What Vegetables Can Golden Retrievers Eat?
Dog Care Tips · Dog Feeding Guide

Ultimate List of Vegetables That Golden Retrievers Can and Can’t Eat?

Last Updated/Info Checked on February 17, 2023 by Linda Michaels

Vegetables are a great source of nutrition for Golden Retrievers and can add to the balanced diet by providing all the essential macro and micronutrients.

Golden Retrievers can eat some vegetables such as cauliflower, celery, cucumber, Brussels, kale, spinach, potatoes, etc in a variety of ways. On the other hand, you should avoid some veggies that are toxic, for example, mushrooms, garlic, rhubarb, etc.

You can also feed your golden retrievers some selected fruits if you want to keep their diet vary.

Why Should You Feed Your Golden Retriever Vegetables?

Veggies are nutritious for a number of reasons, they provide:


Vegetables are rich in both fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) and water-soluble (B, C) vitamins. They fulfill a dog’s daily requirements, removing the need for any added supplements.


Proteins, essential fats, and carbohydrates are all supplied by vegetables in adequate quantities for a pooch’s sustenance, reducing the addition of processed cereals and other food items for calories.


Fibers are important for a healthy digestive tract as they allow for the stool to be bulky and pass easily through the gut.

Carrots, cucumbers, apples, cauliflowers, etc are all filled with fibers and help in digestion.


These include elements like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium that are essential at the cellular level for a multitude of functions, and a lack of these can cause a number of illnesses.


Antioxidants are chemicals that detoxify the body from harmful substances and protect against chemical damage.

These include vitamins C and E along with many other compounds. Fresh green veggies are full of antioxidants.

All these together lead to

Reduced Aging 

Cellular aging is slowed by anti-oxidants and this is particularly visible in the skin that shows adequate hydration, turgor, and tightness. 

Reduce Morbidity And Mortality

A diet based on plants leads to reduced risks of cardiovascular illnesses and protects against cancerous mutations. Hence it reduces morbidity and mortality from these major causes.

Help Maintaining Healthy Weight

Foods that are rich in fiber lead to satiety without giving extra calories. This allows dogs to maintain a healthy weight without feeling hungry.

Keeps The Mood Elevated

Healthy calories also prevent depression and anxiety by elevating mood and regulating neurochemicals at normal levels.

Keeps The Dog Active And Fit

By providing sufficient calories while maintaining a healthy weight, vegetables keep the dog active and increase its energy potential and endurance.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the vegetables that you can give to your Golden Retriever:

Vegetables That Are Good For Golden Retrievers:

Here are:

1. Carrots

Carrots can be given raw or cooked, as an isolated snack or part of a multiple veggie treat. Goldies love carrots and will eat them in all the ways possible.

These are rich in fibers that help in the passage of food along the digestive tract.

Vitamin A is present in the form of Beta-Carotene which is utilized in the vision cycle, a lot of biology here but the crux is, it is good for healthy vision.

I used to give raw carrots to my pups during teething and they loved to chew on them. 

2. Cucumber

Most of the weight of a cucumber is due to its water content which helps in hydration.

On average, one cucumber provides mere 20 calories and the remainder is non-digestible fibers that aid in the digestive process while keeping the cholesterol and fat levels to a minimum.

3. Asparagus

Asparagus contains antioxidants in the form of vitamins E and C that help in detoxification. The iron content stabilizes hemoglobin levels in the dog while the Vitamin B content is required for cellular function.

I prefer cooked Asparagus over raw as it is sometimes hard for dogs to chew at it but this also lowers its nutritious value.

4. Beets

Beets are nutritious for Golden Retrievers as they contain iron and magnesium along with vitamins. This helps in maintaining red blood cells in the body and also aids the immune system. 

Being rich in oxalate means that you can only give them in small quantities as they can form kidney stones together with calcium, plus, decreasing calcium’s absorption through the gut.

5. Peas

I like peas and so do the Golden Retrievers I’ve had, they are versatile in the number of dishes they can be a part of.

