A diet containing vegetables may have several benefits for your dog’s health. Plant foods are loaded with nutrients and are low in calories, which makes them an excellent addition to your dog’s diet.

Veggies have a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is an excellent prebiotic that can keep your dog’s intestinal flora in balance and can aid in the management of some chronic diseases.

Beets

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and activities of specific bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and exert beneficial effects on the host (Pan, 2009). Beet pulp contains high amounts of soluble fiber that undergoes fermentation reasonably quickly in the colon providing nourishment to the intestinal bacteria and regulating intestinal transit time.

Adding fiber to the diet can benefit dogs and cats who suffer chronic colitis. Intestinal bacteria can ferment the soluble fiber in beet pulp.  Once fermented, soluble fiber becomes a good source of energy for the bacteria and  the intestinal cells. Soluble fiber can enhance the structure and function of the intestines. Besides, prebiotics such as beet pulp has an effect on the type of bacteria that increases in the intestines, favoring beneficial bacteria over dangerous bacteria. Soluble dietary fibers also have beneficial effects on intestinal motility.

Recommended diets for patients with hepatic disease are usually low in fat, have a controlled amount of highly digestible protein and contain high amounts of soluble fiber. Dogs with hepatic disease are at risk of developing hepatic encephalopathy (brain dysfunction). The liver is in charge of metabolizing toxic substances in the body to make them harmless; however, when the liver is not working correctly these substances may accumulate in the blood and lead to brain dysfunction.

Ammonia, which is produced by the body after protein digestion, should be metabolized by the liver to avoid its accumulation. Dogs with hepatic disease should consume a controlled amount of easily digestible proteins to decrease ammonia in the blood Soluble fibers like beet pulp can help in the conversion of ammonia in ammonium, which is less dangerous for the body.

There is no known health concern associated with the inclusion of beets in dogs food. Just as with any other food ingredient, there is the risk of a dog being allergic to beet pulp, but this is rare.

Asparagus

Although wild canines are carnivores, dogs are scavengers. Due to their close relationship with humans, dogs have evolved to eat a variety of foods including grains and other carbohydrates. Dogs need vegetables, such as asparagus, as a source of dietary fiber. It is safe for your dog’s diet to contain approximately 20% of vegetables.

Asparagus can promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and promote a healthy gastrointestinal transit. Asparagus is an excellent source of prebiotics for your pet. Prebiotics are substances that preferentially support the resident bacterial ecosystem of the intestine. These are non-digestible food components (dietary fibers) that are fermented by intestinal bacteria. Examples of prebiotics include fruits and vegetables such as beet pulp, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, chicory root, asparagus, wheat, barley, and tomatoes.

Asparagus is a safe vegetable for your dog. Besides being high in fiber, asparagus contains vitamins A and C and folic acid. Cooking vegetables always improve digestibility, but you can feed your dog cooked or raw asparagus, and most dogs like it’s flavor. As with any new food you are introducing to your dog’s diet, it’s best to do so gradually so that you can monitor any stomach upset it might cause.

Carrots

Carrots are low in calories and high beta-carotene, antioxidants and fiber. Beta-carotene is the precursor of Vitamin A, which is essential to maintain eye health, promotes a healthy immune system and supports skin and coat health. Dogs do not have the digestive enzymes necessary to extract the vitamins and nutrients inside vegetable cells. For this reason, only cooked carrots are a good source of Vitamin A for your dog.

Mechanical scraping by chewing on raw carrots is one of the ways to give your dog’s teeth a daily cleaning.  Raw carrots support dental health by gently scraping the teeth and preventing plaque buildup. You can provide raw carrots as a treat to help maintain your dog’s dental health.

Carrots are useful for weight management in dogs. Adding carrots to your dog’s diet is an excellent way of reducing the number of calories that he/she consumes. Carrots and other vegetables can be incorporated in your dog’s meals or provided as a treat during the day. Also, the high amount of soluble fiber in carrots will regulate your dog’s gastric transit.

You should incorporate carrots into your dog’s diet slowly to avoid gastric upset due to the increased amount of fiber. Make sure you provide plenty of fresh water to assist the fiber through the digestive system. Since Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up in the body and become toxic. If you have any questions regarding how much vitamin A is needed or how much is too much, please consult your veterinarian for any questions.

Spinach

Spinach is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, C, E, and several B vitamins. It’s also a good source of calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and potassium. Spinach leaves are rich in dietary fiber and protein. A serving of spinach has about 30% of protein.

Spinach is also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two components that are great for the vision of your dog. This vegetable is an excellent antioxidant, and it can protect the retina from the damaging processes that will occur in time and improve your dog’s ability to see.

Dogs usually like this green leafy vegetable, and it can be added in small amounts to supplement your dog’s diet. It can be especially beneficial for dogs with anemia because it provides iron, which is essential for the production of red blood cells.

Although spinach is loaded with vitamins and other nutrients, dogs can only consume small amounts of spinach as part of their diets. Spinach and asparagus are rich in purines, which are metabolized by the organism into uric acid. High amounts of uric acid can lead to the formation of urate stones in your dog’s urinary tract and, in the long term, this can lead to kidney failure.