Dogs are omnivores, which means they can fully digest plants and animal proteins alike. Just like humans, dogs can benefit tremendously from the phytonutrients, digestive enzymes and antioxidants found in raw, green vegetables. Leafy greens are usually fibrous and can help prevent constipation, gas and other digestive issues. While human studies have demonstrated that leafy green vegetables can help in the prevention of certain types of cancer, similarly an animal study from 2005 found that dogs eating leafy green vegetables at least 3 times per week, reduced their risk of developing cancer by 90%!
Raw foods contain the highest concentration of live enzymes, essential to proper digestion. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of proteolytic enzymes, possessing anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the pain of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The chlorophyll in these vegetables can also help purify the blood, contributing to the general health and vitality of your pet.
In the wild, wolves, the close relative of our companion canines, get the important minerals and nutrients found in vegetables from the stomachs and digestive tracks of their prey. Domesticated dogs however, rely on the food we feed them for their nutrition and unfortunately, the processed vegetables and ingredients found in conventional dog foods, have been cooked at high temperatures, rendering most kibbles and mainstream dog foods nutritionally worthless.
So keep in mind that the next time your pet begs for a piece of your broccoli or is seen eating grass in the yard, he or she may be nutritionally deficient in essential plant-based vitamins and minerals!
by Contributing Editor MG 🐾