Peas provide potassium, vitamin C and B6 along with fibers. Their caloric content is minimal so these are good for maintaining a healthy weight as well.

6. Eggplant

Aka Aubergine, Eggplants go with a lot of other vegetables in dishes and add to their iron, vitamin C, and magnesium content. 

However, speaking from experience, not all dogs like eggplants so you would need to do some experimentation before making it a regular part of your pooch’s diet.

7. Cauliflower

With calcium, potassium, and vitamins C, cauliflowers are great for your dog’s bones and muscles. Also, the fiber content helps regulate cholesterol.

You need to be careful with this vegetable as it may lead to the formation of gas in your dog’s belly, so first check with a small dose before giving your pooch a full meal.

8. Cabbage

These green balls of leaves are rich in fiber and vitamin C so help regulate cholesterol and control skin aging. Vitamin C also improves a dog’s immunity.

One thing to note is that cabbage, like cauliflower, can produce excess gas. You need to start with a small amount to see if your pooch can handle it before giving a bigger meal.

9. Kale

Another green leafy vegetable, kale combine the nutritious values of vitamins(C, E, K) with the added low-calorie benefit. Also, it is rich in fiber content to aid in smooth digestion.

Too much kale can lead to hypothyroidism but rest assured, it is safe in smaller quantities.

10. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are soft and absorb a lot of water in the gut, thus making them an excellent choice for dogs with diarrhea. 

They are also rich in vitamins A, and E and fibers with low fats and sugars.

I prefer cooked Pumpkins over raw ones as these are easier to digest.

11. Potatoes

Potatoes are not just a great source of calories but also give iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6. 

However, they contain Solanine, a compound that is toxic in large quantities. But it gets reduced when Potatoes are cooked so it is better to give your GR cooked potatoes.

12. Turnip

Another vegetable that is rich in vitamin C with added quantities of iron and magnesium, Turnips can be eaten in a lot of ways. 

You can add them to salads, give them directly as boiled turnips or have them smashed as puppy gruel. 

13. Rhubarb

When given only the stalks, Rhubarb is an excellent source of electrolytes and vitamins. It has vitamin K which helps in blood clots and vitamin C which is both an anti-oxidant and improves immunity.

Thus, Rhubarb has both anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. 

The leaves of this plant should be avoided as they contain oxalic acid that leads to renal stones when consumed with calcium.

14. Spinach

Just like Popeye, Spinach can make your dog healthy and strong when eaten in moderation with other vegetables.

It contains vitamins A, B, and C along with calcium and folate. Hence, it is good for the eyes, skin, muscles, bone, and cartilage. 

However, its oxalate content makes it dangerous when eaten in large quantities due to the risk of hypocalcemia(low calcium levels) and renal stones. 

15. Sweet Potatoes

The number of nutrients in Sweet Potatoes is insane. They contain calcium, copper, iron, folate, potassium, and thiamine. These electrolytes help maintain the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, and immune systems.

Also, Sweet Potatoes provide fibers that aid in digestion. However, they come with carbohydrates, making them not an ideal choice for weight reduction but they can be used in moderate quantities.

I like to boil and then peel them before I put them into pieces to feed my dogs. You can also go with baking or steaming sweet potatoes.

16. Rutabaga

Rutabaga’s properties are similar to Turnips and provide folate and calcium along with vitamins. 

It is better to give your dog boiled and smashed Rutabaga as compared to raw as it is easier to digest this way.

17. Lettuce

For those who confuse Lettuce with Cabbage, don’t worry you’re not alone. Lettuce contains similar nutrients as cabbage but in relatively low amounts due to the fact that about 90% of it is water.

This helps in keeping the dog hydrated and feeling full so use it during a weight loss regimen or mix it with more caloric foods.

18. Zucchini

Belonging to the squash family, zucchini is soft and fiber filled but also has zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and vitamin A.

You can boil and cut them into smaller pieces for serving but I prefer frozen zucchini that I give my GRs in summer to have a lighter tummy.

19. Corn

Corn is excellent for a moderate caloric diet that gives satiety. It provides fibers, antioxidants, proteins, and vitamin C. 

