Vegetables can be a big advantage if your dog needs to lose some weight. They make great treats and most are low in calories and high in fiber so they can help a dog feel full.

Good Vegetables

Bell Peppers are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Dogs can enjoy any color of bell pepper but the red ones have the most vitamins and antioxidants. Peppers have vitamins A, E, B6, lutein, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. These vitamins help the immune system along with the eyes, skin, and coat.  Some dogs may find the outer skin a little tough if given to them raw so you can cook them slightly. Ben likes them raw so I just make sure to remove the stem and seeds. As with any human food, moderation is key so a good guide for how much is half a pepper for a big dog and a quarter for a smaller dog. 

Broccoli in very small quantities and is best served as an occasional treat. It is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat. However, Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, broccoli stalks have been known to cause an obstruction in the esophagus.

Brussels Sprouts are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are great for humans and dogs, alike. Don’t overfeed them to your dog, however, because they can cause lots of gas. 

Cabbage is also safe for dogs but comes with the same gassy warning as Brussels Sprouts. It also has many of the same benefits.

Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth (and fun).

Celery In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, celery is also known to freshen doggy breath.

Corn is one of the most common ingredients in most dog foods. However, the cob can be hard for a dog to digest and may cause an intestinal blockage, so if you’re sharing some corn, make sure it is off the cob. (Or just opt for a squeaky corn toy instead.)

Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.

Green beans Chopped, steamed, raw, or canned – all types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat, as long as they are plain. Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals and they’re also full of fiber and low in calories. Opt for low-salt or no-salt products if you’re feeding canned green beans to your dog.

Peas, peas, and more peas, please! Green peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden or English peas are all OK for dogs to find in their bowl on occasion. Peas have several vitamins, minerals, and are rich in protein and high in fiber. You can feed your dog fresh or frozen peas, but avoid canned peas with added sodium.

Potatoes are a safe addition to your dog's plate but for regular potatoes, give only boiled or baked potatoes with no butter, sour cream, salt, or pepper, and serve in moderation.

Pumpkin is great for dogs. It can help calm an upset tummy. If your dog likes to eat his poop, adding just a little pumpkin to his food can make it less appetizing. Pumpkin in small quantities is good but be sure to monitor your pooches intake because it can cause problems in large quantities. Canned pumpkin puree is safe but the canned pumpkin pie filling can be toxic because of the added spices, so make sure you get the right one.

Squash of all varieties are safe for dogs to eat. Pumpkin and butternut squash can help dogs with bouts of diarrhea. Use up all your excess summer squash from the garden by steaming it up for your dog, or cut up and bake this year’s jack-o-lantern after Halloween for your dog to eat. The flesh is the best for your pooch. Do not give them the seeds or skin.

Sweet Potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, low in fat, and rich in vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron (each play a vital role in overall wellness). For example, vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy eyes, muscles, nerves, and skin. And vitamin C is critical for a properly functioning immune system. Studies have found that dogs, just like humans, show greater resistance to disease and have a better chance of recovery from injuries or illness when supplemented with vitamin C.

Zucchini is full of nutrients. This prolific plant delivers lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in each long, green squash.  

Bad Vegetables

Asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, there’s really no point in giving it to them. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down so it’s soft enough for dogs to eat, asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. If you really want to share a veggie, something more beneficial is probably best.

Onions, leeks, and chives are part of a family of plants called Allium that is poisonous to most pets, especially cats. Eating onions can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. Poisoning from onions is more serious in Japanese breeds of dogs like Akitas and Shiba Inus, but all dogs are very susceptible to it.

Spinach is safe for your dog to eat. It will probably not be one of the top vegetables you’ll want to be sharing with your pup. Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage. While your dog would probably have to eat a very large amount of spinach to have this problem, it might be best to go with another vegetable.

Mushrooms Wild mushrooms can be toxic for dogs. While only 50-100 of the 50,000 mushroom species worldwide are known to be toxic, the ones that are poisonous can really hurt your dog or even lead to death. Washed white mushrooms from the supermarket could be OK, but it’s better to be safe than sorry; skip the fungi for Fido all together.