Vegetables.. Are They Necessary?

Should you feed your dog vegetables? We know humans need them for good health but what about your furry friend?

We all know that humans need to eat vegetables as part of a balanced diet for good health. However, what about your pet? Does a dog need to consume vegetables to stay in good condition?

Although vegetables aren’t essential for your dog’s health, in the majority of cases they won’t cause any harm and could do a lot of good. For example, potatoes and corn give your dog carbohydrates for more energy as well as fibre and minerals. Yet, there are other foods such as grains and rice that can fulfil those needs. Dogs, like people, are omnivores, and this means they can eat many different foods. If your pet doesn’t like vegetables or you’d rather not include them in your dog’s diet, there’s no real need to add them into his meals. However, if your pet enjoys munching on veggies, there’s no reason to withhold them either.

Adding Vegetables To Branded Dog Foods

If you’re giving your pet a well-balanced pet food, there’s no need to add vegetables to your pet’s diet unless you want to. Everything your furry friend needs is in his food already. However, since vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients and fibre, they won’t do any harm to your pet and could help give him a little more variety in his bowl.

Vegetables As Treats

Some pet owners choose to offer broccoli, green beans or carrots to their dog as a treat rather than high-calorie commercial dog treats. Since vegetables are low in calories, they’re a great alternative. However, it’s important not to give too many treats, even if they are plant-based. Any type of treat should make up less than 10% of your dog’s total diet.

Vegetables For Overweight Pets

Some vets recommend mixing some vegetables into your dog’s food if he is overweight since they make a good filler, making meals more satisfying while reducing the total number of calories his meal contains. Note, though, that if you make a sudden change from processed, fatty, meaty treats to fibre-filled vegetable treats, your dog’s digestive system may take a little while to transition. You can ease that process by steaming the vegetables to soften them or pureeing them before feeding them to your pet.

Feeding Vegetables As A Laxative

Some dogs have problems with constipation, and giving your pet some vegetables as a laxative is an easy way to help him to “go”. Conversely, if your pet has mild diarrhea, pureed pumpkin could help to harden stools while adding a little extra fibre.

Are There Any Vegetables That Dogs Should Avoid?

While most vegetables are safe for your pet to consume, don’t give a dog chives, garlic or onions since they can cause anaemia. Unripe tomatoes may be toxic to your pet, while raw potatoes and avocado can also make dogs sick. Fruit is also usually safe for your dog, but raisins and grapes are dangerous since they can cause kidney damage.

As long as you follow this advice, you should find that you experience no problems in giving your pet vegetables, and you could even help to improve your dog’s overall well-being.

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