Border Collie looking at boiled beetroot.

Can Dogs Eat Beetroot? Fact Checked By Our Vet

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 10th January 2024

Roasted, boiled or in burgers, beetroots are a kitchen staple for many of us. But should your dog eat beetroots? Is this veggie healthy for dogs? Before sharing this bright veggie, here’s what you should know


Are Beetroots Safe For Dogs?

Yes. Beetroots are full of vitamins and don’t have any compounds toxic to dogs. Beets are also very rich in micronutrients: vitamin b6, b9, iron, manganese and copper, which are essential to long-term health.

What all this means is beetroot is one of the best vegetables you can give your dog.

On the flip side, beets are relatively high in carbohydrates. While this will generally be a non-issue, if your pup is diabetic or overweight, the extra carbs can become a problem.

PRO TIP: It’s easier to keep your dog lean than to make them lose weight. Try to keep them active, offer portions adapted to their size and always have water available. If you have questions, talk to your vet!


The Benefits of Beetroots For Dogs

So, considering beets are safe for dogs, should your pup still eat them? Does this veggie offer any health benefits?

Although research on dogs is fairly limited, researchers do know some of the health properties of beets. Since most experiments are carried out with other mammals, it’s likely the benefits are fairly similar. Here’s what science says about it:

  • Rich in folate: Also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, this is a key compound to healthy cell turnover [1]. Folates are especially crucial when dogs are growing or pregnant, so adding beets to your puppy’s diet can be a great nutrient boost.
  • Might lower blood pressure: In a study done by the Dpt. Of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa, researchers found that beetroot juice could significantly lower blood pressure levels [2], which in turn could reduce the risk of heart disease. Of course, this doesn’t mean beets are an approved treatment, but they can help prevent and support veterinarian care.

PRO TIP: Never use food as exclusive medication if your dog has been diagnosed with a chronic condition. Always ask your vet before adding extras to your dog’s diet, especially if they take medication.

  • Beets are packed with copper: This micronutrient is an essential mineral key in the production of energy. Although red meat and organ meats are an optimal source, beets are also high in copper and could be a nutritious topper to boost your dog’s daily intake [3].
  • Great for active dogs: Although the high carbohydrate content can be too much for obese pups, if you have an active or working dog the extra energy will improve their performance. In fact, a Spanish research group discovered a link between beetroot consumption and increased endurance in athletes [4]. Although this study was made on humans, it’s possible to assume these results will be similar among dogs.
  • Could help fight inflammation: Beets are rich in compounds called “betalains”, a type of antioxidant only found in this veggie. Different studies have shown betalains have a positive impact on lowering inflammatory compounds in the blood. For example, a 2014 study showed an increased beet consumption significantly lowered pain and discomfort among patients [5].
  • Rich in fibre: Finally, beets are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre not only improves digestion in general, but it also feeds the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Since a healthy and diverse gut microbiome has been proven to boost long-term health [], adding a bit of extra fibre is always a good

5 Tips To Give Beetroot To Dogs

  • Skip the burger: The best option to give beetroot to your dog is to offer them plain. So next time you’re grilling, only give them beetroot without any seasoning. It’s the healthiest option for your furry friend!
  • Keep them plain: Regardless of how you eat your beetroot, only give plain cooked beets to your dog. No salt, sugar or oil should be offered to your pup: it’s the best way to ensure they don’t get an upset stomach.
  • Consider beets as a snack: As we’ve said before, the base of your dog’s diet should be a balanced diet. Beetroot should be considered as a snack, meaning it should be limited to once or twice a week at most. In general, make sure treats (including beetroot) only make up around 10% of your dog’s diet.
  • Start slow: Even if beets can be healthy for dogs, too much too soon might cause an upset tummy. Avoid possible problems by only giving your pup one or two bites the first time they try beets. If they seem fine 24 hours later, you can repeat one or two bites again.
  • Raw or cooked? Both raw and cooked beets are safe for dogs, but in both cases cutting them into bite-sized pieces is essential. Raw beets can be a choking hazard, so make sure to cut it before trying to offer them. Blended beet pulp can also be a good option if your dog prefers raw veggies.

PRO TIP: Although canned beets are practical, don’t give them to your dog. Canned vegetables are higher in preservatives and sodium, which are generally a no-go for pups.


FAQ

Is beetroot pulp a good ingredient in dog food?

Beet pulp is a common ingredient in dog food. It’s the fibre left after the processing of beet sugar and is used to give structure to many types of dog food. Because of it, beet pulp in dog food has very little nutritional value beyond its high fibre content. So, is this a good ingredient to have in your pup’s food? It depends on the position in the ingredient list.

If beet pulp is listed among the top 5 ingredients, it’s probably used as a filler instead of more nutritious. But if it’s lower down the list, it’s a harmless addition.

References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Folate (folic acid). https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-folate/art-20364625
  2. Flora et al. A Brief Review of Cardiovascular Diseases, Associated Risk Factors and Current Treatment Regimes. Current pharmaceutical design. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31553287/
  3. NIH. Copper, fact sheet for Health professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Copper-HealthProfessional/
  4. Dominguez et al. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295087/
  5. Reyes et al. Betalain-rich red beet concentrate improves reduced knee discomfort and joint function: A double blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical study. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260944042_Betalain-rich_red_beet_concentrate_improves_reduced_knee_discomfort_and_joint_function_A_double_blind_placebo-controlled_pilot_clinical_study

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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