A healthy and happy dog is a strong dog.

Vegetarians and Vegans generally appreciate the wellness benefits that are derived from a greener and holistic life-style. Vegans, in particular, aspire to a moral and ethical life-style.

However, most people acknowledge the positive impact that a natural, wholesome and organic diet can have on health and the great value that vegetables offer in terms of mineral and vitamin wealth.

A wholesome diet, including vegetables, fruits and legumes, is also essential in producing natural antioxidants and thus, protects us from sickness and in controlling free radicals, which is the cause of many dread diseases and general poor health.

The abstract discussion as to whether our dogs evolved from a wolf or dingo is of no real consequence at all. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to eat a balanced home prepared diet, very similar to what we eat.

In fact, the Chow evolved to be almost vegetarian in nature, after been fed only grains and veggies by the Tibetans. Its entire physiological make up has changed over the centuries to metabolize a diet rich in vegetables and quality grains.

Historically our pets have been fed table scraps and stolen tidbits and their metabolism has adapted to accommodate the variation. Our dogs can no longer digest copious amounts of raw meat and actually prefer a diet that is rich in vegetables and nutritious pulses’.

Fruit in smaller quantities can be also very beneficial, although most contain high sugar levels. Banana is a pure carb and may exacerbate energy levels. The best fruits would be berries and apples.

Here is a list of some vegetables and legumes that are great value for money, effective and nutritional for both humans and animals:

Lentils

Lentils are a “superfood”. They are a good protein, high in fiber and a fantastic source of iron.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a great source of healthy carbohydrates and energy. The Chinese believe that it has the perfect balance between Yin and Yang.

Millet

Millet is high in Protein and is rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B17, B 6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Millets contain NO gluten.

Peas

Peas are also high in energy and rich in Vitamin B1, B3, B6 and B9. It is also very rich in Vitamin C and Phosphorus.

Pearl Barley

Barley contains all eight essential amino acids. Considered a whole grain, dehulled barley still has its bran and germ, making it a healthy and nutritious food.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium… It also contains essential fatty acids.

Beetroot

Beetroots are rich in the nutrient betaine, which is important for cardiovascular health. Betaine also protects against liver disease, particularly the build up of fatty deposits in the liver caused by

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin c and vitamin B6.In 1992, The Center for Health in the Public Interest rated the sweet potato as the highest vegetable in nutritional value. .

Carrots

Carrots have a wealth of minerals and a must for any pet food. It builds strong teeth, bones, cartilage and nails. It gives energy, vitality and strength, promotes healing of wounds and aids with digestion.

So whether you are cooking for the family, two legged or four, make sure that you include vegetable and legumes in their diet.