Asparagus | Beans | Beets| Broccoli 🥦 | Brussel sprouts | Cabbage 🥬 | Carrots 🥕 | Cauliflower | Celery | Corn 🌽 | Cucumber 🥒 | Eggplant 🍆 | Garlic 🧄 | Green pepper | Kale 🥬 | Lettuce | Mushrooms 🍄 | Onions 🧅 | Peas | Potato 🥔 | Pumpkin 🎃 | Radishes | Spinach 🌱 | Sweet potato 🍠| Tomato 🍅 | Zucchini
Unlike cats that thrive on animal proteins, dogs are omnivores. A balanced diet for your best buddy includes meat plus vegetables and fruits. Along with fiber, come vitamins and minerals absent in meat. Like Yin and Yang, the acidic nature of meat is balanced by the alkaline nature of vegetables, aiding digestion.
The Benefits of Vegetables for Dogs
Just because dogs aren’t handy with a vegetable peeler, it doesn’t mean veggies should be off the menu. But it is true that not all veggies people eat are safe for dogs. Indeed, some are toxic or dangerous.
Vegetables also contain nutrients absent in meat. These include:
- Phytonutrients, which help ward off bacteria, viruses, and cancer
- Enzymes to aid digestion
- Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that protect the body from wear and tear
- Fiber to regulate the digestive tract
- Vitamins and minerals.
If you want to know what vegetables dogs can eat check out the Petcube guide to see which veggies are good for dogs and which to avoid.
Good Vegetables for Dogs ✅
First on the list of vegetables that are good for dogs is asparagus.
Asparagus spears are the equivalent of a vitamin pill. They’re packed with vitamins B6, C, E, & K, along with nutrients such as rutin, niacin, and thiamin. But the goodness doesn’t stop there as asparagus contains copper, selenium, potassium, and chromium. An added bonus is that spears of asparagus make a good alternative to a chew stick.
If you choose to feed your dog raw asparagus, you should cut it up into small pieces first to prevent choking. However, if your dog eats too much of it, they may experience stomach upset, gas, or diarrhea, as raw asparagus is quite difficult to digest.
To make sure your dog doesn't have any of these problems, you should boil the asparagus first, to soften it up, then chop it up into small pieces. And if you don’t want to boil it, lightly grilled or steamed asparagus is also a good option. Just remember to cook it without salt, spices, or other additives that may be harmful for your dog.
A few words of caution. If you grow asparagus, don’t let your dog eat the leaves. Asparagus leaves aren’t meant to be eaten and will cause a tummy upset. Also, a dog’s pee may smell strange after eating asparagus. This is nothing to worry about — just toxins clearing the system.
Beans are best in moderation. Pinto, black, butter, or red kidney beans are a good source of vegetable protein but they can ferment and cause gas. If your pooch has had a history of gassy stomachs, then less is more when it comes to beans.
On the plus side, beans are very high in fiber, so they can help your pup with constipation. They are a great source of protein for vegetarian dogs, and are rich in folate, potassium, and magnesium. Also, beans can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, which can minimize the risk of heart issues.
Avoid giving your dog raw beans as they contain phytohaemagglutinin, a substance that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Soaking and cooking the beans will destroy the toxin and reduce the amount of fiber in them, making it easier on a dog's tummy. You can buy cooked beans in cans or frozen, but if you're using canned beans make sure there is no sugar, salt, spices, or other seasonings.
If your dog doesn’t like it plain, try adding some diced cooked chicken or turkey or mixing beans with other vegetables like potatoes and corn.
Broccoli is a crunchy treat that can be fed cooked or raw. This green treat is rich in fiber and vitamin C. As with all vegetables, think ‘choking hazard’ and supervise the dog with broccoli stalks. Also, broccoli contains isothiocyanates, an anti-carcinogen, which can sometimes irritate dogs’ stomachs.
Test your dog with a small portion first, to see if it suits them. While it is not exactly clear how much is too much for a dog, one cup of cooked broccoli would be considered more than enough for an average-sized adult dog; the same size serving of raw broccoli would be less than ideal.
Crunching on raw carrots can help keep teeth clean. However, dogs struggle to digest the goodness from raw carrots. To benefit from all that vitamin A, serve carrots lightly steamed to aid digestion.
Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining eyesight, strengthening the immune system, and conditioning the skin.
If you grow carrots in your garden, save some carrot tops for your dog! Many dogs like this tasty and crunchy treat.
Cauliflower looks bland but is surprisingly rich in nutrients. It contains vitamins B, C, & K, along with omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, choline, manganese, and phosphorus. All of which adds up to healthy red blood cells and immune system.
