The Benefits of Vegetables for Dogs
As a dog owner, you may have questions about vegetables and whether they are a source of nutrients for your dog.
Vegetables are, in fact, a wonderful addition to a complete and balanced diet for your pet. Additionally, you can use vegetables as snacks and treats. Pets typically only get vegetables as human food, and they absolutely love them!
Most types of vegetables are great for dogs and can provide several benefits. Vegetables can help pets lose excess weight, they can firm up soft stool and can be used as training rewards, among many other great benefits of vegetables for dogs.
- Losing excess weight. There are dogs who may need to lose a few pounds to prevent stress on the joints, so that they can live a longer and healthier life. Vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and green beans, can help add flavor and fiber to their diet, which helps them eat well and feel full. This allows pet parents to cut down on the kibble, dry snacks and wet food which can encourage weight gain if fed in excess. Dogs love the added flavor of sweet potato, and it can be used to create home-made treats that are all natural and preservative free.
- Firm up soft stool. Your dog may get a day or two of soft stool as a result of several typical dog behaviors. Our four-legged friends can be quick to lick up food that children spill, or while out on a walk, dogs can grab a “mystery snack” on the sidewalk without us even seeing it sometimes! Typically, these episodes are self-limiting, and a few meals with some added canned pumpkin puree can help to firm up loose bowel movements.
Of course, if this progresses to watery diarrhea, creates loss of appetite, lasts more than 36 hours, or if there is any mucus or blood in the stool, see your veterinarian quickly. Plain cooked pumpkin is also a great vegetable for dogs and a good source of fiber. The taste is second to none and this too can be used in home-made dog treats or also as stuffing in your pup’s favorite toy.
Training Rewards. If your pup is in need of some training, carrots could be the perfect training snack for him. For a dog, carrots are sweet, crunchy, they smell delicious, and contain a good amount of vitamin A. Your dog may learn more quickly, because he is very food motivated by his new favorite snack and now he is a perfect gentleman. He loves his carrots and knows his sit and stay (among his other impressive tricks).
Choosing Safe & Healthy Vegetables for Your Dog
Most vegetables for dogs are safe, but when in doubt, call your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will be happy to help guide you towards safe choices that will benefit your fur baby. Remember, onions and garlic are never safe for your pet and should be avoided. Corn on the cob is extremely dangerous for your dog, even though it may seem safe. The cob is a big offender for gastrointestinal obstructions (stomach or intestinal blockage). Again, when in doubt, call your veterinarian for a helping hand.