German Shepherds can eat a variety of vegetables such as asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, chickpea, corn, cauliflower, potato, and so on.
They bring the same benefits to them as they do to us humans such as providing all the necessary nutrients and helping in overcoming dehydration or GI problems.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should dole out a plate of salad for your dog’s meals each time, said Sarah Ashley of PureWow. Dogs are omnivorous and “not vegan”. You can also check my list of fruits that german shepherds can eat.
Regarding the selection of a vegetable, a German Shepherd can eat vegetables such as artichoke, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, carrot, chickpea, green beans, parsley, cooked potatoes, and more.
However, you should avoid feeding it amaranth, breadfruit, borage, broad beans, caper, tomatillo, caper, and lemongrass, among others.
Therefore, you must heed the list of safe and unsafe vegetables that I’ve created after careful deliberation.
Vegetables that a German Shepherd can eat.
Make a list of these vegetables because they are safe for your dog. However, make sure you read thoroughly because some parts of a vegetable may not be safe. You’ll have to remove them.
According to Rover, artichoke is safe for dogs, including your German Shepherd. It’s filled with vitamin C, potassium, niacin, folic acid, and antioxidants.
All of these phytonutrients bolster the immune system, thus, providing an efficient disease-fighting mechanism. Moreover, the metabolism gets improved so much that the dog may experience fewer IBS symptoms.
Arugula is a leafy green and much like them, it is safe for consumption by your dog. The vitamins such as B, C, and K present help in blood clotting, maintaining a good coat, and more, while the minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron present an overall benefit for the dog’s health.
The highlight here is chlorophyll, which according to Masterclass, offers great help in detoxifying canine blood.
Asparagus is not toxic for dogs, AKC says. Instead, it bestows them with the benefits of copper, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins B9, K, A, C, and E.
These nutrients improve the German Shepherd’s dental health, immunity, blood composition, brain, and nervous functionalities, and so on.
However, it’s best to prepare the vegetable thoroughly before feeding the dog. Otherwise, you may see your dog suffering from GI-related issues.
Rover recommends beets for the health and well-being of your GSD’s coat. That’s not all. Vitamin C, manganese, potassium, folate, and fiber also improve its digestive system, thus, helping the dog’s bowel movements and reducing IBS symptoms.
Beets also provide nutrients for the improvement of the immunity system.
4. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers have a lot of vitamin C, which makes it a game of choosing or discarding them for a German Shepherd. But fed in moderation, bell peppers offer vitamins A and E with loads of antioxidants.
These make a good case for improving the dog’s eyesight and immune system.
5. Bok Choy
Bok Choy is Chinese cabbage with the goodness of vitamins A and K, says MasterClass. These support the dog’s eyesight and heart. For German Shepherds suffering from some sort of heart condition, Bok Choy could be a good choice.
But do feed it in moderation because too much of it may lead to indigestion.
Unseasoned broccoli offers benefits for the fur, eyes, immunity, and weight management of your GSD. These goodnesses are because of the vitamin C, fiber, and low fat. If your dog’s on a diet, you may consider adding broccoli to its diet.
Mind you, though, do not overfeed.
7. Brussels Sprouts
Just as broccoli, brussels sprouts are also loaded with vitamins and minerals that aid in improving the overall health of your dog. However, it’s the low fat and calories that make them a worthy selection for dogs undergoing weight loss.
8. Butternut Squash
According to Rover, dogs shouldn’t be fed raw butternut squash for reasons about their gastrointestinal health. When fed cooked and tender, it offers vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, calcium, and magnesium to improve your German Shepherd’s immunity, bone and teeth health, and nervous coordination.
Feed your dog butternut squash with other things recommended by your bet if it’s suffering from dehydration because according to MasterClass, it’s four-fifths of water.
Cardoons are packed with vitamins B-complex and C with plenty of antioxidants and phytonutrients such as sodium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and so on.
Expect your dog’s immunity; muscle and nervous coordination; heart and blood vessel health to improve after eating cardoon for quite some time.
Cabbage maintains the energy levels of your GSD along with providing necessary minerals for bone and dental health. They are vitamin C and K, manganese, and potassium.
