NOTE: Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be okay 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 a few are toxic for dogs.
Before picking out a veggie treat for your pup, check out our list below to see which vegetables are safe, which aren’t, and the safest ways to feed vegetables to your dog.
What Vegetables Are Good for Dogs?
If you’re looking for a healthy, simple treat for your pup to eat, check out some of the best vegetables to feed your dog below.
Before giving them to your dog, remove any stems, leaves, seeds, cores, or pits. Thoroughly wash the vegetables and cut them into small pieces.
Broccoli is full of fiber, but beware that it can cause flatulence. It also has antioxidants, digestible plant protein, and vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and K, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, sodium, and chromium.
Celery has a high water content, plus it’s high in fiber and low in calories. It contains vitamins A, B, C, and K, plus folate, potassium, and manganese. However, it 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 most dogs like their natural sweetness. Just make sure the green beans are unsalted.
Cauliflower is high in fiber—which can also cause your dog to be extra gassy—and it contains vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, and folate. It’s low in calories and makes for a healthy, dog-safe treat.
Lettuce is 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 since they are high in sugar. They 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, but red bell peppers are the most nutritious. 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.
Brussel sprouts are full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B1, B6, C, and K. But beware that too many can cause flatulence and other stomach issues, like an upset stomach or diarrhea.
Cabbage is full of fiber, which helps your dog’s digestive system, and antioxidants. And it 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, spinach 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.
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. 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?
The vegetables listed below 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.
1. US Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/outbreaks-and-advisories/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy. March 2020.
2. Smith CE, Parnell LD, Lai CQ, Rush JE, Freeman LM. Investigation of diets associated with dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs using foodomics analysis. Scientific Reports. 2021;11.
3. Hunter T. vcahospitals.com. Flatulence in Dogs.
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