I was asked the other day, three times in a row during busy morning consults, how to feed vegetables to a dog. Each time I was a little baffled by the question… Just cook or blitz them for your pooch! But by the third consult, I realise that this is obviously a topic that perplexes many of our clients.
And so, here it is.
What vegetables should I feed my dog?
There are some vegetables that are best served cooked for your dog. These are all of the starchy vegies, such as potato, pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots. The starches are easier to digest once they have been cooked. And then if that cooked starch has been left to cool, it becomes even more beneficial to those ever-important gut bugs by converting into ‘resistant starch’ which is essentially a prebiotic form of starch, or fibre.
There are also some dogs that will have trouble digesting the brassica vegetables and will show this in the form of tummy pain, gas or even loose stools. The brassica family include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower.
All other vegetables are best served raw. Although they do need to be finely chopped, grated or better yet, blitzed in a food processor to be easily digested.
How do I prepare vegetables for my dog?
So how do I prepare vegetables for my Bonsai Wolfhound, Ash? You all know that I am a time poor, working parent running a family business. I’d like to say that I have the time to dedicate to preparing each meal for my precious furry family member each night but in all honesty, she’s lucky if I remember to feed her… and the kids… Apparently they need feeding every day too – at least according to the school they do….
So, to make it easy for myself! I prepare a large batch of vegetables for Ash on a weekly or fortnightly basis.
I buy the ‘Winter Veg’ snap frozen bag of vegies from the supermarket and blanch these in boiling water until just cooked. Drain and mash with a potato masher. This has broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and beans. I’ll often add sweet potato or pumpkin too.
I then prepare the leafy greens. I have an Aldi version of the ‘nutribullet’ and into this goes any of the following: spinach, kale, silverbeet, zucchini, fresh herbs, capsicum, cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms, celery, beetroot tops, bok choy, choy sum, wombok, Chinese broccoli, snow peas. To this I also add any tomatoes, left over salad, ends of vegies (if the guinea pigs have not eaten them!) and squashed fruit from the kids’ lunch boxes. I will blitz this up with a little water. Then this ‘green smoothie’ gets mixed in with the mashed winter veg mix.
This vegie mix then gets frozen in plastic tubs in the freezer and I just pull each one out when I need it to defrost. I can do a fortnight’s worth of veg in a single go. Usually at the same time that I am cooking dinner for the other noisier mouths in my family.
That’s it. It is not meant to be difficult; it needs to be something that you can do easily, sustainably and not get disheartened by the hard work.
And don’t forget – you don’t have to feed the A-grade meal every single day. Feel free to try this for a week and then return to feeding your current diet. Make small changes as you can. Remember that every time you feed your dog a meal containing fresh vegies, you are doing all you can to reduce the chance of your dog suffering from poor health, gut disease, skin disease, arthritis and possibly even cancer. Your dog will thank you in the only way they can – with undying love and affection for you, tail wags and their enduring presence.
Get cooking today!