What are the best vegetables for dogs? Learn which vegetables are good for dog treats and the best ways to serve them.
If you’re a dog owner, then you know how important it is to provide your pup with the proper nutrition. But when it comes to food selection, do you ever think beyond kibble and treats?
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Can Dogs Eat Vegetables?
Many people assume that vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet for their canine friends, but the truth is that vegetables are actually not necessary for those furry companions.
While vegetables certainly don’t harm a dog, they are a source of non-essential nutrients and should be fed thoughtfully.
However certain vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, do offer some nutritional bonuses, especially when fed in moderation as healthy treats or supplements to commercially prepared meals.
Vegetables also contain fiber which can help to limit spikes in blood sugar levels, as well as being a low-calorie treat that helps keep dogs feeling fuller longer.
If you choose to feed vegetables to your pet, it is important to first consult with your vet about appropriate vegetables for your breed and size and whether there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal issues due to allergies or sensitivities.
Which Vegetables are Good for Dogs?
Product recalls and a desire to give a dog the very best leaves dog owners searching for healthy, homemade pet treats.
Many dog breeds don’t do well with grains. Some families don’t want to handle bones or meat out of fears of stomach obstructions or food-borne illnesses.
Healthy vegetable snacks are a great way to reward the family dog, without breaking the bank or risking your pup’s health. Here are some of the best vegetables to use as dog treats.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent treat for dogs, and satiates their sweet tooth. They are high in nutrients that help boost the dog’s immune system, and give them shiny coats.
Vegetable-based rawhides can be made from sweet potatoes. Start by thoroughly washing and then slicing them into 1/4 inch thick strips.
Dehydrate the strips in a food dehydrator, or bake in a low oven for three to four hours, turning half way through, until dry and chewy.
Carrot sticks are great for the dog who loves something crunchy to snack on, and can replace small bones that could break into shards and cause internal damage.
They are also a low-calorie snack for dogs who need to watch their weight.
Cooked green beans can be used for a soft treat. Many over-eating dogs get this treat added to their meals to help fill them up with out the extra calories found in kibble.
Squash & Pumpkin
Winter squash and pumpkins are loved by most dogs. They can be prepared like the sweet potato rawhides, but remove the skin first.
They can also be baked, boiled or steamed until they can be mashed. After mashing they can be made into small balls stored in the fridge or in ice cube trays in the freezer for a cool summer treat.
Celery is another crunchy treat safe for dogs to eat. For canines not watching their weight, peanut butter can be added to the celery ribs.
Do avoid adding ants (raisins) to the logs, as raisins are unsafe for dogs to eat.
Air or stove-popped popcorn is a crunchy and fluffy treat for dogs to eat. Sit down to a movie, and share the popcorn with the dogs.
A little butter and salt or some sprinkled cheese is perfectly safe to add. Avoid adding herbs and spices or flavorings that contain onions, garlic or other unsafe for dog foods.