Vegetables can be a great addition to your Golden Retriever’s diet. They are great to give as training treats or add to their food for extra variety. But often, I’d wonder, “can my dog eat that?” So, what vegetables can Golden Retrievers eat?
Golden Retrievers can eat a wide range of vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, green beans, spinach, pumpkin, peas, parsnips, cooked potatoes, celery, and sweet potatoes. Some vegetables, such as onions, shallots, garlic, leeks, chives, and wild mushrooms, are toxic and must not be eaten.
This article will detail the best 28 vegetables that are entirely safe to feed your dog. We’ll also explore the following:
- How to feed veggies to your Golden Retriever.
- Whether Golden Retrieves can be vegetarian.
- The vegetables your Golden Retriever can’t eat.
Some veggies indeed make better choices than others. I’ll tell you the secret of my dog’s favorite six at the end of the post.
So, for a complete guide to what vegetables your Golden Retriever can eat, let’s get started!
What Vegetables Can Golden Retrievers Eat?
Golden Retrievers can eat many different vegetables as long as you give them in moderation. You should cook most of them to help digestion, but you can also provide some raw like carrots and green beans. Here is a quick snapshot.
Golden Retrievers can eat artichokes. They can benefit from this antioxidant-rich vegetable because it protects against illnesses like cancer and safeguards the immune system. Rich in nutrients, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, niacin, dietary fiber, and low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
Some dogs like small pieces of artichokes, while others turn their noses up quickly, so you need to experiment with where your Retriever fits. Feed your dog in tiny amounts and slowly to avoid choking. You can give artichokes raw or cooked, and dogs can eat leaves, hearts, and stems.
Golden Retrievers can eat asparagus. It is a healthy choice for your dog because it contains vitamins B1, B2, K, A, C, and E, folate, iron, copper, zinc, fiber, and manganese. It also contains potassium and antioxidants, which help eliminate toxins from the bloodstream and promote good heart health.
The stems are tough to chew, so you should feed your dog cooked asparagus. Asparagus can lose a lot of nutrients, so try not to overcook it. Just boil or steam it without butter, salt, or seasonings.
Sometimes asparagus can make your dog’s urine smell unpleasant due to the acid’s conversion to sulfur-containing compounds. As a result, you may need to rethink giving asparagus, especially if your puppy is not yet fully toilet trained!
Golden Retrievers can eat beets. They are full of fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamins. They are excellent for digestion and for maintaining a healthy coat and skin. Beets support your dog’s immune system and are a good option if your dog is anemic.
However, you should only give your Golden Retriever a small amount because they contain oxalic acid, as too much can lead to calcium deficiency or kidney stones. Beets can be fed raw, but it is better to cook them first. You can then mash them and add them to your dog’s diet as a supplement.
Refrain from giving canned beets as they are full of salt – lethal for dogs in large amounts. My dog’s food brand contains beets, so I’m happy she benefits from their many good qualities.
Golden Retrievers can safely eat bell peppers of all colors. They contain essential minerals and are rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and E. However, the red variety is the most nutritious as it has the most antioxidants (such as beta-carotene) and vitamins.
Bell peppers are also excellent for your Retrievers immune system. They are low in calories, too, and are great for your dog’s skin, coat and eyes. They are first-rate for hydration because they contain 92% water.
Removing the seeds and stems is best, as your dog will find them difficult to digest. You can feed raw bell peppers, but your dog will find their skin tough and leathery. Therefore, it is better to steam or puree them.
Golden Retrievers can eat broccoli. It is high in fiber, vitamins C and K, minerals, and folic acid and low in fat. It’s excellent for your dog’s immune and nervous systems, protects against heart disease, and helps to support healthy bones and skin.
Broccoli also has anti-cancer properties that suppress tumor growth. This recent study in which dogs were given broccoli supplements concluded that broccoli might help prevent the formation of cancer.
Although broccoli is a healthy vegetable for your Golden Retriever to snack on – it does come with a warning!
Broccoli florets contain a compound known as isothiocyanate, which can cause stomach irritation and potent gas in some dogs. So only give a tiny amount to your Retriever as it can be uncomfortable for both of you!
You can feed broccoli raw or cooked. Be careful if you give the stems to your dog, and be sure to cut them into small pieces to avoid choking or a blockage. My dog’s food contains a small amount of healthy broccoli.
