How you feed your dog can have a significant impact on his overall health and his potential lifespan. Unfortunately, many standard and even premium dog foods have been found to be inadequate nutritionally and may contain harmful chemicals that can harm your dog. In addition, we’re discovering that vegetables have powerful antioxidants that may help to reduce chronic disease and slow down the rate of aging. What about vegetables for dogs?
It seems likely that vegetables added to a dog’s diet would have some of the same positive health benefits seen in humans, particularly since some of the studies showing the benefits of vegetables were carried out on dogs. In fact one of the world’s longest living dogs named Bramble was raised in Great Britain on a vegan diet and is currently twenty-seven years old. Bramble’s diet consists of a healthy bowl of rice, lentils, and a bowl of organic vegetables every evening.
What are good vegetables for dogs and which should you avoid? Most vegetables, especially when cooked to improve digestibility, are safe for dogs to eat. The exceptions would be onions and garlic in any form. This is because these foods contain a chemical called thiosulphate which is known to be toxic to dogs. Dogs given this chemical develop hemolytic anemia., a condition where red blood cells circulating in the blood stream burst, reducing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Onions are particularly dangerous vegetables for dogs as they contain higher quantities of this chemical.
Vegetables that are good for dogs include green beans, cabbage, carrots, green beans, broccoli, squash, and most other green, leafy vegetables. Not only do these vegetables add healthy antioxidants to your dog’s diet, they also are a significant source of soluble fiber and roughage which can promote intestinal health in your dog.
Fortunately, many dogs enjoy the taste of vegetables. Start by introducing small amounts of cooked vegetables to your dog’s regular food, gradually increasing the quantity as your dog learns to accept them. A good rule of thumb is to have vegetables compose around 20% of your dog’s daily food. If your dog is reluctant to eat cooked vegetables in his food, try pureeing them in a blender after cooking them and mixing them thoroughly with his regular diet. Vary your dog’s antioxidant exposure, by adding different vegetables that are good for dogs every day to his food bowl.
Another advantage of vegetables for dogs is the role they play in controlling obesity. If your dog is overweight, reward him with some raw vegetable sticks such as celery or carrots in place of his regular cookies. To make the vegetables more appealing, add a small amount of peanut butter to give them additional flavor. Do this consistently in place of his higher calorie treats and you should see your dog’s weight start to decline.
Vegetables for dogs can be a real asset to canine health. Plus, it adds variety to your dog’s diet. Why not treat your dog to some vegetables?