Can Dogs Eat Beets? Are They Safe?
We all learn when we’re kids to eat 5 fruit and veg a day. They help us to get all the nutrients we need and stay healthy. For many of us, beets are a favorite veg to eat. Roasted in the oven, sprinkled over a feta salad, or simply boiled, they’re a great addition to our diets. But what about our pups? Can dogs eat beets? Are they a safe veg to give your pooch?
In this blog, we’re going to go through whether you can feed your pup this favorite red vegetable and how to ensure you’re doing so safely.
Can Dogs Eat Beets?
Yes! It’s safe for you to give your dog beets. They’re full of nutrients that, when given in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, can really benefit your pup. It’s important not to give your dog too many beets and cut them up into bite-size chunks to prevent choking.
What Are The Benefits of Giving Your Dog Beets?
There’s no issue with adding beets to your dog’s diet. In fact, they’re a great way to give them extra vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients and vitamins can help to improve your pup’s digestion and immune system as well as make their coat shiny and their skin soft!
The skin of beetroot also contains a pigment called betalain (what makes a beet bright red) and this pigment has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Beets?
Yes, you can give your pup raw beets – it’s actually one of the best ways for them to enjoy the veg. Raw veg retains its nutrients so feeding raw beets to your dog ensures they’re getting as much of the good stuff as possible. It’s really important to cut the beet up into small, bite-sized chunks as this hard veg can be a choking hazard. You could also grate a small amount and add it to your dog’s regular food for a bit of texture and flavor. Where possible, it’s best to use organic beets to ensure there are no extra pesticides or chemicals being used.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Beets?
Cooking beets before you give them to your pup is a good way of reducing the chances of them choking. There may be fewer nutritional benefits but your pup might enjoy the texture more. Either wrap a beet in foil and roast it in the oven or boil it. You can then mash it up and add some to your pup’s food or cut it into chunks to use as a snack. Just remember to keep it plain. Fresh beets are healthy but they can quickly become unhealthy if you add oils, salt, or other flavorings such as garlic and onion.
For an extra nutrient boost, try freezing the water you boiled the beets in and adding it to their favorite puzzle toy or freezing it in cubes as a refreshing, summer snack!
Can Dogs Eat Beet Juice?
Homemade beet juice, or beet juice that doesn’t contain any added sugar is safe to add to your pet’s diet. Try mixing a little in with their kibble or freezing some as part of a pupsicle with pineapple, peach, or any other safe fruit for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Beets?
In theory, canned beets are safe to add to your dog’s diet. But it’s important you check the brand and that there are no extra additives that could be unhealthy to pups, like salt. Plain, cooked canned beets are healthy and a great way to store this veg!
What Are The Problems With Feeding Your Dog Beets?
Although there are many health benefits in feeding beets to your dog, too many beets can pose some serious problems. Beets have high levels of oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones, urinary crystals, and bladder stones. These can be very painful and require professional care. It’s best to consult with your vet if your dog has any urinary tract problems before feeding them even small quantities of beets.
Choking can be another concern with dogs eating beets. Beets are a very hard vegetable and, especially for small dogs, can easily be a choking hazard. Make sure you cook, grate, or cut up your beets into bite-sized pieces so your pup can enjoy them safely.
How to Serve/Prepare Beets To Give To Your Pup
Here are a couple of our favorite ways to add this red veg to your dog’s diet for a happy and healthy life.
- Add it to their regular food. Whether you cook it first or not, try to cut up small chunks of beet or grate it into their normal food. Your furry friend will love the difference in texture. It’s also a great way of transitioning your pup to fresh dog food as they get used to seeing veg in their meals and eating new textures.
- Use it as a treat. Chunks of beet can be a great, healthy treat to give your pup for good behavior or whilst training. They contain fewer calories and additives than regular doggy treats.
- Mash it! Mashing beets might be an easier way for your pup to digest this yummy veg. This will certainly help if your dog has tooth trouble or you’re worried about choking. You can also freeze mashed or pureed beetroot for a summer snack.
- Feed it to them outside! Anyone who has ever prepared beets will know how the color gets all over your fingers and clothes. And you certainly don’t want that on your couch or carpet! This is especially true if you’re giving your pup frozen beets that can melt.
How Many Beets Can Dogs Eat?
The general rule is that 90% of a dog’s diet should be healthy, well-balanced dog food. 10% can be healthy human snacks such as cucumber, broccoli, or celery. So, how much you feed your pup really depends on how big they are and how much food they eat a day. Smaller pups will probably need a chunk or two of beets as a treat. Larger dogs could have more if they eat much more.
Whenever you introduce something new into your dog’s diet, give them a small piece to begin with. You can then monitor them for any allergies and, if they seem to enjoy it with no symptoms, you can give them a little more. It’s unusual that pups have a beet allergy, but if they become lethargic, have diarrhea, or are vomiting, get in touch with your vet.
Can Beets Turn Dog Urine Red?
Yes! And it’s nothing to worry about. It’s one of those weird side effects of eating beets. The die in the veg can turn your urine red, so don’t worry if your pup is passing red urine for 24-48 hours after. If it’s any longer, get in touch with your vet as it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or kidney stones.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Beets?
It’s perfectly safe for you to feed beets to your dog. They have lots of nutritional benefits and are a great way to add texture to your pup’s diet. Make sure you cut them up or grate them first to minimize the risk of chocking and don’t over feed beets to your dog. Too much of this red veg could cause some kidney and digestive problems.
Check out the BarkingTalk food page for more information on food that is (and isn’t) safe to feed your pooch!