Which Vegetables Can My Dog Eat?

It’s a Sunday night and you’ve made a big, mouthwatering roast. You’re left with a plate of crispy potatoes and your dog looks up at you, longingly, as if to say, “How could you?”

You feel terrible that you’ve eaten this delicious meal in front of them. You want to give your beloved pooch the leftovers - but how on earth do you know if potatoes are vegetables dogs can eat?

Are they better to be eaten cooked,raw, or are certain breeds allergic to certain types of vegetables? What about spinach.. Can dogs eat spinach?

If you are feeding your dog a balanced diet, you may not need to worry about supplementation with vegetables. Unlike humans, dogs don’t need additional vegetables if it’s included in their food, however vegetables can be healthy treats for your dog. Especially if your dog is overweight; vets often recommend including low calorie vegetables to help them feel fuller for longer.

Before you refer to the list below, bare in mind that it is best to introduce cooked vegetables into your dog's diet at first, as a change from processed meaty food to fibrous vegetables will be tough on their digestive system.

Vegetables Dogs Can Eat

Potatoes

potatoes
Source: Pixabay

Raw or cooked?: Cooked.
Preparation: Wash potatoes but keep the skins on. Dice into wedges and cook in the oven until soft on the inside.
Portion size: One or two wedges, depending on the size of your dog.
Benefits: Vitamin B3, B6, C, minerals and antioxidants.

Summary: A common question many pet owners ask is “can dogs eat potatoes?” Potatoes are good for dogs. They can be harmful to both humans and dogs if the stems, shoots, and green parts of the skin are eaten, due to their nerve toxin content. This is why potatoes need to be stored in the dark, and these parts of the potato need to be removed before cooking. Your dog may also have sensitivities to certain foods, so introduce cooked potatoes in small amounts.

Spinach

Raw or cooked?: Both. Start off with cooked if your dog isn’t used to raw vegetables.
Preparation: If your dog hasn’t had raw spinach leaves before, cook the spinach and serve with kibble to introduce Fido to it. Make sure you slice the spinach so it is easier on their digestion. Steam, stir fry, or juice the spinach. Boiling will remove the nutritional value.
Portion size: Dogs won’t eat a lot of spinach, but it’s a good idea to not serve them spinach daily. If your dog has kidney problems speak to your veterinarian about serving spinach.
Benefits: Vitamins C & K for strengthening dog bones (great for older dogs), high in fibre, high in iron so ideal for an anaemic dog. Lutein and Zeaxanthin in spinach improves the vision of your dog.

Summary: Spinach for dogs can be as beneficial as it is to humans. The only thing to remember is spinach is high in oxalic acid, which in high quantities can be toxic to your dog's kidneys. So don’t go overboard, and introduce spinach to your pooch in small amounts.

Carrots

carrots
Source: Pexels

Raw or cooked?: Cooked.
Preparation: Dogs can not metabolise the nutrients of raw carrots. While raw carrots are great for your dog to naturally clean their teeth, lightly cooking or steaming the carrots is best.
Portion size: One or two baby carrots, or a half a regular sized carrot is a good starting portion. Introduce carrots in small amounts to avoid gas and intestinal upset.
Benefits: Vitamin A to strengthen your dog's eyesight, immune system and improve coat condition.

Summary: Carrots are good for dogs. Like everything, feed your dog carrots in moderation. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, and in too big a quantity can become toxic. If supplementing your dog’s diet with carrots regularly, consult your veterinarian first.

Cucumber

Raw or cooked?: Raw.
Preparation: Wash the cucumber to remove the pesticides and chemicals that remain on the skin. Then peel the skin, as dogs can’t digest it as easily as humans can. Do not turn cucumbers into pickles and feed to your dog, as the high levels of salt and vinegar will be harmful to their digestive system.
Portion size: Cut the cucumber into small slices, and give two to three pieces as a treat.
Benefits: Because they are mostly made of water, they are hydrating and low calories. They are rich in phytonutrients and phytochemicals to keep your dog's breath smelling fresh.

Summary: Cucumbers are not toxic to dogs. Don’t be afraid of feeding this vegetable as a treat, especially if your dog loves it!

Peas

Raw or cooked?: Cooked.
Preparation: Cook the peas in boiling water and strain. You can mix the peas in with your pooch’s kibble, or mash them onto bones.
Portion size: Introduce peas slowly. Start with 1-2 tablespoons.
Benefits: Antioxidants alpha and beta carotene keep your dog’s heart healthy. They protect red blood cells and keep membrane tissue healthy.

Summary: Feed peas to your dog, but be mindful of portion size. If new to eating vegetables, introduce peas slowly to avoid upsetting their digestive system.

Broccoli

Raw or cooked?: Both.
Preparation: You can serve broccoli raw or cooked. Avoid using seasonings and oils as they are not good for dogs. Steam the broccoli when first giving to your dog, as this will make it easier on their digestive system. The steaming method also preserves nutrients. If feeding broccoli to small dogs, make sure you cut the florets into small pieces as the stalks are known to be a choking hazard in the esophagus.
Portion size: Broccoli is safe for your dog to ingest if it makes up less than ten percent of their daily intake. This is because broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates. This can cause gastric irritation in some dogs. As each dog is different, some dogs may react more strongly to consuming this vegetable.
Benefits: Broccoli is low in fat, and high in fibre and Vitamin C. It’s packed with antioxidants that slow down the aging process in dogs.

Summary: Broccoli is safe for dogs to eat, but it’s important to make sure the portion size is right for your dog. Too much, and broccoli can be harmful for dogs. Contact your veterinarian if you have any questions about feeding broccoli to your dog.

Asparagus

asparagus
Source: Pixabay

Raw or cooked?: Cooked.
Preparation: Steaming asparagus retains more nutrients. Cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
Portion size: 1-2 stalks, depending on the size of the dog.
Benefits: While asparagus isn’t as beneficial as other vegetables, it does contain Vitamins K, B1, B2, copper, iron and folate.

Summary: Asparagus is not harmful to your dog, and can be beneficial in small quantities. Be mindful: this vegetable will affect the smell of their urine and flatulence.

Hopefully you now won't be left with a quandary at dinner time!

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