What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Vegetables can be a great addition to your dog's diet if you stick to those that are safe and hand out an appropriate amount. So which vegetables are good for dogs? Let's explore the best vegetables for dogs by veggie type.

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As omnivores, dogs can digest plants as well as meat. Many nutritionists believe a mixture of both is important for a healthy dog.

My darling baby boy is a 12-year-old German Shorthair Pointer mix. When he was around 6 years old he started to put on some weight. Based on a suggestion from a friend, I did some research on what vegetables dogs can eat, cut back on his commercial dog food, and added a handful of frozen green beans to his dinner. The vegetable slowed down the gobbling up of his food, added volume without many calories to help him feel full, and easily fit into my budget. The trick worked! My pup slimmed down.

Which Vegetables Are Good for Dogs, And Which Aren’t?

Leafy Greens

A good rule for finding leafy greens that your dog can eat is to stick to those that you would consume. Lettuce, spinach, chard, cabbage and kale are all okay for dogs. Besides being rich in vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron and potassium, leafy greens are also a good source of fiber. Much like humans, dogs get the most nutrients when the veggies are uncooked. Of course, if you want you can steam your dog’s vegetables for something a little different, or bake them for a crunchier treat. The high fiber in leafy greens can cause some dogs to have an upset stomach after initially added to their diet. Introduce any new food slowly to keep your dog’s tummy safe.

Root Vegetables

In general root vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and parsnips are safe to feed your dog. These vegetables are starchy and high in sugar, which means you do want to limit the amount you give to your dog (especially if his commercial or raw dog food already contains root vegetables – many do).

Stalks

This includes vegetables like celery and asparagus. It may be a little harder to get your dog to enjoy these types of vegetables, but they are safe for dogs to eat. Some don’t like the taste, and some find them hard to grind up in their teeth. To help, cut stalky vegetables into small pieces and/or steam them.

Squash

Squash of all varieties are safe for dogs to eat. Pumpkin and butternut squash can help dogs with bouts of diarrhea, and most dogs don’t mind the taste of squash. Use up all your excess summer squash from the garden by steaming it up for your dog, or cut up and bake this year’s jack-o-lantern after Halloween for your dog to eat. It’s best to limit your pup’s consumption to the meat of the squash, keeping the seeds and skin away.

Legumes

This vegetable group includes bean and alfalfa sprouts, mature beans such as kidney, pinto, and lentil, and peas. The topic of legumes in dog food has been in the news lately. The reason is due to a recent FDA update which states there are reports of canine dilated cardiopulmonary (DCM) in dogs eating pet foods containing legumes or potatoes high up on the ingredients list. If the protein of your dog’s diet relies heavily on legumes or potatoes, you should not only avoid giving more of this plant group to your dog, but also consider reducing the levels of legumes in his main dog food, i.e. changing dog foods.

A note on green beans: Green beans may be the most widely-fed vegetable to dogs because of their taste and easy digestion. Please be aware that, despite their name, green beans are not actually classified as beans, and therefore don’t warrant the limitations recommended for true legumes.

Alliums

Alliums are bulb vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. Do not give your dog access to these plants, as they are toxic to dogs. Negative side effects of eating onions or garlic for dogs range from a stomach ache to developing anemia which, at it’s worse, can cause organs to shut down.

Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Corn and Cucumber

All of these veggies are safe for your dog to munch on but, like other vegetables, keep it to small quantities – especially if your dog isn’t used to eating these types of foods. Remember to take the corn off the cob before handing it over to your dog. Although the cob itself isn’t bad for a dog to consume, it is easy to swallow in chunks or whole, which can cause choking or intestinal obstruction.

Whenever changing your dog’s diet make sure to check with your vet, go slow, and pay attention to your dog. If you follow these guidelines, adding vegetables to your pup’s food can help him receive a more varied, nutritionally complete profile in his diet.

Tips for Feeding Your Dog Vegetables:

* Frozen bags of vegetables are often on sale. Stock up. Have a blend ready to grab in a Tupperware bowl in the freezer.

