Yes, dogs can eat beets in moderation. Remembering the 10% rule is the best way to provide your dogs with this superfood. They possess folate, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, iron, manganese, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Image source: The Magical Slow Cooker
What Are Beets?
Beets are bright red root vegetables packed with nutrients. Scientifically, the beet is the taproot section of the beet plant. In North America, this vegetable is called ad Beet. In the United Kingdom, the vegetable is called beetroot. They are known as red beet, dinner beet, and table beet.
Are Beets Safe For Dogs?
Yes, beets are safe for dogs in moderation. However, although they provide essential minerals and vitamins, you must bear in mind the following things before providing beet to your dog:
- Raw beet: Raw beets can have pesticides causing harm to your dog. Therefore, never feed your dog raw beets.
- Unwashed beet: Even if you cook or steam the beet, do not forget to wash it. It might carry harmful chemicals and can trigger health issues in dogs.
- Seasoned beet: The most important thing about feeding your dog with human food is never to season it with spices. Dogs cannot tolerate spices. Furthermore, ingestion of seasonings can be deadly.
- Chunks of beet: Chunks of cooked beets may even cause a choking hazard in dogs, causing organ rupture.
Why Are Beets Good For Dogs?
Beets are good for dogs due to the presence of vitamins and minerals. They also have antioxidants that help them fight diseases like cancer. Let us find out how beets help a dog:
- Vitamin A helps your dog’s vision and skin health and heals wounds quickly. It also aids in bone growth, reproduction, and the overall immune system.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential. Glucose production, red blood cells, central nervous function, hormone control, immunological response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation are all aided by this vitamin.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C serves as a powerful antioxidant. It can help prevent inflammation and cognitive aging by scavenging damaging free radicals in the body. Although dogs’ livers can generate vitamin C on their own, supplementation may provide health advantages in some situations.
- Magnesium: At the cellular level, magnesium is involved in energy generation. Magnesium is required to allow the passage of energy whenever your pet moves a muscle, has a heartbeat, or thinks.
- Folate: Folate ensures fast cell development during puppyhood, adulthood, and pregnancy, regulates homocysteine levels in the blood, and employs amino acids to construct new proteins. Vitamin B9 or folate has a role in regular blood production, immunological function, cell division, and tissue development.
- Manganese: Manganese is required to produce energy, metabolize protein and carbs, and form fatty acids in dogs. Manganese is a component of many enzymes and aids in the health and preservation of bone and cartilage in joints.
- Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte essential for your dog’s health. It helps electrical charges in the heart and the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. If your dog lacks this vital mineral, you may notice that they are constantly fatigued, which is abnormal, or have no desire to eat.
- Fiber: Fiber is an excellent source of nutrients for a dog’s digestive system. The healthy bacteria usually found in your dog’s colon digest fiber into fatty acids. This fatty acid then aids in the recovery of the colon by preventing the expansion of any harmful bacteria.
- Iron: Iron is required to accomplish critical processes, including carrying oxygen throughout the body in the hemoglobin of red blood cells so that the cells can generate energy. Iron is also required to function various enzymes in the body properly.
- Antioxidants: Chronic inflammation, a hallmark of many complex health conditions in animals, are neutralized by antioxidants. Antioxidant intake may help with any chronic autoimmune illness.
- Phytonutrients: Beets have phytonutrients, which help your dog’s breath stay fresh. They also kill the germs that cause bad breath in the mouth.
- Water: Water helps your dog’s body to be hydrated. It reduces the chances of dehydration in dogs. Apart from hydrating, it also keeps the digestive tract clean and aids in proper bowel movement.
Why Are Beets Bad For Dogs?
Although beets are not toxic for dogs, they can be harmful if not fed properly. Here are a few factors why beets are not suitable for dogs:
Seasoned beets: Seasoned beets contain onion, garlic, chives, peppers, and other whole spices, which are bad for dogs. If your dog consumes any of these ingredients, they will face:
- GI Issues
- Kidney issues
- Liver issues
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty in breathing
- High temperatures
- Weight gain
Raw beets: Raw beets are hard to digest. They are compact and sturdy, which makes it difficult for dogs to break them down into tiny particles. They will rather swallow the entire piece. The issues which the dog will face are:
- Bleeding in lips and throat
- Blockage of esophagus
- Intestine injury
Unwashed beets: Unwashed beets contain pesticides and other harmful chemicals used during the farming of beetroot plants. Consequences your dog would face if they consume unwashed beets are:
- Stomach issues
- Liver and kidney issues
- GI issues
- Loss in appetite
Oxalates: Oxalates are minerals that are high in beets. Oxalates accumulate in the urinary tract of the dog and trigger bladder stones. The early symptoms of having bladder stones in dogs are:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
High fiber: Fiber though is good for bowel movements in dogs, but excessive fiber can loosen your dog’s motion causing:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- No thirst
Sugar: Sugar comes from the high carb rate present in beets. Sugar is not at all healthy for dogs. High consumption of beets can trigger:
- Weight gain
- Cardiovascular issues
- Joint issues
How Many Beets To Feed Your Dog?
While beets can be very beneficial to dogs, they can become harmful if not considered. Always remember the 10% rule! 90% of meals and 10% human food and treats. The amount should never increase! I prefer giving steamed beets once in two weeks.
How To Serve Beets To Your Dog?
Here are some methods you can opt for serving beets to your dog:
- Steam and boil the beet. Serve it as an occasional treat.
- Add steamed and mashed beets to a meal once a week in small amounts.
- You may also shred the beets and use them as meal toppings.
- Cut the beets into small pieces and serve your pet.
- Prefer organic beets as they are free from pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals
Here are some beetroot recipes for your dog:
What If My Dog Ate Beets?
Left your beet platter uncovered on the table, and your dog consumed it all? Do not panic! Give them enough water. While they drink water to ease themselves, make an emergency appointment with the vet and visit immediately. However, the symptoms which you might notice right after your dog has consumed beets are:
- Increase in thrust
- Frequent urination
The vet will recommend a bland diet for a few days. Then, follow as the vet prescribes, and your dog will be good to play and run with you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dogs eat canned beets?
No, dogs cannot eat canned beets. This is because they contain preservatives and other harmful ingredients which can be toxic to dogs.
Can dogs eat beet pulp?
Yes, dogs can eat beet pulp occasionally. You can add beet pulp to your dog’s food once every two weeks.
Can dogs eat raw beets?
No, dogs cannot eat raw beets as they can choke your dog and may even lead to death.
Therefore, snipping the long story short – steamed, cooked, boiled, and unseasoned beets are safe for dogs to consume in moderation. However, never feed your dog beets without consulting the doctor. Your doctor will check his health and medical issues, if any. He will either give you a green signal or a red signal. Feed accordingly. Consuming seasoned, raw, unwashed canned beets can cause your dog harm and eventually lead to death. Therefore, to ensure a healthy and happy life for your dog, feed with responsibility.