A month or so ago, one of the trusted staff at our favorite dog boarding place recommended that we change Miles’ diet because he was overweight. She recommended cutting his ration of kibble in half and mixing it with…green beans? Yep, green beans. They’re full of fiber and have almost no calories, so he can fill up and still trim down. So, we decided to try it. We bought frozen (sodium-free, make sure of that!) green beans and cooked them in the microwave just long enough to thaw them, and we gave both Miles and Crackers bowls of the green bean/kibble mix. At first, both dogs were thoroughly unimpressed and just threw the beans on the floor.
As that first day progressed, Miles came back to the beans and started slowly eating them. He figured correctly that he wasn’t getting more kibble, so he should eat what he has. We continued giving him this mixture every day, and it only took him about a week to acclimate to it. Now, whenever he sees me in the kitchen making green beans, he gets really excited and tries to jump over the dog gate to get them. I continued trying the beans with Crackers too, and eventually he started to like them as well! Who knew dogs would like vegetables? Not this girl!
Miles is looking much leaner already from this diet, and I’ve noticed that both dogs have much softer, fluffier coats than they did before, probably because of all the nutrients in the vegetables.
I recently started a lifestyle change in order to get healthier as well, so I was inspired to look up what other veggies are safe and healthy for dogs. It turns out that a couple of the staples of my daily salads are also great dog treats: romaine lettuce and cucumbers. Since I work from home, Miles is always staring at me while I make my lunch anyway. I gave him a cucumber slice, and then a piece of romaine. He loved them! Crackers did not approve of these foods, and he’s still not a fan, no matter how many times I try. Oh well! I’m glad at least Miles likes them, because I’m a sucker when it comes to giving him bites of my food. At least now it’s healthy food for both of us!
Here’s Miles being super enthusiastic about cucumbers:
So, if you have a dog that could stand to lose a few pounds, this is a great way to do it! He won’t be hunger-whining like he would be if you just cut his food supply in half without any other modifications, and the weight loss is pretty quick. Plus, green beans, cucumbers, and romaine are all pretty cheap, so you won’t have to take out a second mortgage to afford healthier food for your dog (like many of the brands of raw dog food out there).
Have you tried giving vegetables to your dog? Which ones? Did he/she like them? Talk to me in the comments!
As a reminder, ALWAYS double check that it’s safe before giving your dog anything they’ve never had before. This information is available on many veterinary websites. For example, NEVER give your dog chocolate, grapes, onions, or garlic as they are very toxic for dogs. It’s our job as pet parents to protect our best friends from their instinct to eat anything and everything in sight.