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June 4, 2012
good for dogs too!
Here are some reasons why to include vegies to your dog’s diet:
Check out where dogs are on the herbivore-carnivore continuum. They’re not obligate or pure carnivores and they’re definitely not pure herbivores … Dogs, wolves and dingoes have eaten vegetables for hundreds of years. They’re midway between omnivores and carnivores.
Range of Nutrients
Vegetables provide proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, phytonutrients and fiber, making them a complete food – at least for herbivores like cows, sheep and rabbits…But it doesn’t mean your dog can thrive as a vegetarian.
It would be difficult to feed enough vegetables to fully nourish a dog. Second, you’d need to add some grains and legumes to provide a proper balance of amino acids. But grains and legumes are high in carbohydrates, which can aggravate a number of disease conditions. Protein sources like meat and muscle meats provide a full array of amino acids.
Fruit and veggies are an excellent source of water. Many dogs today live in a chronic state of dehydration, which contributes to problems such as kidney disease or the formation of bladder stones.
Raw vegetables provide most vitamins, including:
Most of the B vitamins (but are low in B12, B1 (Thiamine) or Choline, so your dog needs foods like liver and eggs to supply these nutrients) Vitamin C and co-factors: dogs make their own vitamin C but need the co-factors that help the body use it Vitamin A, E and K
Dark leafy green vegetables contain important minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Grasses and algae (phytoplankton) have a full complement of essential fatty acids and are rich in Omega-3 (even more so if they’re grown in a cold climate).
Phytonutrients are only in vegetable material.
Phytonutrients are protective. They include enzymes, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules.
Raw vegetables supply healthy fiber.
Vegetable fiber is far better and much healthier than fiber from grains. Vegetables contain soluble fiber, which is digested by microbes in the large bowel. Insoluble fiber bulks out the food and helps it pass through the colon.Fiber is vital in older dogs in treating and preventing degenerative disease.
How to feed them?
Raw and Pulverized
Vegetables should be fed raw for the maximum benefits, but you’ll need to crush or pulverize them in a juicer or blender, or your dog won’t be able to digest them. Chopping or grating unfortunately still isn’t enough to make them digestible.
So most raw feeders settle on a happy medium of steaming their veggie portion so that the cell walls are easily broken down.
Use whatever vegetables are in season, feeding lots of variety!