Some questions that dog owners are very, very specific and in today’s blog post I want to answer one of these.
And the question is “can dogs eat frozen peas?”
Although in our mind’s eye we often picture dogs with bones and associate them with just meat, dogs need to eat both meat and vegetables for a well balanced diet.
And I supplement my own dog’s diet with peelings and the off cuts from vegetables such as sweet potatoes, broccoli stalks and cauliflower stalks (and apple cores.)
And so I was fascinated by this question about frozen peas, enough to do some research and write an article about it.
So, let’s jump in shall we.
Can dogs eat frozen peas?
Dogs can eat frozen peas- there are a few advantages and only one potential disadvantage of adding them to a dog’s diet.
Let’s take a look at the pros.
The biggest pro is the nutrients that adding frozen peas to your dog’s diet will give your dog.
To state the obvious, peas, like other vegetables, are packed full of goodness and I will go into the specifics of the nutrients later.
Another pro that adding frozen peas into your dog’s food brings is that they will add a different texture to a dog’s diet.
Obviously, as far as food is concerned, dogs most want it to smell delicious.
Scientists are convinced that texture is important although they are not sure exactly what role it plays.
Lastly, frozen peas can be used like mini ice cubes and added to a water bowl on hot days to keep the water as cool as possible.
Although using frozen peas in this way might not be a good idea if you have a puppy.
As we all know, puppies don’t need much of an excuse to turn the water bowl into a fun but very messy game!
I did mention at the start of this section that frozen peas might have a potential disadvantage.
And the “con” that I’m thinking about is that there is a small chance that some dogs might choke on frozen peas.
The risks are very small but if you have a dog that tends to inhale food instead of chewing it (and I have one of those) then a misdirected frozen pea might get stuck in a dog’s throat and cause them to choke.
What is the nutritional value of frozen peas?
The nutritional value of frozen peas is the same as peas with the added benefit of some ice!
Peas are very low in calories.
A 100g serving has about 84 calories in it.
Peas are 78% water, 16% carbohydrate, 5.4% protein and hardly any fat (0.2%.)
They are also high in vitamin A, C and K
Why would you feed a dog frozen peas?
The main attraction for a dog owner of feeding their dog frozen peas as opposed to any other sort of pea, is convenience.
Giving your dog frozen peas is really easy as you just grab the bag from the freezer and pour onto their food.
There are no peas to be shelled, no water to be drained, nothing to be heated up or cooked.
Another convenience is that with frozen peas you can decide how many your dog needs and then the bag just goes back into the freezer.
Contrast that to feeding your dog canned peas, which unless you feed them a whole can of peas, will involve you finding a tupperware container or bag to put the leftover peas into.
How many frozen peas should I give my dog?
To my way of thinking, if you are looking to add frozen peas to your dog’s diet, your dog should already be on a complete or well balanced diet already.
Frozen peas should be viewed as a treat which is terrific for your dog to have but not a necessity.
Unless you are very experienced or you have oodles of time and you are willing to do a lot of research, creating a complete homemade food for your dog is quite a challenge.
Trying to work out where peas or any other vegetables might sit within that mix is likely to make your head explode!
Because I tried to do it.
There’s a well known rule of thumb that dog treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s overall food intake.
Now this rule was created as a way to control the amount of biscuits that you feed your dog and although peas are healthier than biscuits, it is still a good rule to follow.
So my dogs are fed around 500g of raw meat per day and so if I was thinking of adding frozen peas to their diet..
I should feed them 450g raw meat and 50g of frozen peas.
What is the best frozen vegetable for my dog?
We are very fortunate in this day and age because of the huge variety of frozen vegetables that are available to buy year round.
And most vegetables are perfectly safe and very nutritious for our dogs to eat.
There are a few exceptions- vegetables that are potentially toxic and should never be fed to your dog.
I will provide more details on these in the next section.
All other vegetables can be added to your canine menu.
I don’t think that the best frozen vegetable exists for us or our dogs.
As the phrase goes, “variety is the spice of life.”
If you want to feed frozen vegetables to your dog, feed them lots of different vegetables.
And I don’t mean by this that they should have a new vegetable each day but over the course of a few months, they definitely should.
This will enable your dog to benefit from all the different vitamins and minerals that can be found in vegetables.
Are there any frozen vegetables that are dangerous to dogs?
Some vegetables are toxic and should never be fed to dogs.
These include avocados, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and asparagus.
Now, you might look at this list and think “my dog eats [insert the toxic vegetables here] regularly and they seem fine.”
From my point of view, the list of vegetables is so long and varied.
Why would you risk feeding your dogs vegetables that experts have identified as dangerous?!