Carrots are the number 1 source of vitamin A, fiber, and potassium with loads of other minerals and vitamins.
The vitamin A abundance in this vegetable makes it ideal for GSDs’ vision, cell growth, repair, and fur health. According to Wagwalking, dogs need to have this vitamin throughout their lives, otherwise, they won’t function properly.
Chickpeas are small, so you have to be careful that they don’t cause choking hazards when fed raw. HealthyPawsPetInsurance.com advises cooking them well before feeding them to the dog.
When you do that, it will have vitamins B, A, and C, with protein magnesium, fiber, and folate.
Chickpeas are a source of Phyto protein.
Chicory gets added to dog food for its prebiotic abilities. Your German Shepherd will have a gentle bowel movement as a result. The digestion will improve too since there will be no shortage of good bacteria working on the food you feed your dog.
Cauliflower is a potential source of vitamins K and C. They help in improving the dog’s skin, fur, and heart health. Adding to that, calcium, potassium, and folate act as essential nutrients, improving muscle and nervous coordination, liver health, immunity, and more.
Celery is yet another vegetable for weight loss for your dog. It’s low in fat and cholesterol and a vital source of vitamins A, K, and C, along with manganese, folate, and potassium.
According to CanDogsEatIt.com, celeriac has anti-inflammatory properties. This will pay off if your dog has been through some kind of injury or allergic reaction.
With that, the vegetable is also low in calories, thus, helping your GSD lose weight easily and faster.
Read: Best shock collar for German Shepherd
Cowpeas are also called black-eyed peas. Just as regular peas, they are a rich source of plant protein. The high fiber content helps your pooch keep his blood sugar levels checked. At the same time, they have high carbs. So, you may want to feed them in moderation.
AKC terms cucumbers as perfectly safe for dogs, including your GSD. It is a low-calorie treat that cheers them up in summer or winter. Freeze them or feed them raw, cucumbers will never add to the fat layers because it has about 8 calories per 1.5 cups of slices.
Corn has fiber for the dog’s gut health, antioxidants to remove toxins from its blood, vitamin E and beta carotene to support its immune system, and vitamin A to get that cell growth kicking for good skin and fur.
At the same time, however, corn could cause choking. So, ensure that you either feed them in moderation or mesh them into a paste after boiling.
Have a pup suffering from gas or flatulence? Fennel will take care of that. Besides, it has vitamins C, A, iron, potassium, and calcium to give your dog an overall health benefit.
More than that, however, I want you to feed your dog fennel to get rid of its bad breath.
Dogtime says that Kohlrabi has vitamins C and B to improve your GSD’s immune system. More than that, the importance of this vegetable lies in improving the digestive system because of its high fiber content.
Feed your dog eggplant with caution because it doesn’t go well with all of them. Their personal preference counts more when it comes to this vegetable.
But those who like it reap the benefits of vitamins B6 and K with niacin, potassium, and loads of other phytonutrients.
Those who don’t, however, when fed forcibly may suffer from rashes.
23. Green Beans
Green beans are another rich source of plant protein. They also have minerals such as iron and calcium that work to improve your GSD’s dental and bone health while maintaining a healthy flow of red blood cells.
Vitamins A, C, B6, and K also make up much of the vegetables. But the most likable feature is its low calories that altogether serve to help the dog’s weight management.
24. Lotus Root
Lotus root, although not readily available, improves a German Shepherd’s immunity with vitamin C and antioxidant reserves and maintains healthy blood circulation with potassium.
The fiber content is enough in the vegetable for easy digestion and bowel movements.
Lettuce should be a go-to vegetable for dogs that are suffering from dehydration or are overweight. According to AKC, it has 90% water, which makes it essentially a good snack to bring back the water levels in your pooch. This reduces the calories in the vegetable and that’s why you see the weight of your dog managed well.
Okra has vitamin C, B-complex, magnesium, folic acid, and calcium to support your dog’s metabolism, nervous and immune systems, muscle coordination, bone and teeth health, and more.
