By Tamara McRill
Dogs are often thought of as meat lovers, but some love to munch on vegetables. Take my dog Cody, for instance. He is crazy about broccoli! It doesn’t matter if it is fresh or cooked, he loves to munch on the green florets. My chocolate Labrador, Wuppy, will eat any veggie you throw at him. The problem is, just like other foods, not all vegetables are healthy or even safe for dogs to eat.
Onions and garlic are two of the most common vegetables that are poisonous to dogs – in all forms. Even the powders can have an adverse effect on your pet’s health. These vegetables destroy red blood cells in dogs, which can lead to anemia.
Although avocado is technically a fruit, it is often thought to be a veggie, so I thought I would include it here. Avocado fruit, leaves and bark all contain persin, and large amounts are toxic to dogs. So no sharing the guacamole with Fido!
While there are many table foods deadly for pets, sometimes we forget that what is growing outdoors may also be unsafe, even if it’s growing in our own gardens. Obviously you will want to keep your dog away from any of the previously mentioned foods, but did you know that the leaves and stems of garden potato plants could also make your pet sick?
Cooked potatoes are safe for dogs and are a common ingredient in many premium pet foods, such as CANIDAE. It’s the green parts that dogs have trouble with, including leaves and stems. These contain toxic alkaloids such as solanine. When eaten in enough quantities, the potato greens can trigger a gamut of illnesses in your pet, ranging from excessive drooling to central nervous system suppression.
There are other plant leaves commonly found in gardens that produce similar illness in dogs, such as those from tomato plants or rhubarb. Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the garden during any unsupervised outdoor time. Especially heed this warning if you use pesticides on your vegetables.
Weight Gain and Gas Pains
Feeding your pet starchy and high sugar vegetables should only be done in moderation. Too many of these types of veggies can cause dogs to gain weight, have gas or yeast issues. Potatoes, corn, peas and winter squashes are just some examples of these types of vegetables. That doesn’t in any way mean these vegetables are bad for your pet; just don’t go overboard on dishing them up.
Keeping a Balanced Diet
As you can see, even if you think vegetables would be the perfect snack for an overweight or undernourished dog, that isn’t always the case. This is why it is important to feed your dog a quality pet food such as CANIDAE, to ensure they are eating a balanced diet, getting enough of the right nutrients and maintaining optimum weight. A proper diet of a premium dog food can help keep your furry friend healthy from skin to immune system.
If you are just wanting to give your veggie-loving pooch a nice treat, some are better for dogs than others. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, in moderation, are great for dogs. (Excesses can cause gas.)
Other veggies for dogs to snack on are:
– Green beans
– Cooked sweet potatoes
While eating these vegetables raw in small quantities may be fine for some large dogs, it is best to bake or steam them for easier digestion. Always cut them into small bite-sized pieces to prevent your pet from choking.
Does your dog love veggies as snacks? Which ones?
Photo by Lulu Hoeller
Read more articles by Tamara McRill
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.