Do you have a dog that hates veg? Are you struggling to get your pooch to eat their greens? If so, you’re not alone!
Many dogs are picky eaters and are likely to turn their noses up at the sight (or smell) of any veggies. But don’t worry, there are plenty of sneaky ways to get your dog to eat their vegetables!
From hiding them in plain sight, to bribing them with ‘Veg in Blankets,’ we’ve got you covered!
Here are our 11 favorite tips to get more greens into your doggy’s belly…
Should Dogs have Vegetables in their Diet?
Dogs are Omnivores, which means that their diet consists of both plants and animals.
While meat is a great source of protein, fat, and other nutrients – vegetables offer health benefits that meat alone cannot provide.
Vegetables are a good source of fiber, which can help to promote digestive health. They can also provide essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, that are not found in meat.
Additionally, some vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, contain antioxidants that can help to boost your dog’s immune system. They are also a low-calorie food option, making them perfect for dogs who are trying to lose weight.
In fact, vegetables are so good for your hound that many commercial dog foods now include veg as one of the main ingredients.
Benefits of Vegetables in Dog’s Diet
- Feel Fuller for Longer
- Shiner Coat
- Healthier Skin
- Improved Oral Hygiene (when fed raw vegetables)
- Boosted Immune System
- Healthier Gut
- Make Great Snacks!
So, while your dog may not be too thrilled about eating their veggies, they’re actually doing themselves a big favor by chowing down on some greens!
11 Ways To Get Your Dog to Eat Their Vegetables!
If you’re worried that your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients, and you’d like to find some easy ways to sneak a few veg into their diet, we’ve got you covered! With a little patience (and some creativity), you can get even the pickiest of eaters to come around!
Here are some simple tricks that you can use to get your dog to eat their veggies:
1. Make a Big Deal Out of It!
One way we’ve always managed to get our dog’s interest in vegetables is by making a big deal about how delicious it is whilst pretending to eat it!
This might sound silly, but dogs are very intuitive creatures and often take their cue from our behavior. If we’re excited about something, they will be too!
2. Don’t Offer an Alternative (just yet!)
Our beagle loves carrots, but if she thinks there’s the offer of something better coming, she’ll most certainly turn her nose up at it!
If you’re having trouble getting your dog to eat their veggies, just place it on the floor (or bowl) in front of them, and walk away for a minute or so.
They’ll quickly realize that this is the only item on the menu at the moment, and will be more likely to explore it!
3. Add Some Peanut Butter
Adding a little bit of peanut butter to your dog’s vegetables is a great way to get them interested!
The peanut butter will add flavor and make the vegetables far more appealing to your dog (just be sure to use peanut butter that doesn’t contain any xylitol).
As they get used to the feel and texture of the vegetables, you can slowly wean them off the peanut butter until they’re happily eating the veggies on their own.
4. Food Dehydrator = Fantastically Chewy Treats!
This little trick has completely changed the way we give our dogs treats!
By using a Food Dehydrator, we can make our own homemade healthy vegetable snacks that are 100% natural and free from preservatives, in as little as 5 minutes per week!
Plus, dogs love the texture, and they often make a great long-lasting dog chew!
We just slice up their favorite veggies, place them in the dehydrator for 12 hours, and voila – easy snacks straight from your storage cupboard!
Our Favorite Vegetables to Dehydrate:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
Honestly, if you’ve never tried a food dehydrator before – you’re in for an amazing treat (excuse the pun!)
5. Trick Them Into Believing It’s Your Food!
Does your dog usually get excited when you open the fridge or cupboard? If so, use this to your advantage!
Prepare the vegetables and place them in the fridge for a short while, before taking out their ‘high-reward’ meal as if it was yours!
6. Add Some Chicken Broth
Adding a little chicken broth to your dog’s vegetables may require some additional effort on your part, but it’s certainly worth a try if they are refusing to eat their veg!
The broth will add some extra flavor and make the vegetables both smell and taste 10x better!
7. Try Different Types of Vegetables
If your dog doesn’t like one type of vegetable, don’t give up!
There are so many different variations out there, so try offering them a different type. You may be surprised at what they go for!
8. Cut the Vegetables into Small Pieces
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If your dog seems uninterested in eating their vegetables, try cutting them into smaller pieces.
Some dogs are just a little lazy when it comes to holding onto a large carrot (for example). But chopped into smaller pieces, it suddenly becomes an appealing snack for them!
9. Try Different Preparations
If you’re having trouble getting your dog to eat raw vegetables, try serving them cooked instead (and vice-versa).
Some dogs prefer their veggies crunchy and fresh, whilst others are more inclined to eat it cooked.
Each dog is different, so it’s important to experiment until you find a preparation method that they like.
Some ways to prepare veg include:
10. Hide the Vegetables in Their Food
If all else fails, you can always try hiding the vegetables in their food!