* If your pup is sensitive to the cold of a frozen vegetable, put a small bowl in the refrigerator for easy treat access.

* For a summer treat, add vegetables to a 1:1 mixture of chicken broth and water in an ice tray. Once frozen, pop out one or two for a delicious hot day treat.

* When cooking, set aside the unused vegetable trimmings that are safe for your dog to consume. A great no-waste alternative to throwing it in the garbage.

* If your dog doesn’t want anything to do with vegetables and you want to supplement what he is getting in his regular diet, you can chop or puree them and mix them into his meals. For treats, adding some dog-safe peanut butter (no sugar, just peanuts) can get your dog started. Eventually you should be able to back off on the addition and feed the vegetable plain.

* Vegetables are a great reward in treat puzzle games. As always make sure you watch your dog when those are in use and that all edible treats are cleaned from the puzzle before storing away.

70 COMMENTS

    • Edamame can cause cancer in mammals by giving the body false readings of hormone levels. Cook carrots or beans in water or broth to entice your dog to eat a low calorie treat, occasionally! Dogs are carnivores, not omnivores! They need amino acid from animal protein to prevent heart disease. Easy on the vegetables! Feed a food that has chicken MEAL, beef MEAL as the 1st ingredient. This means the water was removed BEFORE the recipe was created. If listed as the 1st ingredient, “chicken” is 80% water. That means that the 1st ingredient is really water that will evaporate during the baking process.

      • I always look for the 1st ingredient as Chicken. I avoid chicken meal. I am surprised that you believe the opposite.

    • Please ignore Susan’s misinformation. First off dogs are 100% omnivores meaning they eat meat and plants. It has been proven through science due to their teeth and length of their intestines. Second soy can cause inflammation if it doesn’t agree with their body, everyone is different along with their responses to foods. Too much inflammation will eventually lead to health issues but to say all mammals develop cancer from eating soy makes no sense. In saying that, soybeans are part of the legume family so I would follow the same rules from above when feeding. I would get an IgE blood allergy test done too, just to rule out any other food allergies to prevent constant inflammation from occurring in the body. Third when getting meat in your pet’s food you want it to be whole meat of human grade quality and first on the list. When a meat is labeled as Meal that is the garbage meat all ground together then dehydrated and definitely not healthy for your pets consumption. If you already know all this sorry for the long response, it’s more of a reply to Susan’s comment.

  1. Salmon and Sweet Potato is the dry dog food I have been feeding my Chihuahua. She really likes it over the small breed food I had been using for years.

    • No animal should eat dry food. It ultimately gives them liver problems. A dig like a person should be eating organic wholefoods mainly raw diet.

  2. My dog comes running whenever I get out the cutting board because she knows there will be raw veggies available. She especially loves raw peppers and cucumbers. Oddly, she no longer will eat raw carrots which she used to love. Maybe she just grew tired of them. I believe that raw veggies are a good addition to her species appropriate diet of raw meat and bones. She came to us as a rescue with several health issues but now enjoys good health due, no doubt, to good nutrition. Our vet bills have been miniscule. In my opinion it’s good both for our dog and our budget to feed a species appropriate diet.

      • I did a lot of research before deciding to feed my dogs the way I feed them, which is a partial raw diet. You do not want to feed your dog raw pork nor salmon. The pH in a dog’s stomach acid is not sufficient to kill the flute in the salmon nor the parasites in pork. If you know something other than this and you can cite the source please feel free to correct me. Thank you

        • Dr Marty has developed a freeze dried raw meat dog food. It is made of people grade freeze fried organ meat from turkey, beef,duck, beef liver, turkey heart, flaxseed, sweet potato, apple,blueberry, carrots, etc. look up this brand online. I use it for my mini schnauzer.

          • Does that kill hydatid worms? I was told in class to never feed offal to dogs as it can infect them with with hydatid worms. Hydatids then release eggs in the dog faeces, which can lead to fatal cysts forming in humans if ingested. The eggs can survive even if the faeces dries and turns to dust, so you may not eat the poo, but you may take it in later.