But like cabbage, raw cauliflower is hard to digest so is best served lightly cooked. Try feeding some to your dog by adding steamed florets to their supper for a nutritious supplement to their diet.
Once cooked, cauliflower becomes softer and more palatable which means you can feed more of it at one time than if it was raw. Just make sure the florets are bite size so they don’t get stuck in your pup’s throat.
Again, go easy at first, because cauliflower is another vegetable linked to gas.
A celery stick makes a great low calorie treat for your dog. Not only that, but it will help keep their breath fresh.
Celery is high fiber and low fat, which is a great combination for a dog on a diet. It also contains folate, manganese, and potassium, along with vitamins A, C, & K. Celery contains low levels of a natural diuretic. Fed in excess, celery could make your dog pee more, so it’s best fed in moderation as a crunchy treat.
If you have a small dog, be sure to cut up the celery into smaller pieces since smaller dogs are more likely to swallow it whole.
Moisture-rich cucumber makes a refreshing snack on a hot day. This is a sneaky way to get fluid into your pet and thankfully is also low calorie.
Typically, half a cup of cucumber contains a meager 8 calories, as compared to 40 for the average dog biscuit. Great for a dog on a diet!
You can simply cut a cucumber into small pieces and feed it that way, or you may choose to peel it first to reduce its bitterness. You can also sprinkle the cucumber with a bit of water or your dog's favorite juice (such as carrot juice) for added flavor.
BTW, here is one fun read for you: Cats vs Cucumbers: Why Are Cats Scared of Cucumbers?
Green Bell Pepper
These are a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. These nutrients strengthen the immune system, protect eyesight, and provide a natural anti-inflammatory which can help arthritis.
Serve raw bell pepper cut into strips to your pooch for a nutritious treat. You should also keep in mind that when you’re mixing peppers with other foods such as meat or other veggies, they can add some interesting flavours to your dog's meals. Bell peppers are relatively safe for most dogs and go well in both raw and cooked recipes which makes them a very versatile snack for your pup!
Lettuce should honestly be better called ‘crunchy water’. This vegetable is 90% water which makes it a good snack for doggy weight watchers.
If your dog bolts their food, chop the lettuce up before feeding to avoid a choking hazard.
Read more about dogs and lettuce here: Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Benefits of the Crunchy Veggie
There is a surprising amount of types of peas: garden, sugar snap, English or snow. The good news is they’re all good for dogs and if you can eat the shell, then so can the dog.
These little balls of goodness are full of nutritious vitamins (A, B & K), minerals (magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium), and lutein which is a powerful antioxidant. Other than that, peas are one of the best sources of fiber for your pup. Fiber is essential in helping to regulate their digestion and keep things moving along.
Just be cautious with the quantity of peas as a large amount consumed can lead to diarrhea. Likewise, dogs with kidney problems should avoid eating too many peas. The latter contain purines which can be difficult for the kidney to process.
There is a myth that dogs can't eat potatoes, but this isn't true. Potato makes a nutritious food for dogs when prepared in the right way. Never feed raw potato, as it contains a toxin called solanine. Likewise, fried potato is full of fat and best avoided. Instead, bake or lightly boil the potato, but avoid adding lashings of butter.
When served correctly, potato offers goodies such as vitamins A, B6, & C, along with essential minerals and micronutrients. Oh, but keep an eye on the calories if your hound is on the heavy side. Also, keep in mind that your dog should never get more than 10 percent of their daily calories from starchy foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or peas.
Pumpkin has it all: vitamins, minerals, fiber, it’s tasty, AND it helps digestive health.
Lightly cooked pumpkin is easiest for a dog to digest. Fed in small quantities it helps ease constipation or bind-up diarrhea.
A few tablespoons of fresh, steamed pumpkin worked into dog food gives moisture without adding too many calories. Once it’s mixed into the food, you can add a little warm water or plain yogurt (if your dog tolerates dairy) to make a stewlike consistency. One tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight is a good starting point.
If feeding canned pumpkin, only offer the pureed stuff without additives or sugar; look at labels carefully to be sure you're getting 100 percent pumpkin (it should be the first ingredient). To serve as a topping, mix canned pumpkin with warm water and honey — or even better — unsweetened apple sauce — to make it more palatable for your picky eater. Drizzle over kibble.
Pumpkin seeds contain the same fatty acids as sunflower seeds and are safe for dogs to eat in small amounts.
Spinach is high in iron, a good source of vitamins, and all around a great vegetable for dogs. Give your dog spinach… but not too much of it.
Spinach also contains oxalic acid which can block the absorption of calcium. In moderation, this isn’t a problem so just be sure to keep this in mind.
In addition to serving it plain, you can use spinach to create DIY dog treats. Check this recipe:
Zucchini gets a green light for dogs. They’re a great low calorie, high fiber food with added vitamins to boot.
