Autumn can make us yearn for some of our favorite comfort foods. The new season brings a harvest of different vegetables that are good for us in all sorts of ways – they are filled with vitamins, they are tasty, and they fill us up. And by “us,” I certainly include our four-legged canine buddies.
There is no reason for dogs to miss out on the wonderful world of autumnal veggies. As most of us know, not everything that humans eat is doggy safe. However, use this guide to choose some safe-for-dogs items that will provide pups with wonderful snacks after a brisk afternoon of squirrel chasing, leaf-pile rampaging, or sofa-surfing.
**Remember that dog portions are going to be different from human portions. In most cases, up to two bite-size pieces are all that the dogs will need. Small dogs under twenty pounds can take a serving in the form of what fits in a teaspoon or two.
Sweet Potatoes This is one of the vegetables most redolent of fall. It’s incredibly healthy for digestion and offers loads of nutrients. You can boil a potato for around twenty minutes (or until tender) and then mash it up. Another way is to slice it up and roast it for thirty minutes – I like to do this for myself, using olive oil and seasoning on my slices, and no oil or seasoning on the dog’s slices. Serve a tablespoon of mashed potatoes or 1-2 pieces as a snack.
Carrots – carrots can be boiled or served raw in a few pieces. These are fantastic for helping to clean teeth. They are also helpful with getting a dog to feel full. (Those pups in need of shedding a few pounds might find this helpful.) A full carrot might be too much but a few pieces will be a welcome treat.
Pumpkin This vegetable says “autumn” like few others. These are also an excellent go-to for digestive health. The canned variety is the most convenient, but if you go this route be sure to buy the stuff that is only pumpkin puree. Don’t buy the canned stuff that is mixed with butter and sugar and is basically a pie-in-a-can. If you want to use your own pumpkin, slice it up and cook up the pieces for an hour at 375 degrees. Once cooked, scoop the flesh out and let it cool. Don’t let the dogs have any part of the rind. Give them one-two tablespoons in their dinner for a tasty topper.
Brussels Sprouts I’m not kidding. Many of us were not fans of this very bitter vegetable growing up and had I known that they were safe for dogs, I would have tried much harder to pass them off to the family pups sitting under the dining room table. Now I know that the bitterness can be cooked out from being boiled or roasted. Boil for at least ten minutes or roast for longer. These are very healthy but make sure to limit the quantities as they may end up producing unwanted gas.