Yes, dogs can eat many vegetables and fruits. Many dogs will enjoy eating them as well as benefiting from the added nutrition provided.
Vegetables can be added to your dog’s diet as a fundamental ingredient, or as an occasional fresh treat or topper. Many dogs love chewing on a raw carrot, and cucumber makes for high-moisture, low-calorie treats for dogs watching their waistline!
Care does need to be taken to ensure that any vegetables fed are safe to feed, and avoid overfeeding any single vegetable at a time, which risks digestive upset and nutritional imbalance. Dogs also differ in their vegetable preferences and ability to digest them, so always work with your individual dog too.
Vegetables usually need prepared in a way to minimise the risk of choking (watch out for small chunks or cubes that might be swallowed whole) and to support digestion. Dogs lack a digestive system capable of effectively breaking down most plant materials, meaning many raw vegetables consumed will pass through them, unchanged, although this is sometimes useful to support gut health and stool formation. However, if you lightly cook vegetables or even blend/puree them, this can break down some of the tough cell walls found in plants, making them more accessible to digestive processes.
Examples of vegetables/fruits that are safe to feed your dog include:
- Sweet potato
- Sweet pepper
- Green beans
Examples of vegetables/fruits that are not safe to feed your dog include:
- Grapes and any dried variety such as sultanas and raisins