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As omnivores, our canine pals can digest both plants and meat. On the other hand, cats are true carnivores that love some veggies. However, nutritionists believe that feeding your pet, both meat and plants can help improve their health. Most commercial foods can provide what your pets need, and adding veggies that can improve their health is a bonus. Veggies can act as supplements to their healthy diets. Some veggies have high levels of phytonutrients that help improve your pet’s brain and eye function.
However, it’s crucial to remember that our pets are natural carnivores that don’t need veggies like us. And adding more food to their already balanced diet can make their meals unbalanced. Therefore, it’s crucial that you keep the supplements at 10% of your pet’s daily intake. After all, if your pet doesn’t finish its food because the veggies taste better, then its diet becomes unbalanced. So here are some of the best veggies you can give to your pets.
5 Types of Garden Veggies You Can Give Your Pets
Asparagus may not be your favorite veggie, but it is safe and can be a great addition to your pet’s diet. Both cats and dogs can benefit from consuming small portions of asparagus. Asparagus has numerous nutrients that can improve your pet’s health. Asparagus is rich in Folic acid, which helps with amino acid metabolism. It also has high potassium content which helps with muscle and bone maintenance and development. Other nutrients include antioxidants, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and Thiamine. Therefore, asparagus can be a highly nutritious addition to your pet’s diet.
Raw asparagus stalks are woody and tough and can be very difficult to ingest. So you should gently steam the stalk part for a few minutes to make them easier to digest. But make sure you don’t give your dog, asparagus that has been prepared using spices, oil, or butter. You can also puree asparagus and give it to your pets. Pureeing helps break the indigestible outer layer of asparagus, making it easy for your pet to digest it. Remember the stalk part of the asparagus is a choking hazard, so make sure you chop it into small pieces.
Our pets, especially cats, need a protein-rich diet. Therefore, giving them broccoli can be a great way to improve their health. Broccoli is a highly nutritious food that has high mineral and vitamin levels. Broccoli is rich in calcium, fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin K, C, and A. Plus, its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties can help keep your active dog happy. However, digesting raw broccoli can be quite tricky for them, so make sure you either steam or cook them.
Despite having numerous health benefits, broccoli should be served in the right way and right quantity depending on the size of your pet. Raw broccoli is dense and tough, so make sure you cook it first. Cooking or steaming broccoli helps make this veggie gentle and soft for your pet’s digestive system. But, don’t give them broccoli too often as it is high in fiber which can cause gas and gastrointestinal irritation. All pets have a different reaction to broccoli, and just because one of your pets enjoyed it without any health issues, doesn’t mean that the other one will have a similar response.
3. Bell Pepper
Bell peppers are nutritious, crunchy and hydrating treats that your pets can enjoy. Fresh bell peppers are nutritious to munch, and they can be an excellent treat for your pets. Orange, yellow, green or red bell peppers are water-dense and rich in vitamins, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the nutrients your pet can get from bell pepper include antioxidants, Beta-carotene, phosphorus, manganese folic acid and vitamins A, K, E, C, B3, and B6.
Despite being highly nutritious and delicious, different pets react differently to bell pepper. So it’s good to start slow and then increase the quantity with time. You can either feed your pet cooked or raw bell pepper. You can feed your pet either steamed or cooked bell pepper, but make sure you don’t use seasonings, butter or any oil when preparing it.
Carrots are great for both cats and dogs. They are tough, crunchy and full of fiber which makes them a unique natural toothbrush for our dogs. Their tough structures can help scrape your dog’s teeth and get rid of plaque build-up. Cats can enjoy carrots too, but raw carrots are a choking hazard for them. Carrots are loaded with numerous beneficial elements and vitamins, including vitamin A, calcium, potassium, beta-carotene and fiber.
Your dog’s canned food or kibbles might have carrots. Either way, raw carrots can provide an excellent way for your dog to clean its teeth. However, before adding it to your pet’s bowl, you should find out the right feeding guideline for your pet. Carrots can be served frozen, steamed juiced or raw.
Image by Krystian Graba from Pixabay
Celery is a nice crunchy safe veggie for pets that can help freshen their breath. Celery is a moisture-rich veggie that has numerous health benefits. Celery is loaded with multiple essential vitamins and minerals that can improve your dog’s cardiovascular health and immunity. Some of the minerals found in celery include beta-carotene, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.
Dogs love chewing a refreshing celery stalk, but make sure you feed them this vegetable-based on their body size. The tough texture of this plant can be hard for some pets to digest; therefore, you should chop them into small pieces before feeding them to your pup. Celery can also be cooked, steamed or pureed to make it even more digestible.
Some garden vegetables are highly nutritious and can improve your pet’s health and even support their active lifestyles. However, feeding your pet too much veggie can result in them consuming a small percentage of their daily commercial food intake, especially if the veggies taste better. Remember, these veggies are not meant to replace your pet’s heavy diet. These veggies are meant to supplement your pet’s normal diet. So make sure the veggies represent about 10% of their daily food intake.