Watch This Fun Video on the Best Healthy Vegetables for Your Dog…
Golden Retrievers can eat Brussels sprouts. They are rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber and antioxidants. They also contain Vitamin K, which helps blood properly clot, builds bones, and safeguards the heart.
This vegetable is closely related to broccoli and can cause flatulence, so don’t overdo it!
I hate Brussels sprouts, and I’ve never given them to my dog. However, if you choose to feed them to your Golden Retriever, they are better steamed or boiled (steam retains most of the nutrients). Please do not give them raw because your dog will find them difficult to digest.
Golden Retrievers can eat cabbage. Savoy, red and bok choy cabbage is safe for your dog to eat and is full of nutrients, especially vitamins C and K and fiber. It helps fight disease and infection, including cancer and supports your dog’s digestive and immune systems.
Cabbage will also generate the same excess gas as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Therefore, you need to feed very modestly and introduce it slowly! It is also advisable to cook the cabbage first, such as boiling or steaming, as it will be easier on your Golden Retriever’s tummy!
Golden Retrievers can eat carrots. Raw and cooked carrots are healthy for dogs and make an excellent low-calorie snack. They are highly nutritious and are filled with phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They also contain vitamins A, K, and C, fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron.
Carrots are also an excellent beta-carotene source, producing vitamin A which is beneficial for healthy bones, eyes, skin, and the immune system. They are also excellent for the heart.
Frozen or raw carrots are perfect for giving to teething puppies. My dog loves to crunch on a raw piece of carrot, which also helps clean her teeth. I think carrots are one of the best vegetables to feed your dog.
Golden Retrievers can eat cauliflower which is known for its nutritional properties. It contains vitamins K and C, calcium, potassium, folate, and fiber. It’s good for your dog’s eyes, blood, muscles, immune system, and overall general health. It can also help reduce inflammation and fight cancer.
However, cauliflower contains a chemical that will give your dog terrible gas! If you want to try your Golden Retriever with it, test feed a spoonful and preferably cook it first. I prefer not to give my dog Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower, as I’d rather not suffer the awful after-effects. There are so many other good options.
Golden Retrievers can eat celery. It is rich in fiber, vitamins A, B, C, and K, phosphorus, folate, manganese, and potassium. These excellent nutrients are needed to promote a healthy heart. Celery also has cancer-fighting properties due to a compound known as apigenin. Other vegetable sources of apigenin include rutabaga and artichoke.
Celery is often recommended for weight loss because it is low in fat and cholesterol. It is suitable for your dog to crunch on and maybe even freshen up doggy breath! Be sure to cut it into small pieces and introduce it slowly.
Golden Retrievers can eat corn. Although corn is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants for your dog, it’s a starchy vegetable, and too much starchy carbohydrate can lead to weight gain. Therefore, you must feed sparingly.
However, if you’re on a long hike with your dog and he needs a quick energy boost, corn is the perfect alternative treat to take with you.
You shouldn’t let your Golden Retriever chew on the cob, as some dogs will try to eat it all and swallow the whole cob, which can lead to choking or severe digestive obstruction. Instead, remove the kernels and feed them separately.
Don’t serve canned corn, as it often contains high amounts of sodium or any popcorn that contains oil or salt.
Golden Retrievers can eat cucumber. Although cucumbers are mostly water, they are high in nutrients such as vitamin K, which is good for bone health and blood clotting. They also contain antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory qualities to help reduce chronic conditions.
Cucumbers make a great crunchy snack for your Golden Retriever and are low in calories. Give them to your dog after removing the peel and chop them into bite-sized pieces. As they are a great source of hydration, they are super cool to feed in warm weather.
Golden Retrievers can eat eggplant, and they are an essential source of fiber. Eggplant also contains vitamins B6, K, folate, potassium, niacin, and phytonutrients that help protect your Golden Retriever from chronic disease.
Some dogs may not like the taste of eggplant, so if this vegetable is a fan of yours, you may want to experiment with giving your dog a little flavor to see how he handles it.
It would be best if you cooked eggplant before giving it to your Golden as he may have difficulty digesting it raw. It can be grilled, baked, or boiled. Please do not feed your dog eggplant leaves as they contain solanine. This compound is poisonous to dogs when eaten in large quantities.
