Top 10 Dog-Friendly Vegetables for a Healthy Dog
The best way to get essential vitamins and minerals is by eating a diverse selection of healthy fruits and vegetables. This is true for us as well as our canines. But while healthy humans can pretty much eat any vegetables or fruits they want without concern, the same is not true for our dogs. Some fruits or veggies that are safe and even healthy for us can actually be toxic for our pets.
Still, our dogs need vital nutrients that only fruits and vegetables can provide, so we have to figure out which foods will give our dogs the benefits they need without any of the side effects or toxins we want to avoid. Luckily, we’ve already compiled this list of the 10 best dog-friendly vegetables to help get you started. Feeding these to your pooch will ensure they’re getting the vital nutrients they need for a healthy, long life.
Top 10 Dog Friendly Vegetables:
Carrots are one of the healthiest vegetables for your dog and they can provide many benefits for them. For starters, carrots are packed with healthy nutrients that are great for your dog, such as vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.
But carrots are a versatile snack that does more than just give your dog a nutrient boost. If you feed your dog raw carrots, they can actually help to clean their teeth! But be careful because raw carrots are hard and can be difficult for some dogs to chew.
If your dog has trouble chewing raw carrots, you can steam or cook them instead. On the other hand, you can freeze carrots to make an affordable, healthy treat for your dog to chew on. Plus, it will help them cool off on hot days!
These tasty little morsels are packed with nutrients, but you have to be careful with mushrooms because many varieties are poisonous to dogs and humans alike. But the main types of mushrooms sold at your local grocery store such as Portobello, Shiitake, and Porcini mushrooms are all safe.
Mushrooms are low in calories, so they’re a safe snack that won’t contribute to weight gain. They also contain fiber for digestive health. Plus, they’re packed with potassium, magnesium, and zinc; vital minerals that should be a part of your dog’s daily food intake.
An essential mineral you’ll find in mushrooms is copper. For dogs, it helps the body absorb iron, which is essential for proper functioning of red blood cells. Furthermore, copper is part of many enzymes and can even act as an antioxidant.
3. Green Beans
These beans make an excellent treat for dogs, and dogs seem to love them. They’re low in calories so they won’t contribute to weight gain, but they’re packed with tons of important nutrients that you’ll be glad you’re feeding your pooch! Just be sure to only feed your dog plain green beans, nothing with added salt, cooked in oil, or with added vegetables like garlic or onion that can be toxic for dogs.
Green beans have lots of iron, calcium, and vitamins. Iron is an important component of your dog’s circulatory system. It’s also essential for energy production in cells. Calcium helps to keep your dog’s joints and bones strong, while the vitamins ensure your dog’s vision and muscles stay functioning properly.
Celery is very low in calories since it’s comprised of mostly water and fiber. This means it’s great for overweight dogs that need a treat without all the calories. It’s also perfect for when you want to give your dogs a treat without worrying about making them overweight in the first place.
The fiber in celery can aid in digestion. And because it’s such a fibrous plant, chewing it can help to clean your dog’s teeth. It’s also full of healthy vitamins including vitamins A, C, and K. But that’s not all, you’ll also find folate, potassium, and even manganese in celery.
If you have a smaller dog, it might be better to cut the celery into smaller pieces to avoid a choking hazard.
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that most people either love or hate. But most dogs seem to like this green veggie, which is good because it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s also got lots of fiber to aid with your dog’s digestion.
Be careful when feeding this to your dog raw. It can be very difficult to chew that way and will need to be cut into chunks. You can also steam or boil the asparagus first so that it’s nice and soft, making it easy for your dog to chew.
This festive orange gourd is full of beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A to aid with eyesight and help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy. It’s also packed with potassium; a vital mineral that helps maintain muscle health and regulate blood pressure. You’ll also find various other nutrients like iron, phosphorus, and magnesium in pumpkin, all of which can boost your dog’s health.
Finally, pumpkin is packed with fiber, antioxidants, and the seeds are rich in omega fatty acids. The fiber is great for your dog’s digestive system. In fact, pumpkin can even help calm your dog’s stomach when they have diarrhea. The antioxidants boost your dog’s immune system while the fatty acids help the vitamin A keep your dog’s coat and skin looking and feeling great. Plus, pumpkin is low in calories, meaning you can give your dog all these benefits without worrying about causing weight gain.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes tend to be the main vegetable used to replace grains in grain-free dog food formulas, and for good reason. This nutrient-rich superfood is easy on a dog’s digestive system. It’s also packed with fiber to help keep your dog regular and avoid any runny stools or constipation.
This vegetable also contains calcium, potassium, and iron. This will help maintain bone and joint health, regulate your dog’s blood pressure, and aid the circulatory system. Meanwhile, vitamins A, C, and B6 help keep your dog’s immune system functioning at full capacity and maintain healthy muscle function and eyesight.
Manganese helps dogs metabolize protein and carbohydrates, create fatty acids, and produce energy. It also helps with maintaining bone and joint health. But it’s a difficult mineral to get for most canines because it’s not found in meat sources. So, adding a bit of celery to your dog’s diet can be a great way to ensure your dog is getting enough of this essential nutrient.
8. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash, similar to pumpkin, can help to calm a dog’s upset stomach. If your dog has diarrhea, butternut squash can help to relieve it. That’s partially because it’s packed with lots of fiber that will help to keep your dog’s digestive system running strong.
Squash is also loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, which help keep your dog’s immune system functioning while maintaining eyesight and skin and coat health. Finally, butternut squash has plenty of potassium, which helps keep your dog’s muscles functioning properly as well as regulating their blood pressure.
This low-calorie, low-fat treat is a great way to add some variety to your dog’s diet without adding any unnecessary fats and carbohydrates. Instead, you’ll be providing them with healthy fiber and vitamin C. But you’ll want to keep the broccoli limited to about 10% of your dog’s total daily intake. Feeding too much broccoli to your dog can result in gastrointestinal distress.
All the fiber in broccoli helps to maintain your dog’s digestive system. Meanwhile, vitamin C, an important antioxidant that removes damaging free radicals from the body, reduces inflammation in the whole body.
Zucchini is packed with water and fiber but contains very few calories and practically no fat, making it a healthy treat for your dog. It won’t contribute to weight gain, but your dog will enjoy eating it as an occasional treat!
The fiber is great for your dog’s digestive system and will also help to keep them full without the need for extra calories. This is great for dogs that are already overweight. It can help prevent them from continuing to overeat by filling their bellies up with healthy fiber and hydrating water.
This veggie also has lots of vitamin C and vitamin B6. It’s also got vitamin A and folate in lesser amounts. But you’ll also find essential minerals inside zucchini like potassium and manganese, which regulate your dog’s blood pressure and helps to maintain bone and joint health.
Healthy Veggies for Dogs: Final Thoughts
Most dog owners want to keep their dogs in top health while providing them tasty treats that they enjoy eating. By sticking to the 10 dog-friendly vegetables that we’ve discussed, you can ensure that your dog gets a tasty, diverse diet of foods that are packed with the vital nutrients they need but won’t cause any adverse health effects like some other vegetables that may not be as healthy as they seem.
Featured image credit: simonvera, Shutterstock