Feeding your pet greens? Read This.
What are greens?
Greens are leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, and broccoli. These veggies are great natural sources of fiber, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and essential phytonutrients. Phytochemicals within these plants offer benefits when consumed and provide antioxidant purposes as well.
What are the benefits of adding greens?
Greens are loaded with natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients and each type has its own benefits to be added to your dog’s diet.
- Spinach: This plant is full of vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Vitamin A is beneficial for eye and skin health and vitamin C is great for immune health. Calcium complements bone support while iron provides energy.
- Kale: Contains vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and calcium. Vitamin K helps support blood cells (clotting and healing). Potassium supports heart health.
- Broccoli: Contains vitamins K, C, E, and B6, protein, fiber, and chromium. Vitamin E is great for skin and coat health. Vitamin B6 helps support your dog’s nervous system. Broccoli contains high amounts of protein and fiber, which is excellentfor digestive/gut health. Chromium has benefits in regulating weight.
- Collard Greens: Rich in vitamins A, K, C, and B, manganese, and calcium. B vitamins benefit the energy in dogs. Manganese helps support energy as well.
- Romaine Lettuce: Contains vitamins A, C, and B vitamins, manganese, chromium, dietary fiber, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.
How should I prepare/serve my dog’s greens?
Greens can be served raw or lightly steamed/boiled with no extra additives such as oils, seasonings, butters, or flavors. Raw greens are quick and easy to prepare and provide several vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Lightly steaming or boiling the greens helps break down the cell walls, releasing more nutrients typically bound to those walls. Steaming and/or boiling may help with digestibility and absorb more nutrients from the greens.
Spinach, broccoli, kale, and collard greens can be lightly steamed or boiled, whereas lettuce is best served raw. All greens can be blended raw and made into more of a puree that you can also scoop onto your dog’s food. If serving raw, it is recommended to cut them into smaller pieces for easier digestion.
How many greens should I feed my dog?
Depending on your pets individual situation we may recommend adding between 5-20% of vegetables to your dog’s diet. To achieve optimum health, a dog’s diet should consist of a 90% complete and balanced meal topped with roughly 10% vegetables. To receive an exact amount is a more complicated question as it will be based on your dog’s daily caloric intake, so every dog’s amount will be different. Adding too many greens can change the gut flora and lead to alkalizing your dog’s body changing their kidney health. Certain greens must also be limited as too much can lead to other health issues. It will always be recommended to consult with a veterinary nutritionist to help determine the amount your dog will require.
How often should I add greens to my dog’s food?
As long as the amount of greens being served in total daily remains at the recommended amount, they can be served with every meal.
If you have questions about incorporating greens into your pet’s diet, please stop by the store. We’re always happy to help you design the perfect diet for your pet’s optimum health, wellness, and longevity!
Brady, D. C. (2022, January 18). Why you might feed some vegetable matter to dogs… Dogs First. Retrieved February 11, 2023, from https://dogsfirst.ie/feeding-vegetables-to-dogs/
Primal Pet Foods. (2021, January 26). Kale yeah! adding leafy greens to your pet’s Diet. Primal Pet Foods. Retrieved February 11, 2023, from https://primalpetfoods.com/blogs/news/kale-yeah-adding-leafy-greens-to-your-pet-s-diet
NWN. (2022, July 18). Benefits of vegetables & fruits in your dog’s Diet: NW naturals. Northwest Naturals. Retrieved February 11, 2023, from https://nw-naturals.net/blog/benefits-of-vegetables-and-fruits-in-your-dogs-diet-part-2-of-3