Is beetroot good for dogs? As dog parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that our fur-baby is always happy and in the best of health.
I am sure that dog owners will all agree that food is the one thing on the top of the list, when it comes to dogs of all breeds, especially my Labrador Julie, she can eat anything that is edible, with relish.
A homemade diet is always the best in my opinion, since you get to plan in a way that your dog gets all the nutrients he/she needs from daily meals.
Vegetables contain a lot of vitamins and fibres that are not found in meat or kibble, and veterinarians advise their inclusion in daily meals.
Today we will be talking about the beet plant, and whether it is safe for dog consumption.
About the Beet Plant
The beet plant is one of the most cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris, known for their edible roots and leaves. The roots are taproots, what we all commonly know as beetroot, and are a major source of nutrition to the above-ground plant.
Beet greens are a great source of fibre and often used in salads.
As a source of nutrients, beets ar 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat. Raw beetroot is also a rich source of folate (Vit. B9), manganese and potassium.
Tentative evidence has been found to indicate that Beets are helpful in reducing blood pressure in Hypertensive animals, and to help control cardiovascular disease. For more information on the beet plant, you can read it here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Beet pulp is a common addition to dog and cat food.
But this pulp is not obtained from regular beetroot, but is the remains after extracting raw sugar from the sugar beet, which is grown commercially for that purpose.
The leftover beet pulp is nutrient free, but rich in fibrous content.
Does your dog really need beet in his diet?
From a logical standpoint, I must admit that it doesn’t sound very wise to feed your dog, a carnivore by nature, any kind of vegetables or fruits.
Isn’t high grade kibble sufficient enough to meet the needs of his body and mind?
Toy breeds like the Teacup Yorkie are more likely to suffer from hypoglycaemia and must be fed at regular intervals to keep this life threatening condition at bay.
Beetroots have a high glycemic index, making it a perfect solution for hypoglycaemia, so it’s definitely worth a try if your puppy is a finicky eater.
Beet leaves also closely replicate the greens that a dog would have enjoyed if he lived in the wild, and while they are a great source of fibre, they also contain anti-oxidants, minerals and have terrific pH balancing properties.
For it to be served perfectly, you must cook the leaves (even half cooked will do), before feeding them to your dog. Another option is to make a veggie smoothie, using beet greens and chicken broth, which your dog is sure to enjoy.
DID YOU KNOW?
Too many veggies are not good for your dog. A healthy dog requires only 25% of his diet to contain vegetables and fruits.
Health benefits of Beets in dogs
Red beets have many health benefits for both you and your dog. Speaking from the nutritious point of view beets have the following:
1). Vitamin B9 / Folate: It is necessary for the brain and intestine to function properly. Its deficiency causes Megaloblastic anemia in dogs.
2). Vitamin C: It is a very good antioxidant and helps to increase your dog’s immunity, as well as strengthening his bones and muscles. Deficiency of Vitamin C results in Scurvy, which presents as Anemia, bloody urine, swollen and bleeding gums and mobile teeth.
3). Manganese: Its actions deal with enzyme production, reproduction and absorption of protein and carbohydrates. Deficiency of manganese is rare, but if it does occur, mostly involves young dogs.
4). Iron: Helps to form healthy Red Blood Cells (RBCs) . Deficiency causes Iron Deficiency Anemia.
5). Potassium: Necessary for proper functioning of nerves, muscles and enzymes. Its deficiency causes poor appetite, weakness, nervous disorders, and in some severe cases may result in cardiac arrest.
6). Fibre: Helps in proper digestion and excretion of food. A fibre-deficient diet may cause diarrhea or constipation in dogs.
Improvement in your dog’s health after eating beets can be seen as they are:
- Anti inflammatory
- Anti allergenic
- Cancer fighting
- Good for the cardiovascular system
- Stamina boosters
Beets as a treat – Beet chips
Apart from boiled beet greens, raw or cooked beetroot and beet greens smoothie, another way to include beets in your dog’s diet is by making them into a treat! Beet chips are a great way to feed your dog or pup some crunchy, but healthy food, and what’s better, you can make them at home!
Beet chips recipe
- Wash 1-2 beets and peel them.
- Slice them into thin sections.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉
- Drain and rinse the slices well and arrange them on the baking tray by placing them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Cool them down properly before giving them to your pet.
- These chips can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
Different forms of beet that can be given to your dog
- Sliced or chopped beetroot
- Beet pulp
- Beetroot juice
- Beet chips
- Beet greens boiled
- Beet leaves pureed
- Beet greens smoothie
Q: Can dogs eat beets?
A: Yes they definitely can. Beets pose no health problems to dogs unless ingested in a large quantity.
Q: Can dogs eat beet greens?
A: Beet greens or beet leaves can be consumed by dogs as part of the vegetable component of their diet. It must be cooked before feeding and not given raw. It can also be blended to make a smoothie or a puree.
Q: Can dogs eat beet pulp?
A: Yes, it is one of the ways to feed your dog boiled beetroot, although it must be clarified that the beet pulp in dog kibble is obtained from the sugar beet and not the red beet.
Q: Can dogs eat beet chips?
A: Yes, it is a fine substitute to dog biscuits as a treat, and you can find the simple recipe above.
Q: Can dogs eat beet tops?
A: Yes, dogs can eat beet tops, which are rich in fibre.
Q: Can dogs eat pickled beet?
A: Here the issue would be the high salt content that comes with any pickled item. I would prefer plain cooked beetroot as opposed to pickled beets as the salt content is not a very healthy option.
In conclusion, I would like to say that, while it is not an essential part of a dog’s diet, beets (both the leaves and the root) can be consumed without any health issues and is non toxic to dogs.
Even if you do not wish to feed beets to your dog, it is perfectly fine, and if you do decide to give him beet from the leftovers, it is still perfectly alright.
P.S. You should try the beet chips recipe, it is a really great treat!
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