Here are the top 9 reasons why they need vegetables in their diets.
As humans we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but why is feeding veg a controversial topic?
Many vets don’t think dogs need vegetables. Many vets also think that a diet consisting ONLY of dry Kibble is best. And some raw feeders don't think veg is necessary either. They think an all-meat diet is enough to give their dogs all the nutrients they need.
If you think your dog doesn’t need vegetables, I’m hoping to change your mind! The following is excerpts from Dr Billinghurst. He wrote the groundbreaking books Give Your Dog A Bone and Grow Your Pups With Bones. And he’s famous for creating the concept of BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). In 2001 he released his third book The BARF Diet.
1 Dogs Eat Vegetables In The Wild
First, let’s talk about where dogs are on the herbivore-carnivore continuum. They’re not obligate or pure carnivores like cats are. And they’re definitely not herbivores like cows and horses … While dogs are carnivores, their diet is much more varied than a cat’s diet. On the continuum, they fall between omnivores (plant and meat-eaters like pigs) and carnivores. In fact, dogs, wolves and other wild canids have eaten vegetables for thousands of years.
Here’s how: • Wild canines eat the gut contents of their prey, which usually contains vegetation
• They also scavenge vegetation, which includes herbs and vegetables
2 Vegetables Help Alkalize Your Dog’s Body
Balancing the alkalinity and acidity of the diet is important to your dog’s health. Certain organs function better in a more alkaline environment. This includes the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, hormones, heart, kidneys. If there’s too much acidity, it can contribute to inflammation. And inflammation causes many chronic diseases. Proteins like meat make the body more acidic. That means you need to balance out these proteins with vegetables that have an alkalinizing effect on the body.
3 Vegetables Have A Wide Range Of Nutrients
Vegetables are full of important nutrients including proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber. That’s why they’re a complete food for herbivores like cows, sheep and rabbits. While your dog must eat meat to get the full array of amino acids he needs, vegetables help balance out his diet. And they supply important phytonutrients that aren’t found in meat. (I’ll talk about phytonutrients in more detail a bit later). But you want to stay away from the grains and legumes, like peas and beans. They’re high in starch, which can aggravate or cause many diseases.
4 Vegetables Are Full Of Vitamins
Raw vegetables provide your dog with many vitamins, including: B vitamins. Help with energy, enzyme and nervous system function, immune response and metabolism. Vegetables have many of the B vitamins but are low in B12 and B1, so your dog needs foods like liver and eggs.
Vitamin C and co-factors.
Dogs make their own vitamin C but they need the co-factors to help their body use it. Your dog may also need a vitamin C boost as he ages or if he’s stressed.
Vitamins A. Enhances immunity, protects eye health, prevents skin disorders and helps grow strong teeth and bones.
This antioxidant helps prevent cancer and other diseases. It also promotes healthy skin and hair.
Vitamin K. Plays a role in bone formation and repair and helps improve liver function.
5 They’re Also Mineral Dense
Dark leafy green vegetables contain important minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. Vegetables like Spinach, Broccoli, Parsley, Alfalfa and Seaweed are also a good source of minerals.
6 They Help Your Dog Digest Food
Enzymes are special proteins that help digest food and run metabolic processes. Vegetables like asparagus, spinach and tomatoes are especially rich in enzymes. Some enzymes survive the acid in your dog’s stomach and pass into the intestine. These surviving enzymes are anti-aging, anti-degeneration and pro-health.
7 Vegetables Contain Antioxidants
Vegetables and herbs are full of antioxidants like lutein and beta-carotene. They help protect your dog against unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are a major cause of aging and disease. They build up like rust in the body and damage the cells and organs.
8 Research Proves Dogs Need Vegetables
Researchers looked at the relationship between vegetables and bladder cancer in Scottish Terriers. Their owners completed a questionnaire about their dogs’ diet and supplements. The researchers then evaluated the risk of transitional cell carcinoma in the bladder.
Dogs that ate dark leafy green, yellow and orange vegetables 3 times a week or more had a 90% decrease in cancer risk.
Wondering if you can replace vegetable nutrients with vitamins? It’s not possible. In the study, vitamin supplements didn’t have any significant effect on cancer risk.
9 Animals, just like Humans Need Variety to Create a Balanced Diet
We always say YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT - and if you (and your pup!) eat a wide variety of foods - especially our veggie friends - you both will benefit from all the nutritional benefits and be sure to minimise the common illnesses associated an unbalanced diet and maximise vitality!
Check out some of our Premium Foods from your range that maximise the power of vegetables!