The Benefits of Feeding Vegetables to Your Dog

Before I share the top 10 veggies I recommend for your dog, let’s first chat about why they are a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Vegetables are a great source of minerals, vitamins and fiber for your dog. Whole food sources of vitamins support your pet’s skin and coat, strengthen bones and teeth, and fuel reactions for the body to make energy. Vitamins also contribute to disease resistance.

Food that is ultra-processed, such as dry kibble, contains vitamins that are laboratory made (synthetic) and are not tested for contaminants or impurities. Fresh veggies provide whole food nutrients in a form your pet’s body can fully utilize and benefit from.

The Top Ten Vegetables I Recommend for Your Dog

  1. Kale features vitamins like K, A, and Iron, providing bone health, proper vision, and immune function.
  2. Spinach contains potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E. It also contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
  3. Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. Green beans are also low-calorie and rich in fiber, which can help dogs feel full.
  4. Carrots contain vitamin A from beta-carotene, biotin, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin B6.
  5. Zucchini has vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Your dog will also get a small amount of folate.
  6. Sweet potatoes/yams are high in fiber. They contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. Plus, they are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  7. Cucumbers contain antioxidants and vitamins, including A and C.
  8. Peas are a good source of vitamins, such as A, K, and the B vitamins. They’re packed with minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Peas are also rich in protein and high in fiber. They also contain lutein, an anti-oxidant good for skin, heart, and eye health. However, I don’t recommend that peas be fed to dogs with kidney issues. Peas contain purines, a naturally occurring chemical compound. Purines produce uric acid that’s filtered through the kidneys. Too much uric acid can lead to kidney stones and other kidney conditions.
  9. Butternut squash offers minerals and vitamins A, C, B6, and more, which help your dog’s immune system, vision, and cardiovascular function.
  10. Bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, E, B6, C, and are a great source of beta-carotene—antioxidants that are important for a dog’s healthy immune system.

Ways to  Prepare the Veggies

Fermented – This is a great option because of their probiotic effect. When adding fermented veggies to your dog’s diet, start slow by introducing a small amount at a time as to not cause gastrointestinal upset.

Steamed – Steaming cooks the vegetables through while still preserving the bright color and flavor, and much of the nutrient content.

BlanchedThis method consists of submerging vegetables quickly in boiling hot water and then very cold water. Blanching cleanses the vegetable’s surface of dirt, and preserves both its vitamins and flavor.

Pureed – Veggies can be blended to a raw puree. Some vegetables, such as celery, cucumbers, peppers and spinach, do not need to be cooked before blending. Root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes should be blanched or steamed to make blending possible. Pureeing breaks down the cell walls of plant material, making a vegetable easier for dogs to digest.