Dark leafy green vegetables contain important minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as antioxidants and vitamins. They also possess cleansing and pH balancing properties, and they are an excellent source of fiber. But which are the best of the best when it comes to green foods for your dog?
This leafy vegetable is a powerhouse. Where to begin? Spinach contains vitamins A, B, C, and K, not to mention minerals like calcium, iron, fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium. It has almost twice as much iron as other sources), and it helps defend against inflammation, cardiovascular issues, and cancer. It can boost the immune system, heart health, energy levels, and vitality. While you can serve spinach raw, most dogs would prefer you cook it down and mix it in with their food. Throw a little nutritional yeast on top, and voila! You’ve got yourself one happy and healthy pup.
Broccoli is another great veggie. It’s an amazing source of fiber, calcium, beta-carotene, folate, and vitamins A and C. Dogs love it raw, baked, boiled, and/or frozen, though if your pup has some trouble digesting tough foods, you may want to steam and cool before serving. As a bone replacement, you can try giving your dog the stalk to chew on, too.
Dogs love that satisfying crunch from a raw cucumber. Cukes contain little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils, and they’re incredibly low in calories, so they make for a light, hydrating, and refreshing treat, especially for dogs who are managing their figures. They’re loaded with electrolytes, vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. Peel the cucumber’s skin, and get ready for one excited dog.
#4 Brussels Sprouts
Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are Brassicas, and they’re full of essential nutrients and antioxidants that are great for both humans and dogs. Brussels sprouts can help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall blood circulation, and they also contain manganese, folate, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B6, K, and G. Brussels sprouts are great for cleaning out the colon and improving digestive health too, but like other Brassicas, they can also make dogs a bit gassy. Remove the hard stem, slice them up, and cook them plain, and that should help your dog digest them thoroughly without clearing out the room.
#5 Green Beans
Who doesn’t enjoy some fresh green beans? Chopped, steamed, or raw, green beans make excellent snacks for your dogs, and they’re also packed with plenty of fiber (without all the extra calories either). They contain magnesium, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and K. Give them out as treats, chop them up and add them to kibble, or use them in a delicious homemade meal for your furry friends, and your dogs will thank you with plenty of playtime and snuggles.
Honorable mention: Kale
Kale is everything, so why not add it to your dog’s diet too? Another Brassica, this leafy green is a powerhouse of a vegetable. Kale is incredibly high in beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, potassium, as well as vitamins K and C. Try chopping up the leaves, steaming a batch, and mixing it with your four-legged friend's kibble along with some blueberries. Just watch out for those dangerous wagging tails as they start eating.
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