but watermelon flesh is otherwise safe for dogs. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down so it’s soft enough for dogs to eat, asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. Chopped, steamed, raw, or canned – all types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat, as long as they are plain. Onions, leeks, and chives are part of a family of plants called Allium that is poisonous to most pets, especially cats. Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage.

Just like us, dogs require a variety of organic foods and nutrients for a balanced diet. Veggies are rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phyto-nutrients not found in meat. It’s important to feed your dog different kinds of vegetables, as each type offers its own array of nutrients.

Feeding vegetables is a great way to keep your dog healthy while also reducing costs and extra trips to the store to buy pet food. Veggies make a great snack or treat as long as your dog doesn’t have trouble digesting them. Steam is an excellent method for cooking veggies that doesn’t require submerging them in boiling water. Steaming cooks the vegetables through, while still preserving the bright color and flavor, and much of the nutrient content. Cooking vegetables in large batches and storing them in the freezer is a great way to save time and effort. Tip: Even though vegetables are great for your pet, keep veggie content to less than 25 percent of your dog’s diet. Benefits: Kale’s key vitamins like K, A and Iron provide bone health, proper vision and immune function, fetal development and energy metabolism. These nutrients help your dog’s digestion and immune system and supports a healthy skin and coat. Benefits: Celery offers many vitamins including A and C, which are antioxidants that will help keep your dog young and healthy. Benefits: Butternut squash contains lots of vitamins and minerals like A, C, B6 and more which help your dog’s immune system, vision and cardiovascular function. These can wreak havoc on your dog’s blood cells, which could cause low iron levels and harm to their kidneys. The seeds in persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine if consumed by your dog. Similarly, the seeds or pits in peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries contain cyanide, which is poisonous for both humans and dogs. If your dog has eaten a toxic mushroom , they may begin to exhibit symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in heartbeat. At its most severe, ingesting toxic mushrooms can cause organ failure, seizures, and comas in dogs. Rhubarb also contains oxalates, and consuming this type of plant can cause problems with your pet’s nervous system, digestive tract, and kidneys. Rhubarb can also reduce the calcium in your dog, causing renal failure and other health issues. And if you’re interested in more healthy food options for your dog, Raw Bistro’s products are made from recipes designed to both fuel and delight your pup:

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Why feed vegetables to your dog?

According to Bridget Meadows, Head of Food at Ollie, a company that makes human-grade meals for dogs, it’s safe to feed canines vegetables as long as you ensure their diet is between 40- and 70-percent protein. Protein could be plant-based (like legumes), but more often than not, muscle meats, organ meats and eggs are ideal forms of protein.Brett Podolsky, co-founder of The Farmer’s Dog, a service that delivers balanced, fresh pet food made with real ingredients and simple recipes, says extra vegetables shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a dog’s diet. But that 10 percent can add significant nutrients proteins can’t offer.“Vegetables [are] a great source of hydration because of their high water content,” says Podolsky. “They can also provide your dog with an assortment of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients, which are natural compounds found in plants that have disease-fighting potential.”Of course, how much of your dog’s diet comes from vegetables will vary based on your pup’s activity level, age, breed, health issues and veterinarian recommendation. For instance, a vet may recommend switching out standard dog treats for carrots and apples if your dog needs to maintain a healthier weight. Both Ollie and The Farmer’s Dog incorporate vegetables directly into their recipes, making your job much easier.Podolsky also notes studies have found green leafy vegetables may reduce the risk of cancers in some dogs. So, if you own a breed predisposed to cancer, like a Golden retriever, adding these veggies to your dog’s diet in the form of snacks during long walks or mixed in with their favorite kibble is a good idea.As with any healthy diet, your dog should be consuming a variety of foods to maintain well-balanced nutrition. And do not apply human guidelines to your canine pals! While humans indulge in spices and seasonings, these things can irritate your dog’s stomach. And while you can live on a vegan and grain-free diet, dogs need ample proteins and healthy grains. In fact, grain-free diets are not good for dogs.

