Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Veggies Dogs Love and Ones to Avoid

By Tamara McRill

Dogs are often thought of as meat lovers, but some love to munch on vegetables. Take my dog Cody, for instance. He is crazy about broccoli! It doesn’t matter if it is fresh or cooked, he loves to munch on the green florets. My chocolate Labrador, Wuppy, will eat any veggie you throw at him. The problem is, just like other foods, not all vegetables are healthy or even safe for dogs to eat.

Toxic Vegetables

Onions and garlic are two of the most common vegetables that are poisonous to dogs – in all forms. Even the powders can have an adverse effect on your pet’s health. These vegetables destroy red blood cells in dogs, which can lead to anemia.

Although avocado is technically a fruit, it is often thought to be a veggie, so I thought I would include it here. Avocado fruit, leaves and bark all contain persin, and large amounts are toxic to dogs. So no sharing the guacamole with Fido!

Garden No-Nos

While there are many table foods deadly for pets, sometimes we forget that what is growing outdoors may also be unsafe, even if it’s growing in our own gardens. Obviously you will want to keep your dog away from any of the previously mentioned foods, but did you know that the leaves and stems of garden potato plants could also make your pet sick?

Cooked potatoes are safe for dogs and are a common ingredient in many premium pet foods, such as CANIDAE. It’s the green parts that dogs have trouble with, including leaves and stems. These contain toxic alkaloids such as solanine. When eaten in enough quantities, the potato greens can trigger a gamut of illnesses in your pet, ranging from excessive drooling to central nervous system suppression.
There are other plant leaves commonly found in gardens that produce similar illness in dogs, such as those from tomato plants or rhubarb. Make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the garden during any unsupervised outdoor time. Especially heed this warning if you use pesticides on your vegetables.

Weight Gain and Gas Pains

Feeding your pet starchy and high sugar vegetables should only be done in moderation. Too many of these types of veggies can cause dogs to gain weight, have gas or yeast issues. Potatoes, corn, peas and winter squashes are just some examples of these types of vegetables. That doesn’t in any way mean these vegetables are bad for your pet; just don’t go overboard on dishing them up.

Keeping a Balanced Diet

As you can see, even if you think vegetables would be the perfect snack for an overweight or undernourished dog, that isn’t always the case. This is why it is important to feed your dog a quality pet food such as CANIDAE, to ensure they are eating a balanced diet, getting enough of the right nutrients and maintaining optimum weight. A proper diet of a premium dog food can help keep your furry friend healthy from skin to immune system.

Dog-Friendly Vegetables

If you are just wanting to give your veggie-loving pooch a nice treat, some are better for dogs than others. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, in moderation, are great for dogs. (Excesses can cause gas.)

Other veggies for dogs to snack on are:

- Green beans
- Carrots
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Lettuce
- Spinach

While eating these vegetables raw in small quantities may be fine for some large dogs, it is best to bake or steam them for easier digestion. Always cut them into small bite-sized pieces to prevent your pet from choking.

Does your dog love veggies as snacks? Which ones?

Photo by Lulu Hoeller

Read more articles by Tamara McRill


  1. This is great! But Finn won't eat lettuce. We have tried over and over again!

  2. Ernie and I LOVE Garden Fresh Veggies... we go out and pick our OWN... Green Beans.. Snow Peas... Tomatoes... and GREEN PEPPERS. And we EAT THEM.

  3. My 2 Corgi's and 2 Malamutes love Sweet Potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. I had to fence off my garden to keep them from "Striping" the tomato plants!! With all the horror stories about China dog treats mine only get Canidae dry food and their treat. I make sweet potato and carrot treats by baking then in the oven on low temp for several hours. They love them!!

  4. Funny this came up now, because just the other day I found that all of mine like broccoli and cauliflower. I was cutting up veggies and a piece fell on the floor, and they were fighting over it. I ended up cutting the stalks and giving it all to them instead of putting it into the compost bin.

  5. The doggies here actually like carrots and some apples. We have never tried broccoli. Good to know which ones not to give them.

  6. I love this list, thank you so much!

  7. Great information. I had no idea that those were poisonous

  8. Great advice. It's amazing how few people know what's dangerous for their pooches.

  9. Hi Tamara,
    great advice from you! I really enjoy reading this blog because it has a lot of useful information of not just dogs but cats and their lifestyles! i have a question, is it okay for dogs to eat any kind of fruits? are there any that is particularly harmful and they should avoid? thank you in advance for your advice!


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