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Which vegetables are dog-friendly and which aren’t?

It might feel nice to pass your dog a piece of carrot, chicory or cucumber while cooking. These vegetables are very healthy for your dog, since they’re filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber. But did you know that some vegetables are harmful for your dog? Avoid a trip to the vet and find out which vegetables you should avoid integrating in your dog’s diet.

Which vegetables shouldn’t your dog eat?

Vegetables from the nightshade family, such as eggplant and bell peppers, are harmful to your dog. Vegetables deriving from the allium family, such as leeks and onions, can also be bad for your best friend. Find out which vegetables are an absolute no-no: 

• Onion

Onions, like leeks, are part of the allium family. This family of plants is poisonous to your dog so avoid to serve all harmful parts of the onion such as the skin, juice and leaves.

• Mushrooms

Mushrooms consist partly of insoluble fiber, an ingredient that your dog’s body does not digitate well. Does your dog like to eat mushrooms? Then it is better to bake them first in order to become softer and easier to digest.

• Bell peppers

Peppers contain solanine: a substance that repels insects but also can be toxic for your dog. Do you still feel like serving your dog a bell pepper? Opt for the ripe, sweet peppers (red or yellow), because they include less solanine than unripe and green peppers. You remove most of the harmful properties by cooking and peeling this vegetable.

Did you know? Tomato, eggplant and potato also feature solanine. The difference is that bell pepper isn’t that easy to peel, so we’ve decided to put it on our prohibited list!

• Leek

Leek is very poisonous for your dog. That’s because leeks, like onions, hold chemicals that attack your dog’s red blood cells causing anemia for your dog. That’s because leeks, like onions, hold chemicals that attack your dog’s red blood cells causing anemia.

• Raw potatoes

Raw potatoes incorporate the toxic substance solanine. The highest concentration is just below the peel, so we recommend you to remove most of it during peeling. The remainder of solanine is lost during cooking.

Which vegetables can your dog eat? 

Most vegetables are healthy supplements to your dog’s diet when fed in moderation. Large amounts of vegetables are difficult to digest, for example, because they contain too much fiber. Read our tips and tricks to let your dog enjoy a healthy snack! 

• Eggplant

Eggplant can trigger an allergic reaction in your dog. Still, it’s okay to feed your dog an occasional piece of eggplant, as long as you remove the skin and cook it first. This also eliminates most of the harmful substances like solanine.

• Asparagus

Both white and green asparagus can supplement your dog’s diet, as they contain vitamin K and folic acid along with vitamin B12. These properties ensure a strong immune system.

Tip: raw asparagus can be quite hard and therefore difficult to digest, so you better cook them first.

• Avocado  

Avocados contain persin, that can act as a dog poison. It causes digestive problems and disrupts the heart muscle. Persin is mainly found in the skin and seeds of unripe avocados, so make sure to only incorporate the ripe avocado’s pulp in your dog’s diet.

• Celery

Does your dog ever suffer from a smelly breath? Celery might solve that! The long fibers in celery act as a natural toothbrush for a fresher breath. Dogs that regularly eat celery suffer less from plaque and tartar.

• Cauliflower 

Cauliflower is a source of fiber, vitamin K, potassium and folate. This enhances your dog’s blood, eyes, immune system, liver and muscles.

Pay attention! Cauliflower contains isothiocyanate. Large amounts of this substance will burden your dog with stomach aches. You might want to keep the portions sizes rather small!

• Broccoli  

Broccoli is low in calories and high in fiber. This is advantageous for a healthy weight, smooth bowel function and smooth bowel movements. However, do not feed your dog too much broccoli, as broccoli contains isothiocyanate. This substance, also found in cauliflower, can cause abdominal pain in dogs.

• Zucchini 

Zucchini is packed with potassium and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B11 that are beneficial for the energy supply and the nervous system of your dog.

Does your zucchini taste bitter? Pick another vegetable! The bitterness indicates the presence of cucurbitacin, a substance that causes abdominal pains and diarrhoea.

• Peas 

Peas strengthen your dog’s immune system due to the presence of many antioxidants. Add some peas to your dog’s diet, provided that your dog can digest the peas. Many dogs cannot, given the undigested green balls in their stools.

Tip: Vermijd erwten uit blik, want deze bevatten vaak te veel zout voor je hond.

• Boiled potato

Boiled potatoes are a source of potassium and vitamin B6 for your dog. Those nutrients are essential for healthy nerve function and strengthening the immune system. Never give your dog raw potatoes since they contain solanine: a poisonous substance that can be boiled out.

• Celeriac

Celeriac is very hard, so you will have to boil or steam the vegetable in order for your dog to indulge and digest this vegetable. Celeriac is rich in potassium and vitamin B11, which is good for your dog’s digestion, nervous system and energy levels.

• Cucumber

The potassium and vitamin K in cucumber are beneficial for your dog’s general health. Cucumber is also low in calories and high in water, turning it into the perfect refreshing snack for overweight dogs during summer.

• Lettuce 

Another healthy snack for your dog is lettuce, since it contains many vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A ensures healthy eyes while vitamin B keeps your four-legged friend fit and energetic. Calcium results in reinforcing bones and teeth.

• String beans

String beans come as a tasty and healthy supplement to your dog’s diet. They help to prevent bleeding and osteoporosis, especially if your dog turns a year older. Always remove the stem as it is not digestible.

• Green beans 

Green beans are a popular snack for dogs because they are tasty and healthy. They hold a lot of fiber to ensure healthy digestion and smooth bowel movements. They also boost your dog’s health with vitamins A, C and K enhancing a strong resistance and sharp vision. They’re low in calories, which make them the perfect healthy snack!

• Spinach 

Spinach is an important source of vitamins A, B11 and K. These vitamins are essential for your dog’s eyes, energy supply and blood coagulation process. The high concentration of potassium improves a dog’s blood pressure

Let op: Geef je hond niet te veel spinazie, want het bevat ook oxaalzuur: een stof die vooral bij jonge honden de calciumopname bemoeilijkt en problemen aan de urinewegen kan veroorzaken.

• Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts contain antioxidants that boost your dog’s resistance. They can also cause flatulence in dogs, just like in humans. Not much fun for the inhabitants, but totally harmless.

• Tomato 

Ripe tomatoes are ideal to maintain a beneficial blood pressure and circulation, because they contain potassium and lycopene. Unripe tomatoes, on the other hand, contain tomatine, solanine and atropine: three substances that are toxic to your dogs. Only serve your dog ripe tomatoes to avoid these harmful substances!

• Chicory 

Chicory provides your dog with potassium and magnesium: two minerals who prove their importance for healthy blood pressure and muscle function. Chicory also contains vitamins B1 and B2 that help convert nutrition into energy. Your four-legged friend can therefore safely savour a piece of chicory.

• Carrot 

Carrots are low in calories and full of vitamins, potassium and fiber. They cause your dog’s coat to radiate and promote digestion. Many dogs also love the taste of carrot, which transforms them into one of the most popular vegetable snacks for dogs.

Raw or cooked vegetables: which one to choose for my dog?

Vegetables lose nutrients during cooking, so it might seem healthier to feed your dog raw vegetables. That’s not entirely true.

Your dog is a carnivore so his body has to work extra hard to digest nutrients from raw vegetables. There is a chance that his stomach will eventually absorb less nutrients resulting in stomach aches.

Make it easy for your dog to digest his vegetables by cooking them first, especially when serving him hard veggies such as celeriac, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. 

Want to know which vegetables we use in your dog’s meals?

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