Can My Pooch Eat Beets?
It may have crossed your mind from time to time just what vegetables your dog can and cannot consume. And most assuredly, beets have been included in those wonderings. In the interest of helping you to decide if this might be a viable type of food for you dog, we are going to look a little more into what beets are, and if they are safe.
What are beets exactly?
A beet is an herbaceous plant that is most commonly grown as a source of food for primarily humans and some livestock. The beet is also processed into and used as a source of sugar. There are many varieties of beets with some being grown for the use of their leaves, and some for the more common use of their bulbous root. The root, as are the leaves, of a beet is edible with a typically dark red, round appearance and it is classified as a vegetable.
Can I feed my dog beets?
The short answer is YES. The ASPCA has determined that beets eaten in moderation will not harm your dog. Are they really necessary to their diet NO. Beets have not been determined to show any sort of nutritional value for your dog. Also, keep in mind that some breeds do have issues with high iron content foods, and beets are one of those vegetables high in iron. As with any new foods, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing beets into your dog’s diet.
It is a common misconception that the foods that humans benefit from would in turn benefit dogs. With some types of foods this may hold true. Beets are one of those vegetables that hold no true nutritional value for dogs, and as mentioned already may actually do more harm to your dog than benefit it. Although beets have recently come into the news as being the new ‘superfood’ and this may hold true for humans, for dogs there are is conclusive evidence that beets are of any type of nutritional value.
If I decide to feed my dog beets, are there any types to stay away from?
If you do go the route, after consulting a veterinarian, of feeding your dog beets there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, do not feed them canned beets. When beets are commercially canned there are a multitude of salts and preservatives added that are not good for your dog. If you dog consumes too much salt, there could be major issues with kidney problems, and in some cases death.
Beet pulp may be eaten by your dog, but only in moderation. Although it is true that beet pulp is generally added into many of the higher quality foods the actual daily consumption is very small. If you do chose to go the route of adding this to your dog’s diet, use it in extreme moderation to get the most benefit.
Many dog food manufacturers do use beets in the processing of their product, but they are used as filler. What does that mean? It means that they are used to bulk up the food but they have no real nutritional value to add to the product. Your dog’s diet should actually consist of 25% vegetables, 25% bones and 50% meat. It is best also that the vegetable intake be at least 50% green vegetables for optimum benefit.
So, YES you can feed your dog beets. It is best to get a consultation from a veterinarian before including beets into your dog’s diet, as some breeds do have a problem with the iron content. Beets have not been proven to show any real health benefit for your dog, and they can be quite costly. If you do decide to offer them to your dog, do so in moderation, and make sure that you do not use canned beets do to possible health problems.
As with any new foods that you choose to offer your dog, do so in moderate amounts. Introduce the new foods gradually and watch for symptoms of intestinal problems. A sudden change in diet can sometimes lead to problems for your dog such as diarrhea and vomiting caused by extreme stomach and intestinal discomfort.