From an early age, most of us learn about how important vegetables are to our diets. It’s hard to deny the health benefits that eating beets can have for humans — they’re low on calories, but jam-packed with essential nutrients that lead to a happy and healthy life. So, it’s only natural for any dog lover to wonder if their furry friend can get in on the action.
Can Dogs Eat Beets?
Absolutely, dogs can eat beets! They are a great addition to a dog’s diet, in moderation, and provide them with a number of beneficial micronutrients.
Beets provide dogs with Vitamin C, fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium. These micronutrients can work wonders for your dog’s immune system and digestion, and they also give your dog a healthy coat and skin. It’s common for veterinarians to suggest adding beets to the diet of a dog who is struggling with fur loss, stomach issues, or unhealthy skin.
With that being said, you should feed your pup beets in moderation. Like humans, it’s important for a dog to have a balanced diet where they are getting different nutrients from different sources. According to Dr. Karen Becker, 15-25% of a healthy dog’s diet should be fruits or veggies. Beets are one good option for making up this percentage of your dog’s diet!
Beets Nutrition Facts
Here are some of the nutritional details that you can expect with raw beets (per 100g):
- Water: 87.58g
- Energy: 43 cal
- Protein: 1.61g
- Total fat: .17g
- Carbohydrate, by difference: 9.56g
- Fiber: 2.8g
- Sugars: 6.76g
- Calcium: 16mg
- Iron: .8mg
- Magnesium: 23mg
- Phosphorus: 40mg
- Potassium: 325mg
- Sodium: 78mg
- Zinc: .35mg
- Vitamin C: 4.9mg
For full details on what beets provide, take a look at this handy chart from FoodData Central.
Benefits of Feeding Beets
As you can see, beets are chock full of important vitamins and minerals that provide humans and dogs with a healthier way of life. The main benefit of beets is that they provide dogs with a boost to their digestive system.
Any dog owner knows that a dog with an upset stomach can cause some serious problems (carpet, beware!), so that health benefit alone is enough to start mixing beets into your dog’s diet.
Other potential benefits of beets:
- Boost to the immune system
- Helps a dog get healthier skin
- Benefits the dog’s coat, helps the fur shine, and makes it healthier
How to Prepare Beets for Dogs
There are several different ways that you can prepare beets for your dog. Test a few of them out to see which method is easiest for you and one that your dog prefers.
1. Choose Organic
Dog’s tummies may seem invincible, but vegetables can have a lot of pesticides and chemicals in them. Organic beets reduce your dog's risk of exposure to pesticides. Not to mention, organic farming in general is a much more sustainable way to feed all living things. Organic beets are a safer option for your pup, and better for the planet too!
2. Always Wash the Veggies
As always, it’s important to take time to wash vegetables before you cook them. An average vegetable goes through a lot when it is transported from the farm to the grocery store, and you’ll want to make sure that they’re eating something that is as clean as can be.
Even just a quick rinse before cooking can help get rid of any remaining germs or pesticides that may be remaining after transport.
3. Purée or Mash Them
Beets and other vegetables can be challenging for a dog’s stomach to digest in large chunks. That’s why if you’re going to feed your pup raw beets, it’s best to either purée or mash them down so they’re soft and easily consumable.
In order to begin the mashing or purée process, you first need to soften the beets. This can be done by cutting the beets into small pieces and then proceeding to blanch them, steam them, or boil them. Once they are softened, you can then throw them into a blender or food processor and let it rip.
The result will leave you with a consistent beet mash that can be mixed into your dog’s typical diet or can be served separately.
4. Skip the Seasoning!
Although seasoning provides great taste and can help many humans eat more vegetables than usual, it does not have the same effect on dogs. Too much seasoning can be irritable to a dog’s stomach. Refrain from seasoning beets or any vegetables that you give your dog — the new beet flavor will be enough to get them excited!
5. Make It a Special Treat
One good way you can use beets as a treat is to give your dog Raw Bistro’s dehydrated lamb entree! Not only does this entree feature lamb, but it also is filled with the nutrients of some vital vegetables, including kale, yams, and, you guessed it, beets!
Remember: Always Consult Your Vet
As with any decision you make regarding the health of your dog, be sure to consult your veterinarian first to make sure that your dog will benefit from the addition of beets to their diet. In almost every case, your dog will benefit from beets, but it’s always better to take precautions when it comes to your canine friend.If you’re looking for more ways to get more vitamins and nutrients into your dog’s diet, be sure to check out Raw Bistro’s selection of raw food that is filled with high-quality ingredients that will give your dog a happy and healthy life. We know you love your dog, so why not give them the best diet possible?