For Golden Retrievers, I suggest boiling the cob, removing the softened kernels, and then serving them separately as dogs can sometimes chew on cobs getting choked.

You can also add boiled corn to other vegetables in the form of mush or gruel. But avoid canned corn as they contain preservatives that are unhealthy.

20. Brussels

Brussels sprouts are good for Golden Retrievers but only in moderation.

They are a great source of vitamin K and fibers that help regulate blood clotting and digestion respectively.

Too much Brussels can cause flatulence so that’s why it is recommended only in small quantities.

21. Green Beans

Green beans are something that almost every dog likes and are nutritious as well. They contain antioxidants and fibers along with electrolytes. 

They are low in fat and can be used when trying to make your pooch lose some weight without feeling hungry all the time as they aid in satiety as well.

You can serve them by boiling and chopping them. They also go well in a mixture of other vegetables.

22. Broccoli

This greenish vegetable gives a dog many nutrients while being low in fats. Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C along with fiber, and folic acid.

Thus maintaining healthy skin, immune and nervous systems.

Like Brussels, too much of it can cause flatulence so be careful the amount you give your pooch.

23. Artichokes

Rich in potassium, iron, and magnesium, Artichokes provide good minerals to the dog. Calcium helps in building bones while its vitamin C content helps regulate cell growth and aging.

It also has iron that forms the heme part of hemoglobin, the compound that transports oxygen around the body thus improving tissue oxygenation.

Their taste is not something your GRs will be a fan of so you might try small quantities mixed with other fruits and veggies.

24. Parsnips

Parsnips are rich in Folic acid, a vitamin that is essential for the nervous system. You can add it to veggie salads as raw slices or cook them for better digestibility. Parsnips also contain vitamins C and B6. 

25. Bell Peppers

Golden Retrievers can easily eat bell peppers. They are nutritious and are not too spicy for your pooch. 

Being rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, they slow the aging process and have anti-cancer properties. Vitamin A content allows for better eyesight and the fact that these are 90% water means your dog won’t have dehydration issues.

The way that I prefer is to remove their seeds and stems, then steam them for a while before I present the slices mixed with other veggies in a salad.

You can also serve them raw but most GRs find it hard to chew bell peppers due to their strange textures.

26. Butternut Squash

Squash resembles a pumpkin in its consistency and taste. Being easy on the tummy, it suits every dog especially when they’re having diarrhea. The fiber content gives bulk to the stool.

It also provides potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

27. Celery

This long greenish stalk-like vegetable has essentially 0 calories while is high in fibers, giving bulk to the pooch’s stool.

Also, celery provides vitamins A, B, C, and K and phosphorus, required to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and heart.

Being low in fats and cholesterol helps in weight loss for obese GRs. 

Apigenin is a compound that is found in celery, chamomile, and parsley that has been found to be anti-cancerous in nature.

28. Yams

Golden Retrievers can have yams as they are rich in fiber and carbs. This makes them easy to digest and provides adequate calories for the dog.

Also, they have some quantities of proteins that help in maintaining muscle mass.

Compounds called tannins can be toxic to your pooch causing decreased feed and these are a part of yams.

The Good news is, you can remove them easily by boiling and cooking yams.

29. Edamame

These greenish beans cover a wide variety of nutrients. Edamame has proteins that aid in maintaining healthy muscles and skin.

The carbohydrates provide calories for day-to-day work and the small quantities of fat help regulate subcutaneous fat.

The best way I like to serve them is to add the beans to a veggie salad after I have boiled them properly with a pinch of salt.

30. Radicchio

Radicchio is loaded with vitamin K to make your GR’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.

31. Tomatoes(In Moderation)

Tomatoes are a great source of water and electrolytes with very few calories. Their unique taste adds to the flavor of other vegetables when given together.

As with other oxalate-rich veggies, tomatoes given in excess can form calcium oxalate stones in the kidneys leading to severe pain, infection, and renal impairment.

Also, this reduces the circulating calcium in the dog’s blood causing hypocalcemia that can cause muscle twitching and nerve dysfunction.