          • The promo video was fantastic and made a lot of sense. It’s not for every dog though. I have a Great Dane puppy and when I asked if it were okay to feed, the response from the site was that it has too much calcium. If you can’t find the calcium to phosphorus ratio on a dog food and it’s a giant breed dog – you should ask before feeding. My 6 year old German Shepherd would not touch the food.

    • Thanks for your comment. I drink a green smoothie every day, and I started making some extra for my 2 Labs. As long as it has a sweet taste, they drink them with enthusiasm, so I add a little honey. I know how good green smoothies have been for me, so I pray they will be good for Max and Hazel….

    • Agree 100%. My Lab mix has been on a raw/semi raw diet with various proteins, veggies, fruits and starches. Sometimes I mix with quinoa, but usually use sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, potatoes, cooked rice, and occasionally cooked oatmeal. He’s eaten this way since he was three. He’s now 12 and has the get up and go of dog about 4.

    • stonypointer7@gmail.com. it actually says leafy green vegetables are good for dogs. Not only spinach, but brussel sprouts broccoli cauliflower kale asparagus are all good. My dog loves his cucumbers and carrots with celery before his regular meal.

      • Spinach might be one of those things to leave out. In larger quantities it‘s bad. It’s very high in oxalic acid which blocks calcium absorption which can lead to kidney damage. As for brussel sprouts and broccoli: maybe low amounts or as an occasional treat in case of gastrointestinal irritation and brussel sprouts might give your dog more gas than you bargained for. I know nothing about kale for dogs. Asparagus may be too tough (fibrous)-I‘d cut it up small. I wouldn’t bother cooking it to feed anyway because by the time it’s tender enough it‘s lost the nutrients.

    • Yes it is safe but as always do not over feed and not a daily diet. Veggies are good as a treat. I do a 1-2 times 3 times a week and different days of the week each week.

  3. Our pup doesn’t like the dry food. I mix a can of mixed veggies with a can of moist food. I keep in the refrigerator. I mix 1/4 cup of this mixture with 1/4 cup of dry food. Take chill off in the microwave. He empties the bowl in about a minute. My problem solved. Hope there is nothing in the mixed veggies to harm him.

      • I use no salt can veggies – peas, carrots and green beans. I’ve been using green beans for several years with wet and dry food at least once a day. Also cucumbers. I’ve recently been using peas because an article in WDJ said they were better than green beans. I also cut up raw carrots. If I’m cutting veggies for me. She gets a small helping – red peppers, apples

  4. There are a few factual errors in this article. One issue is that dogs are not omnivores. They are carnivores. Second, dogs are unable to easily break down plants’ cell walls so they extract very little nutrition from raw plants. Pre-processing the veges will help. Puréeing or juicing are good techniques. Or cut the veges small and lightly steam them.

  5. How about the fact that most of the cabbage group (broccoli and cauliflower included) are goitrogenic? They suppress thyroid hormones and are not the best choice.

  6. Yes it is safe but as always do not over feed and not a daily diet. Veggies are good as a treat. I do a 1-2 times 3 times a week and different days of the week each week.

  7. As soon as my Golden Ret. sees me in the garden she goes crazy until I give her something.. she will sit in her baby pool under the umbrella and eat all kinds of veggies. LOL.. Just to see how she gets when I walk past her with my basket to pick the garden its on… she will wait and wait sometime impatiently.

  8. I make my own dog food and can not. I use fresh cooked chicken and then add vegetables and parsley with the chicken broth. Then I serve it with rice and some dry dog food. My dogs love it and they look so much better since I changed it. I know exactly what goes in it.

      • Mostly my dogs only get small amounts of leafy veggies. Outside leaves, and left overs from preparing our meals. I DO like to add parsley to their meals and since I grow my own parsley there is more than enough for both them and us.
        If you grow cat grass, then some of that cut up finely and added to meals would be good.

      • I cook for my dogs regularly. Before I started, I did research and looked up lots of recipes on YouTube and other sites, looking for recipes from VETERINARIANS FIRST. I got lots of great ideas and in many, WHITE RICE WAS USED. I USE IT AND MY DOGS LOVE IT.