Peas are included in dog food more often than not because of their protein content and fiber. Of course, they are also laden with phytonutrients and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron that aid the overall health of your dog.
The highlight, however, is lutein, which improves skin, eye, and heart health, according to Rover.
Besides bell peppers, other types of peppers are safe for dogs, including German Shepherds. They have an abundance of vitamins A, E, and C along with antioxidants.
Red peppers are especially considered worthy for the dog’s immune system because they have more of these nutrients than other peppers, according to ThePetGourmet.
Rover says that parsnips are ideal for dogs suffering from kidney diseases because they have nutrients that support optimal kidney function. Besides this, folic acid, potassium, and vitamins C and B6 aid in better functioning of the dog’s nervous and digestive systems.
Filled with vitamins C, K, and A, parsley is as safe as any other safe vegetable on this list. It helps in keeping the vision, fur, skin, and immunity of a dog healthy.
31. Potato (cooked)
Potatoes contain all the good things such as vitamins B6, and C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They keep the stomachs full for longer and therefore, they mean a lot for dogs on a diet.
However, unripe potatoes are not recommended at all because they may cause food poisoning. Make sure you feed the dog ripe and cooked potatoes. Do not add any seasoning and also avoid fries.
According to PetWebMD, feeding pumpkin to your German Shepherd will improve his digestion because of the presence of plenty of fiber. Moreover, it will also relay vitamins A, E, and C along with potassium and iron.
Radicchio is loaded with vitamin K to make your GSD’s bones and teeth stronger. It has folate for the sustained production of red blood cells. Dogs going through anemia could benefit from this, according to CanDogsEatIt.com. The dietary fiber, of course, brings tidings to the digestive system.
Dogtime labels rutabaga, or cabbage turnips safe for dogs, including GSDs. They have essential vitamins and non-essential phytonutrients to give your dog’s immunity the necessary boost. Some of these also help in breaking down fat and therefore, protecting against weight gain.
Radish is non-toxic only when fed in moderation. The goodness of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium work to improve gut health, cell repair, energy levels, and immunity. But increase the consumption and your dog will face GI problems.
If you want to improve your German Shepherd’s immune response, bone and teeth health, metabolism, and overall health, then feeding him salsify will pay off.
Make sure you cook it well before feeding it to the dog.
37. Squash Blossoms
Squash has low calories, which makes it ideal for dogs dealing with weight-related problems. The high fiber content takes gut health to newer levels. But it’s the vitamins and nutrients that make it worthwhile.
According to Myollie’s blog, squash contains beta carotenes. It also has vitamin A and potassium that render a combined health effect on the dog. It also tastes sweeter, so not many dogs can avoid it. If your GSD is a fussy eater, choosing squash would make sense.
Spinach is one of the vegetables that you’ll want to feed the GSD in moderation and with care. It isn’t toxic when fed a few times but frequent feeding could lead to calcium extraction from the dog’s bones and bloodstream, thus, leading to renal failure. The oxalic acid is to be blamed for that, according to AKC.
Potassium, fiber, folic acid, good fatty acids, lysine, and other nutrients make soybeans “the benevolent bean” because it bestows your German Shepherd with all their goodness. Expect the dog to have improved digestion, blood circulation, protein synthesis, nervous coordination, and so on!
40. Sweet Potatoes
PETMD designated sweet potatoes or yams as one of the rich sources of all the essential phytonutrients such as vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, iron, and calcium. They all come together to improve the dog’s eyesight, coat, production of red blood cells, muscle coordination, nervous coordination, and a lot more.
Again, make sure that you cook them well and not feed them raw potatoes.
41. Sweet Corn
Sweet corn is used by dog food companies in their products as a filler. That means it satisfies hunger quite well. So, if you have got an insatiable beast for a dog, you may want to take help from sweet corn. Besides, the added benefits of protein, carbs, antioxidants, and linoleic acid are there too!
Linoleic acid prevents lesions on a dog’s skin. It’s an omega-6 fatty acid, according to Scielo.
42. Snake Gourd
Snake gourd contains vitamins A, C, and B with a good amount of iron, magnesium, iodine, and potassium. This is by far the only vegetable on this list that has iodine.