How to Prepare Veggies for Golden Retrievers?

Vegetables are treats for Golden Retrievers when they are given in a more digestible and easy-to-chew manner. You should know what are the different ways that you can serve a vegetable so that it doesn’t become mundane.

1. Purée

This is when you make a paste of a fruit or vegetable by blending, crushing, or pressing. The thick paste becomes easy to eat and digest.

Leafy veggies like spinach can be pureed just as they are while it is better to soften the root veggies like carrots by boiling them so that it’s not too old to be made into a paste.

2. Steamed

Steaming is easy and it does not affect the nutritional contents of food yet still softens it to a more chewable level.

You can simply use a steaming basket for vegetables and you do not need to be an expert in it.

3. Frozen

Any home freezer can be used to store your already-cooked vegetables. This allows them to be ready to use when you don’t have the time and energy to cook.

Also, frozen veggies are a great treat in summer months when given at a cooler temperature than the environment.

4. Blanched

During Blanching, you cook your veggies in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes, then you put them into ice-cold water. What it does is stop the enzyme actions responsible for degrading the nutritional contents and flavor in food.

Also, this removes any surface-level microorganisms and dirt, making the veggies safer to eat as well.

5. Raw

Many dogs enjoy eating vegetables like celery, carrots, peas, etc raw because they are soft and juicy, cooking them lessens their taste.

Also, Raw carrots help remove plaque so this added benefit is also lost with cooking. 

Vegetables that Golden Retrievers Can’t Eat

Being a vegetable doesn’t mean it will always be good for your dog because some veggies are toxic and can make your dog ill. 

1. Avocados

Many dogs are sensitive to the compound Persin that is present in avocados and this leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Hence, all parts of avocados should be avoided.

Interesting Fact: Although openly mentioned as vegetables, avocados are technically a fruit. They are mentioned here for your convenience.

2. Nutmeg

Myrysticin is a chemical that is found in nutmegs with the potential of causing tremors and seizures in dogs.

3. Unripe Tomatoes

Dogs come across unripened tomatoes in homes where people grow their own tomatoes. The green, unripe tomatoes contain Tomatine, a compound capable of damaging the kidneys and digestive tract.

Hence, these should be avoided from a pooch’s reach. 

4. Mushrooms

There are literally thousands of mushroom species out there it is almost impossible for us to differentiate the edible ones from the toxic ones.

Many of them contain poisons that can lead to acute liver and kidney failure leading to death. Some cause the pooch to get diarrhea with nausea and vomiting.

5. Onions

Onions contain sulfur that some dogs can be allergic to. This can lead to an inflammatory reaction presenting as skin rash, diarrhea, bloating, etc.

Can golden retrievers survive with veg food?

Goldies can surely live on a strictly vegetarian diet as it contains all the essential nutrients and calories that are needed for everyday life. 

However, you would need to know the nuances that come with a veg diet and how to make it less mundane.

For example, vegetables are alkaline while meat is acidic. Together they balance each other out. A diet solely based on plants or animals for that matter can lead to pH shifts leading to conditions like renal stones.

Similarly, a plant-based diet may affect the gut flora which is essential for providing vitamin K.

You can learn more about these details from your pet nutritionist and get a personalized diet plan for your pooch based on its age. 

Can Goldies Eat Veggies Every Day?

Yes, GRs can have vegetables every day. The way I like it is to have them constitute about 20-40% of their diet, the rest being dog food, and meat.

This way I do not miss any nutrient that is essential while keeping the food tasty and more enjoyable.

But the exact percentage would differ among owners, for example, rawbistro recommends a percentage less than 25%.

Wrapping Up – Conclusion

Vegetables are a great source of macro and micronutrients for Golden Retrievers and there are a lot of them that GRs can eat and enjoy. However, some can be toxic and need to be avoided altogether. Make sure you understand how much and how often should you feed your Golden Retriever before feeding it anything.

Read the article to know about these and the various ways you can serve your pooch vegetables.

Sources: https://www.lovethegarden.com/uk-en/article/12-fruits-and-vegetables-are-toxic-dogs

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