Dogs may be known for their love of meat, but it’s far from the only thing they can eat! While vegetables aren’t strictly necessary for your dog, they make excellent snacks and can help you manage your dog’s weight and nutrition.
But not everything from your produce drawer is suitable for your dog to eat. Some taste bad, some can cause vitamin or mineral imbalances and others are downright poisonous for your pup.
Before you feed your dog any vegetables, it’s important to know which ones are suitable for him to eat. Here are the top 5 vegetables that are good for dogs — next time you need a healthy snack, share one of these with your furry friend!
The Top 5 Vegetables That Are Good for Dogs
All squash varieties are safe for dogs to eat, and most of them are quite tasty to boot!
Summer squash, butternut squash and pumpkins are widely available, making them great options for you and your dog. But they require a bit of preparation before they’re suitable for canine consumption.
Raw squash is tough for dogs to digest, so it’s best to cook it before giving it to your dog. Steaming, boiling and baking are all good preparation methods — just chop the squash into bite-size cubes, throw it on the stove or in the oven and enjoy!
It’s also a good idea to remove the seeds and skins from the squash, as these can cause digestive issues.
Cooked squash is especially great for dogs with diarrhea. The high fiber and vitamin content help with digestive regulation and stomach problems.
Crunchy, sweet and juicy, carrots have a lot of appeal for dogs. Thankfully, they’re also perfectly safe — as long as they’re given in moderation.
Because of their high sugar content, it’s important to avoid giving your dog too many carrots. This goes double for dogs with diabetes, kidney disease, blood sugar problems or similar conditions.
But as an occasional treat, a few pieces of carrot will make your dog very happy indeed. Slice up a regular carrot or go with bite-sized baby carrots — either way, they’re delicious!
Asparagus is a polarizing vegetable: some folks love it and some would rather starve than eat it. But most dogs fall into the former category, and luckily for them, asparagus is both healthy and safe for them to eat.
As with squash, you’ll need to prepare and cook the asparagus before feeding it to your dog. Remove the tough, fibrous base of the asparagus and any red seedpods (which are toxic to both humans and dogs), then chop the stalks up into bite-sized pieces.
Then boil the asparagus in water or unseasoned broth until it’s nice and soft. This makes it easy for dogs to chew and digest.
Asparagus is high in vitamin B6, vitamin A, folic acid and potassium, among other nutrients. But avoid giving your dog too much, as its high fiber content can cause gas.
2. Green Beans
Dogs love green beans: they’re both delicious and fun to eat. And they’re also among the healthiest treats you could give your dog.
Both raw and cooked green beans are safe for dogs, as long as they’re unseasoned. Additionally, both fresh and canned green beans are perfectly fine for dogs — but if you buy canned, check the ingredients to ensure that no extra salt has been added.
Green beans are loaded with vitamins: A, B6, C and K. What’s more, they’re packed with protein, calcium, fiber and iron, all of which are necessary for your dog.
Getting your dog to eat a salad is way easier than you’d think! Dogs love the crunch of fresh lettuce, and thankfully, it’s completely safe for them to enjoy.
All varieties of lettuce, including romaine, iceberg and arugula, are nontoxic for dogs. Just pick a leaf, wash it and you’re good to go!
Lettuce doesn’t have as many vitamins or nutrients as other vegetables, but as it’s 90% water, it’s a great way to boost your dog’s hydration. And it’s still a good source of fiber and vitamin A!
However, avoid giving your dog a piece of lettuce from your salad if you’ve put dressing on it. The extra fat and oil can upset your dog’s stomach.
And even without dressing, don’t give your dog lettuce from a salad that contains onions, garlic or other bulb vegetables, which are poisonous to dogs.