We all do our best to eat our vegetables, but sometimes it can take a little coaxing. I mean, I can’t be the only one that will only eat brussels sprouts with a vigorous coating of bacon grease, right? And I’m pretty sure the only reason Cobb salad exists is because somebody finally got real about the appropriate fat-to-lettuce ratio in a meal. So if it’s that hard for me, a human adult, to eat my veggies, no wonder it’s challenging to get my dog to down some greens!
Contrary to popular belief, dogs are omnivores. Wild dogs consume the vegetable contents of their prey’s stomachs, and scavenge plant matter, and domesticated dogs have been known to eat just about anything (just ask my sister-in-law what happened to her carrot patch last year).
It’s not good for your dog to eat too much veg, and some veggies that are healthy for us are totally off limits for Fido (notably: onions, tomatoes, and avocado). But eating a small amount of vegetables can help your dog maintain a healthy weight, avoid constipation, and improve their oral health. Here are a few tricks we’ve rounded up to sneak a little bit of veg into your dog’s diet.
1. Hide it in plain sight
Let’s start with the simplest trick: just palm some steamed broccoli or a couple peas and pretend you’re holding a treat.
Your dog won’t know it’s a veggie until they’ve already eaten it. And who knows? Maybe they’ll like it and ask for more. Probably this one will only work a few times, so use sparingly.
2. Ham it up
Literally just wrap some meat around a brussels sprout or whatever and feed it to your dog.
3. DIY chew toy
Preheat your oven to 250 and pop in 1/4 inch thick slices of sweet potato. Cook for 3 hours. Let them cool before serving.
(IMAGE AND RECIPE VIA 17Apart)
5. Sauce it up
Puree steamed peas and carrots and mix into chicken broth, then pour over your dog’s food.
For extra credit, use bone broth.
6. 24-carrot magic
This isn’t a trick, per se; some dogs just really like to eat carrots.
Give your dog a raw carrot and see if he likes it.
7. Squash, anyone?
Slice open a squash, remove seeds and cut into slices. Put the sliced squash in the freezer, and dole out to your dog as a crunchy snack.
Actually, while you’re at it, why not roast some squash for yourself? I bet you’re hungry. Preheat oven to 350, and drizzle the squash with olive oil. Cook until slices are golden brown and fork-tender. Share with your dog, if you’re feeling generous.
Try a couple of these tricks, or maybe dream up a few of your own, and let us know how they work out for you!