  9. Dogs are carnivorous omnivores, which means that they should eat mostly meat, and some veggies (but not carbs). Pretty simple!

  10. Dear, you have beautifully elaborated for the dog owners, that aspire to give their dogs vegetables raw diet.
    which part is good? which is not, all have been cleared.
    Thanks for such a piece of good information.

  11. I just started giving my 19 month old Beagle boy vegetables. He loves green beans, frozen, bell peppers, cucumbers, and broccoli and cauliflower. I started giving him yellow squash today. He goes to the fridge for a treat now.

  12. question for all. My shadow (Aussie) just had many huge and small stones removed, but lots… poor thing. i feel like a horrible mom. I wish they could talk! she really didn’t show signs she was in pain, but some stones were over an inch. just having to go potty often. we feed both Aussies science diet and I try to make homemade treats but milkbone for emergency. now, I don’t know what to feed, switch to, homemaker, no idea. Any help awesome!

    • Is kale a part of your pups diet? You might want to do some research into what you’re feeding – Calcium Oxalate causes stones (which kale, spinach, beet greens, roots of beets, Swiss chard, collards, parsley, collards, leeks, quinoa, and okra are high in according to American Kennel Club), As well monitoring your dogs sugar intake (treats, bananas, apples are high in sugar) will help.
      My aussi used to get UTIs often and would pee at any moment of excitement or fear. I found that they stopped when I cut chicken out of his diet (I feed simply nourish salmon and sweet potato) and added green beans, fish, and small amounts of celery to his diet it seemed to help.

    • Kidney stones often show up when people dont drink enough water. I know for my boyfriend is one that has had kidney stone problems and he has a history of going for hours without drinking anything. I would do a search online also as to what vegetables can contribute to the problem for maybe the dog’s food you are using has too many of them in it. Im just guessing here but being a bit of a detective can help you here and save you some expensive vet bills!

  13. Dogs are primarily carnivores… I dare you to only feed them vegetables for a month. A balanced diet primarily of meat with some vegetables or even fruit mixed in very slightly gives them a pseudo omnivore tag. Feels like 90/10 or 95/5 ratio of meat vs plant matter.

    What do wolves & coyotes eat when the habitat is covered with snow and ice? They hunt rabbits and other mammals to survive. They ain’t eating pine cones.

    There is so much more energy per pound consumed when you eat meat as your primary food source. When it’s cold, that is really important.

  14. Kale is not good for dogs as it’s high in Calcium Oxalate and can cause kidney and bladder stones. Small amounts may be ok as with most foods (depending on the size of the dog) but it’s best to avoid it. Green beans or peas are a better option.

  15. i give my dog mixed frozen veg with a tad of beef gravy loves it and he is a staffy he is also 15 so i guess we are doing something right

    • I have been making my own dig food for my 4 year old Chihuahua for a couple years now. He would not touch hard dog food or soft dog food of any kind . Eventually with the food I make I started putting a small amount of a good quality hard dog food mixed in with the homemade. I hope I’m putting proper ingredients in his food because now I’m concerned after reading all these comments. How do I make it…. I boil about three large chicken breasts in water, either cut 1/3 of a roast epic small pieces and fried in coconut oil or a package of lean hamburger or turkey burger, I recently also started adding chicken liver or gizzards or beef liver in smaller amounts in this recipe also. I use all of those meats together using a grater for part of the meat and cut the rest up in small pieces. For vegetables I use one large carrot steamed and cut up in small pieces along with a handful of raw spinach chopped up very finely and I have an apple either grated or chop’t up very small. She doesn’t really like Apple which is why I like to chop it finely and blend it well because he will eat it then and I figured he needs fruits of some sort. Iused to take three eggs and beat them. I cooked white or brown rice preferably brown and added one cup of cooked rice and fried the scrambled eggs in with the cooked rice. I recently started boiling the eggs and chopping them up finely which he enjoys a lot more that way! At the end of bringing everything together I gently stir the eggs in the recipe. Also as far as vegetables along with the carrots I steam a medium sized sweet potato. Of course I peel them but not always the carrot. I then take the bowl of meat products and mix with the other ingredients gently. I use cheap Ziploc sandwich bags 2 store two or three Meals in each bag and freeze them. I generally come out is about a week and a half to two weeks worth of dog food for my chihuahua. This is quite a process to make. It takes a few hours usually so I give him an appropriate amount for a meal so I don’t waste it and like I said I add a Small palm full of quality dog . Sometimes I boil the rice with the chicken broth after boiling the chicken breasts. You really seems to enjoy this combination ingredients for his diet. I hope these are all healthy and safe foods I give him. A couple things concern me after reading these comments above like the spinach possibly being bad for him and saying not to feed it to him daily because when I make this amount of dog food he gets the same thing everyday. I thought I was really putting forth the effort to keep my little buddy healthy and happy! I sure hope so!

