NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog might not be good for your dog, depending on multiple factors, such as their age, health history, health conditions, and diet. Dogs on prescription diets should not be fed any food or treats outside the diet.
Beets can be a major part of your healthy diet, as this root veggie is packed with nutrients. So if you mix some of the red vegetable into your salad, you might wonder: “Can dogs eat beets?”
Yes! Not only can dogs eat beets, but they are good for dogs and are actually included as an ingredient in many commercial dog foods.
Are Beets Good for Dogs?
Beets are indeed good for dogs. They contain lots of fiber, as well as other ingredients such as:
Beets are considered beneficial for the coat and skin, as well as aiding in digestion. And while beet skin is usually removed because it’s hard to digest, it also adds antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to the mix.
However, beets should be fed to dogs in limited quantities. The veggie has lots of good going for it, but beets are considered an acidic vegetable, which can cause GI upset. They can also stain the stool, urine, and skin an alarming pink tinge.
Although the fiber in the beet is good for dogs, the high carbohydrate content and natural sugars aren’t healthy. Lastly, beets are high in oxalic acid, which can cause crystals and stones throughout the urinary tract. If your dog is prone to oxalate crystals in the urine or oxalate stones, your veterinarian may recommend avoiding beets altogether.
How To Prepare Beets for Dogs
Beets can be fed either cooked or raw, but most pet parents choose to feed their dog cooked beets. Always use fresh beets, scrub them thoroughly, and peel the skin. Easy ways to prepare beets include:
Baking them in slices
Wrapping them in foil and roasting them whole
Once the beets are cooked, they can be cut into small chunks or mashed into a pulp that can be used as a food topper. Any beets you feed your dog should be totally plain and unseasoned.
Can Dogs Eat Beets Raw?
Beets can be fed raw to dogs, but it does take more careful preparation because raw beets are harder to digest and more likely to lead to choking.
If you’d like to feed your dog raw beets, choose fresh ones. Scrub, peel, and then either grate them or cut them into tiny, 1/8-inch chunks that are easily swallowed and digested. This can be a lot of work, which is why most people prefer to simply cook the beets first.
Can Dogs Eat Pickled Beets?
Can Dogs Eat Canned Beets?
Canned beets can be a reasonable option, as long as they contain no added salt or additional flavors or ingredients.
Can Dogs Drink Beet Juice?
Beet juice is loaded with sugars through the concentrating process and is too rich for dogs. Never give it to your pup.
How Many Beets Can Dogs Eat?
Beets should be introduced slowly, and you need to monitor your dog for any negative reactions. It’s wise to talk with your veterinarian before feeding any new ingredients to your dog.
This vegetable also should not be fed to a dog every day—only two or three times a week, maximum. In general, you should feed your dog 1–2 teaspoons of beet puree per 15 pounds of body weight.
Follow our portions outline:
Extra-small dog (2–20 pounds) = 1–2 teaspoons of beet puree
Small dog (21–30 pounds) = 2–4 teaspoons of beet puree
Medium dog (31–50 pounds) = 1–2 tablespoons of beet puree
Large dog (51–90 pounds) = 2–4 tablespoons of beet puree
Extra-large dog (91+ pounds) = 5 tablespoons of beet puree
What Other Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
Some other vegetables considered safe for dogs to eat include:
Even though beets are a safe and healthy addition to the diet of most dogs, be sure to feed them only as a small addition to an otherwise balanced diet. And remember: always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog this veggie.
Featured Image: iStock/Vesnaandjic
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