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Vegetables for dogs

Can dogs eat vegetables?

25 Sep, 2016

As dogs are omnivores, consuming vegetables is an integral part of their diet. In a wild diet, dogs would consume the stomach contents of largely herbivorous prey animals. Closer to home, our domestic dogs voluntarily seek out grasses and vegetation to eat from our gardens or when they are out on their walks.

Nutrients for dogs in vegetables

Vegetables play an important role in our dogs’ diets because they provide a wide range of vitamins. Many of these vitamins have anti-oxidant properties to combat the effects of ageing including the onset of age related degenerative diseases. Vitamins available in vegetables include A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, and K.

In addition to vitamins, feeding dogs a wide variety of vegetables provides the following nutrients:

  • water,

  • minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iodine,
  • enzymes,
  • carbohydrates,
  • proteins,
  • fibre, and
  • some essential fatty acids.

While dogs can survive without vegetables great effort would need to be taken to supplement the diet to ensure the dog consumes sufficient vitamins.

What vegetables can you feed dogs?

Feeding dogs a wide variety of below ground and above ground vegetables will provide them with the greatest variety of nutrients.

Above ground vegetables you may like to feed include: asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, silverbeet, lettuce, kale, sprouts, beans, capsicum, squash and grasses (e.g. lemon grass). You can also include fresh herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, or rosemary.

Below ground vegetables to include in a dogs’ diet include: sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, garlic and ginger.

How much of the dogs’ diet should be vegetables?

A good rule is for including vegetables in your dog’s is to feed approximately 15 – 20% of the total diet as vegetables or fruits. (Please see a previous blog on including fruit in your dogs’ diet).

For dogs to derive the most nutrients from vegetables, they need to be appropriately prepared. Please look out for a follow up blog on simple tips on how to prepare vegetables for your dog.

Full Stride works with you to formulate a diet plan to meet your dog’s unique requirements and your lifestyle. For more information please contact me. .

Until next time, enjoy your dogs.

Sources

Billinghurst, I 1993, Give your dog a bone: the practical common sense way to feed dogs for a long and healthy life, Warrigal Publishing, Bathurst NSW.

Earle, I.P Nutritional Requirements of Dogs Available from: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/naldc/download.xhtml?id=IND43893693&content=PDF [20/8/2015]

Halvorsen, Bente L., Kari Holte, Mari CW Myhrstad, Ingrid Barikmo, Erlend Hvattum, Siv Fagertun Remberg, Anne-Brit Wold et al. 2002, “A systematic screening of total antioxidants in dietary plants.” The Journal of Nutrition 132, no. 3, 461-471.

Pitcairn, R.H & Pitcairn, S. H. 2005 Dr Pitcairn’s complete guide to natural health for dogs and cats, Rodale Inc, USA

Schultze K 1998, Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Diet Hay House, Sydney, NSW