The benefits of people food for your dog? Yes.
Back when canines were wild, and they killed their prey, the first thing that they consumed was the stomach contents of their prey. The contents of a canine’s prey, always contained the vegetables grasses and fruits that the prey had consumed. Modern dogs can benefit from eating fruits and vegetables too. Vegetables help to give the body a more alkaline balance and some of the internal organs like the liver, gallbladder, heart, pancreas and kidneys function better in a slightly more alkaline environment.
Vegetables provide many important proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, fats, lipids and phytonutrients which makes them a complete food – especially for animals like rabbits, sheep and cows. Our modern dogs cannot thrive as vegetarians because they require complete protein sources from organ meat and muscle meat. Meat provides a full range of amino acids, but vegetables do supply some very important components. So, don’t be afraid to share some fruits and veggies with your four-legged friend!
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water and many dogs today, due to their kibble diets that they are fed, live in a state of constant dehydration. Dehydration can contribute to kidney disease and the formation of bladder stones.
Raw vegetables and fruits include many essential vitamins with most of the B vitamins and vitamin C along with cofactors. Cofactors are essential because dogs make their own vitamin C but they require the cofactors which assist their body to use it and utilize it. They also are able to acquire vitamin A, E and K. There’s not many D vitamins in vegetables, and because dogs do not have enough bare skin to absorb vitamin D from the sun like humans do, dogs require liver in order to get their vitamin D requirements (hence the “organ” meats).
Since vegetables and fruits are grown from the ground, they contain important minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. So be sure that your dog gets dark leafy green vegetables, and make sure that what you do feed your dog is certified organic – because many crops grown in US soil are genetically modified to grow faster and bigger.
Because plants are the only source of phytonutrients which include enzymes, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, it is also important to feed plants and vegetables to your dog. Phytonutrients contain antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiaging, anti-degeneration, and, most importantly anticancer qualities – and yet kibble fed dogs don’t get any of these nutrients!
There are certain enzymes in tropical fruits like pineapple, which help food digestion. Some enzymes are absorbed whole and some are not, but they are all extremely beneficial!
Let’s not forget the important element of fiber that raw vegetables contain. It is much healthier than fiber from grains and because they contain soluble fiber, which are digested by microbes in the large bowel, it bulks up the food and helps it pass through the colon. So, especially for older dogs, fiber is essential in treating and preventing constipation and some degenerative diseases.
Helping To Treat Disease
Most important, is that vegetables can help treat all degenerative disease processes like cancer and kidney disease. There are many more issues that fiber can help like renal failure, obesity, allergies, constipation, pancreatic diseases and most all degenerative disease processes. Additionally, they can help growth issues in large breed dogs.
Vegetables can be fed to your dog as early as six weeks old. Keep in mind that they must be fed raw, but need to be crushed or pulverized in a juicer or blender, otherwise your dog will not be able to digest them. Chopping or grating is not sufficient to make them digestible.
Don’t be afraid to use whatever vegetables are in season. Make sure to give your dog lots of variety. Be sure to avoid onions, macadamia nuts and avocados and legumes which can be toxic to dogs. And garlic? It’s safe when used in moderation and has many health benefits!
Don’t over feed vegetables and avoid the cabbage family as they can depress the thyroid function. Best to avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas. Potato skins, however, do contain lots of nutrients and you can feed just the skins pulverized, but make sure the skins are not green because that can make them toxic!
Fruit should be fed ripe, otherwise it will cause diarrhea. Be careful about the large pits in fruits like plums because they can cause blockages in the intestines – so large pits should always be removed. Make sure if you have a diabetic dog that you don’t over-feed fruit – remember – moderation!
My Final Thoughts
Although it’s not absolutely necessary to feed dogs fruit and vegetables, there are many health benefits and life stages where feeding them can have major advantages to your dog! Just like humans appreciate variety, so does your dog! You just may be surprised at the beneficial results!
I would love to hear your comments, feedback stories and ideas.
Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at www.ScoopaPoop.com/contact-us