What are leafy greens?

Leafy greens are the leaves of any of a variety of loose-leafed plants. These can include kale, spinach, collard greens and pak choi. They can also include dandelion greens, turnip greens and Swiss chard. They are amongst the healthiest vegetables you can possibly feed your dog. I am a great believer in leafy greens for dogs. Most of the meals I could for my dogs include at least one of the aforementioned leafy greens.

Nutrients in leafy greens

Due to their photosynthetic tissues, leafy greens contain large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for your dog’s bone health and for its blood clotting and wound healing properties. Typically low in calories and fat, leafy greens also tend to be be rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. They also contain reasonable amounts of vitamin B6 and calcium together with trace amounts of numerous other vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Benefits of leafy greens

High in dietary fibre, leafy greens:

  • Are good for your dog’s digestive health
  • Help promote healthy skin and coat
  • Help maintain healthy bone and muscle
  • Improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease
  • Help fight against cancer
  • Improve and protect the immune system
  • Help protect against inflammatory diseases such as canine arthritis
  • Aid in weight management

Numerous studies of antioxidant-rich leafy greens on humans have found them to be amongst the best cancer-preventing foods. They are also amongst the best vegetables for helping to prevent heart disease. Both these facts also to apply to our canine companions. Similar studies on dogs concluded that dogs fed leafy green vegetables two or three times a week had a considerably lower risk of developing cancer than dogs simply fed dry commercial dog food.

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So if you have some leafy greens left over from your own cooking, you know what to do with them. Feed them to your dog! Better still, make leafy greens a regular in your dog’s dish. For both your sakes. Simply finely chop them (ribs, stalks and all), and steam or boil until soft and add to your dog’s normal food. Studies have concluded that leafy greens for dogs can improve your dog’s health even if you feed your dog commercial dog food.

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.


  1. Vicki Atteberry

    Can high oxalate greens cause kidney stones in my dog? I make her food and use spinach. I recently read spinach is is one of the highest in oxalates.
    Should I stop using spinach?
    Thank you so much


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