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The Ultimate Guide to Fresh Vegetables for Dogs

A dog holding carrots in their mouth standing in a field

There are a lot of opinions about preparing veggies for your dog. Some say that dogs in the wild don’t cook their veggies, so you should feed them only raw veggies. Others think that everything you give your furry pal should be thoroughly cooked to kill all the harmful pathogens. Like most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Most dogs benefit from adding some vegetables, raw or cooked, vegetables to their regular food. 

So, what are the best vegetables for dogs? Dive into the freshest article on the freshest, healthiest veggies for doggos!

Veggies for Your Dog: Canned, Frozen or Raw?

When it comes down to it, the question of canned, frozen or raw vegetables varies depending on the vegetable and the dog. While greater processing and cooking can reduce the number of nutrients in the vegetables, most of the nutrients remain [1]. So, raw veggies will have more vitamins, minerals and fibre since the amount lost to processing is minimal. However, canned and frozen veggies are often better than no vegetables in your dog’s diet.

Raw Vegetables for Dog: Choosing the Healthiest & Tastiest

Your dog’s preference for one vegetable over another will vary. And for multi-dog households, you’ll notice this preference varies quite a bit from dog to dog. As a dog parent, you can experiment and see which ones your doggo likes the best. After you’ve established adding veggies to your dog’s diet, you can expand and give them more variety.

Keep in mind that more variety leads to a healthy, balanced diet. So, aim for the greatest variety over time.

The Best Raw Vegetables for Dogs

The following vegetables are excellent for dogs on a raw food diet

      • Asparagus
      • Bell Peppers
      • Broccoli
      • Brussel Sprouts
      • Butternut Squash (cooked)
      • Cabbage
      • Cauliflower
      • Carrots
      • Celery
      • Collards
      • Kale
      • Parsnips
      • Peas
      • Potatoes (cooked)
      • Spinach
      • Swiss chard
      • Sweet potato (cooked)
      • Zucchini

Prepping Your Dog’s Raw Vegetables

If you are lucky, your dog’s tastes will be similar to yours, and they will happily gobble down whatever veggies you are fixing for yourself. Just make sure that you remove your dog’s share before you add any butter or seasonings–they don’t need the extra calories or the salt. 

The Vegetable Danger List for Dogs

Not all veggies are safe for your dog’s consumption. Not all of these are deadly, but they can cause some health problems, so you should avoid giving them to your forever friend. 

Avoid the following:

      • Avocado
      • Garlic
      • Grapes/raisins 
      • Grapefruit
      • Leeks
      • Lemon
      • Lime 
      • Mushrooms
      • Onion
      • Potatoes (raw)
      • Rhubarb 
      • Sweet potatoes (raw)
      • Tomato

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats an Unsafe Vegetable?

If your dog eats some of these, don’t panic. Monitor your dog and see if there are any ill effects, and if there are, contact your vet, let them know what your dog ate and how much, and then do as they advise.

Vegetables for Dogs on Raw Diets: Which Work Best?

A raw dog’s diet with vegetables including carrots and spinach

The best veggies are the ones that your dog will eat. Dogs, like people, have different tastes, and their preferences are not always constant. What your dog loves today, they might turn up their nose when you offer it to them days later. Some dogs like the crunch of celery and carrots while others might not. Just remember to cut the raw veggies into small pieces to help prevent your dog from choking on them.

Some raw vegetables can cause problems with your dog’s digestive system, so you will want to limit the raw veggies to about 10% of your dog’s diet [2]. 

You might also want to puree the raw veggies to help your dog digest them more easily. You might want to also try to steam them lightly to reduce your doggo’s possible discomfort.

Are Canned Vegetables for Dogs Safe & Healthy?

Overall, canned vegetables are safe and nutritious for dogs. They’re also easy to store and readily available.

Canned vegetables lose very few nutrients during the canning process. Most of the time, they are canned at the peak of colour and freshness, though they might lose some of that colour due to the heat of the canning process. Water soluble vitamins, like Vitamin C and B vitamins, are damaged when canned, but other vitamins and minerals go through the process without a problem.

Do Frozen Veggies Have More Nutrients?

Except for Vitamin C and B vitamins, there is really little difference in the nutrients that they will add to your dog’s diet. They might have better colour and a little more crunch, but nutritionally, they are pretty much the same.

Will Raw Veggies Send My Dog to the Vet?

Probably not. Remember to give your dog veggies in moderation. Many authorities suggest that you limit vegetables to 10% of your dog’s diet. Whenever you change your dog’s diet, do it gradually, over the course of a couple of weeks–this will minimize any problems that the change has on their digestive tract.

There are some vegetables, like potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash, that you should cook before you serve them to your furry friend. Also, many of the green and leafy veggies can give your doggo gas and minor intestinal discomfort. Just make sure to avoid the veggies on the Danger List above.

How to Integrate Vegetables into Your Dog’s Diet

Because it can be harder for your dog to digest raw food at first, you might want to put their veggies into a blender and puree them. This breaks it down into very small bits that will be easier for their tummy to digest.

If you want, you can juice the vegetables, and pour the juice over your dog’s regular food.

Are Green Vegetables Good for Dogs?

A Jack Russel Terrier sitting next to broccoli

You can bet your last dollar that green vegetables for dogs are great for them! But, again, make sure that they are a small percentage of your doggo’s overall diet. Green veggies will provide many minerals and vitamins along with plenty of fibre. They will help keep your dog happy and healthy.

Spoil Your Dog with Healthy Vegetables

Veggies, raw or cooked, are good for your dog. If you find some that your dog really loves, you can use them for training rewards or treats when you want to spoil them. They can also make great food toppers. The good thing is that they are full of nutrients and will not add a lot of calories to your dog’s daily food intake.

Thinking of creating a doggie salad bar? Great! Vegetables add easy variety to your dog's diet. And having more vegetables in the house can even improve your diet, too, so you can enjoy a healthier life together!