If you prefer to feed your dog raw zucchini, make sure that the squash is washed thoroughly before you offer it to your dog and cut it into small pieces to prevent choking. Dogs can eat cooked zucchini whole, but avoid serving it with any seasonings.
Just like regular potatos, sweet potatoes are one of the veggies dogs can eat only when cooked. There are several different ways to prepare sweet potatoes for your dog, but the most common suggestions include baking, boiling, steaming, or microwaving — but avoid adding butter, salt or any seasonings.
This makes for nutritious food that is gentle on the digestion and naturally sweet.A single serving of sweet potato (about ½ cup) can be added per day, and it’s easy for most dogs to digest. In addition to serving it plain, you can use sweet potato to create DIY dog treats, like this recipe:
Bad Vegetables for Dogs ❌
Dogs are different from people. We all know chocolate is toxic to dogs, but can dogs eat vegetables we eat? It turns out some care is needed when adding vegetables to your dog’s menu.
Here’s what to avoid in the vegetable patch.
Beets aren’t toxic, but they do come with complications.
Avoid raw beets as they are a choking hazard and can get stuck in the bowel. Also, beets contain oxalate, a building block of some bladder stones. For sure avoid beets if your dog has bladder or kidney problems.
Beets are also acidic in nature. This can irritate the gut and cause vomiting or diarrhea in some dogs.
Can dogs eat beet greens? Just like their root, beets greens should only be fed in moderation as they contain high levels of oxalates and nitrates. These two compounds work together to cause the same kind of kidney problems that beets can bring on if consumed in large amounts. So, go easy on those beet greens and keep an eye out for any symptoms of illness like vomiting or diarrhea.
There’s a reason Brussel sprouts are known as ‘little round gas balls.’ These nutritious balls of goodness have a reputation for generating gas resulting in offensive flatulence.
On the one hand, sprouts can help a dog’s digestion and ease constipation. But you won’t want to be in the room when it happens!
Sprouts must be cooked. They also get bonus points for including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol which are known to fight free radicals and reduce the risk of bowel cancer.
Cabbage is another healthy vegetable that is best in moderation. Yes, cabbage is rich in antioxidants and vitamins, but it’s another gas-generating vegetable. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
In addition, raw cabbage contains thiocyanate which in large quantities can suppress the thyroid gland and lead to hypothyroidism.
Is cabbage good for dogs? Yes, but when treated with respect. Cabbage is best served in small portions, as a cut-up crunch sprinkled on the top of food.
Corn itself isn’t a baddie. But what is a worry are corn cobs. When a dog swallows one whole, it blocks the bowel, with life-threatening consequences. Emergency surgery is often needed to remove the obstruction.
Corn itself has a bad rap when used as filler in dog foods. However, sweetcorn kernels do provide energy, fiber, and beneficial vitamins, so don’t be too hard on this sunny vegetable.
Eggplant isn’t toxic, but it belongs to the nightshade family and is linked to allergic reactions in some dogs. Test your dog out on a small quantity of cooked eggplant, to see if they can tolerate it or not.
On the plus side, eggplant is a good source of phytonutrients, such as chlorogenic acid and nasunin. These have a reputation for warding off cancer, heart disease, and nerve problems. In addition, eggplant is a high fiber, low-fat food, rich in vitamins B6 & K.
Offer small quantities of cooked eggplant as a useful source of nutrition for most dogs.
Garlic is a confusing vegetable, as it has health-giving properties in people, but not dogs. Garlic is toxic to both dogs and cats. Small amounts may cause vomiting and diarrhea, but the real problems start with large quantities.
Garlic causes red blood cells to burst, leading to anemia. This leads to weakness, loss of energy, and collapse. Whilst small quantities as a one-off are unlikely to be harmful; large doses regularly are definitely harmful.
Considered a superfood for humans, this good-for-you vegetable is less clear-cut for dogs. While kale contains powerful anti-cancer compounds; it’s also high in oxalates.
Dogs prone to bladder stones do well to avoid food rich in oxalates including kale, broccoli, cabbage, and sprouts. Oh yes, and did we mention the gas? Kale is another veggie that causes flatulence when fed in quantity.
Mushrooms are a tale of extremes. Store bought mushrooms are generally safe for dogs, as long as they’re not cooked with onions or garlic. But some wild mushrooms are extremely toxic and a definite no-no.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning include heavy drooling, sickness and diarrhea, poor coordination, collapse, and death. If your dog eats a wild mushroom while walking, try and photograph the mushroom and then seek urgent veterinary advice.
