With so many people turning to organic dog foods made from whole foods, it’s not a bad time to think about making homemade food for your pooch. While a dog’s diet should center around meat, there are plenty of garden veggies that provide vitamins canines need or make a great snack!
First and foremost, it’s important to know which vegetables are NOT suitable for dogs. Never feed dogs onions or garlic. Both containan enzyme, which, over time, builds up in the system and can destroy red blood cells. Many pitted fruits (cherries, apricots, plums, avocados, etc.) can also cause health problems for pets. Mushrooms, grapes and raisins are also on the “no list”.
When you look at the ingredients for many of the big dog food brands, certain grains are added to the mix. Although corn, wheat, or soy can provide some nutrition, much of this is filler, and some dogs even have allergies to these grains. Instead of grain, try garden vegetables like these:
- Apples: Contain potassium, which stimulates the immune system, and pepsin, which helps the stomach
- Broccoli: Rich in vitamins
- Carrots: Rich in vitamins; a great substitute for biscuits
- Cabbage: Rich in vitamins, good for digestive system and skin
- Cucumber: Good for teeth and bones due to potassium content
- Celery: Can help with arthritis
- Green beans: High in vitamins, low in calories
- Parsley: Can reduce allergy symptoms and aid kidney function
- Kale: Rich in antioxidants and can help reduce allergy symptoms
- Spinach: Vitamin-rich
- Sweet potatoes: Antioxidant and vitamin-rich
The best way to integrate these veggies into your dog’s diet is by chopping them up and adding to their food to increase fiber and vegetable content. Keep in mind though, that fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars (some more than others) and sugar is not a normal part of a doggy diet.