Like people, dogs need fibre for normal digestion. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of fibre. They are also tasty and rich in vitamins and other nutrients. Start introducing your pet to a plant-based diet as a puppy, as experts recommend.
Beetroot. This root vegetable contains magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamins A and B and ascorbic acid. It is good for the heart and liver. Beetroot stimulates the intestines and has a mild laxative effect. It is best to give it to your dog in cooked form as it is easier to digest. You can also grate it and add it to your dog's food. Be careful not to overfeed your dog as this can cause diarrhoea or allergies. Beetroot is also a good colouring agent for light-coloured breeds.
Carrots. Carrots are also very useful as they are high in carotene, phosphorus and magnesium. Feed your dog this vegetable regularly and you will see an improvement in his coat and eyesight.
Carrots also help to prevent cancer. They can be given raw or cooked. Rub a little into the porridge and add a drop of oil or sour cream. However, carrots are contraindicated for animals with diabetes.
CucumberThis vegetable is safe to eat on a regular basis, so there are virtually no restrictions. Allow your furry friend to eat this juicy, thirst-quenching food more often. Cucumbers are recommended for dogs that tend to gain weight as they are completely low in calories and stimulate intestinal peristalsis. Eating too many can sometimes lead to stool disturbance.
Courgettes. Raw courgettes are a great treat for pets. They contain folic acid, potassium and calcium. They do not cause allergic reactions. Regularly adding grated zucchini to your dog's main food will help normalise the stools of an ageing dog. The plant food prevents cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels and acts as a prebiotic.
Cauliflower. Eating large amounts of cauliflower raw often causes flatulence and diarrhoea. When cooked or baked, it does not cause such unpleasant effects. Cauliflower has less coarse fibre than other types of cauliflower. It is therefore less likely to irritate the stomach.
Pumpkin. Pumpkin contains vitamin A, which is best absorbed when combined with fats. This vegetable is harmless to animal health. It effectively solves the problem of constipation and reduces acidity in the stomach. Steam or bake the pumpkin before feeding it to your pet. Chop it and mix it with porridge or meat.
Tomatoes. Start by introducing tomatoes in small portions and see how your pet reacts. If he does not start to itch, you can continue. It is better to use tomatoes from your own garden as they are often treated with chemicals to make them ripen faster and look more marketable. This is bad for your dog's health. Tomatoes are easier to digest when lightly poached than when fresh. They are full of antioxidants. Be aware that an excess of this vegetable can cause tachycardia and muscle weakness.
Sweet peppers. Sometimes it is good to treat your pet to small pieces of sweet pepper. This vegetable has as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. Remove the seeds beforehand and give them fresh or after heat treatment. Vitamins are naturally better preserved in an uncooked product. Be aware that not all members of the dog family like the taste of pepper. Give preference to red varieties as they are more beneficial.
Apples. Many dogs enjoy eating sweet varieties of apples. These fruits help with vitamin deficiencies and provide iron. They are often used as a reward when teaching commands. It is best to combine apples with meat food, not as a separate dish. The protein and fat content of these fruits is low, making this snack suitable for older animals. Green fruits are hypoallergenic.
Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is not a food your dog should eat all the time. However, it can be given a few times a week in small portions. It has a positive effect on digestive processes.
Garlic. This pungent spice is unlikely to appeal to your pet. However, if he has no objections, vets will allow you to give him no more than one clove a week. Garlic is useful because it boosts the immune system and protects against viruses. However, it has a pungent taste that irritates the stomach and can also cause anaemia.
Greens. Parsley, dill, lettuce leaves and spinach are all good choices. Mix chopped leaves with meat. Protein foods are very hard to digest and put a strain on the entire GI tract. Combining it with greens helps to overcome this problem.