8 Vegetables Dogs Should Avoid

Dogs can definitely eat cabbage, though it might cause a gassy reaction. It contains vitamins B1, B6, C and K, not to mention tons of phytonutrients. These are antioxidants that improve the overall health of dogs—and humans—who consume them. Red cabbage is also a safe choice for down owners looking to boost their pet’s fiber, manganese, copper and potassium levels.The ASPCA says carrots are an ideal snack for dogs because they can be eaten raw, are low in calories and don’t create much gas (which dog owners know can be a problem, especially with some veggies). Carrots provide vitamins B, C, D, E and K, not to mention lots of fiber.Cauliflower is safe in small quantities. Like other cruciferous vegetables on our list, it can lead to uncomfortable gas. Best served lightly steamed, cauliflower provides vitamins B, C, and K, and omega-3 fatty acids—all great for the immune system.It feels like celery works overtime to bring good things to our dogs. Full of vitamins A, B and C, it goes above and beyond to freshen your dog’s breath. Vitamin A helps boost your dog’s vision. (Pro tip: Crunchy veggies help remove tartar from a dog’s teeth!)Ideal for dogs who need to maintain a healthier weight, cucumbers boost energy yet have a low caloric count. Dogs will get an infusion of vitamins B1, C and K when they eat cucumbers, not to mention potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin, according to the American Kennel Club.Many root vegetables are great for healthy coats and digestion in canines. Beets add vitamin C, fiber, folate, manganese and potassium to a meal. They can also help your dog better absorb other nutrients.Like cauliflower, broccoli can cause gas. This can be a smelly experience for you and an incredibly uncomfortable experience for your dog. That being said, broccoli delivers vitamins A, C, E and K, not to mention tons of fiber and almost no fat. Be sure to chop well—the stalks can get lodged in your dog’s throat if they’re too big.Brussels sprouts boost immunity (vitamin C) and bone health (vitamin K). Plus, they provide antioxidants that fight against inflammation. Slowly introduce Brussels sprouts into your dog’s diet to see how they adjust since these can cause gas, too.If your dog needs foods rich in vitamins A, B6 and C to improve her immune or cardiovascular systems, go for some butternut squash. It’s low in calories, high in nutrients (an ideal combo) and typically gentle on the tummy.Another crunchy veggie (when served raw)! Green beans are also safe to serve steamed or canned, as long as they are plain and unsalted. Join your dog in a green bean snack, because you could both benefit from vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and fiber.Kale is a superfood for a reason. It’s known for its ability to boost bone health, vision and immunity. How? Vitamins A and K, the latter of which is a significant source of calcium. Kale also contains iron, the element responsible for healthy red blood cells and blood oxygen levels. Both butternut squash and kale are included in Ollie’s lamb recipe.Parsnips aren’t typically the first vegetable we think of when we consider feeding our dog new treats. But, these veggies are full of folic acid (good for the nervous system), potassium and vitamins B6 and C. If your dog has kidney issues, consider adding parsnips into her diet after consulting with your vet.A few peas here and there will add a small dose of fiber and protein to your dog’s diet. These are essential if your dog cannot or will not eat meat products. Ollie includes peas (and sweet potatoes) in their beef recipe.It’s surprising that bell peppers haven’t yet replaced the orange as the poster child for vitamin C. These veggies contain three times as much vitamin C as oranges and make great low-calorie snacks for dogs. Canine Journal suggests steaming peppers to soften their exterior skin—and triple checking to make sure you’re not feeding spicy pepper varieties to your pup!Dogs can definitely eat potatoes, as long as they are cooked all the way through and served without toppings. (French fries don’t count here, people.) Raw potatoes contain large quantities of solanine which can be toxic, so it’s recommended to steam and puree or bake a potato before serving it to a canine.Canned pumpkin is often better to serve your dog than raw pumpkin, as it’s easier to digest. Be sure to buy the regular canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin has been known to help dogs dealing with constipationAnother all-star when it comes to improving digestion! Sweet potatoes have tons of fiber, not to mention vitamins B6 (for brain health) and C. Like carrots, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which improves vision and skin.Rich in iron and magnesium, spinach can be a terrific addition to a canine diet. Vitamins A, C and E also make this leafy green veggie a winner (plus, it can fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation).Zucchini fortifies your dog’s bones, heart and kidneys with calcium, vitamin A and potassium. As with peppers, try steaming to soften the skin (zucchini is known for retaining its nutrient density even after cooking, unlike some vegetables).

Fruits Dogs Can and Can’t Eat