However, gourds are also tough on the stomach when fed raw. Therefore, avoid that at all costs if you don’t want the dog to face digestive issues that may lead to dehydration.
Cook them nicely. Cooking gives them a sweeter taste that dogs such as German Shepherds love.
According to Rawbistro, squash is filled with important vitamins C, A, and B6. There’s folate also with potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. These keep the skin hydrated, digestion improved, coat shiny, and muscles stronger.
Turnips are a godsend for dogs that are suffering from kidney diseases. They have a phytonutrient that stimulates the organ’s function as per Rover.
That’s not all, folic acid is responsible for maintaining a good production of red blood cells, vitamins B6 and C are there to get the cell repair and nerve coordination checked and magnesium to facilitate energy transfer for efficient muscle movement.
Tomatoes provide folate for blood cell production, vitamin C for cell repair and good coat health, vitamin K for efficient blood clotting because prothrombin is dependent on it, and plenty of antioxidants to keep the body of your GSD free from radicals.
However, the tomatoes should be ripe and only fed a small amount occasionally. Unripe tomatoes, as you’ll read, have tomatine and solanine, both of which are notorious for causing allergic reactions.
Zucchini has phytonutrients but the low calories that make it a star among vegetables suitable for dogs. According to AKC, one cup of raw zucchini contains 20 calories!
So feed your dog raw, cooked, or steamed zucchini and he’ll love it. But do not add additional seasoning to keep it away from BP and weight gain, not to mention toxicity from onions and garlic.
What vegetables can german shepherds not eat?
Some vegetables are harmful to a dog and that does not leave out your German Shepherd. Certain phytonutrients present in them cause that harm, which could be as small as a sneeze but as serious as renal failure or anemia.
Here’s a list of vegetables you should avoid at all costs.
Amaranth greens have oxalates that are notorious for extraditing calcium from the bones and bloodstream of dogs of all breeds and depositing it in the kidneys.
Acute deposition leads to kidney stones but when the kidneys absorb the calcium oxalate, renal failure occurs.
Wagwalking terms borage as “not good for dogs” because they have phytochemicals that cause respiratory problems, rashes, and stomach upsets, which all can lead to death if they are left untreated.
You may want to call the vet asap if you think your German Shepherd has eaten borage.
Breadfruit is a plain irritant for the intestines of your GSD. It will cause stomach distress, pain, gas, and whatnot. Avoid!
4. Broad Beans
Also called fava beans, broad beans do not go well with the digestive system of canines. Whether baked, cooked, or steamed, they will still irritate, thus, messing up the bowel movements, and causing vomiting, diarrhea, and debilitating pain.
Tomatillo belongs to the nightshade family, according to CanDogsEatIt.com. They have alkaloids that are predominantly harmful to German Shepherds and other breeds. A common alkaloid called solanine causes solanine poisoning that’s characterized by cramps, stomach issues, a burning sensation in the throat, heart-related problems, breathing difficulties, and more.
Capers are available in brine solutions. They are solutions filled with salt that’s beyond the capacity of dogs to consume. Excessive salt content leads to excessive thirst and thus, excessive drinking, which in turn, leads the dog to urinate frequently. Frequent urination further exacerbates the condition by lowering water levels in the dog’s body, leading to dehydration.
While the German Shepherd isn’t a small dog, it still is intolerant to high salt content, so keep caper away from it.
7. Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle as the name suggests is poisonous to K9s. Your GSD will experience extreme salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, muscle twitching, and uncoordinated movements. Physical symptoms such as itching, redness, and inflammation will also arise.
Wagwalking deems this vegetable highly toxic for dogs. It comes with high calcium oxalate content – the same compound that’s a culprit when it comes to the extraction of calcium from the GSD’s body. Your dog’s kidneys will take a toll and may end up dysfunctional, thus, leading to death.
Lemongrass is only poisonous when a dog such as your German Shepherd ingests it in large amounts. After that, it’ll experience the symptoms of cyanogenic glycoside poisoning, according to MasterClass. They include labored breathing, fever, and GI complications.
