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The Top 10 Best Vegetables That Are Safe for Dogs

If you've ever wondered whether your dog needs to eat vegetables and, if so, which vegetables dogs can eat — this article is for you.

The Top 10 Best Vegetables That Are Safe for Dogs

If you've ever wondered whether your dog needs to eat vegetables and, if so, which vegetables dogs can eat — this article is for you.

By: Dr. Juli, DVM @itsDrJuli

Food is a love language in many cultures, including the dog world, and it can be hard to resist sharing everything with your four-legged best friend, including your meals. But as pet parents, we know that not all human foods are meant to be shared with our four-legged family members. The sweet stuff that isn’t so great for us is usually also bad for our pups, but what about the good stuff, like vegetables? If you've ever wondered whether your dog needs to eat vegetables and, if so, which vegetables dogs can eat — this article is for you.

Do Dogs Need to Eat Vegetables?

First, it's important to know that dogs are omnivores and do not require vegetables for proper organ function. Additionally, healthy dogs fed an AAFCO-approved complete and balanced diet don't require additional nutrients, like veggies, to remain healthy. However, feeding your dog the occasional treat is essential to strengthening your bond with your dog. Vegetables can also be a great tool to teach your pup good doggy manners or tricks to keep their brain and body healthy. However, with more than 50% of US dogs being overweight or obese, moderation is key when feeding your dog any treats, including vegetables.

Always check with your veterinarian before offering your dog any new food or treats, and ensure that doggy snacks do not comprise more than 10% of their calories to prevent weight gain. Because not all human foods, including some vegetables, are safe for dogs, pet parents must know these top 10 dog-safe veggies


Broccoli is low-fat, low-calorie, and high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, and chromium. Dogs digest food, including vegetables, differently, and feeding your dog too much broccoli can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) distress, including painful gas and diarrhea. Additionally, the raw, tough stalks can be dangerous for dogs and put them at risk for blockages.

Broccoli florets should only be fed plain, cooked, or steamed with no additional seasonings, oils, or flavorings and only in small quantities as the occasional treat. The occasional broccoli floret can be a great snack or a tasty food topper.

Brussels Sprouts

These high-fiber veggies contain antioxidants and essential vitamins, including vitamins A, B, C, and K. However, feeding your dog too many Brussels sprouts can lead to an upset stomach, including diarrhea and a gassy belly.

Never feed your dog raw Brussels sprouts, as they can be difficult to digest. Brussel sprouts should only be fed steamed, or cooked with no added seasonings, salt, or flavorings. They should only be given in small amounts as the occasional treat


Carrots aren't just for rabbits anymore. These crunchy root vegetables are rich in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A, essential for eye health. However, carrots are also high in sugar, so they should not be fed to diabetic dogs or pudgy pooches to prevent sugar spikes and weight gain. Carrots can also be a great addition to your dog's dental routine because chewing can help remove tartar building on your pup's teeth.

Carrots can be fed to your dog raw, steamed, or cooked, but never add seasonings or butter. Additionally, large carrots should be washed, peeled, and cut into bite-sized pieces to prevent choking hazards.  


Like its green broccoli cousin, cauliflower is high in fiber and low in calories. Still, overeating can lead to an upset stomach and a gassy belly. Cauliflower is also rich in vitamins C and K, calcium, and folate.

A small amount of plain, steamed, or baked florets can be fed to your pup as a special treat. Steamed cauliflower can also be pureed and added as an occasional food topper.

Green Beans

Steamed or raw green beans can be a great addition to your dog's diet. These low-calorie, high-fiber veggies can also help your dog feel fuller faster and are a diet-friendly treat for most dogs. Green beans are also rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and K. However, steer clear of canned green beans because they are too high in salt, which can be toxic to dogs.  


Low in calories, high in fiber, and composed of 90% water, leafy greens can be a safe, hydrating treat for your pup. Iceberg, romaine, and arugula are dog-safe options, but it's best to skip the spinach and kale. Although considered a human superfood, spinach, kale, and broccoli contain isothiocyanates, which cause an upset stomach when ingested in larger amounts. Spinach also contains oxalic acid, which blockages the body's ability to absorb calcium, leading to kidney damage. However, your pup would need to consume a lot of spinach for this to occur. Additionally, never give your dog lettuce with salad dressing or other harmful ingredients, like onions, which are toxic to dogs. Instead, combine lettuce with other tasty food toppers, like Native Pet Bone Broth, for added hydration and nutrients. 


These vegetables contain protein, fiber, iron, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy bite-size snack. However, feeding too many peas can lead to GI upset, including diarrhea. Refrain from feeding your dog canned peas, as most contain high amounts of sodium. Plain peas can be a great addition to doggie homemade treats or as a food topper at mealtime. Use caution when feeding your dog peas, as they can be a choking hazard when ingested too quickly or in large amounts


Although more popular during the fall, pumpkin can be a great source of fiber for your pup all year round. Pumpkin is vitamin-rich, including Vitamins A, C, E, K, and magnesium, which can promote healthy organ function as your dog ages. This fiber-dense vegetable can help aid digestion, ease occasional constipation, and support dogs with mild loose stools. However, always check with your DVM if your dog is experiencing GI issues.

Small amounts of plain, canned pumpkin can be safely given to your pup. Never give your dog pumpkin pie filling or any pumpkin-flavored desserts, as they are too rich for your dog's digestive system and may contain pet-toxic ingredients. Native Pet Pumpkin Powder is a clean, safe alternative when offering your dog pumpkin.   

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are vitamin-rich and contain beta carotene, which produces Vitamin A, essential for eye health. This tasty veggie contains Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and iron. Although famed for its sweet taste, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, which decreases the chances of a sugar spike after ingestion, making them a safer option for diabetic or overweight pets. However, always consult your veterinarian before offering any new food, especially if they have an underlying health issue, like diabetes.

Small amounts of plain, cooked sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces, can be given to most dogs as a healthy treat. Never offer your pup raw sweet potatoes, as they can be difficult to digest and a choking hazard


Zucchinis are another healthy dog-safe vegetable low in calories, fat, and cholesterol when fed correctly and in moderation. The high fiber content can help aid a healthy digestive tract, and zucchini also contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your dog's health.

We’ll sneak in a bonus eleventh vegetable and mention that dogs can also safely eat the zucchini’s lookalike: cucumbers. Cucumbers are high in Vitamins K, C, and B1. When eaten raw, they can also be a cooling, hydrating snack after a walk on a hot summer’s day.

Go Green (or Orange) with These Dog-Safe Vegetables

When fed in moderation and properly prepared, vegetables can be a healthy treat alternative for dogs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and digestive system. The top ten dog-safe vegetables are Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Lettuce, Peas, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Zucchini. These all-natural dog treats offer numerous health benefits, such as high vitamin and mineral content, high water content, which boosts hydration, and nutrients that support your dog’s immune system.

However, too much of any good thing can be dangerous for your pup and lead to GI discomfort or problems like diarrhea. Never add seasonings, sauces, or oils to your dog's veggies because some are toxic or too rich for your dog's digestive system. Additionally, always check with your veterinarian before changing or adding new foods, including dog-safe vegetables, into your dog's diet to ensure it is safe and does not counteract any medications or health conditions, like diabetes or a sensitive stomach.

For more information and tips on your dog's health, check out the Native Pet blog.

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