Every dog owner wants the best for their beloved Fido, whether it’s giving them collagen, activated charcoal or putting them on a healthy diet. While dogs are primarily meat-eaters, an extra dose of veggies as a treat every now and then won’t hurt them either. All you have to do is make sure the veggies your pet consumes don’t exceed 25% of their daily diet.
So, what veggies should you give your dog? If you’re looking for nutritious superfoods, beets easily top the list with their rich nutritional profile.
According to Healthline, beetroots are rich in:
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin C
You’d be happy to know that beets are safe for canine consumption. In fact, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) confirmed that beets are non-toxic to dogs. Plus, the micronutrients present in these root vegetables are beneficial for your dog’s health, especially in regard to their skin and coat.
2 Things To Take Note of Before Giving Your Dog Beetroot
Before giving your dog beetroots, it’s always a good idea to check in with your vet first. Once you’ve got the green light, take note of these two things to help your pooch reap maximum benefits from beets.
1. Check for Allergies
If your dog has never eaten beets before, they may be allergic to them. Although the chances of it are very slim, it’s always a good idea to play safe.
To check if your pup is allergic, give them a small amount of beetroot and closely monitor for any adverse reactions. Some common signs of food allergies include:
- Lack of energy
- Infections (usually around the ear or foot)
If your dog shows any of the above signs after eating beets, stop giving them the veggie and consult a vet immediately.
2. Moderation Is Key
Moderation is key when feeding your pet beetroot. The reason being, beets are high in oxalate, which increases the risk of kidney or bladder stones in canines.
On top of that, beets contain FODMAPs, which stand for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. These short-chain carbohydrates are hard on your dog’s digestive system. In some cases, dogs that are extra-sensitive to FODMAPs may start showing signs of gastrointestinal discomfort such as gas or diarrhea. This is especially so when too many beets are given. If your dog is trying this veggie for the first time, start with a small amount and see how they react.
How To Choose the Best Beets for Your Dog
Choosing the best beets for your dog depends on a few factors. Following the guidelines below will help ensure the beets are doing your pet more good than harm.
You want the best for your pup so it makes sense to choose organic beets. They are free of pesticides and all sorts of harsh chemicals that can upset your dog’s stomach. Plus, organic beetroots typically don’t contain fillers. This allows your pet to absorb the full nutritional value of beetroots with a lower risk of digestive issues.
Avoid Canned and Pickled
Too much sodium can dehydrate your pet or even lead to unwanted health problems like sodium toxicity (salt poisoning). Because dogs are ultra-sensitive to sodium — they can only tolerate less than 2.2 grams of salt per kilogram of their body weight — stay away from canned and pickled beets as these products come with high sodium levels. It’s best to use only fresh beets in your dog’s diet.
Cooked or Raw
The great thing about beets is that canines can eat them either cooked or raw. Of course, if you’re giving your dog raw beets, make sure to cut them up into bite-sized chunks or fine shreds. This will help lower the risk of Fido choking on the veggies (see next point).
Pureed, Mashed, or Powdered
If you’re concerned about whole beets being potential choking hazards, try beets that come in pureed, mashed, or powdered forms. Pureed and mashed beets are soft enough for easy chowing, especially for older dogs whose teeth have seen better days. That being said, be prepared to put in the work. You will have to cut up the beets, steam or boil them, before blending them for a pureed or mashed texture.
If you are short on time, powdered beets are the most convenient. You can easily mix in a spoonful with your dog’s kibble. Or add beetroot powder to the recipe when creating dog-friendly treats. Powdered beets are widely available everywhere.
For a high-quality option, try Zen Principle Organic Beetroot Powder. Made with whole beets harvested at peak ripeness, our organic beetroot powder is sourced from small organic farms that are USDA-certified. To provide maximum nutrition per scoop, our beetroot powder is free of added sugars, fillers, colors and other additives. It is also non-GMO and gluten-free, making it safe for human and canine consumption.