The good news you can send a photo online and have an instant chat with a qualified doctor using Vet Chat. With this 24/7 vet advice service, you can consult a professional in just a few clicks and clarify all the questions regarding a particular mushroom.
The problem with radishes isn’t because they are actually toxic but the shape is very dangerous. A greedy dog that swallows a whole radish could end up with a serious bowel obstruction.
If you decide the potassium and vitamin C in a radish is right for your dog, then be sure to slice this veggie thinly.
Tomatoes belong to the nightshade family. They contain a chemical called solanine, which is toxic and can induce tremors and seizures.
The good news is the solanine is in the green parts of tomatoes, such as the stem and leaves. While these are a big “No,” eating the odd ripe tomato is unlikely to be a problem.
Can dogs eat tomatoes? Yes…and no.
How to Feed Vegetables to Dogs
Does your pooch love pumpkin?
Do you have a canine carrot-cruncher?
If your dog enjoys a meal of mushrooms, be sure to only feed them vegetables safe for dogs.
With a wholesome menu worked out, next you need to know is how to serve vegetables for dogs.
If your dog is new to veggies, introduce small amounts at first. This lets the gut get used to the high fiber goodness and avoids stomach upsets.
Some dogs love the crunch of fresh vegetable, while others prefer the softness of steamed veggies. Carefully test what your pup likes to build a well-rounded diet.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Vegetables?
As a rule of thumb, if people can eat it raw, then so can dogs. It’s a thumbs up to gnawing on green beans and chewing on celery, but a thumbs down for raw potato or squash.
Vegetables take quite a bit of chewing, so go easy on them as training treats. By the time the dog has eaten the reward, they will have forgotten why they earned it.
Also, be careful not to rush a dog eating vegetables. Small pieces of veggie can be a choking hazard. It’s best to let them settle down for a satisfying chew than have them gobble veggies down in a hurry.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Vegetables?
Yes, they can (see what we did there!), but canned veggies are second best. Vegetables lose some goodness in the canning process.
Plus, be mindful to choose vegetables in water rather than salt water. Brine is high in sodium which is not healthy for canine kidneys.
A Side Serving of Veggies for Good Health
There’s nothing quite as funny as seeing your dog make a face while eating. Use Petcube pet camera to watch their antics chomping on cauliflower or playing with peas. Indeed, check that they are eating their greens and aren’t donating them to the rabbit.
Or if you have two dogs, does one get the lion’s share of the lettuce? Use Petcube to work out which is your dog’s favorite veggie. Leave out a selection of fresh vegetables and watch to see which they eat first.
Are vegetables good for dogs? Yes!
But the wise owner recognizes what vegetables dogs can eat and avoids those likely to cause health problems. If in doubt, always check which are the best vegetables for dogs before feeding, to avoid a gassy mistake.
Does your fur-friend beg for broccoli or crave cabbage? Tell us about your dog’s must-have veggie treats!
Dog Vegetables Chart
|Vegetable||Eat / Don't Eat / Caution||Reason|
|Asparagus ▾||Eat||Asparagus spears are a doggie superfood|
|Beans ▾||Eat||Beans are best in moderation|
|Beets ▾||Caution||Can cause bladder stones|
|Broccoli ▾||Eat||Rich in vitamin C|
|Brussel sprouts ▾||Caution||Not toxic but can cause gas|
|Cabbage ▾||Caution||Contains thiocyanates which can trigger hypothyroidism|
|Carrots ▾||Eat||Keep teeth clean|
|Cauliflower ▾||Eat||Best served cooked to aid digestion|
|Celery ▾||Eat||A low calorie, fresh-breath treat|
|Corn ▾||Caution||Corn cobs pose a major risk to health|
|Cucumber ▾||Eat||A sneaky way to get fluids into your dog|
|Eggplant ▾||Caution||Linked to allergic reactions|
|Garlic ▾||Don't eat||Five times more toxic than onions to dogs|
|Green pepper ▾||Eat||Bursting with beta-carotene|
|Kale ▾||Caution||Not recommended for dogs with bladder problems|
|Lettuce ▾||Eat||90% crunchy water|
|Mushrooms ▾||Caution||Some wild mushrooms are highly toxic|
|Onions ▾||Don't eat||Toxic to dogs|
|Peas ▾||Eat||High in protein, fiber, and vitamins|
|Potato ▾||Eat||It’s all in the cooking!|
|Pumpkin ▾||Eat||Can help diarrhea or constipation|
|Radishes ▾||Caution||A whole radish can block the gut|
|Spinach ▾||Eat||Best fed in moderation|
|Sweet potato ▾||Eat||Tasty and easy to digest|
|Tomato ▾||Don't eat||Part of the nightshade family|
|Zucchini ▾||Eat||A treat at 20 calories per squash|