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Why Do Dogs Like Vegetables?

Dogs love eating healthy, delicious vegetables. Discover why your pup loves farm-fresh produce and the vegetables dogs love.


Two people with vegetables offering a carrot to a dog

Dogs are omnivores, which means they love eating a little of just about everything, including wholesome and delicious vegetables. Not only are veggies filled with healthy fiber, nutritious vitamins and vital minerals, but they are also low in fat and calories, making them an ideal addition to your pooch’s diet. Plus, they’re so tasty! 

Read on to discover why your pup goes wild for veggies. 

The Taste 

Dogs have taste buds that react to pretty much the same flavors we do, including sweet, sour, bitter and meaty, umami-like flavors. Things like carrots, tomatoes, cooked potatoes, cooked sweet potatoes, peas, cooked pumpkin and green beans all tempt your pup’s taste buds with their yummy flavors and touch of sweetness. In short, they like veggies for the same delicious reasons we do! 

The Texture 

Veggies have a crunchy, watery texture dogs love. Some delicious broccoli, cucumber, zucchini or cauliflower can really hit the spot for your canine companion because they’ve got that crisp consistency. And these veggies can help keep your pup’s teeth clean by scrubbing away plaque as she chews. 

The Smell 

Dogs respond to smell much like humans — in fact, their sense of smell is much better than ours. And you know what they like to sniff out? Fresh veggies! That’s right, the fresher the better, as the smell of fresh vegetables is stronger than the more muted (and potentially unpleasant) scent of older ones. 

If your pooch is not interested in the scent of the veggies you’re offering, try steaming them to enhance their aroma — but always cool them first before sharing with your dog. Cooking also makes them easier for Benji to digest.  

The Nutrients 

The nutrients contained in raw veggies are great for dogs, possibly even helping them retain their cognitive abilities as they age by providing them with healthy antioxidants. 

A Note of Caution 

Not all veggies are good for dogs, especially anything in the onion family, including garlic, which is considered highly toxic. Always research a new vegetable before feeding it to your dog to determine if it’s good for him or not. Remember to always cook potatoes and avoid unripe tomatoes. Beware choking hazards like corn cobs. And veggies make great snacks, but too many at once can upset your pup’s tummy, so keep them to about 10% of his daily caloric requirements.