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.
Are you looking for some nutritious veggie treats you can give your pup at home? There are tons of vegetables that are both healthy and safe for your dog to eat. But not all veggies are created equal, and a few are actually toxic for dogs.
Before picking out fresh foods for dogs to eat, know which vegetables are safe, which aren’t, and what the safest ways to feed vegetables to your dog are.
- Many vegetables are safe for dogs to eat—if they're prepared correctly.
- Some veggies can be toxic for dogs or are often prepped with ingredients that can harm your pup.
- Vegetables are a common ingredient in many commercial dog foods.
What Vegetables Are Good for Dogs?
If you’re looking for a healthy, simple treat for your pup to eat, here are some of the best vegetables to feed your dog. Just make sure to remove any stems, leaves, seeds, cores, or pits. Also, thoroughly wash the vegetables and cut them into small pieces before feeding them to your pup.
Broccoli is full of fiber, but be aware that it can cause flatulence. This vegetable also has antioxidants, digestible plant protein, and vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and K, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, sodium, and chromium.
Celery has a high water content, and it’s high in fiber and low in calories. It contains vitamins A, B, C, and K, plus folate, potassium, and manganese. However, celery must be de-stringed before you give it to your dog.
Green beans contain vitamins A, B6, C, and K, along with protein, iron, calcium, and fiber. They are low in calories but help your dog feel full, and (bonus!) most dogs like this veggie’s natural sweetness. Just make sure the green beans are unsalted, as salt can harm your pup.
Cauliflower is high in fiber that, while safe for your pup, can cause your dog to be extra gassy. It also contains vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, and folate. Cauliflower is low in calories and makes for a healthy, dog-safe treat.
Lettuce is a dog-friendly vegetable that’s low in calories, full of fiber, and 90% water—so it’s great for hydration. Romaine, arugula, and iceberg lettuce are all fine for your dog, but spinach and kale can be harmful in large amounts.
Carrots are a great choice for a healthy dog treat, but they must be given in moderation because they are high in sugar. Carrots are high in fiber and low in calories, and they contain beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. They are also fun for dogs to crunch, and most dogs will love them because of their natural sweetness.
Any color of bell pepper is safe and healthy for your dog. Bell peppers are filled with vitamins A, B6, and E, lutein, and antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. They can help promote skin, coat, and eye health for your dog.
Plain raw, steamed, or cooked zucchini is safe for dogs to eat in small pieces. Zucchini is low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. It’s full of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, C, B6, and K.
Cabbage is full of antioxidants and fiber, which helps your dog’s digestive system. It also contains folate, protein, potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. However, cabbage can also cause increased flatulence.
Spinach is safe for healthy dogs in small amounts. However, this leafy green contains oxalates, which can lead to kidney stones and bladder stones in susceptible dogs if eaten in large quantities. It also has isothiocyanates, which can cause severe gastric irritation in large amounts.
Regular white mushrooms from the grocery store—when completely plain and washed—are safe for dogs. Do not give your dog mushrooms that are cooked with seasonings and other ingredients that are unhealthy or even toxic to dogs, such as garlic or onions. Dogs should also never eat any mushroom that you don’t buy from the store.
What Vegetables Are Bad for Dogs?
The following vegetables are toxic to dogs. If your dog does eat them or a food in which they are ingredients—especially a large amount—contact your veterinarian immediately.
Onions, leeks, garlic, and chives are all part of the Allium plant family and are toxic to dogs and cats alike. Eating onions can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. It can also make your dog’s red blood cells rupture. If your dog eats any onions, contact your veterinarian right away.
Any wild mushroom should always be avoided. There are at least 50,000 different species of mushrooms in the world, and around 100 of them are poisonous to dogs. Be careful to check your backyard for mushrooms if your dog tends to forage. If you stumble across some wild mushrooms, keep your dog far away from them.
Which Vegetables Cause Gas in Dogs?
Some veggies are more likely than others to cause extra flatulence in dogs. The high fiber content, along with the sugar that remains undigested in your dog's gut from these vegetables, can cause bacteria to ferment, which produces bloating and gas.
What Vegetables Are Used in Dog Food?
It’s best to consult with your veterinarian about which dog food diet is best for your pup’s specific needs. The most commonly used vegetables in dog food are:
How to Prepare Vegetables for Dogs
The best way to prepare dog-safe vegetables for your pup as a treat is to make sure they are thoroughly washed, completely plain, and cut into small pieces. Be sure to remove any stems, leaves, seeds, cores, pits, or anything else that could become a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.
All treats, even veggies, should be given in moderation. The total amount of treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s overall diet. The other 90% should come from a well-balanced dog food diet.
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