Should you cook your dogs vegetables?

Outdoor Cooking

Cellulase is a digestive enzyme, it breaks down fibre from plants and grains, dogs, humans, and any mammal do not naturally have this enzyme, so our bodies can't break down foods HIGH in cellulose like hay but fruit & veggies don't actually have super high amounts of cellulose as a broad generalisation so aren't really too much of an issue for dogs.  

BUT because dogs aren't chewers like humans are, they often don't break down some plants well enough so plants with tough skins such as blueberries and corn will simply pass through the digestive system the same way they went in, this is why we as pet parents will go to the extra effort of pre-chewing plant matter like this for dog and by this, I don't mean we personally chew it hehe, we blend it/grate it/finely chop it, etc.

 

Fermenting and cooking veggies are other ways of breaking down the cell wall BUT with the likes of corn, for example, simply cooking it isn't enough, you'll need to break down that skin with blending for example.

 

So, whilst lightly cooking and then blending, etc. would be the absolute gold standard for vegetables for absorption, it isn't a must for most veggies where you can simply get away with manually breaking down the cell wall vs cooking.


We also know that wild dogs/wolves eat plant matter in its natural form, this is very well documented by experts in the field.


If dogs could not break down plant matter then herbs wouldn't work on dogs...and we know they do 🙂  In addition to this, let's also add to that plants that are toxic to dogs, if dogs couldn't break them down well enough then why are they affected by them in a negative way?  Food for thought huh? 🙂

Other considerations

We recommend you cook starchy plants as they are hard for dogs to digest:
 

  • Beans (kidney, navy, pinto, black, cannellini)

  • Butternut squash

  • Chickpeas

  • Corn

  • Lentils

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Taro

  • Yams

In addition to this list, we recommend you cook Mushrooms, this is because they have a very tough cell wall and some potentially hazardous fungi/bacteria.  To extract the most nutrients from mushrooms, you should cook them in water vs oil. The only mushrooms that should be fed to your dog are store-brought ones you eat yourself.

There are a number of plants that are high in oxalates, whilst feeding a variety of plants on rotation should have you avoid feeding high oxalates all the time which can be inflammatory, we recommend cooking plants high in oxalates as it will reduce their oxalate load.  Foods high in oxalates include but may not be limited to:

  • Spinach

  • Soy Products - we do not recommend you feed to your dog at all.

  • Almonds - you don't need to cook, just don't feed them all the time.

  • Potatoes

  • Beetroot

  • Navy Beans

  • Raspberries - you don't need to cook, just don't feed them all the time.

  • Dates - you don't need to cook, just don't feed them all the time.