You love beetroots for their nutritional value, and your dog is no different.
Like us, dogs need all the essential nutrients in their diet to maintain good health.
What better way to give them these nutrients than with beetroot?
You may consider feeding the dog beetroots if you occasionally include them in your diet, but can dogs eat beetroots?
Beetroots are an excellent choice of vegetables that will provide your pup with vitamins (Vit C & B9), minerals (potassium, iron & manganese), and dietary fiber.
These nutrients actively support your dog’s immunity, help digestion, and aid their circulation.
This article takes a deep dive into all things beetroots and dogs – their benefits, the best ways to include them in your dog’s diet, and any possible risks.
Read on for a deeper understanding.
Significant nutrients of beetroots for your dog
These red tap root vegetables are healthy and beneficial for people and dogs.
When your dog eats beetroots, they get the following nutritional benefits:
- Vitamin C – It’s an important antioxidant that helps boost immunity, wound healing, and iron absorption. Your dog’s body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, so they need a continuous supply through their diet. If your dog is active or in sports, they need more vitamin C to promote active cells.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate) – Helps produce DNA and red blood cells. It also supports a healthy pregnancy hence ideal for pregnant dogs.
- Potassium – Is an electrolyte that aids in muscle function, heart health, and blood pressure. Your dog’s blood pressure naturally decreases as they age, so a diet rich in potassium can help keep it healthy.
- Iron – Essential for your pup’s healthy oxygen transportation in the blood and muscle function.
- Manganese – Involved in energy production, bone health, and wound healing.
- Dietary fiber – It helps with aiding the dog’s digestion and gut health. Fiber will help ease digestion problems, relieving conditions of constipation and diarrhea. It also promotes satiety hence ideal for dogs trying to lose weight.
Other benefits of beetroots for dogs are:
- Beetroots are a low-calorie food, making them an excellent treat for overweight dogs or those trying to lose weight.
- The nitrates in beetroots can improve blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles, which is beneficial for active and working dogs.
- The antioxidants in beetroots help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This enhances your dog’s longevity.
How should I feed my dog beetroots?
Correctly feeding your dog beetroots requires you to implement safe strategies that ensure they benefit optimally from these vegetables.
To help you do this, you can implement these strategies:
When introducing beetroots to your dog, start with small amounts to avoid stomach upsets.
Feed them 1-2 tablespoons per day (smashed/pureed) or about two beetroots for a medium-sized to large dog.
If they tolerate it, gradually increase this amount over a week or two until you reach the desired amount.
Feed your dog beetroots moderately
Beetroots are healthy for dogs, but moderation is key.
Giving your dog too many beetroots will cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
The general rule is to give your dog no more than 10% of their daily caloric intake from treats, including beetroots.
Choose the right type of beetroot
There are many types of beetroots, and you must offer your dog only the best for them.
Consult your veterinarian to help you choose the right kind.
Some of the best types of beetroots to choose from include:
- Red beetroots – These are the most popular and have the highest concentration of nutrients.
- Golden beetroots – These have a lower nutrient concentration but are easier to digest.
Avoid pickled and canned beetroots as these contain high amounts of sodium, which can harm your dog.
If you choose to feed your dog pickled or canned beetroots, first rinse them thoroughly.
This will help remove any excess salt.
Cooked or raw?
You can feed your dog beetroots cooked or raw.
If you’re feeding them raw, wash the beetroots thoroughly to remove any dirt or bacteria.
You can also cook the beetroots, making them softer and easier to digest.
Giving your dog cooked beetroots is recommended as they’re more palatable and considered safer (made safer by cooking which kills most bacteria).
Add to their food
One way of feeding your dog beetroots is by adding them to their regular food.
This is a great way to sneak some extra nutrients into your pup’s diet.
Simply cook the beetroots and add them to your dog’s food bowl.
You can also puree the cooked beetroots and mix them into their food.
While preparing your dog’s beetroots, cut them into small pieces to make them easily chewable and efficiently digestible.
Giving your dog large pieces presents the risk of choking and intestinal blockage, which may warrant expensive vet visits.
What are the risks of feeding my dog beetroots?
Feeding your dog beetroots is okay, but some setbacks to it may include:
Feeding your dog beetroots in excess can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Limit your dog’s consumption to a desirable small quantity.
Including beetroots into your dog’s diet is advisable, but not more than twice a week.
May cause anemia
Beetroots contain high levels of nitrates which can convert into nitrites.
When these nitrites enter the bloodstream, they can bind with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin.
This reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and may cause anemia.
If you’re concerned about this, speak to your veterinarian before feeding beetroots to your dog.
Potential to cause bladder stones
Beetroots are high in oxalates which can bind with calcium to form bladder stones.
These stones can block the urethra and cause urinary tract infections.
If your dog is prone to bladder stones, consult your veterinarian before feeding them beetroots.
Sensitivity reactions for allergic dogs
Some dogs may be allergic to beetroots.
If your dog shows sensitivity reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, or hives after eating beetroots, discontinue feeding them and speak to your veterinarian.
What are some suitable alternatives to beetroots for my dog?
Many suitable alternatives offer similar health benefits as beetroots to your dog.
- Sweet potatoes
- Green beans
These vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, promoting your dog’s gut health.
They also promote the dog’s cell activities, enabling them to maintain an active state.
Feed your dog only sparingly while keeping most of their meals from regular, completely balanced diets.
To wrap it up
Beetroots are an excellent way to add nutrients to your dog’s diet.
Feed your dog beetroots in moderation while you monitor their reactions.
Prepare these veggies safely for your dog by washing and cooking them thoroughly before serving.
If you have concerns, speak to your veterinarian before incorporating beetroots into your dog’s meals.