Dogs are omnivores and need to eat a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates from meat, grains and vegetables. Frozen vegetables can be a convenient, affordable, and long-lasting option to round out your dog's diet. What's more, frozen vegetables are faster and easier to prepare than fresh and don't contain any added sodium like most canned veggies.
Dogs need fiber to help keep them regular, just like people do. Frozen lima beans, green beans and peas are all high in fiber and only take minutes to prepare for Fido. Green peas also contain vitamins C and A. Just don't go overboard when feeding fibrous veggies to your dog -- too much fiber can cause gas and discomfort.
Corn, potatoes and beans straddle the line between grains and vegetables. They provide fiber, energy and nutrients. For instance, potatoes and lima beans are high in vitamin C, and lima beans also contain iron. Frozen potatoes are much faster to prepare for your pup than fresh ones. Keep in mind when planning your dog's diet that corn, potatoes and beans are higher in calories than many other frozen veggies.
For Vitamin A
Carrots, butternut squash and spinach can boost your dog's vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining your dog's ocular health. Thawed carrots can be served as a crunchy, sweet treat for your pup. Frozen chopped spinach is high in fiber, vitamin C and iron, and is easily mixed with canned or dry dog food. Butternut squash also contains vitamins C and E. Butternut squash in its frozen, pureed form is handy to use in a number of dog-friendly recipes, including stews, biscuits and even doggy desserts.
For B Vitamins
The B vitamins are known as riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and cobalamin (B12). Frozen broccoli is high in B vitamins, fiber, vitamin A and vitamin K. Vitamin K is found in many green, leafy vegetables and helps your dog's blood clot if he gets injured. Cauliflower contains many of the same nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin C. Raw broccoli is difficult to digest and can take a long time to cook, so frozen broccoli and cauliflower provide your dog with a fast, healthy dose of B vitamins.
For Vitamin C
Frozen bell peppers, asparagus and zucchini are high in vitamin C, as are cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Frozen asparagus is also a good source of vitamin A and iron, and is available year-round. Brussels sprouts contain lots of fiber, vitamin K and many minerals including iron, potassium, manganese and folate. Zucchini is a good low-calorie option for doggies on a diet.
What To Avoid
Onions are poisonous to dogs, so avoid any frozen vegetable mix that contains onions.
It's also important to keep your dog's nutrients in balance. Your dog's body stores some nutrients more efficiently than others, which can lead to a build-up in his system. For instance, too much vitamin A, which the body can store in fatty tissues, can cause liver damage. Too much iron can cause constipation in minor cases and iron toxicity in more severe cases.
by Madeline Masters
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Beans, Baby Lima, Dry
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Green Peas, Low-Sodium, Canned
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Asparagus, Low-Sodium, Canned
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Spinach, Low-Sodium, Canned
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Green Beans, Low-Sodium, Canned
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Corn, Fresh
USDA Household Commodity Fact Sheet: Carrots, Fresh
Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
ASPCA: People Foods
ASPCA: Healthy People Foods For Pets
Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets
USDA National Agricultural Library: Nutrient Data Laboratory
petMD: What's in a Balanced Dog Food?
About the Author
Madeline Masters works as a dog walker and professional writer. In the past she has worked as a fitness columnist, fundraising copywriter and news reporter. Masters won two Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Awards in 2009. She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.