In our last article, we talked about the health benefits of berries for our canine companions. Now that the garden season is in full force and farmers’ markets are popping up on every corner, we thought it would be great to discuss what vegetables are considered to not only be safe for your pups, but are also serve as beneficially healthy alternatives to those overly processed store bought treats.
As we plot out our gardens, here are some of the vegetables we ensure we make extra room for so that we can share with our fur-kids:
Our girls LOVE carrots! While I am sure they enjoy the taste of carrots, I personally think they enjoy the crunchiness even more. Not only are carrots a low calorie snack, but they are also a great source of fiber and vitamin A. Furthermore, the crunchy texture can also help to support healthy teeth and gums.
Another staple in our garden is celery, which is the perfect low-fat, low-calorie snack for all of our waistlines (humans and canines alike)! Celery provides a number of essential nutrients and vitamins including vitamins A, C, and K; folate; potassium; and manganese. Furthermore, it is an excellent source of fiber. It can pose as a choking hazard, so we recommend cutting it up in smaller pieces to avoid this from occurring.
While cucumbers may not offer a ton of beneficial nutrients to your canine companion, they do offer a healthy low calorie, non-fat treat option with a satisfying crunch. We like to use cucumbers as an alternative training treat on especially hot days as their high water content can help keep your pup hydrated while they are working hard to keep up with you on that afternoon walk.
I consider green beans to be a “super treat” for our dogs. They are not only full of fiber and low in calories, but they are also loaded with beneficial nutrients such such as iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. It is important to note that while all green beans (chopped, steamed, raw, or frozen) are good for our canine friends, they should be served plain (no added salt or spices.)
If our dogs could talk, they would tell you their favorite season is Fall. Why is that? Well, that is the time of year when we harvest the pumpkins and those are their most favorite vegetable of all! Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in fat and cholesterol, and loaded with beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins A and C. Furthermore, it’s high fiber content has been proven to be beneficial to your pet’s digestive tract. One tip though: if using canned pumpkin, please be sure that it is pumpkin puree and NOT canned pumpkin pie. For ideas on how to serve up this tasty treat for your pup, check out our pumpkin treat recipe we shared in a prior article!
As with all things, even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. So, be cautious of over-feeding your pup with any kind of treat, including any of these healthy options.
Till next time, “Keep Calm and Hug your Labrador!”