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Pet nutritionists, Pat McKay, Anitra Frazier and Celeste Yarnall, believe that giving your dog vegetables as part of his daily diet can help prevent certain diseases. Vegetables contain many essential vitamins and minerals that dogs need for a long, healthy life.
Your dog will benefit from a diet that includes vegetables rich in digestible fiber, which helps maintain healthy weight, and phytochemcials, which help to prevent disease. Most modern-day kibble and canned dog foods lack the nutrients your dog needs.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst, the co-counder of BARF (biologically active raw food), suggests that for good health a dog must eat as closely to a natural diet as possible, especially one that includes lots of vegetables. Commercial pet foods are often prepared from meats that are deemed "not fit for human consumption," and highly processed and cooked commercial dog foods often lack many necessary nutrients.
Generally, you should include about 20 percent vegetables in your dog's total daily food intake. Pet nutritionists suggest starting out slowly. Introduce raw vegetables into your dog's diet by mixing them with his standard food, which will prevent gastrointestinal problems.
A good rule of thumb is any vegetable that can be grated, chopped, sliced or pureed can fed to your dog. But low-glycemic vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and Brussel spouts are a good choice because they give her the benefits of vegetables without adding unnecessary sugars.
Vegetable matter may be difficult for your dog to digest, unless properly prepared. Dr. Ian Billinghurst suggests making vegetables into a nutritious pulp and adding it to your dog's diet to make it easier to digest.
Some vegetables, like garlic or onions, can have a toxic affect on your dog.