Can dogs eat beets? Which kind of beets are you asking about? Red beets? Golden beets? Sugar beets? We’re going to answer all those questions as well as many others. What’s more, we’re going to leave you singing — wait and see!
Are Beets Good for Dogs?
In the wild, the wolf ancestors of dogs were not pure carnivores. Not only did they feed on the different kinds of prey they caught, but they took advantage of other available nutrition sources such as eggs, insects, fish, vomit, and poop. In addition, they also ate their prey’s stomach contents containing plant material.
We’ve all seen our dogs eat grasses as well as a variety of vegetables and fruits. Beets are just one of many veggies that make an excellent canine dietary supplement when prepared correctly. Moreover, others include carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and squash such as zucchini. Check out our Tips for Happy Tails often because we post new articles on pet nutrition all the time!
What’s the Best Food for Dogs?
If you’re one of those people always reading food labels, good! That’s important. However, you need to know how to read between the lines to understand what “beef dinner” or “meat meal” or “complete and balanced” really means. Labels present as well as hide a lot of information because they’re composed by marketing experts, not nutritionists.
One way to ensure that your dog gets the best food possible is to make it yourself using the right balance of fresh, organic ingredients. Have you ever made pancakes from scratch? Even if you haven’t, you know from common sense that you don’t add eight crocodile eggs to a half cup of flour, and you don’t fry the batter in WD-40 oil. The ingredients have to be digestible and in the right proportion. So it is with natural dog food.
An increasingly popular way of providing pets with delicious and healthful meals is with the BARF diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. When you know the basics of canine nutrition, you know exactly what ingredients will do more than meet the bare minimum legal requirements the way most commercial foods are formulated.
They will make your beloved buddy feel good all the time. About your question “Can dogs eat beets?” — just keep reading to find out why the answer is YES.
How Do Beets Improve Dogs’ Health? Benefits of Beetroot For Dogs
Whenever dog lovers ask a question like “Can dogs eat beets?”, they show how much they care. As you can see below, beets contain a wealth of nourishment as well as many other micronutrients not listed:
- Beta-carotene: Precursor to Vitamin A aiding in skin and coat health as well as eyes, immune system, and mucus membranes
- Betalains and other anti-oxidants: Appear to have therapeutic benefits for oxidative stress and inflammation
- Fiber: Needed for digestion, blood sugar stabilization, fat metabolism, and a sensation of satisfaction after eating
- Iron: Needed to form blood and aid in energy metabolism
- Magnesium: Needed for enzyme and hormone function, cell membranes, and formation of bones and teeth
- Manganese: Needed for enzyme function, nerve function, and bone development
- Nitrates: Plant-sourced nitrates promote blood vessel health and lower blood pressure
- Potassium: Needed for nerve function, enzyme function, and blood chemistry
- Vitamin A: Needed for growth, vision, and immune function
- Vitamin B9 (folate): Needed for protein synthesis and metabolism and hemoglobin function
- Vitamin B12: Needed for enzyme function, white blood cells, appetite
- Vitamin C: Did you know that dogs don’t need a source of vitamin C because their bodies manufacture it?
Scientists are actively exploring many aspects of beet nutrition, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on this exciting topic.
How to Use Beets for Dog Allergies
Although scientists are discovering more and more about allergies and inflammation all the time, there’s still a lot to learn. Allergic reactions are the result of an overactive and misguided immune system. It appears that many allergic and inflammatory conditions result from continued exposure to toxins as well as a chronically imbalanced diet.
One of the best things you can do for your pets’ health is to learn about the benefits of organic, natural foods from clean sources and fed in the right proportions. If clean food is good for you, why wouldn’t it be good for your pets? Canines have different dietary requirements from humans, but clean is clean.
Can dogs eat beets as part of a clean BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet? Absolutely yes! Beets contain several nutrients that are very beneficial for skin and immune system health. Be sure to feed as recommended without overdoing it.
Are Beets Safe for Dogs?
Can dogs eat beets as much as they want? No. The liquid with canned beets has a high sodium content plus chemicals leached from the coatings used to line the cans. The skin of raw beets is tough and can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Being naturally acidic, beets can irritate the digestive tract of some dogs, causing vomiting or diarrhea.
Beets are high in oxalates which, when ingested in excess, can contribute to kidney stones. Oxalates also bind with calcium and iron, preventing their absorption. They can also aggravate gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and allergies. To minimize these issues, choose organic beets and be sure to wash them well and peel the roots.
Can Dogs Eat Beets Raw?
Cows chew their cud to make it more digestible, so you can make raw beets more digestible for your pooch by peeling and grating them and then pureeing or mashing them. If you want to lightly cook them, blanching and steaming will preserve the nutrients better than other methods.
Can Dogs Have Beet Juice?
Can dogs eat beets? By now you know the answer is definitely yes, but the answer about beet juice might surprise you. First, the red liquid sloshing around inside cans of beets is not beet juice — it’s mostly salty water dyed by the beets. It has very few nutrients but can contain BPA (bisphenol A) and other compounds found in polycarbonate plastics used for food containers and for lining metal cans.
Real beet juice is made from water and pureed beetroot. Since beets are higher in sugar than most vegetables, the juice is very sweet. Your dog is better off having beetroot mixed in food, and a big bowl of fresh water on the side. The juice can result in a sudden sugar spike for dogs with diabetes.
Can Dogs Eat Pickled Beets?
