We all need vegetables to be healthy, but should we give them to our dogs? Well, veggies are not necessary for your canine pal’s health, but in most cases, they can’t harm them. And that is because dogs are omnivores; therefore, they can digest both plants and meat. Most commercial dog foods feature fruits and veggies as part of their ingredients. And these manufacturers can confirm that the veggies in their products help add numerous essential nutrients. Therefore, most veggies cannot harm your dog.
Should You Feed Your Dog Vegetables?
The topic of veggies and fruits for dogs is quite controversial, with raw feeders being against giving their canine pals vegetables. Raw feeders believe that raw meat has everything their dogs need. However, while many vets believe that dogs don’t need veggies, some say that low-sugar and low-salt fruits and veggies can help your dogs lose weight. Therefore, you can add canned green beans to the kibbles if you want them to shed some pounds.
However, if the American Feed Control associations have approved the dog food, then it’s balanced. So, there is no need to mix it with veggies. But, you can give him veggies as treats. Most dog parents offer their pet’s broccoli, green beans, and carrots as treats. These veggie treats are low in calories. But make sure you don’t give them too many veggie snacks. Remember, treats should not exceed 10% of your dog’s diet.
So, the answer to this question depends on the pet parent. Vegetables are not harmful to your pet’s health. Plus, most pet food companies claim that veggies add some essential nutrients to their products that your dog needs. For more details on the commercial dog foods containing veggies, click here.
Why Should You Give Your Dog Vegetables?
1. Balance the Acidity and Alkalinity of the Dog’s Body
Generally, some of your dog’s hormones and crucial organs like kidneys, heart, gallbladder, pancreas, and liver function properly in an alkaline environment. Therefore, balancing the alkalinity and acidity of your pet’s meal is mandatory. Remember, high acidity level is the main cause of numerous chronic illnesses.
However, some sources of protein like meat increase the acidity level in your pet’s body. The best way to manage this is by giving them vegetables and fruits. Some of the fruits and veggies that have an alkalinizing effect on a dog’s body include cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, grapefruits, peaches, papaya, and parsley, among others.
2. Vegetables Have a Wide Range of Nutrients
Most vegetables can provide phytonutrients, fibers, fats, lipids, and proteins; therefore, they are a complete meal. This is one of the main reasons why some vegetarians give their pets a strict vegan diet. However, it’s always a good idea to mix the vegan meals with meat. Remember, meat is a great source of amino acids. But you should stay away from legumes and grains as they are high in starch. Starchy foods can cause or aggravate several illnesses.
3. Veggies Are the Best Sources of Vitamins
Raw veggies are the best sources of vitamins. Veggies can provide all the B vitamins except B1 and B12; therefore, they need other meal sources like eggs and liver. A dog’s body can make vitamin C, but they need the Vitamin C and co-factors to do it. And the best sources of co-factors are veggies and fruits. Other vitamins supplied by veggies include vitamins K, E, and A.
Fruits and veggies are the only sources of antioxidants that can protect your dog against free radicals. Free radicals are the unstable molecule in the body that can cause aging. Free radicals tend to build in the body and damage all the organs and cells. Luckily, antioxidants can help you stabilize these molecules and stop them from getting out of control.
Raw veggies are the main source of healthy fiber. Fiber has numerous benefits in a dog’s body, but it’s not digested in the intestines. Fibers are usually fermented into SCFA (short-chain fatty acids) in the colon by bacteria. The SCFA is used to protect the mucus lining of the dog’s gut, build immune cells, and produce energy. Other than producing SCFA, fiber has other benefits such as:
— Fiber clears all the toxin from your dog’s body
— Fiber has antioxidant properties
— It promotes gut health by feeding the friendly bacteria
— It can create a feeling of fullness in a perpetually-hungry dog
— It binds to cancer-causing substances
6. Improving Diabetes Mellitus
Some fibers can slow down the digestion of food in the body, which can help keep the blood sugar level low. Fiber can help your diabetic dog manage his/her condition. Most vets have found that fiber reduces your canine pal’s sensitivity to insulin.
Phytonutrients are the most crucial nutrients that you can give your dogs that can only be found in veggies. Therefore, if your canine pal is only eating meat, then he is missing out. Studies conducted in the late 1900’s confirmed that diets rich in veggies and fruits can protect your body from diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer, among others. These benefits come from a unique substance known as phytonutrients. Phytonutrients can:
— Support a healthy liver
— Promote gut health
— Reduce inflammations
— Kill cancerous cells
Therefore, make sure you give your pet some of the veggies rich in phytonutrients like kale, broccoli, apples, and berries.
All the dark leafy green veggies are rich in crucial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Veggies like seaweeds and alfalfa are the best sources of minerals. Seaweeds tend to pick up some of the micronutrients and minerals that are usually washed into the sea. Alfalfas’ roots can go 40 feet into the subsoil and absorb minerals. Make sure you feed your dog organic veggies that are not grown using fertilizers.
Veggies have numerous essential nutrients that can help keep your dog healthy. Plus, some of these nutrients, like the phytonutrients, can also be found in plants. Therefore, there is no harm in feeding your pet some veggies and fruit. And by not giving your pet veggies, you deny your dog some crucial ingredients. So you can either mix veggies with their kibbles or just give them veggie treats.