This is a great way to get them to eat their veggies without even realizing it! You can chop them up into small pieces and mix them in with their kibble or wet food.
Most dogs won’t even notice the difference!
11. Bribe Them (Last Resort…)
If all else is failing and you really want to get some veggies into your dog one way or another, then bribe them with the classic ‘Veggies in Blankets”
In other words, wrap something like bacon or ham around a piece of cooked broccoli, and hold onto it whilst your dog bites through it.
Note: If you give them the entire lot in one go, it’s likely they’ll spit the veg out before taking away the good stuff!
Why Don’t Dogs Like Vegetables?
Dogs typically don’t like vegetables because they’re not used to eating them, and they are fully aware that there is a much tastier alternative on offer!
As owners, when our dog dismisses a certain type of food, we normally don’t persist with it. However, soon as they realize that it’s the only snack available right now, they’ll be intrigued, and most likely give it a go, leading to them regularly accepting it along with their normal food.
Dogs also have a much stronger sense of smell than we do, and many veggies simply don’t smell very appealing to them, so we need to get a little creative to help pique their interest!
Are Vegetables Good For Dogs?
Absolutely! Vegetables provide dogs with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep them healthy. Additionally, veggies can help dogs feel fuller longer, helping to control their weight. It also provides them with fibrous indigestible material (roughage) to help keep their bowels moving regularly, often assisting with the prevention of anal gland issues.
When adding vegetables to your dog’s diet, it’s important to do so gradually and to choose ones that are safe for dogs to eat. Common safe options include carrots, cucumber, green beans, and sweet potatoes.
A balanced diet is key, and your dog’s meals should contain no more than 25% of vegetables.
However, it’s important to remember that not all veg are good for them. Some vegetables, such as onions and garlic (particularly in large quantities), can be highly toxic to dogs, and should be entirely avoided.
Vegetables Dogs Should NOT Eat
Some vegetables that dogs should not eat are onions, garlic, and chives. These vegetables contain sulfides that can be toxic to dogs, causing gastrointestinal upset, and may also lead to anemia.
Other common vegetables that dogs should avoid include unripened tomatoes and raw potatoes.
Tomatoes and potatoes contain solanine which can be poisonous to dogs at high levels, however, once tomatoes have ripened or potatoes have been cooked, the levels of solanine substantially decrease and they become safe to eat. Like anything, just be sure not to give them too much.
Common Vegetables Dogs Should Avoid
Any vegetable belonging to the Allium family (think onions, garlic), should be avoided for dogs.
- All Onions (including spring onion, shallots, and scallions)
- Unripened Tomatoes
- Raw potatoes
While most dogs will be fine if they eat a very small amount of ‘bad-for-them’ vegetables, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep them away from these foods altogether. After all, there are plenty of other healthy options for your pooch to enjoy!
Raw vs Cooked Vegetables for Dogs
When it comes to feeding your dog, you might be wondering whether raw or cooked vegetables are best. Both raw and cooked vegetables can have benefits for your dog’s health, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Raw vegetables may contain bacteria that can cause tummy upsets, so it’s important to wash them thoroughly before feeding them to your dog. Additionally, some dogs may not like the taste of raw vegetables. I mean, would you eat raw broccoli?!
Cooked vegetables are easier for your dog to digest, but they can lose some of their nutrients in the cooking process.
4 Benefits of Raw Vegetables for Dogs
- Easier and quicker to prepare
- Generally, they contain a higher nutritional value
- Can clean teeth and massage gums
- Some dogs like the crunch!
4 Benefits of Cooked Vegetables for Dogs
- Easier to digest for dogs
- Better overall taste and texture
- Softens vegetable fibers and aids the release of Vitamins E & K
- Improved mineral absorption
If your dog is not used to eating raw vegetables, you may need to introduce them slowly and in small quantities. Ultimately, whether you feed your dog raw or cooked vegetables is a personal decision, and you should do what you think is best for them.
For further help in deciding between raw and cooked vegetables for your dog, talk to your veterinarian and see what they personally recommend for your pooch.
Is a Vegetable-Only Diet Bad for My Dog?
Like humans, dogs are omnivores and need a balanced diet that includes both proteins and vegetables. However, there is some debate over whether a vegetable-only diet is healthy for dogs.
Some experts believe that dogs can get all the nutrients they need from vegetables, while others contend that they still require some animal-based proteins.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Some dogs may do well on a vegetable or plant-based diet, while others may need to include some meat to stay healthy. Ultimately, it is important to speak with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your dog’s individual nutritional needs.
Wrapping Up Ways To Get Dogs To Eat Their Veg!
Most pups will eagerly gobble up almost anything, but enticing them with veggies? That can be tricky. Using the strategies we’ve highlighted in this post can make a world of difference.
With a dash of creativity, your dog will be munching on their greens before you know it.
Got any clever tricks to get your dog to eat their vegetables? Spill the beans in the comments below. We’re all ears!