About beetroot

Better known in North America simply as beet, beetroot is the taproot of the beet plant. Today, we tend to think of it in terms of a salad ingredient or multi-functional pickling or dressing accompaniament. But beetroot has been used as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. It was grown by the ancient Greeks well over 2,000 years ago. And not for its root either. In fact believe it or not, before ever it was grown for its taproot, it was grown for the medicinal properties of its leaves. Those highly nutritious beetroots greens I’ve mentioned many times before. They knew a thing or two about medicine did those ancient Greeks. Not sure they knew about beetroot for dogs though!

Nutrients in beetroot

Beetroot is a rich source of vitamin B9, which is also known as folate or naturally occurring folic acid. It’s also a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. And it’s a good source of manganese, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sodium, magnesium and zinc.

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Benefits of beetroot

Beetroot offers dogs a number of health benefits. It’s been found to provide valuable cardiovascular support for dogs. It reduces blood pressure in dogs suffering from hypertension. It can also help improve a dog’s skin and coat and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Beetroot can be a beneficial occasional ingredient to feed to your dog. It’s also low in calories and rich in antioxidants.

How to feed your dog beetroot

Steam or lightly boil your dog’s beetroot. There’s no need to peel it. As with so many fruits and vegetables, most of the goodness lays close to the surface. Save time and goodness. Simply wash it if necessary and use the whole of the vegetable.

While you can feed your dog raw beetroot, lightly boiled or steamed will give your dog the maximum benefit. Shred or grate and sprinkle raw on top of your dog’s meal before serving or combine lightly boiled or steamed beetroot with the other ingredients of your dog’s food. Steam or lightly boil and mash for an occasional treat.

Don’t give your dog canned beetroot though. Canned beetroot can contain sodium and other additives harmful to dogs. And please, please don’t waste those leaves. Not only do I feed them to my dogs, I eat them too!

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.

6 Comments

  1. Alison Barder

    I found your article about Beetroot very helpful, thank you.
    My Irish Setter has nerve issues in his back end and legs – he stumbles. He is having some laser treatment which, I hoped, would help. Would nutrition help?
    He is 12 years old. He is fed raw food, only. He eats raw bones and dried tripe as treats.

    Reply
    • Gerald Pepin, The Canine Nutritionist

      Hi Alison, Sorry to hear about your dog’s degenerative myelopathy. In terms of nutrition I would definitely add salmon oil to his diet and fruit and vegetables that may help reduce inflammation.

      Reply
  2. KATHLEEN GUZAUSKAS

    My dog suffers from acute large intestine inflammation. He poops many times a day and I thought beet powder on his food may help. Any other suggestions?

    Reply
  3. Otilia

    I am growing beets this year in my garden and my plan was to dehydrate the beets and turn them into powder. I was going to use the powder to add color to my home-made dog treats. I don’t think I will use a lot of powder at a time, I am thinking 1 teaspoon of powder for 3 cups of flour. Is using beet powder in this form harm my dogs?

    Reply

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