Vegetables do not only provide health benefits for humans; they also help strengthen your dog’s immune system and provide them with a good source of vitamins and minerals. If you are contemplating feeding a raw diet to your furry companion, here are the vegetables that can help:
Cauliflower is packed with Vitamin C. This vitamin helps to strengthen your dog’s immune system. It also contains isothiocyanate, which is a carcinogen blocker and can prevent cancer cells from spreading. It can easily be served fresh, but it is best to grill them until they are tender. Note that you don’t want to overfeed your dog with cauliflowers, even if they are good for canines, as they may upset your dog’s stomach and can make your dog gassy.
Brussels sprouts are a good source of manganese, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamins A, B1, and B6. Depending on your dog’s size, a sprout or two a day can surely go a long way in keeping them healthy.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and B6. They also contain potassium, manganese, and fiber. Depending on your dog’s size, it is best to feed them 1 to 2 wedges as treats; otherwise, you can mash them up in their food along with your animal meat of choice. If you plan to serve them as treats, roast them in the oven for at least 20 minutes on each side.
Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin K, but it is also loaded with Vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E, folate, iron copper, fiber, manganese, and potassium. It is best to remove the fibrous ends from the asparagus spears and wash them thoroughly. Toss them with olive oil and grill it at least 30 seconds on each size.
Carrots are loaded with Vitamins A, C, K, as well as with fiber and potassium. Notably, it’s crunchiness makes for a good treat. But, not all dogs have a good ability to digest carrots, especially if they are in large chunks. Some veterinarians are also concerned about the levels of sugar in carrots. If you want to know whether carrots are compatible for your dog, feed them with one or two bite-sized pieces and see if you find carrots in your dog’s bowel movement.
Broccoli is rich in Vitamins C and K. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, folate, manganese, and fiber. Not only does it help in improving your dog’s eyesight, it also aids in their digestion. It is best to cut them up into small florets and steam them until they are crisp yet tender. If you are running out of time, you can always put two cups of broccoli florets in a microwave-safe container along with an inch of water for about 5 minutes. Just like cauliflowers, they can make your dog gassy, so it is best to feed it in moderation.
Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin K. Not only can its regular consumption help promote a healthy liver and kidneys, it is also a good treat to feed overweight dogs, as it is low in carbohydrates and is predominantly made of water! It is best to cut them up into bite-sized pieces and steam them without salt.
Edamame is conveniently available as a frozen vegetable in your local food store. It is a great source of protein, iron, fiber, vitamin K, Omega-3 fats, phosphorus, vitamin B2, potassium, copper, and magnesium. It can help improve your dog’s health so long as it is consumed in moderation. Just make sure not to include salt, as too much sodium in a dog’s diet can lead to dehydration, diarrhea, and even salt poisoning.
Just like edamame, green beans are great for dogs. There are five nutritional benefits found in green beans, which are vitamins A, K and C, magnesium and fiber. They are not only nutritious, they are also very low in calories. It is best to serve them as treats or as part of their meal with brown rice and chicken cooked in chicken broth.
Peas also make for an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. They can be served as treats or mixed in their dog food for a nutritional boost. That’s because peas are a great source of Vitamin C and K. Aside from strengthening your dog’s bones and preventing osteoarthritis in their old age, peas are also known to prevent constipation and improve bowel movement.
Now that you know about the healthiest vegetables to feed your canine companions, it’s not enough to just blindly incorporate them into your dog’s diet. You need to be very deliberate and careful about it, too, in order to prevent any digestive problems from arising.
The first thing you have to do is to consult your vet or canine nutritionist first before attempting to alter your dog’s diet. Even if there’s scientific evidence that certain vegetables are healthy for dogs, it is always best to ask the experts on the right approach to doing so. This does not only help you determine the best way to do it, it also helps you ensure what the right amounts are to feed your dog.
It is best to avoid nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants completely, as they have been proven to cause diarrhea and digestive issues in dogs. Additionally, onions and garlic are extremely toxic for canines. No matter what you do, make sure not to include them in any of your dog’s food.
While most vegetables can be served fresh to your dogs, it is best to wash them first to remove any chemicals, parasites or pesticides that are found in the produce. If your dog is not a big fan of raw vegetables, you can mash it too and serve it along with brown rice and animal meat.
In general, when you add new items to your dog’s diet, you need to observe its behavior after eating, in order to be sure it is not allergic or intolerant to it. If you find that your dog is having digestive troubles, it is best to look for an alternative vegetable and avoid the inconvenience altogether.
Needless to say, a balanced diet is key to making sure your dog feels healthy and happy at all times. Including vegetables in their diet is definitely a smart lifestyle choice that you should be making sooner rather than later.