Your dog makes no secret about his opinion that what's yours is his, especially when it comes to anything you eat in front of him. After all, if it's good enough for you, it's good enough for him. That's not a healthy generalization, though. He might willingly scarf down a serving of pickled beets, for example, but pickled beets aren't good for him.
The Problem With Pickled
Here's the problem with pickled beets: The pickling process requires using a significant amount of salt, an ingredient that isn't good for your pooch. Considering your dog's daily sodium intake shouldn't be more than 10 milligrams per body pound, the 300 milligrams of sodium in just 1/2 cup of pickled beets far exceeds a healthy amount -- unless your dog is 30 pounds or larger. But even then the amount of salt in pickled beets has to count toward the daily limit, and that includes sodium he gets from his food. It's generally wise not to feed dogs foods that max out or exceed their sodium intake limits.
Unpickled Is OK
Beets that haven't been pickled are fine to feed your dog, and they even enhance his nutrition. Beets provide vitamins A and C as well as other nutrients like folacin, calcium, iron, potassium and fiber. Beets are helpful for circulation, purifying blood and building red blood cells. They also have a significant effect on cancer. The February 15, 1996, issue of "Cancer Letters" contained a study done by Howard University in Washington, D.C., that concluded eating beets can be useful in preventing cancer.
Toss in the Greens
If you grow your own beets, feel free to toss in some shredded beet greens when you feed your dog. He doesn't need daily greens, but a half-cup or less once or twice a week will supply him with vitamins A and K as well as potassium.
Tasty Non-Pickled Beet Snack
If you want to make your pooch a non-pickled beet snack he's sure to love, mix an eighth-cup of cooked, chopped beets with a chopped hard-boiled egg, 1 tablespoon of cooked, chopped celery and an eighth-cup of low-sodium chicken broth. The beets will give the mixture a pretty pink color, but your dog won't care, he'll just enjoy a tasty treat he thinks is people food.
- The Everything Cooking for Dogs Book; Lisa Fortunato
- Self Nutrition Data: Beets, Pickled, Canned, Solids and Liquids
- Self Nutrition Data: Beets, Cooked, Boiled, Drained
- Life Plus Vitamins: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Beets, Vegetables and Nutrition
- The Whole Dog Journal: Handbook of Dog and Puppy Care and Training; Edited by Nancy Kearns
- Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats; Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.
- The Daily Green: Beet Greens
- Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center: Diet Manual
- Science Direct: Chemoprevention of Lung and Skin Cancer by Beet Root Extract
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.