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.

22

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 true 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 fine or puree and mix 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.

22 COMMENTS

  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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

  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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here