Dogs are family too, so wouldn't it be great if you could feed them like family? You can, when it comes to vegetables.
Feeding vegetables is a great way to keep your dog healthy while also reducing costs and extra trips to the store to buy pet food.
Just like us, dogs require a variety of organic foods and nutrients for a balanced diet. Veggies are rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phyto-nutrients not found in meat. It is important to feed your dog different kinds of vegetables, as each type offers its own array of nutrients.
How to Prepare Vegetables for Dogs
The way you prep the vegetables is just as important as the vegetables themselves-chop small enough so your dog cannot choke. For optimal benefits, the veggies will be pureed - see below. Veggies make a great snack or treat if your dog does not have trouble digesting them. Here are some simple prep methods:
Submerging vegetables quickly in boiling hot water and then very cold water, also known as blanching, is a great option for preparing vegetables. Blanching cleanses the surface of vegetables of dirt while allowing the retention of both vitamins and flavor. It is also a healthy alternative for humans because no cooking oil is needed.
Steam is an excellent method for cooking veggies that does not require submerging them in boiling water. Steaming will cook the vegetables through, while still preserving the bright color and flavor, and much of the nutrient content.
For maximum benefits and digestibility, veggies can be blended to a raw puree. Some vegetables, such as celery and spinach, do not need to be cooked before blending. Root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes should be blanched or steamed to make blending possible. Pureeing the vegetables breaks down the cell walls of the plant material, making them easier for dogs to digest.
Cooking vegetables in large batches and storing them in the freezer is a great way to save time and effort. After pureeing, put the veggies in an ice cube tray, and just grab a cube when you are in a hurry! Simple, and healthy.
Tip: Even though vegetables are great for your pet, keep veggie content to less than 10 percent of your dog's diet. Too many vegetables will lead to issues, such as negatively changing the gut flora, or increasing alkalinity, which would cause kidney issues. When it comes to healthy diets, moderation and balance are key.
Benefits: Kale's key vitamins like K, A and Iron provide bone health, proper vision and immune function, fetal development, and energy metabolism.
Benefits: Spinach contains potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E. It also contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
Benefits: Carrots contain vitamin A from beta-carotene), biotin, vitamin K, potassium and vitamin B6.
4. Green Beans
Benefits: Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. Green beans are also low-calorie and rich in fiber, which can help dogs feel full.
Benefits: Broccoli contains a huge variety of vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium, which improve bone density, battle diseases, and improve heart health in dogs.