Golden Retrievers can eat green beans. They are an excellent vegetable for dogs because they are so nutritious. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are low in calories. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, lift your dog’s immune system, and fight some cancers.
They are the best vegetable for your dog’s overall physical health and are a delicious alternative to store-bought treats, and most dogs love them.
You can feed raw or cooked green beans and give your pup canned green beans as long as they don’t have salt or other nasty additives. My dog enjoys a handful of chopped green beans that I add to her bowl – they are gone in a flash!
Golden Retrievers can eat kale – in moderation. As one of the cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, you must feed kale sparingly!
Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of giving your dog a small amount of kale:
Pros: Kale has many positive health benefits being a good source of vitamins K, C, and E, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber. It’s packed with antioxidants that fight cancer and disease.
Cons: Too many cruciferous veggies can cause hypothyroidism in animals. Although let’s be practical here, your Retriever would have to consume enormous daily amounts for this to happen.
However, a study on humans found that eating 150g (5 oz) a day of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks did not adversely affect thyroid function.
So, can dogs eat kale and the other cruciferous veggies? I’ll let you decide!
Golden Retrievers can eat lettuce. It is 90% water, and all varieties are safe for your dog to eat as a crunchy snack. However, lettuce contains very little nutritional value due to its high water content, but it does contain beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A. Other nutrients include vitamin C, iron, calcium, and fiber.
Lettuce is a good choice for dogs to nibble on if they need to lose a few pounds, although it’s better to chop it up instead of giving them a whole leaf. I have only tried my dog with lettuce once; however, she didn’t appear to like it and quickly spat it out!
Golden Retrievers can eat mushrooms. They are low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Other benefits include preventing heart disease, strengthening the immune system, sustaining liver and kidney function, and fighting cancer.
Mushrooms purchased in stores are generally safe for dogs, but wild mushrooms can be toxic and extremely dangerous or prove fatal depending on the amount and species ingested.
A taste of plain white button mushrooms purchased from the local grocery store will cause no harm unless they’re heavily seasoned with oil, garlic, or onions. Like most vegetables for dogs, you should serve them cooked.
Golden Retrievers can eat parsnips. They are very safe to feed your dog and contain many vitamins C and B6, folic acid, and potassium. Parsnips are good for your dog’s metabolism and support a healthy nervous system. They also have antioxidants that help fight cancer.
Since parsnips are quite starchy (like other root vegetables), only feed sparingly. You can give them raw as long as you slice them up into small digestible pieces, or you can cook them, which is preferred. Sometimes I will mash some parsnip and add it to my dog’s bowl as she enjoys the sweet taste.
Peas are safe for Golden Retrievers to eat and contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, and K. They also have fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and lutein (an antioxidant good for the skin, heart, and eyes).
Peas are starchy carbohydrates that are great for increasing energy levels. They make a great snack if you’re on a long walk or your dog is enduring high activity. They are also gentler on your dog’s digestive system than most other vegetables.
You can feed your dog fresh or frozen peas, but avoid the canned varieties, as they contain a lot of sodium and additives. I like to occasionally add peas to my dog’s meal, and I think they are a fantastic option.
Golden Retrievers can eat potatoes. They contain vitamins C and B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and many other nutrients, which are good for dogs. However, as they are high in carbs, feed them sparingly, especially if your dog is already struggling to control his weight.
Do not let your Golden Retriever eat raw potatoes (or if the potatoes are green) as they contain solanine, a toxic compound if consumed in high amounts. However, cooking potatoes reduces the amount of solanine, making them safe.
You can feed your Golden mashed, baked, or boiled potatoes without salt or butter. French fries and potato chips are absolutely off the menu as they are not healthy, either for you, me, or your doggo! Sweet potatoes are a superior option as they are way more nutritious.
Golden Retrievers can eat pumpkins. They are excellent for your dog because they are rich in fiber, vitamins A, E, C, potassium, iron, magnesium, beta carotene, and antioxidants that help promote overall heart health. They are also low in calories and sugar.
Pumpkin is one of the best vegetables recommended for digestion. The abundance of fiber absorbs water like a sponge and helps relieve diarrhea. It also helps if your dog is constipated because it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Don’t worry about pumpkin seeds, as dogs can eat these too. They contain a lot of healthy nutrients. They also act as a helpful insect deworming agent, as they have cucurbitin. This amino acid paralyzes and destroys worms and parasites from animals’ digestive systems, as shown in this study.
