Vegetables for Your Dogs or Cats? Absolutely!
17 May, 2017
Just as we love to snack on vegetables and know how important they are for our daily diet, the same can be said for your pets. Don’t worry. You don’t have to add vegetables to your pet’s diet, but you certainly can. Adding vegetables to your dog or cat’s daily diet (if they allow it) is healthy and offers variety, minerals and fibers.
How many vegetables should you give your dog or cat?
Where dogs can eat around 30% of plant foods in their daily diet, cats only require around 5-10%. With both dogs and cats, make sure that the vegetables are blended well as they do not easily digest cellulose. As cats only require a very small proportion of veggies in their meal, you can blend veggies and freeze the mix in an ice-cube tray, defrosting one cube a day for their meals.
Dark green vegetables have chlorophyll which is great for cleansing
Include a range of vegetables and always aim to include something green. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which is cleansing and detoxifying. Chlorophyll is a great liver ally, assisting in the removal of toxins and heavy metals from the body and also shows anti-carcinogenic potential. Raw is always preferable however as nutrient and enzyme content is maximum.
You can supplement your dog or cat’s diet with vegetables such as kelp or alfalfa (the latter more suited for dogs) and algae such as chlorella and spirulina. These are very alkalizing however and as dogs and cats in particular require an acidic diet, only very small amounts are advisable. Always research dosage amounts before giving any kind of supplements.
Vegetable Choices that are safe and encouraged
You can experiment with most vegetables. Try any of the following: carrots, celery, chard, spinach, avocados, kale, squash, watercress, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, peas, green beans, cauliflower and asparagus. And yes, brussel sprouts!
Sweet potatoes are higher in sugar content and should be used in smaller proportion to any above-ground vegetable choices. Carrots are great for our pets teeth. And celery is high in fiber, water and low calorie! Consider steaming or boiling veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as they are much easier to digest when cooked.
Nuts and seeds can also be a valuable addition to your pet’s diet, containing healthy oils (walnuts and flaxseeds are particularly high in omega-3 oils), as well as vitamin E and minerals such as selenium (a powerful antioxidant particularly high in Brazil nuts). Make sure they are chopped finely when serving them.
Vegetables that are unsafe your pets
Never feed your pet onions or garlic as they are toxic in all forms: cooked, raw, and even onion powder. These cause damage to the red blood cells, ultimately causing them to burst. Rhubarb and wild mushrooms also contain toxins. Corn isn’t necessarily dangerous, butt is a common allergen among cats and dogs so try to avoid it.
If you want to change your pet’s diet to a healthy, holistic, species-appropriate diet or are embarking on a natural homemade or raw food diet, consult your veterinarian first and your cat or dog next. If they don’t like eating it, then there’s your answer! Make sure that you keep your pet’s diet well rounded and he or she will thrive and offer variety if possible.
Can your dog or cat eat fruit? Read this article to find out!