A side of steamed veggies is a nice way to round out a meal for humans and dogs alike. Many dogs will happily chomp away on a helping of vegetables, unlike some of their pickier human friends. While many dog foods are balanced with complete vitamins and minerals that dogs require, serving up a healthy portion of steamed vegetables is not only good for your best buddy, it's like an extra treat.
Although vegetables can be served raw or cooked, some dog nutrition experts and animal rescue organizations suggest serving steamed vegetables to your dog, as they can be easier to digest in this state but retain their nutrients because they are not fully cooked. Let veggies cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving so your buddy doesn't burn his tongue!
Raw or steamed, carrots are a good source of beta-carotene for your furry friend. Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, and fiber, which aids in digestion. Slice a carrot into quarters or sticks and steam for 10 minutes. Serve them with your dog's regular meals or as a treat. The bright orange vegetable delivers nutrients to the optic nerve, which is an important part of good eyesight.
If the furry guy in your life is having problems eliminating, zucchini might aid in digestion with its high content of dietary fiber. This low-calorie vegetable has just 17 calories per 100 grams, making it a great vegetable for overweight dogs who need added fiber content in their diet. Zucchini is high in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Rich in vitamins and minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin and iron, add a little steamed zucchini to Max's meals for a tasty and nutritious treat.
Broccoli is chock-full of nutritional compounds that help prevent cancer and other diseases. High in antioxidants, the wondrous vegetable that looks like tiny trees boosts the body's enzymes and helps carcinogens in the body from reaching their way to target cells. With all its health benefits, broccoli should not be used as a large portion of your dog's diet -- no more than 10 percent of his diet or you could give your furry friend a case of flatulence.
After a dog eats, there are many digestive processes that happen. Different dogs will have different dietary needs and while some foods will settle great in your dog's tummy, others may not. This is variable according to breed type and something to ask your veterinarian about. Digesting certain vegetables may be very difficult for Max, while Lucy has no problem at all. Potatoes and broccoli may cause flatulence in some dogs while others digest it without a problem. Avoid giving your dog onion or garlic in any form. These vegetables have the ability to wreak havoc on a dog's red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.