Can My Dog Eat Raw Vegetables?

Author: Mikael Öling

This article is part of a series “Can My Dog Eat X” by Pala Petfoods, where our experts review the benefits and dangers of different foods to dogs. Our mission is to help you make informed decisions that prioritise your furry friend's health and break some bad myths in the process.


The Benefits

  • They can provide a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. You can find high quality vegetables in all of our complete recipe dog foods.
  • Many vegetables are low in calories and fat, making them a good choice for overweight dogs.
  • Crunchy vegetables can also help clean your dog's teeth.

The Dangers

  • Certain veggies can be toxic to dogs. Full list:
    1. Wild Mushrooms: Many types of wild mushrooms can be toxic, and it can be challenging to distinguish safe varieties from dangerous ones. It's best to prevent your dog from eating any mushrooms found outdoors.
    2. Raw Potatoes and Green Potatoes: Raw or green (unripe) potatoes contain solanine, which can be toxic to dogs. Cooked potatoes are generally safe in moderation, provided they are not seasoned.
    3. Tomato Plants: The tomato plant, particularly the leaves and stems, contain solanine and tomatine, which can cause adverse effects. Ripe tomatoes are generally considered safe in small quantities.
    4. Rhubarb: The leaves and stems contain oxalic acid and anthraquinones, which can lead to kidney failure and other issues.
    5. Avocado: Persin, a substance found in avocados, can be toxic to dogs, affecting their heart, lungs, and other tissues. Additionally, the large seed poses a choking hazard and can cause obstruction if swallowed.
    6. Onions and Garlic: All members of the allium family, including onions, garlic, leeks, and chives, can be toxic to dogs. They can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could potentially lead to red blood cell damage and anemia.
  • Some dogs might be allergic to specific types of vegetables.

The Details

  • Start slow: Introduce one vegetable at a time in small quantities, and monitor any changes in your dog's digestive system or behavior.
  • Keep the portions small: Vegetables should not make up the majority of your dog’s diet. They are best used as a supplement to a balanced diet.
  • Check for allergies: Watch out for allergies or any adverse reaction your dog might have after consuming a certain vegetable.

Other Things To Note

Raw or cooked vegetables – which are better?

Raw Vegetables:

  • Some dogs can easily digest raw vegetables, and they can benefit from the enzymes and phytonutrients present in the uncooked form.
  • Raw vegetables can be good for a dog's dental health, as chewing can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup.
  • However, some vegetables can be tough for dogs to digest raw and might cause gastrointestinal upset.

Cooked Vegetables:

  • Cooking vegetables can make them easier for dogs to digest and can also make nutrients more accessible because the cell walls are broken down.
  • Cooking can neutralize some harmful substances found in certain vegetables (like solanine in potatoes).
  • However, cooking can diminish some nutrients through the process of heat and water solubility.

As always, it's best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods to your dog's diet to ensure they're safe and beneficial for your pet specifically. Check out our other articles in this series for more information on what you should or should not feed your dog.