“Dogs can eat most vegetables, making them a great treat for your pet,” says Dr. Jamie Richardson, DVM and chief veterinary officer at Small Door Vet, a chain of veterinary facilities in the Northeastern US.
Here is a list of vegetables that make safe and healthy treats for your dog:
Beets, which are packed with nutrients, are commonly found in commercial dog foods. When served in moderation, beets provide benefits for a dog’s coat, skin and digestion. They contain fiber, vitamins including vitamin C, minerals, potassium, folic acid and magnesium. However, if your dog is prone to bladder or kidney stones, you should consult your vet before including beets in his diet.
Peppers are made up of 92% water and are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, E, B6, potassium and folic acid. They also make for a fun, crunchy snack that most dogs love. It’s best to remove all seeds and stems before slowly introducing your pup to peppers.
Broccoli is packed with important vitamins, including vitamins C and K. It also serves as a crunchy, healthy snack.
“(Broccoli) can help strengthen your dog’s immune system and increase bone density,” wrote Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, medical director of Holistic Veterinary Care and founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition, in an email to Forbes Advisor.
Dog owners should be careful about the amount of broccoli they give their dogs because the florets contain a naturally occurring phytochemical, which can cause mild to potentially severe stomach irritation in some dogs.
Carrots make an excellent crunchy treat for your dog and act like a toothpick, cleaning and removing food from the teeth. Some veterinarians recommend freezing carrots and feeding them to puppies for relief from teething pain.
“Your pup can enjoy both raw and cooked carrots,” says Richardson. “They are a healthy, low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin A, which makes for a great snack.”
Celery is not only a fun, crunchy, healthy snack for your dog, but it also serves a dual purpose: it helps freshen your dog’s breath.
Celery is also great as a treat for dogs who need to lose a few pounds. It is high in water content, low in fat and cholesterol, and is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, C and K, folic acid, potassium and manganese.
“Green beans are an excellent low-calorie vegetable that make a great low-fat snack to help fill your dog up without overfeeding,” says Richardson.
Green beans are a good source of protein, iron, calcium and vitamins B6, A, C and K. Beans also make a nutritious alternative to fat-laden dog treats.
Peas are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamins A, C and K, according to Dr. Nicole Savageau, DVM, a veterinarian at The Vets, a national mobile veterinary company.
“They are often used as a plant-based protein source in dog food,” Savageau wrote in an email to Forbes Advisor.
Peas are packed with vitamins and minerals and contain a lot of protein and fiber. Fresh or frozen peas are a great addition to your dog’s daily meals, or even as a snack.
“Spinach is a great source of iron, fiber and vitamins A, C and K,” says Savageau.
The leafy green also contains iron, antioxidants, beta-carotene and roughage, which is helpful in stimulating the digestive tract.
“Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A, which can promote healthy skin and coat and even help with your pup’s nervous system and muscles,” says Richter. They also contain a lot of potassium and calcium.
Sweet potatoes are low in fat and rich in vitamin A, which is critical for maintaining healthy eyes, muscles, nerves and skin, vitamin C, which supports a dog’s immune system, and vitamin B6, which helps regulate of blood sugar levels and metabolism.