      • Corrina, Seems like a good diet but not complete. According to the author, Mary Straus, of another Whole Dog Journal Article, “How to Make Homemade Food Diet” no diet is complete with added calcium (can get from pulverized eggshells and other sources, and some fish and even Vitamin E. Check out that article which was updated on March 24, 2020.

  16. I have read through most of the comments and no one that I saw mentioned eggs. I fry an egg for every meal along with almost everything else I’ve read here. My GSD loves it and she loves to watch me prepare a fresh, hot meal for her every day.

  17. Great conversation here…as we learn more and more of the harmful ingredients contained in dog kibble from previously trusted names…it makes a lot of sense to try to develop a healthy combo of known self prepared ingredients mixed with an equal or lesser amount of commercial “quality” (if there is such a thing) kibble. My pups usually are fed an AM mix of scrambled eggs with cottage cheese, raw local grass fed burger and Fromm’s Duck and vegs or Beef and oats. And PM steamed in broth fresh spinach or frozen mixed vegs or peas and carrots mixed with Wellness 95% turkey, chicken or salmon. So far so good … poops are regular and not hard.

  18. Hello I’ve been making my dog’s food for years, and her health has drastically improved! One of the ingredients is pumpkin, which I am unable to find at this time (only pumpkin pie mix). To replace the pumpkin, I purchased bags of frozen yellow squash. I just noticed that it is advised to remove the skin and seeds. The squash I purchased is sliced with the skin and seeds. It is fully cooked. Will you clarify if the fully cooked squash is safe to add to the food?
    Thank you!

  19. Wow! I’ve only just found this mag today. I’m a Brit living in Spain. We have 4 rescue dogs, down from 7, 3 passing away 2 years ago from old age.
    We feed them on raw food, kibble is disgusting now, the actual content that is good in kibble has been reduced so much to keep prices competitive that we just don’t buy it.
    Raw meat is more expensive but far far better and is good value. We do add raw veg, usually green beans and beetroot, raw eggs and oily fish, sounds an awful mix but they are fit and healthy. Our eldest girl is 12 and has a thyroid problem, this could be result of her feeding before we rescued her, she also has probably got arthritis in her rear hips/legs for which we give her Hyaloral, she has been on that for just over a year. Now thinking if changing to YuMove but the ingredients seem very similar! Has anyone any advice on this please?

    • My rescue 10 1/2 yo springer has metal elbows and arthritis. The vet prescribed 1.5 x 50 ml Rimadyl and 3/4 paracetamol daily. After a bit of trialing I now give him 1/2 paracetamol, 1 Yumove, 1/2 Rimadyl after his weetbix and branflakes but before his 1/4 slice of buttered & honeyed seeded wholemeal toast for breakfast. ( He didn’t care for the sunflower spread & thick cut marmalade that I also have.) For his tea I give him the raw bone from a chicken leg followed by another 1/2 Rimadyl and a green lipped mussel capsule (Holland & Barrett human consumption which I also use) followed by dry dog meal with the raw meat from the chicken leg. The chicken I use is the cheap supermarket human consumption frozen or fresh which I freeze if it is not going to be consumed within a couple of days. Having read a lot of these comments I will be adding a bit of veg to his diet. He does love tomatoes and eggshells.

