Many of our VetChef recipes utilise the power of vegetables and fruits for our dogs, but there's a lot to understand about these ingredients if they are to be used effectively as part of a balanced diet, as your dog will use these ingredients differently depending on how they are fed.
Raw, minced or lightly steamed
Fed in this way vegetables will provide fibre which is beneficial to health of the digestive system. Much like fur, feathers and the stomach contents of prey items, raw vegetables help maintain the microbiome, the colony of beneficial bacteria in our digestive system. A healthy microbiome produces vitamins, increases absorption of nutrients as well as producing factors such as serotonin that benefit brain health.
You may observe your dog grazing on grass in the spring for much the same reason. Owners will often comment that they see pieces of vegetables within the faeces, this is completely normal and expected.
Blended or mashed
Dogs find it hard to breakdown the tough cellulose cell walls of vegetables and fruits without help cannot digest the vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients within them.
Mechanically breaking down the vegetables will allow the dogs to absorb vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from within the plant cells. Blending fruit and vegetables and adding a spoonful to your dog’s dinner a few times a week will provide a real boost. Phytonutrients are chemical compounds found in plants. Many of them are pigments and give fruits and vegetables their colour. They are powerful anti-oxidants, this means they stabilize harmful free radicals. The addition of these in a diet can have anti-cancer and heart disease benefits.
Ideal vegetables to add to the diet of your dog includes, broccoli, carrot , kale , cauliflower, Apple , pear, banana.
Remember grapes and raisins, garlic and onion are toxic to dogs.