#1 Dogs Eat Vegetables In The Wild
First, let’s talk about where dogs are on the herbivore-carnivore continuum. They’re not obligate or pure carnivores like cats are. And they’re definitely not herbivores like cows and horses …
While dogs are carnivores, their diet is much more varied than a cat’s diet. On the continuum, they fall between omnivores (plant and meat-eaters like pigs) and carnivores. In fact, dogs, wolves and other wild canids have eaten vegetables for thousands of years.
Wild canines eat the gut contents of their prey, which usually contains vegetation
They also scavenge vegetation, which includes herbs and vegetables
#2 Vegetables Help Alkalize Your Dog’s Body
Balancing the alkalinity and acidity of the diet is important to your dog’s health. Certain organs function better in a more alkaline environment. This includes the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, hormones, heart, kidneys.
If there’s too much acidity, it can contribute to inflammation. And inflammation causes many chronic diseases.
Proteins like meat make the body more acidic. That means you need to balance out these proteins with vegetables that have an alkalinizing effect on the body.
#3 Vegetables Have A Wide Range Of Nutrients
Vegetables are full of important nutrients including proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber. That’s why they’re a complete food for herbivores like cows, sheep and rabbit.
While your dog must eat meat to get the full array of amino acids he needs, vegetables help balance out his diet. And they supply important phytonutrients that aren’t found in meat.
#4 They Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Dogs that eat kibble are in a chronic state of dehydration. Dehydration contributes to problems such as kidney disease or the formation of bladder stones.
#5 Vegetables Are Full Of Vitamins
Raw vegetables provide your dog with many vitamins, including:
B vitamins. Help with energy, enzyme and nervous system function, immune response and metabolism. Vegetables have many of the B vitamins but are low in B12 and B1, so your dog needs foods like liver and eggs.
Vitamin C and co-factors. Dogs make their own vitamin C but they need the co-factors to help their body use it. Your dog may also need a vitamin C boost as he ages or if he’s stressed.
Vitamins A. Enhances immunity, protects eye health, prevents skin disorders and helps grow strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin E. This antioxidant helps prevent cancer and other diseases. It also promotes healthy skin and hair.
Vitamin K. Plays a role in bone formation and repair and helps improve liver function.
#6 They’re Also Mineral Dense
Alfalfa roots go 40 feet down into the subsoil and absorb minerals from the earth. Seaweed picks up minerals and micronutrients that wash into the sea.
#7 Vegetables Contain Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are one of the most important nutrients you can give your dog. Butphytonutrients are only found in fruits and vegetables. So if your dog only eats meat, he’s missing out big time.
Today, they know those health benefits come from substances called phytonutrients. These powerful little nutrients can:
Kill cancer cells
Promote gut health
Support a healthy liver
#8 They Help Your Dog Digest Food
Some enzymes survive the acid in your dog’s stomach and pass into the intestine. These surviving enzymes are anti-aging, anti-degeneration and pro-health.
#9 Vegetables Contain Antioxidants
Vegetables and herbs are full of antioxidants like lutein and beta-carotene. They help protect your dog against unstable molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are a major cause of aging and disease. They build up like rust in the body and damage the cells and organs.
Antioxidants help stabilize free radicals and prevent them from growing out of control. Andvegetation is the only source of antioxidants.
#10 Their Fiber Boosts Your Dog’s Health
Raw vegetables are high in fiber, which passes through the dog’s intestines mainly undigested. Once it reaches the colon, the bacteria living there ferment the fiber.
#11 Research Proves Dogs Need Vegetables
Dogs that ate dark leafy green, yellow and orange vegetables 3 times a week or more had a 90% decrease in cancer risk. And there was a 70% reduction in dogs eating cruciferous vegetables only.
Wondering if you can replace vegetable nutrients with vitamins? It’s not possible. In the study, vitamin supplements didn’t have any significant effect on cancer risk.