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Vegetables, Herbs and Sprouts for Dogs ????

With the title of this post, you are likely thinking either "why the ???, veggies are great for dogs! Or, you may be thinking "vegetables for dogs is a bit silly or even unnecessary."


Let me tell you, vegetables, herbs and sprouts are absolutely worth the hype! Science even agrees with me 😉



Do I love the high content of vegetables in commercial dry dog food, which can be upwards of 70% carbohydrates? No.

Do I love some of the vegetables added to premade raws? Not always.

Do dogs have a requirement for carbs? Nutritionally, also No.


If that's the case, why are we talking about them?


CARBS ARE NOT (always) THE ENEMY!

While we definitely want to minimize them in our daily food in our dogs diets, they do have some great benefits in moderation.


Vegetables are important in dog nutrition because they provide prebiotic fibers for short chain fatty acid production during digestion. They also provide a healthy dose of fiber but also a wide range of nutrients that isn't covered with just raw meat, bones and organs.


Certain fruits and vegetables have some serious benefits when it comes to things like immunity, gut heath and have longevity benefits.


Many of these plants contain the compounds Polyphenols, Flavonoids and Phytonutrients. It has been proven that proper levels of polyphenols (in the diet drastically reduces oxidative stress (Oxidative stress is a phenomenon caused by an imbalance between production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues and the ability of a biological system to detoxify these reactive products within the body).


Humans can be so wasteful and if you're already making and eating veggies yourself, skip the seasonings and share some with your dog! It can be that simple. In our house, all our veggie odds and ends go into a bag in the freezer. Once a month I boil it up and blend it down and use that and repeat the process over again. SO much little waste and the dogs love the variety!


Some of my favorite vegetables to add to my dogs meals include:


Carrots, Parsnips, Celery, which contain polyacetylenes that play a role in detoxing and protect against Mycotoxins that can be found within dry kibbles and can be a serious health risk.


Spinach, anti-inflammatory properties, great for eye(highest source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin which prevents eye degeneration *important for Ripley!* and heart health by supplying high levels of Vitamin K.


Kale, Green Cabbage, Zucchini, Asparagus, as these green vegetables provide a wide variety of flavonoids and polyphenols. These also contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, to name just a few. These antioxidants have been extensively studied for their proven health benefits and provide immune boosting, disease prevention, as well as anti-cancer benefits.


Brussel Sprouts, Studies have shown this type of vegetable to have positive effects on a variety of cancers, and they are a good source of Vit K, C and Folate.


Cucumbers, always have some left over in summer! Makes a great crunchy treat while hydrating your pup! They contain antioxidants that inhibit inflammatory cells and also benefit the gut microbiome. Also calorie free!


There are MORE things from your garden that has great benefits for your pups!

Many herbs we have on hand at home or grow ourselves can do some great things in our Dog's system!


Cilantro has been studied to show that it works with the chlorella content to remove heavy metals within the body for detoxification. Studies have shown it can reduce levels like lead and mercury by up to 91%!


Parsley is a natural source of Vitamin C, A, and K. Vitamin C helps to provide immune support. Vitamin A is important for the development of your pet’s vision and immune health. Vitamin K helps maintain a healthy blood clotting system and promotes liver health.

Parsley is also rich in folic acids and antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help promote good kidney health and antimicrobial properties that promote good urinary health. *Please note parsley is a diuretic so if your dog has kidney disease, please consult a professional before adding to meals. It also is GREAT for freshening up their breath!


Now for the strangest recommendation you'll see me give today but I promise it's one of the best ones yet!


Do you like to grow things? Do you love your dog? Would you like to GROW things FOR your DOG?! Ok, I made that sounds a lot more fun than what it is *unless you're a total dog nutrition nerd like me* but stay with me,


🥦BROCCOLI SPROUTS! 🥦


If you know any of the big dawgs in the dog wellness industry then I probably don't have to introduce you to Dr.Karen Becker and Rodney Habib (Planet Paws)!


If you're new here, let's just recap by saying that they are THE wealth of knowledge for progressive health for your dog. They are the Gold Standard when it comes to pet professionals right now. They are passionate, committed and amazingly easy and fun to learn from.


In their published book, "The Forever Dog" they introduced us all to Broccoli Sprouts.


I'm going to directly quote the book for this one....


"Dr. Patrick praises broccoli sprouts as being *very* powerful for antiaging - and for good reason! In our society, we are constantly exposed to toxins that stress our body, from those we breathe (benzenes, a common thing for city dogs to inhale through exhaust), to those we consume in food (like pesticides). These stressors effect our body at the cellular level, ultimately damaging our mitochondria and causing inflammation throughout the body, both of which contribute to accelerated aging over time.
One of the body's stress-response pathways controls over 200 genes responsible for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant processes. When this pathway is activated, the body suppresses the inflammation, activates detoxification and promotes antioxidants to exert their effects"

(Forever Dog Book)


Broccoli Sprouts specifically contain compounds called Sulforaphanes and they activate that important pathway. The best source of these are broccoli sprouts. The younger the plant, the greater level of sulforaphane it has. As plants grow, they convert sulforaphane into other isothiocyanates. Sprouts can contain nearly 100 times more sulforaphane than mature broccoli plants. Both animal and human studies, it also slowed the rate of cancer and heart disease, reduced inflammation and removes toxins from the body. They have been shown to be the best way to remove AGE's from your dog as well.


"AGEs" or Advanced Glycation End Products is a process "that occurs any time there is heat, glucose and protein found together and causes a chemical reaction that occurs both inside and outside of our bodies, it causes premature aging and inflammation in dogs and humans"

(Forever Dog book)


So what I'm saying here is that this is an incredibly easy and satisfying thing you can do to seriously improve your dog's health! (and your own, if you're into that)


There are super cheap and easy DIY kits like these from Amazon.ca



I think these are something that is so simple and easy to do that everyone should be doing it for their dogs! It's a very small part of your time to literally better the health of your best friend and help keep them around longer 💚


Let me know if you give them a try!



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