  20. Corrina, Seems like a good diet but not complete. According to the author, Mary Straus, of another Whole Dog Journal Article, “How to Make Homemade Food Diet” no diet is complete with added calcium (can get from pulverized eggshells and other sources, and some fish and even Vitamin E. Check out that article which was updated on March 24, 2020.

  21. My Westie was diagnosed with cancer at age 13. I started making his food. Since he is allergic to beef and chicken he gets semi cooked ground turkey, freeze dried lamb and pork. I use scrambled eggs and I use a food processor to finely chop spinach, carrots, brussel sprouts, (red, yellow or orange) peppers, cucumbers, celery, apples, pears, blueberries, blackberries, a small piece of garlic, fresh rosemary, ginger, turmeric, coconut oil, lettuce, broccoli, green beans and peas. The veggie and fruits will vary in every batch, but will always have rosemary, garlic, ginger and turmeric. I make bone broth and use quinoa or brown rice. I do add a little good grade kibble for crunch. I add a digestive enzymes (with pre and probiotics), cosequin, crushed egg shells and organic wild salmon oil. He always has filtered fresh water in two areas. For snacks he love bananas, apples, oranges with cheese, homemade jerky. I will give other treats as long as the ingredients are healthy. He is now 16.5 and cancer free. He’s a little senile, but still runs, more like sprints, especially when I come home. His little brother who is 3 and an Aussie Shepard/Lab mix (60 lbs) get the same food.

  22. We feed Orijen dog food, a mix of cooked veggies (peas and green beans-no salt!-mostly), Brutus Bone Broth (no alliums! Well tested), canned pumpkin, raw baby carrots (he likes the crunch), frozen green beans (these really keep his teeth clean!), and organic plain yogurt. He’s a senior, but he looks years younger thanks to his healthier diet.

  23. We make a special mix we call “Papa’s mix” that we use to give pills easily to our 15 yr old bichon and 10 yr old chihuahua. We buy 9 or 10 containers of chicken livers, cook them up, along with broccoli, green beans and carrots with some ground flax seed. We mix everything together so it is a nice texture that wraps around a pill. Our dogs love it and it removes the hassle of giving pills. I also buy something called “Just turkey” from a local Wegmans deli. It has no salt in it (or taste, as my husband says. ) My dogs, cats and I love it and it is also a great training treat. My dogs have eaten broccoli, green beans, sweet peppers, hard boiled eggs, peas, and carrots from puppyhood. Also we add the following to their canned food: Seameal, ground flax seed, nutritional yeast, and probiotic powder. Check out Dr. Pitcairn’s book. He is a pioneer in dog nutrition. Just learned our bichon has hip dysplasia and has lameness in the back legs. He is eating well and very alert. Does anybody have suggestions on how we can deal with this? I work and my husband is disabled and in a wheelchair. We plan on getting some wheels along with a pet stroller for our dog but are at a loss to figure out how we can deal with Perky’s condition when I return to work. Any suggestions?

  24. Coconut oil is fine. I just started my dog on whole roast chicken (everything but the bones goes in) and sweet potato/squash with a little courgette and cauliflower and she loves it and is walking better after limping due to what the vet was arthritis. No grains at all for arthritic dogs. It isnt that much more expensive and at 10 she is like a puppy.

  25. Much healthier to eat raw organic wholefoods. Dogs can be allergic to brassicas. Wouldnt feed dogs spuds as they come from the deadly nightshade family. I make my twin gear juice and my rescued greyhound gets th leftover mulch with some wheatgrass and tumeric or coriander for eliminating heavy and toxic metals plus garlic for his anti infection and carrot to keep his tummy health. This is mixed with duck as he can’t stomach other meats. Yes expensive and time consuming cutting it off th bone. He has a few drops of cod liver oil and a few shakes of Himalayan rock salt. We use charcoal for poisoning, infection, inflammation and anaesthetic. It is a great shame th Australian vet association supports th unnecessary use of General Anaesthesia for teeth extraction when gas and local do th job just as well. Sad as GA can kill.dogs. mine cane back paralysed, deaf and his pancreatic probs returned after 6years of hard Yakka curing this naturally.

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