Tips for adding vegetables to dog's diet
28 Sep, 2016
In a previous blog (http://www.fullstride.com.au/blog/can-dogs-eat-vegetables) I discussed the benefits of including vegetables in your dog’s diet. Vegetables contain a wide range of nutrients especially vitamins however they need to be prepared so the nutrients are available to the dog.
Nutrients are contained within plant matter’s cell walls which are comprised of cellulose. For dogs to access these nutrients, the cell membranes must be ruptured by grinding or cooking the vegetables.
While cooking degrades the cellulose, raw vegetables provide dogs with optimal nutritional value. When vegetables are cooked, nutrients including water soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and C), vitamin B12 and minerals are destroyed. Further, enzymes which support the animal’s digestive system are destroyed.
As cooking has detrimental effects on the availability of vitamins and enzymes contained in vegetables, grinding or crushing is the recommended method for breaking the cellulose walls. For dogs to derive the most nutritional value from raw vegetables, they should be pulped or crushed to a consistency which resembles the vegetable matter in the gut of a herbivore.
Here are three ways of processing raw vegetables into a digestible form.
- Food processing – Chop up vegetables and then process them in a food processor until they are full crushed and form a moist paste like consistency. This is the way I prepare my dogs’ vegetables. I process enough vegetables for a week and pack them in containers which I freeze. Every morning, I simply take a container out to defrost for the dogs’ dinner.
The photo with this blog shows the consistency of my dog’s vegetables.
- Juicer – Process vegetables in a juicer and feed the pulp from a juicer to the dog. As the moisture has been removed from the pulp, add water or some of the juice back to the pulp to increase the moisture content.
- Meat mincer – Chop up vegetables and then crush them through a meat mincer to break the cellulose.
For tips on how to include vegetables in your dog’s diet, please contact me. Full Stride designs diet plans to suit your dog’s specific needs. For more updates and blogs, please follow the Full Stride Facebook page.
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]
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