The Health Benefits of Red Beet for Dogs

January 2, 2020
Red beet pulp is an excellent source of fiber for your dog. Find out more in this article!

There is a great variety of natural, healthy foods available for your dog. When you know how to cook and prepare these properly, they can be a great help in caring for the health of your pet. Some vegetables and legumes are highly beneficial for dogs. Did you know that red beet is one of these? Read on to learn the amazing health benefits of red beet for dogs in this article.

Curious qualities of red beet

This plant is known by many different names, such as beetroot, garden beet or sugar beet. Beet, with the scientific name Beta vulgaris, is a herbaceous plant, which means that its stems are green.

There are many different varieties of beets, many of which are grown for agricultural and commercial purposes.

The red beet is what you could call a table variety. Beets are normally cooked. During the cooking process, the cooking water the beets are in turns pink or red. Why is that?

This happens because of two strong pigments that red beet contains, betacyanin and betaxanthin. These two pigments are totally harmless, despite the fact that they make everything they come in contact with turn red.

Red beet has been used for a long time as a supplement in animal food. For that particular purpose, the pulp that remains after industrial extraction of sugar is commonly used. This pulp is an ideal food for certain animals, including dogs.

A dog eating from a bowl

Red beet, a source of fiber

One of the greatest benefits of red beet for dogs is the high fiber content. For example, the fiber that a moderate serving of red beet contains (in pulp form or even in high-quality dry dog food, or kibble) will help to regulate your dog’s intestinal activity.

This can be especially useful if your dog has suffered from diarrhea or constipation, since fiber improves the consistency of their feces by increasing its volume and moisture content.

There are further benefits. Red beet fiber improves digestion and will help your dog to absorb the nutrients it needs from its food. And it doesn’t stop there; red beet contains prebiotics (a special kind of fiber) that actually improves the growth of your dog’s intestinal flora.

As you can see, red beet is much more than just another vegetable. That’s why more and more top-shelf kibble brands are including red beet pulp in their ingredients.

A dog with a bowl of kibble.

Other benefits for your dog

Apart from the fiber content, red beet contains many other nutrients and minerals essential for your dog’s health.

For example, among the many minerals this plant contains, you’ll find magnesium, sodium and potassium at the top of the list. All of these minerals are macroelements, which are necessary to coordinate different muscular, nervous system, and neurological functions.

If we’re to talk of vitamins, red beets shouldn’t be far from the conversation. You might note a high content of folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) that, together with vitamin B12, help to form red blood cells.

Folic acid also helps to prevent certain diseases in fetuses, which is of special interest in pregnant female dogs.

Apart from these, red beets also contain vitamin A and C. Vitamin A, which is rich in retinol or retinoic acid, is fundamental for good vision, maintaining healthy skin, and even for reproduction.

Vitamin C, in its turn, is essential for healthy bones and teeth, although an excessive dose of this vitamin isn’t necessary for dogs. They are capable of synthesizing vitamin C on their own.

As you can see, the nutritional value of red beet for dogs is beyond question. However, as we always recommend on My Animals, you should consult your vet before including any new foods in your pet’s diet.

  • Howard, M. D., Kerley, M. S., Sunvold, G. D., & Reinhart, G. A. (2000). Source of dietary fiber fed to dogs affects nitrogen and energy metabolism and intestinal microflora populations. Nutrition research20(10), 1473-1484.
  • Fahey Jr, G. C., Merchen, N. R., Corbin, J. E., Hamilton, A. K., Bauer, L. L., Titgemeyer, E. C., & Hirakawa, D. A. (1992). Dietary fiber for dogs: III. Effects of beet pulp and oat fiber additions to dog diets on nutrient intake, digestibility, metabolizable energy, and digesta mean retention time. Journal of animal science70(4), 1169-1174.