Taro contains calcium oxalates in high quantities. These mess up the kidneys, causing renal failure when absorption takes place. It doesn’t matter if you cook taro or feed it raw, the effects will still be there.
Kale has vitamins A, C, E, and B6. It also comes loaded with manganese, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium, phosphorus, thiamin, and riboflavin. But it also contains oxalates that may lead to kidney and bladder stones.
12. Young Tomatoes
Unripe tomatoes contain solanine and tomatine which causes solanine toxicity. Your dog may experience lethargy, confusion, arrhythmic heartbeats, and vomiting after eating them.
Death Cap and Fly Agaric are two varieties of mushrooms that do not go well with the digestive system of dogs. In some cases, they may even be fatal.
Garlic of the allium family has phytonutrients that upset your German Shepherd’s stomach to a greater degree. Frequent pooping and vomiting are some of those signs. The main culprit is thiosulfate.
These belong to the allium family also. Therefore, avoid them at all costs. Here, too, thiosulfate wreaks havoc with the dog’s stomach.
16. Corn on the cob
While corn or sweet corn is used as fillers in dog food and they are generally safe when fed in moderation, when they are on the cob, vets don’t recommend them. The sole reason is that a dog such as a GSD may end up choking on the cob.
Leeks also have thiosulfate that besides creating GI symptoms causes anemia in dogs. This compound ruptures red blood cells, causing them to burst in great numbers.
Can German Shepherds Eat Vegetables? Do They Really Need Them?
According to PetMD, treats should not make up more than 10% of the dog’s diet. They include vegetables that are fed as treats.
The list of veggies you read about above all deliver the phytonutrients mentioned. However, their portions should not be increased because doing that will not increase the benefits. In fact, you may have a dog experience GI symptoms. Even safe vegetables may become harmful then.
Besides nutrients, veggies as treats also benefit your German Shepherd in other ways.
Fewer Calories for Overweight Dogs
Dog food companies already use fillers in their products. They keep the weight under control. But if your dog has gone beyond the healthy thresholds, you may want to add low-calorie veggies to their diet.
Many vets recommend adding grated carrots or well-cooked potatoes.
Veggies Have Fiber
Dietary fiber hardens stool. It is available in the kibble but the dog may contract diarrhea anytime soon because of multiple reasons. Adding fiber-laden veggies to the kibble will only help them. For example, vets recommend pumpkin as a laxative. Adding a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree to the kibble will allow water absorption from diarrhea, turning it into a hard stool.
How To Feed Your German Shepherd Vegetables?
Preparing vegetables for your GSD differs from how you prepare them for yourself.
For one, you shouldn’t use any seasoning. The veggies have to be either cooked or raw but properly treated for any microscopic miscreants both ways.
Make sure you don’t miss the complete dog feeding guide on my website.
Here are the ways you could use to prepare the veggies in the right way:
1. Blanch Them
Soak the veggies in boiling water for at least 10 minutes followed by immersion in cold water.
This way, they will get tender but their taste and nutrition will remain intact.
Not all vegetables can be scalded. It depends on the hardness of the veggie, in the first place.
So, carrots may be hard to blanch but yams may not be.
Simple boiling until the vegetable is tender is the easiest way to go. However, make sure that you remove all the toxic parts of a vegetable before doing so. Even a small amount of the chemicals from those parts left in the water could cause seepage to the good parts.
You should steam the veggies that do not get blanched easily. This way, you’ll ensure that they are tender and also devoid of any germs.
4. Making A Puree
After all the steps of blanching, steaming, or cooking, make sure to make a puree because that’s the easiest way for the dog to consume vegetables.
As I said earlier, adding two to three tablespoons of pumpkin will help alleviate all the GI symptoms.
Moreover, if you want to know how much and how often you should feed your german shepherd, follow my previous guide.
What Vegetables Can German Shepherds Eat? Conclusion
German Shepherds like other dogs can eat some vegetables, while others are toxic for them.
To understand which ones are safe, consult the list I’ve shared above and the same goes for unsafe veggies. Even some safe veggies have a few parts that may not go well with the GSD! Always consult your vet before going for those.