I don’t know about you, but I remember those childhood days sitting at the dinner table at night and how I wasn’t allowed any dessert until I’d eaten all my veggies. And the worst of them all, worse than broccoli or green beans, were peas. We all have these kinds of stories to tell, I’m sure!
These days, I really like peas, so I don’t know why I hated them so much. All I know is that if we’d had a dog when I was a kid instead of cats, that dog would have been fed a whole childhood’s worth of green peas under the table.
But would I have been OK to do so? Can dogs eat peas and if so, do they have any nutritional benefit? Read on to find out.
Can Dogs Eat Peas?
Yes, they absolutely can!
We know that peas are good for humans. They contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, some B vitamins, and vitamin K. They’re a good source of fiber and iron, and also contain other important things our body needs, like zinc and magnesium.
Dogs can benefit from all of these, too! A dog s diet should contain everything they need to keep them healthy and a good brand of dog food will give them what they need, but it doesn’t hurt to have some extra vitamins on the side.
What Kind of Peas Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs can eat all manner of peas, just like humans, but in this article, when we talk about peas we’re referring specifically to green peas. That means we’re talking about garden peas (also called English peas), snow peas, and sugar snap peas.
Be careful about feeding canned peas to your dog. While they’re delicious, canned peas can be very high in sodium, so try to feed your dog from a sodium-free can.
Are Peas a Food that All Dogs Can Eat?
Yes, and no.
By that we mean that there’s no specific breed of dog that’s allergic to green peas or shouldn’t eat them. But there are still some dogs with certain health conditions that should avoid eating peas.
You should never feed peas to your dog if he has kidney issues. This is because peas contain purines, which are a chemical compound naturally found in many different foods but that is particularly found in peas.
When we digest purines, the reaction in our bodies produces uric acid. When a dog has kidney issues, he can’t filter the uric acid properly, so he can end up with kidney stones and other problems that can make him very sick.
How Much Peas can a Dog Eat?
Like all things in life, it’s all about moderation. A good quality pet food is specifically designed to give dogs all the minerals and vitamins they need in their diet, so they don’t need to top their vitamin content up with fruits and vegetables, the way humans do.
However, when peas are safe for dogs to eat, this means it’s fine for your dog to eat them as a tasty snack or occasional treat.
Feeding peas to your dog doesn’t take too much preparation. Garden peas straight from the garden are perfectly fine, as are snow peas and sugar snap peas. Like snow peas sugar snap peas have a shell around them but this is also something dogs can eat and many of them love the crunch!
The most important thing to remember is that you should never feed too many peas to your dog. Giving your dog peas too often can mean they can end up with lower levels of taurine, which can then lead to a serious heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy.
Why, exactly, is Grain Free Low Taurine?
A grain free diet means there are already higher levels of legumes in a dog’s diet, such as lentils and peas, because the food isn’t being bulked out by grain. It’s not quite known why grain free diets can mean lower taurine, but it’s thought that legumes reduce taurine levels.
If you’re already giving your dog a grain free diet then try not to give them any extra peas, even as table scraps.
What Other Vegetables can Dogs Eat?
Peas aren’t the only source of vitamins that are good for your dog. There are plenty of other fruits and vegetables dogs can enjoy, so let’s take a look at some of them.
Carrots are always popular with dogs because they’re crunchy and delicious! They’re a great way to feed your dog a healthy treat, as they’re an amazing source of vitamin A.
Cooked or raw is fine, although your pup is more likely to prefer raw carrots because of the crunchy texture.
Packed full of fiber and vitamins, including vitamin A and vitamin K, there are many health benefits to be had from green beans. Once again, they’re the kind of vegetables your pooch can eat fresh or raw, but as always, avoid canned beans for sodium reasons.
Sweet Potato and Pumpkin
Foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkins and squash are all safe for dogs to eat because they’re a good source of beta carotene, which helps to ward off all manner of health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
It’s always best to boil or steam your sweet potatoes or pumpkins first, and then adding a spoonful to your dog’s pet food as a tasty treat.
We always hear about the health benefits of spinach, and that’s because it’s a superfood! It’s especially good for getting lutein into your pup’s diet. Lutein is great for boosting retinal function, keeping their eyesight in tip-top condition.
Sprouts and Cabbage
Loaded with fiber and antioxidants, Brussels sprouts and cabbages are another excellent snack food for your dog.
They help to repair cell damage and improve the circulation of blood cells, and that goes for humans and dogs alike!
The only thing to caution against is feeding cabbages and sprouts to your dog too often as it can make them very gassy, and we all know how lethal that can be!
What Vegetables are Bad for Dogs?
Not all vegetables are good for dogs; in fact, some can even be toxic to dogs so pet parents should be careful. Advice from the American Kennel Club (AKC) website includes articles explaining how onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are all toxic to dogs (all rights reserved).
Avocados, mushrooms, and broccoli are all vegetables that people should avoid feeding their dogs, but if you’re in any doubt, check for resources expert advice either at a veterinarian’s office or a trusted online website source.
How about Fruit?
Like veggies, fruits can be a great treat for dogs. There are some fruits dogs shouldn’t eat, so let’s take a look at the ones that are safe to eat, and the ones dogs should avoid.
Apples and Pears
As a tart treat a nice juicy apple or a pear can be just the thing to keep your little canine friend happy. Be sure to cut the apple or pear into smaller chunks so your dog doesn’t choke.
A sweet treat your pooch is sure to love, berries are excellent sources of vitamins. When it comes to vitamin C raspberries and strawberries are especially good sources, as are cranberries and blueberries.
It’s not a good idea for either you or your dog to eat wild berries if you don’t know what they are. You should also feed your dog berries only occasionally, as they have a high sugar content which is never good for a dog s diet.
Watermelon, honeydew melon or even cantaloupe are all great juicy treats that people can give to their dogs. Once again, watch the sugar levels but a nice slice of cool, fresh melon is a perfect treat for your pup on a hot day.
Fruits You Should Never Feed Your Dog
You should never feed grapes or raisins to your dog because they can cause terrible kidney damage that your dog may never recover from. Always check the label on products you’re not sure of, as only a small amount of raisins can be fatal. Vets could tell you horror stories about the damage done by a single raisin, so take care.
You should also avoid tomatoes and rhubarb in your dog’s diet, as both can be toxic and cause damage to the nervous system so should be avoided at all costs.
Make Your Own Treats!
You don’t just have to rely on products bought from the store to give your dogs treats. You can make you own canine cookies, for example, with oats, apples, peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol!) and pumpkin.
You’ll be sure to find a dog recipe website just bursting with recipes for doggy cookies, so get creative!
It’s Not Just Dog Food that’s Important!
Dogs need not just healthy foods to eat, but healthy activities to get involved in, too. It keeps their brains and bodies agile and active.
Dog sports are a perfect source of recreation for your dog. They challenge his brain and sport participants who have included dog sports in their own fitness routine have noted how much stronger their canine/people bond has become.
Take a look in your local area for resources products services when it comes to dog sports. Between a new exercise routine and the right diet, you’ll have a healthy dog by your side for years to come!