Dogs and vegetables

Vegetables can provide dogs with essential nutrients, fibre and hydration. Here are some considerations...

Yes, you can feed your dog vegetables as part of their diet. Vegetables can provide dogs with essential nutrients, fibre and hydration. However, it's important to consider a few factors before incorporating vegetables into your dog's meals.

Are they safe?

Not all vegetables are safe for dogs to consume. Some vegetables can be toxic to dogs like onions, garlic, wild mushrooms and certain members of the nightshade family (such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers - actually, the last three are fruits really!) It's important to research and ensure that the vegetables you offer are safe and suitable for canine consumption.

Nutritional needs

Dogs have different nutritional needs compared to humans. While vegetables can be a healthy addition to their diet, they should not replace a balanced canine diet that includes high-quality dog food or meat-based protein sources. Dogs are primarily carnivorous, or facultative carnivores - unlike cats which are obligate carnivores - and their diet should consist mainly of animal protein.


When introducing vegetables to your dog's diet, preparing them appropriately is essential. Vegetables should be cooked or steamed to improve digestibility and aid nutrient absorption. Whilst some dogs (and veges) seem to work raw, in most cases cooking or steaming (or at least fine chopping) can have better results. Avoid using seasoning, spices or oils that may be harmful to dogs.

Some are better than others

Certain vegetables are particularly beneficial for dogs. Examples include carrots, green beans, broccoli, kumara and pumpkin. These vegetables are low in calories, high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals. However, each dog is unique and it's important to monitor your dog's response to new foods and consult your vet for guidance.

Limit the amount

Remember that vegetables (just like treats!) should only comprise a small portion of your dog's overall diet - 10% veges / treats is a reasonable guide. Most of their nutrition (90%) should come from a well-balanced, commercially-prepared dog food or a vet-approved homemade diet.

So, in summary, vegetables can be a healthy addition to your dog's diet when fed in moderation and prepared correctly. Consulting with your vet is always a wise step to ensure your dog's nutritional needs are met - in particular, if they have underlying medical conditions or are being fed a prescription diet.