A to Z Challenge: V is for Vegetables

In an earlier post, I talked about fruits we feed our dogs. Today, we are going to talk about the vegetables we use to supplement their raw meals.

Because our dogs are on a raw diet, the vegetables we feed are also raw. This is a topic for discussion because there are studies that show that dogs have a much shorter digestion period than us, and they are unable to get as much nutrition from raw vegetables due to the short period of time it stays in their stomach. I think this is true to a certain extent, especially for chunky vegetables like carrots. I often do see bits and pieces of carrots embedded in their poop, which is evidence that they aren’t digested. It would probably be better for the dogs if the vegetables we feed are steamed, lightly cooked or pureed. However, because QQ and Chyler are on a raw diet, their stomachs are unused to cooked food. The few times we fed them cooked food, their poop the next day were very soft. So we decided it’s just better to keep them on a fully raw diet. We do sometimes give them the vegetables after putting them through the blender. I think that helps them digest and absorb more nutrients.

Now, on to the list of vegetables we feed. These are from our own trial-and-error experiences. Every dog is different. For example, QQ will pretty much eat anything. Chyler only eats the crunchy kind of vegetables. If we feed her stems with leaves attached, she leaves bits of green leaves behind. We also alternate between the fruits and vegetables and usually only feed a combination of two at any one time.  We try to switch the combinations up weekly.

Carrots

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QQ holding two carrots. That’s not one long carrot. He’s waiting for me to give the okay to crunch down. He is amazing. And I am evil.

Baby carrots were the first form of vegetable that we fed QQ. I read somewhere that the solid and crunchy nature makes it good for the teeth – it helps in scrapping some of the plaque off when they crunch down on it. I think this help is actually probably very minimal. But QQ loves his baby carrots. We used give him a couple after each meal, and he learnt to do many of his tricks for baby carrots. They were also a great starter vegetable for Chyler too. She won’t touch it at first, but now will sneak them out of my hands when I’m not looking!

We now also feed full size carrots and they both still love it. We’ve been feeding assorted colors carrots recently and they take to it as well as the regular orange ones. We also feed them the leafy carrot tops. I chop it up into small bits and mix it in together with their meals.

Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Celery

The main reason the dogs like carrots is because of the crunch. Therefore, it stands to reason that they would like celery too.

Here is QQ demonstrating how to eat a celery.

Chyler took awhile too before she learnt that she likes celery. And now, she sneaks them out of my hand as well.

Celery improves heart health and lowers blood pressure. It’s also supposed to improve doggie breath. However, the funny thing is that I personally hate celery. I won’t kiss my dogs after they ate celery because they have celery breath!

Kale

Kale is the superfood of all, for both humans and dogs alike. I’ve actually read an article about how kale helped a dog that was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know how true it is, but I feed the dogs kale frequently. It is a great source of antioxidants.

I feed kale in two ways. I dehydrate the leaves to make kale chips, mostly for the humans, but I usually also make a batch seasoned with only olive oil so the dogs can have some too.

Then I chop the stems into small pieces and mix it in with their meals.

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freshly chopped kale stems

Even if I don’t chop the stems, the dogs will happily take a full stem and much on it. I just do it so it’s easier to mix together with the meals.

Parsley

Now parsley is a  great way to freshen doggie breath. This is a smell I love. QQ will take the sprigs of parsley and munch of them directly.

Chyler doesn’t do well on leafy greens so she won’t eat it like that. We have to blend it with juice for her.

In fact, that’s another way we feed our dogs vegetables, making shakes. We blend kale and parsley with various fruits such like blueberries and pineapples together with either coconut juice or milk. Humans and dogs all have a glass each. This is a somewhat nightly ritual and the dogs love it.

And this is the current list of vegetables we have tried. I think this is a rather short list. We hope to expand this list in the future, for example, I’m thinking of adding bok choy, zucchini and cucumber into the mix.

What are vegetables are on your doggie grocery list?

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