The old adage that your pet should never eat table scraps is outdated advice, and can be traced back to a major marketing campaign started in the 1960s by pet food manufacturers to encourage pet parents to buy and feed what they are selling. While it’s true that some human food is definitely off-limits, in recent years there has been a push to add fresh, real food to your pet’s diet. The importance of healthy, organic plant matter to help detox your pet’s body couldn’t be more crucial, especially in today’s world of factory farmed livestock, genetically modified grains, and the use of pesticides, fungicides, and larvicides. Even adding a small amount of vegetables will make a significant difference in your pet’s health. Below are the basics to get you started.
Ginger (in small amounts)
Sprouts (in moderation)
Note: Feeding dogs raw vegetables is best. It is advised that vegetables are crushed or pulverized (such as in a food processor) for ideal digestion.
Note: Raw veggies for cats can pose a choking hazard, so be sure to steam or bake all vegetables before serving.
• Vegetables help alkalize the body
• Vegetables provide proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, phytonutrients, and fiber—making them a complete food
• Fruit and veggies are an excellent source of water
• Raw vegetables provide most of the B vitamins, vitamins A, C, E, and K
• Dark leafy green vegetables contain important minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium
• Grasses and algae (phytoplankton) are rich in essential fatty acids and Omega-3
• Phytonutrients are only found in vegetable material. They are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antihelminthic (anti-
parasite), anti-aging, anti-degeneration, and anti-cancer
• Raw vegetables supply healthy fiber
• Vegetables are important in treating cancer and kidney disease
Ian Billinghurst, DVM, a veterinary surgeon, author, and nutritional consultant, recommends offering vegetables to puppies as young as six weeks old. He advises that vegetables should make up a minimum of 10 percent of your dog’s diet, and as high as 50 percent. Most vegetables are healthiest raw, so for dogs, just chop into safely consumable pieces or pulverize and add to a meal. Cats cannot digest raw material well, so any veggies you give them should be cooked.