What kind of vegetables can I feed my dog?
Vegetables combined with grains and meat form the basis of a healthy diet for a dog on a natural diet. No matter what the critics may say, proper digestive function without fiber, the main source of which is plant food, is simply not possible.
All carnivores eat vegetables. Nature has found a solution that is not too elegant, but effective enough to allow wild carnivores, whose digestive system is poorly adapted to the digestion of coarse fiber, to consume the right amount of plant food. They get it in fermented form by eating the semi-digested contents of the stomachs of their prey herbivores and rodents.
Dogs, by the way, are not wild carnivores, and therefore attempts to pull the wolf food scheme on them look especially ridiculous. For tens of thousands of years of co-evolution with humans, their bodies have seriously adapted to our nutritional habits: how could it be otherwise, if the main diet of domesticated canines was ... scraps from the table, slop and the contents of cesspools.
Phytoncides contained in vegetables enhance the digestive glands, contributing to the better digestion of all other food. Fiber stimulates intestinal motility, creates a feeling of fullness, and removes cholesterol, while pectins absorb harmful substances, reduce putrefactive processes and accelerate the healing of mucous membranes.
Long-term deficiency of dietary fiber inevitably leads to serious intestinal disorders, becoming one of the causes of hemorrhoids, the growth of polyps, and the development of cancer. The lack of vegetables in the diet, experts say, is one of the risk factors in the development of atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cholelithiasis.
Vegetables and greens give dogs vitamins, minerals, and readily soluble sugars. Plant foods are low in fat and relatively low in calories, but they contain plenty of physiologically bound water. Minerals enable water to be quickly eliminated from the body, effectively removing metabolic by-products.
Vegetables should provide 8-10% of a dog's daily caloric intake
The choice of plant foods that may be suitable for feeding dogs is quite wide. The list of vegetables most available in our latitudes includes potatoes (including sweet potatoes), cabbage, carrots, beets, rutabagas, turnips, leaf lettuce, sorrel, spinach, carrot, and beet tops, cereal greens, and gourds such as zucchini and pumpkins.
Potatoes have the greatest energy value. Potatoes can be served in soup or mashed, bearing in mind that cooked potatoes sour quickly. Potatoes do not have a lot of fiber, but they have enough digestible carbohydrates, so potatoes can completely replace cereals.
Cabbage, carrots, and beets make a great dressing for a thick dog soup. Cabbage is a source of vitamins C and K and can be used both fresh and fermented. Carrots are known to be rich in carotenes and beets are high in sugar and pectin. Among other things, beets and cabbage activate digestion, favorably affecting intestinal microflora.
Pumpkin is good because it retains its beneficial properties even after heat treatment. It contains several times more carotene than carrots and vitamin E, which is good for the heart. Pumpkin can be used as a dressing for thick soups and porridges and as a separate dish: pumpkin puree with yogurt is useful for dogs with stomach diseases.
Leaf lettuce, spinach, carrot, and beet tops can be given without heat treatment. Greens just need to be washed properly, finely chopped and mixed into the gruel just before you put the bowl in the dog's bowl. Even young fresh nettles can be used as a supplement in the spring by chopping and steeping them in hot water.
The approximate daily intake of vegetables (not including potatoes) for an adult dog is 80-100 grams, and potatoes 100-200 grams, depending on the size of the animal. For dietary nutrition, vegetables can be mashed and separately stewed in milk or sour cream, and to the daily porridge, it's enough to add them immediately after finishing boiling and to simmer while the pot cools down.
If you decide to feed your dog natural food, treat his stomach with respect. A dog is not a slop disposer like he used to be. The vegetables must be of good quality, that is, fresh, without mold and foreign odors. I don't want to remind you of the importance of good nutrition. It's perfectly obvious: Just feed your dog so he doesn't look ashamed of his bowl.
Feed your dogs right.