Both raw and cooked pumpkin is okay for your Golden Retriever. However, cooking is better for easier consumption.
Golden Retrievers can eat rhubarb (but not the leaves). It is an excellent source of vitamin K (which helps blood clot), vitamin C, calcium, and fiber. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial properties that help protect against disease and cancer.
Rhubarb leaves are poisonous to dogs. The leaves contain soluble calcium oxalate crystals and oxalic acid. When consumed in large enough doses, it can result in hypocalcemia, tremors, drooling, upset stomach, and renal failure.
However, if your Golden Retriever’s taste buds can endure a bit of rhubarb, you can feed the stalks raw, stew them, or bake them. As a child, I remember eating peeled pieces of rhubarb soaked in a pile of sugar to get rid of the sour taste!
Fun fact! So, does rhubarb belong in the veggie section? Although you often see rhubarb in jams and fruit pies, it is theoretically a vegetable!
Rutabaga & Turnip
Both Rutabaga and turnip are safe vegetables for your Golden Retriever to eat. They’re an excellent source of calcium, antioxidants, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. They are nutritious, low in calories, and are an excellent overall disease-fighting vegetable.
They can be eaten raw or cooked. However, your dog’s digestive system will prefer baked or mashed, and I’m sure you can’t remember the last time you ate a piece of a raw turnip, if ever! If feeding these veggies raw to your Golden Retriever, ensure you thoroughly wash them first to eliminate any leftover traces of bacteria or pesticides.
Golden Retrievers can eat spinach. This super nutritious food has lots of good qualities to benefit your dog. It is high in iron and provides fiber, vitamins A, B, C, and K, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, and antioxidants. It fights disease and is a known cancer fighter.
Although the food of Popeye, there is a little controversy about whether you should feed your dog spinach – a high dose of oxalic acid. Here’s what the American Kennel Club says:
“Spinach is very high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage.” However, “Many sources agree that a dog would have to eat very large quantities of spinach to cause damage.”American Kennel Club
So there you have it. Healthy dogs can efficiently process small amounts of dissolvable oxalates. Therefore, it’s relatively safe if you wish to give your Golden Retriever a little spinach. I recommend steaming the spinach first as this is the healthiest way of cooking to preserve all the goodness.
Golden Retrievers can eat sweet potatoes. They are great for your dog’s digestive system because they are high in dietary fiber. In addition to vitamins A, B6, and C, they are also rich in calcium, copper, thiamine, iron, folate, potassium, copper, and thiamine.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A for healthy skin and strong eye health. They are great for the overall health of your Golden Retriever, support the immune system, and reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
Because sweet potatoes are primarily starchy carbohydrates, if your dog is overweight, under-active, or diabetic, they are best avoided unless you give him very little. However, they are a healthier option than cooked white potatoes and are a popular vegetable in many dog foods.
You should peel and cook them first before feeding them to your dog. Sweet potatoes also hold their nutritional value better when steamed or boiled rather than baking.
All varieties of squash are safe for your Golden Retriever to eat. Squash is very nutritious and has many health benefits for dogs. It contains beta-carotene, fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, C, and K. It is excellent for the eyes, skin, bones, and immune system and helps fight certain diseases.
Like cucumber, squash is a fruit in principle, but as we use it as a vegetable, we’ll discuss it here. If your Golden Retriever enjoys the taste of pumpkin, then it goes without saying he’ll enjoy the naturally sweet taste of squash too.
It’s relatively low in sugar and calories, and the meaty part is easy for Golden Retrievers to digest as long as it’s cooked. If your dog suffers from diarrhea, a small amount of cooked pumpkin mixed into his regular food can help.
Please do not feed the peel as your dog can’t digest it. The seeds are not poisonous, but they’re a little tricky for your doggo, and beware of choking.
Golden Retrievers can eat zucchini. This veggie is nutrient-rich and includes fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. It is low in fat and cholesterol and is excellent for your Retriever’s eyes, bones, muscles, immune system, and general health.
Zucchini also belongs to the squash family, but it is generally easier to digest than most squashes. An excellent idea for the summer is to give your dog a thin slice of frozen zucchini. However, it’s preferable to steam or boil it to make it easier to chew and digest. Too much can cause excess gas!
Can Golden Retrievers Eat Vegetables?