An occasional slice or pickle bit usually won’t cause a problem, but most pickles contain ingredients that aren’t good for your dogs. As a matter of fact, many pickling ingredients are contrary to our dogs’ health in large doses. You definitely want to avoid pickled snacks for pooches with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, or weight problems. Here are the culprits:
- Salt/sodium: Can raise blood pressure and aggravate certain medical conditions such as kidney and heart disease
- Vinegar: Is acidic and can cause digestive upsets, bad for dogs with kidney disease
- Sugar: Fattening, bad for dogs with diabetes, cardiac conditions, and obesity
- Xylitol: Sugar substitute highly toxic to dogs
- Myristicin in cinnamon and nutmeg: Toxic to dogs
- Onion: Toxic to dogs
- Garlic: Toxic to dogs if not given correctly
How To Prepare Beets For Dogs
Choose organically grown beets and use them at their freshest. Scrub them to remove unwanted residues and spray or rinse the greens thoroughly. Peel the skin from the beetroot. Store unused portions in the refrigerator or freeze.
BEETS FOR DOGS — A HEALTHY & TASTY DOG FOOD RECIPE
Chicken: 2lb./900 kg. chicken breasts
Beets: 1 large or 2 small fresh beets, peeled
Greens: Bag of mixed leafy greens
Brown rice: 1 cup (250 ml)
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
- Bake the chicken breast at 350F about 20 minutes until the juices run clear.
- Add beets and cook for about 30-35 minutes.
- Cook rice and add an extra 1/2 cup water.
- Add mixed leafy greens to rice mixture while cooking.
- Grate beets and cube chicken breast.
- Combine everything.
- Call your dog for dinner!
OATMEAL, BANANA, AND BEET DOG TREATS
1 mashed banana
1 beet, peeled
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
¼ Cup plain yogurt
- Add 2 inches of water into pot and bring to a boil.
- Add beet to steaming basket and place in the steamer pot. Steam until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Remove pot, let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash cooled beet until smooth.
- Put oats into a blender or food processor and make into a flour consistency.
- Mix beet, banana, and yogurt together.
- Fold in flour and oats.
- Form a dough ball and roll out on a flat, floured surface.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
- Place shapes onto cookie sheets.
- Back at 350 degrees for 11- 14 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool down at least 30 minutes.
- Store in airtight container, but first don’t forget to share one or two with the dog.
Roll dough out on parchment paper for easier clean-up.
Place parchment paper on cooling rack before placing cookies on the rack
Wear gloves to work with this dough unless you don’t mind pink hands.
BEET COOKIES FOR DOGS
8 oz. cooked beets
1 cup + 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
Sour Cream Icing optional if you want to frost cookies
Sour Cream Icing
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
1-2 drops of leftover beet puree
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place beets in food processor or blender and process until pureed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or wooden spoon, combine flour, baking powder, pureed beets, honey, and coconut oil. Mix until combined, taking care not to over-mix.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about ¼” thick. Using whatever cookie cutter you desire, cut out shapes from cookie dough. Place on prepared baking sheet about an inch apart.
- Bake cookies for 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a metal rack to cool completely.
- Once cookies are cool, top with sour cream icing. You can either spread on with a spatula or pipe on with a pastry bag.
Sour Cream Icing
Put sour cream, honey, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl and whisk together. Add in a little bit of beet puree or natural food coloring to give icing a pink tinge if desired.
Keep a little bit of the beet puree to the side to use to color your icing.
Feel free to use any type of flour and oil you want for these cookies.
Mention @wearenotmartha and share a photo if you’ve made the recipe!
Why You Should Feed Your Dog Beets
You should feed your dog beets from local organic sources because it supports your community, your country, and your planet. In fact, if you want to plant beets in your garden for your canine buddy and you to share, they’re not difficult to grow if you live in a cooler climate. Gardening is a great activity to enjoy together!
FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Beet Greens?
Like the beetroot, beet greens should be fed in moderation because they contain high levels of oxalates and nitrates. These two compounds work together to cause the same kind of kidney problems that beets can bring on if consumed in large amounts. They’re very nutritious for humans as well as dogs, but go easy.
Can Dogs Eat Beets Of Different Colors?
Red beets are the most nutritious for your canine buddy. While golden beets are high in antioxidants, they’re also a little higher in sugar. White beets are the sweetest, contributing over half of the domestic sugar production in the United States.
Are Beets Good For The Liver?
The liver is a busy organ in the body. It works 24/7 filtering every drop of blood to identify and detoxify harmful compounds but it has to be healthy to function. In addition, beets not only contribute iron but also a significant number of antioxidants to fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
Will Red Beets Make Dogs’ Pee and Poop Turn Pink Or Purple?
Compounds in red beets have been used for hundreds of years as a natural dye. Did you know that some Victorians used it to color their hair? It definitely can add an unusual but temporary pink or red tinge to your pooch’s pee and poop.
Can dogs eat beets? Now you know. And the more you know, the more power you have to change life for the better for you and your canine companions. From now on, maybe one of Sonny and Cher’s famous songs will remind you of the many health benefits of this beautiful vegetable and you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing, “And the beet goes on … and the beet goes on!”
Resources for More Information
Why beets can’t be beat for humans:
Learn more about canine nutrition:
Information about the BARF Diet:
Curious about a BEETles song written with a sound in it that only your dog can hear?