What Vegetables Can Dogs and Cats Eat? – Florida Animal Friend

What Vegetables Can Dogs and Cats Eat?

When we think of dogs and cats, we often think of their diets predominately comprised of meat.  Dogs and cats do eat meat, but they also eat certain vegetables. As pet parents it is crucial to be cognizant of the benefits of a well-rounded diet when planning your dog’s meals. The key is to know which vegetables are appropriate for your dog.

Many of the quality commercial pet foods ingredients include vegetables and fruits. However, the addition of fresh vegetables to your pet’s diet can be an added benefit. 

If you have been noticing that your dog or cat has been putting on weight lately it may be time to reevaluate their diet to see how you can incorporate more vegetables into it. Not only are certain vegetables beneficial to your dog’s health but they also can cut back on costs.

 

Vegetables That Are Safe For Dogs and Cats:

  • Leafy – Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Kale
    • Good source of Fiber
    • Rich in Vitamins A, C, K
    • Rich in Calcium, Potassium, Iron 
  • Root – Carrots, Beets, Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips 
    • Keep in mind sugar and starch intake 
  • Stalks – Celery, Asparagus
    • Cut up in small pieces and/or steam so it’s easier for your pet to chew
  • Squash – All types are safe to eat
    • Dogs shouldn’t eat the skin and seeds, only the “meat”
  • Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber 

Keeping in mind everything that we have mentioned, we’ve got some ideas to start integrating vegetables into your pet’s diet as soon as possible.

  • Vegetables as Snacks or added to Meals: Your pet may learn to like vegetables if it is gradually added to meals.
  • Cooked vs Raw Vegetables: Pets, like humans, get the most vitamin intake from raw vegetables. Nevertheless, steamed or cooked vegetables can also be a part of your dog’s diet. If the vegetables are frozen, let them defrost first. To reduce effort on your end, set aside vegetable scraps for your pet from the food you’re preparing for yourself. Just make sure your vegetables are not seasoned or garnished with ingredients that may be toxic for them. (see below list for more information)

 

Veggies That You Should Be Cautious About:

  • Legumes – Mature Beans (Kidney, Pinto, Lentil), Peas, and Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Potatoes

The reason to exercise caution is because of a 2018 FDA study which stated that there have been reports of canine dilated cardiopulmonary (DCM) in dogs that ate pet foods which featured legumes or potatoes high up on the ingredients list.

 

Veggies that Are Off-Limits for Dogs and Cats:  

  • Alliums – Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Chives, Shallots, Raw Potatoes 

These vegetables are toxic to pets. Pets can develop stomach aches, anemia, or in more serious cases, organ failure.

Even if your dog takes an immediate liking to more vegetables in their diet, it is still best to slowly integrate new elements. Achieving a comprehensive diet for your pet is a great way to keep your dog healthy and active. All pets are different and have different dietary needs. Don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your pet.

 

Helpful Links on Nutrition for Your Dog

https://thebark.com/content/canine-nutrition-basics

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-nutrition-tips

https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/browse-all-pet-nutrition-articles/

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/food/whole-dog-journals-approved-dry-dog-food-list/

 

Helpful Links on Nutrition for Your Cat

https://www.eatingwell.com/article/281948/the-best-vegetables-for-dogs-and-cats/

https://be.chewy.com/nutrition-pet-diet-tips-6-best-vegetables-for-cats/

https://feline-nutrition.org/about-us

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feeding-your-cat

http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/5-vegetables/

 

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If you’re a pet parent, a foster, or even thinking about getting a dog or cat we encourage you to always stay informed. Check out Florida Animal Friend blog where we provide relevant topics about pets and what is happening amongst the Florida animal community.

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