Pet nutrition: Easy tips to feed veggies to your dog

Including vegetables in your pet’s diet can help boost their overall health. While meat, poultry and seafood are the primary ingredients in pet foods in general, eating fruits and vegetables can provide additional health advantage for your furry friends. From supporting their digestive system to supplying them with essential antioxidants and minerals, veggies can also keep certain kinds of cancer at bay in your dogs, according to a study. Carrots, apples, peas, sweet potatoes are some of the veggies that can be given to your pet, however, one must be careful about the seeds in apples as they could be toxic to pets. Eating veggies can also help your overweight pet lose weight considering they are low in sugar and salt and calories. (Also read: Pet health: Warning signs of cancer in dogs you shouldn’t ignore)

“Dogs are a part of the family, wouldn’t it be great if you could feed them like family? Actually, you can! We know our dogs love us but sometimes they can be picky eaters when it comes to vegetables. They can prefer chicken and meat over carrots and beans. But just like vegetables are beneficial to us, they are equally healthy for our dogs too,” says Dr Shantanu Kalambi, Chief Veterinarian, Supertails.

Here are some advantages of giving veggies to your dog as per Dr Kalambi:

1. Veggies are rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients that are not found in meat. It’s important to feed your dog different kinds of vegetables, as each type offers its own array of nutrients.

2. Vegetables are great sources of water. For example cucumber. It keeps your dog hydrated on hot summer days.

3. They also support dogs’ digestive systems by improving the process of digestion with various enzymes present in them.

4. They are enriched with fibre which boosts dogs’ health and mainly helps to build immunity and protect the mucous lining in the gut.

5. They are also a good source of antioxidants.

And if you have got a picky eater at home, here are some easy tips to feed veggies to them.

1. Try combining boiled and mashed veggies with the chicken broth.

2. Start slowly. As mentioned from day 1 to 4 provide 10% vegetables and 90% chicken broth. Followed by 20% vegetables with 80% chicken broth. From day 5 to 8 and from 8 onwards 40% of vegetables and 60% chicken broth.

3. Boil a few vegetables of choice like carrot, beans, sweet potato, potatoes, spinach, beans, broccoli, celery, beetroot, cucumber, and butternut squash. Mash them together, add lots of chicken broth and pieces and serve them.

4. Make sure to include 10% of the total diet with veggies and fruits.

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