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Most pet owners know that chocolate is a no-no when it comes to feeding their canine companion. But what about the contents of your salad plate?
The key to safe snacking is knowing which veggies are safe to feed in moderation. (Yes, the phrase “too much of a good thing” applies to vegetables, too!)
So what are the best green vegetables for dogs and which should you avoid? That’s exactly what we’re here to find out!
Related post: Best Low Sodium Dog Food 2021 – Top 13 Picks Reviewed
Are Dogs Really Carnivores?
There’s some controversy in the biology and veterinary worlds around whether domesticated dogs are true carnivores.
Most experts agree that our furry friends fall closer to omnivores (animals that eat both meat and plant matter) than carnivores.
This doesn’t mean that meat shouldn’t make up most of your dog’s diet. But — especially when compared to true carnivores like house cats — dogs are just as capable of digesting some fruit and veggies as they are meat.
Should Dogs Eat Greens?
Most dogs would jump at the opportunity to eat a raw steak. Few would show the same enthusiasm for a head of broccoli.
So does that mean vegetables should stay far away from Fido’s diet? Not at all!
As you already know, green vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients can be just as beneficial for your dog as they are to maintaining your own healthy lifestyle.
8 Green Vegetables That Are Good For Dogs
Responsible dog owners know that not everything in their kitchens is safe for canine consumption. And while many leafy greens and vegetables are pup-approved, there are exceptions!
If you want to try feeding your dog greens as a treat or meal supplement, start with one of these veggies (you probably already have some in your fridge!):
Lettuce varieties like butter, romaine, and arugula are all safe green veggies for dogs. The high-moisture and low-calorie content of lettuce make it a great treat for dogs that love crunchy snacks.
Spinach is full of vitamins and iron. It also contains plenty of fiber which can aid in your dog’s digestion.
Despite the benefits of this leafy green, you should limit how much your dog consumes. Spinach contains oxalic acid and eating large amounts of this vegetable may affect kidney health.
Cucumbers are a fun, crunchy snack filled with several vitamins and essential minerals. Chilled cucumber slices make a great hydrating treat on hot days without the calories of dog-safe ice cream.
Celery stalks are an excellent snack for any veggie-loving dog. On top of being hydrating and low in calories, celery contains a surprising number of important vitamins and minerals.
Some dog owners even claim that munching on celery helps keep their pup’s breath fresh. Of course, no amount of celery will replace regular teeth-cleaning.
If your four-legged friend isn’t head-over-heels for plain celery, don’t hesitate to add some dog-friendly peanut butter to make the snack more appealing.
Just remember to skip the raisins!
Broccoli contains nutrients like vitamins C and K, along with lots of healthy fiber.
While broccoli is safe for dogs, feeding it as a snack can have some unwanted (and smelly!) consequences. Limit your dog’s serving sizes to prevent stomach pain and broccoli-induced gas.
And if your dog has a sensitive stomach, it might be best to swap this green veggie for another on the list!
6. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts might be infamous for their bitter flavor profile. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t nutritious for people and pups.
Just like broccoli, too many Brussels sprouts can cause an upset tummy and increased gas. This side effect isn’t necessarily harmful to your dog but it might have you regretting his or her new diet!
7. Green Beans
While you probably wouldn’t describe green beans as “sweet,” canine taste buds are a little different than our own. So even if you think your dog won’t eat green vegetables, we suggest giving green beans a try.
The best thing about feeding your dog green beans is that the sweet flavor doesn’t come with a ton of calories. These veggies are a great alternative to unhealthy treats if your dog is on a diet.
Green peas are safe for dogs to eat and are actually a common ingredient in store-bought dog food!
You might have heard that peas and other legumes are linked to canine heart problems. However, evidence shows the issues are caused by replacing meat-based protein with these ingredients. Moderate portions of peas are completely safe and healthy for the average dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I feed my dog leafy greens?
While some owners choose to include leafy greens and other vegetables as part of their dogs’ regular meals, this isn’t necessary.
You can offer veggies as treats throughout the day — either as a reward or… just because!
Experiment with different vegetables to see which ones your dog enjoys. Start with small amounts to avoid stomach issues like diarrhea or puppy farts! ?
Is kale safe for dogs?
Lettuce is one of the best green leafy vegetables for dogs. So it’s no surprise that some owners would assume kale is also a safe and nutritious option.
Like spinach, kale contains high amounts of calcium oxalate. According to VCA Hospitals, this mineral is one of the leading causes of bladder and kidney stones in dogs.
Small amounts of kale are safe for dogs with health urinary systems. If you’re unsure about feeding your dog veggies containing calcium oxalate, it’s best to skip leafy greens like spinach and kale altogether.
Can dogs be allergic to vegetables?
Yes, dogs can have food allergies just like humans.
Vegetable allergies are relatively rare in dogs. Instead, the most common food allergies in dogs are protein-based.
If your dog has no known food allergies, there’s little chance green vegetables will cause a reaction. However, it’s still a good idea for every dog owner to know the signs of allergic reactions just in case!
Will feeding my dog leafy greens stop them from eating grass?
Maybe. Some dogs eat grass because of a nutritional deficiency. If this is the case with your pup, supplementing their diet with some leafy greens might alleviate the issue.
On the other hand, many dogs eat grass because it is fun or they like the taste. Others use grass to remedy stomach upset.
If your dog eats grass for one of these reasons, adding greens to their diet probably won’t make a difference.