So now you have the list of all the vegetables your dog can surely eat; you might also be wondering, should Golden Retrievers actually eat vegetables? Are they not just carnivores?
Golden Retrievers can eat vegetables and benefit from them in their diet. They provide an additional source of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Although dogs fall into the taxonomical order of Carnivora, they are deemed omnivores.
As shown in this study, dogs have adapted to eating plant-based foods over thousands of years of domestication and can digest more than 98% of the carbohydrates they consume. So they are not just carnivores.
Other main physiological factors that support the idea that your Golden Retriever can eat vegetables include dogs with broad flat molars capable of grinding up fibrous plants and smaller intestines than other known omnivores.
Vegetables can be a significant health boost for your Golden Retriever. They are low in calories and fat, so they’re perfect if your dog is overweight and needs to lose a few pounds. They also contain no cholesterol and have less sugar than fruits.
Remember to feed in moderation. Generally, a few small pieces a day will be just fine for your Golden. All treats should not add up to more than 10% of your dog’s total calories for the day.
Do you want to know what to feed your Retriever? Check out this article, Best Diet for Golden Retrievers: Nutrition, Types, and More!
Can Golden Retrievers be Vegetarian?
Vegetarianism in dogs is a controversial topic. There are strong views for either side and a wide range of opinions in between. But what are the facts? Can Golden Retrievers be vegetarian?
Golden Retrievers can be vegetarian as they are omnivores capable of digesting a meat-free diet. Most dogs can eat a vegetarian diet and thrive. However, careful planning with an expert canine nutritionist is essential to ensure your dog receives the proper nutrition to keep healthy.
How to Feed Vegetables to Dogs
Here are some guidelines on how to give your Retriever vegetables:
- Introduce vegetables slowly to avoid an upset stomach.
- Wash the vegetables first to eliminate dirt, bacteria, or residual pesticides.
- Cook veggies to aid digestion. I like to use a steamer.
- Don’t add salt or seasoning, as too much is bad for your dog.
- Give in small bite-sized pieces to prevent choking or stomach issues.
- You can feed frozen vegetables for convenience.
- Be vigilant of canned vegetables as many are high in sodium and other additives.
What Vegetables Can’t Golden Retrievers Eat?
If you plan to share vegetables with your dog, make sure you don’t give him anything you find on this list! These are vegetables that Golden Retrievers cannot eat because of their toxicity:
Onions, Shallots, Leeks, Chives & Garlic
Golden Retrievers should never eat shallots, onions, leeks, chives, and garlic as they are poisonous to most animals. They are allium family members, and the intake of toxic portions of these vegetables can damage red blood cells, making them more likely to burst and cause anemia.
Garlic is five times more poisonous than leeks and onions. If your Golden swallows a toxic dose, he may show vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, weakness, difficulty breathing, and collapse can occur.
Raw (or green) Potato
Raw (or green) potatoes contain solanine that can affect the nervous system of your Golden Retriever. This poison can also induce blurred vision, disrupt digestion, and slow heart rate. Peeled cooked potatoes are okay as the amount of solanine is substantially reduced during cooking. Green tomatoes are also in this category.
Although rhubarb plant stems are safe for your Golden Retriever, the leaves contain soluble oxalic acid, which is poisonous if ingested in sufficient quantities. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness, shaking, and, in severe cases, kidney failure can occur.
If you grow rhubarb at home, keep it enclosed and ensure your Golden is always accompanied in the garden area.
There are thousands of species of wild mushrooms, and many are deadly to dogs. If your Golden is wandering in the woods, don’t let him eat any! Mushroom poisoning in dogs can have serious consequences, including liver and kidney failure, confusion, convulsions, and in severe cases, death.
Mushrooms purchased in grocery stores are primarily safe if they are plain, without butter, garlic, or seasoning.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
We all love treating our dogs and trying something new, and veggies are a great option. At the start of this article, I promised to tell you about my dog’s favorites, so here goes; she loves carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, corn, and parsnips.
Here’s a reminder of some of the key takeaways from the article:
- Dogs can digest vegetables – they are omnivores.
- Many veggies are safe, but some are better than others.
- Experiment by feeding sparingly and little by little.
- Most vegetables are better served cooked to support digestion.
- Know the vegetables that are toxic to dogs.
- Always check with a veterinary professional if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s dietary health.