Save by Easily Growing Veggies for Dogs!

Is there really anything such as easily growing veggies for dogs? 

Do you have a green thumb? I admit, my thumb isn’t the greenest, but my dog, Henry, and I love certain veggies. 

Surprisingly, despite your space, most people can grow veggies for dogs, even indoors. Yep, even me with my nearly black thumbs. 

With that, grab a cup of java, or maybe carrot juice, and let’s dig in today and learn how to save by easily growing veggies for dogs.

*Update: March 13, 2024

Note: As with anything concerning your dog moderation is best. Additionally, it’s always advisable to check with your veterinarian before adding new items to your dog’s diet. This includes homegrown fruits and veggies. 

A cute cockapoo loves veggies for dogs.
disclaimer note
Budget tip:

While you may need to buy a few supplies, such as a pot, soil, and seeds, you can harvest veggies year-round. More importantly, you know where your veggies are safe for you and your dog. 

Even better, with some veggies, such as pumpkins or sweet potatoes, you can repopulate once you’ve harvested your first veggies. 

Plus, with most veggies, you can even can or freeze them for later use. That’s a great savings with a yummy twist for you and your dog!

I don’t have a yard. Can I grow veggies indoors for my dog?

Yes! Many vegetables can be grown inside year-round. How great is that? 

Plus, you and your family can enjoy them just as much as your dog. While the growing techniques may differ a bit when you have an indoor, all you need for most veggies are a good pot or container, soil, water, and sunlight. 

Although, the amount of water and sunlight will vary for different veggies. Moreover, you can even start most harvests directly from seeds. Some veggies you can grow from veggies you already have, like a sweet potato, and save even more. 

For even more wallet-wise wisdom, you take clippings from your plants (once they are established) and grow more. Or use seeds they produce, such as a pumpkin, and grow more. Pretty amazing, huh? 

For me, growing a garden always reminds me of a science project. I still get excited seeing sprouts poking through the soil. You and your family will as well! 

Additionally, if you grow your veggies in pots, no matter if you grow indoors or outdoors, you can prevent your dog from digging them up or worse yet, peeing on them. 

I’m not good at growing plants. Can I really grow vegetables? 

Some veggies take very little care. It’s almost like they are on autopilot to harvest. So, yes you should be able to grow at least some veggies.

Even I can grow some vegetables. So, a homegrown fresh vegetable is definitely possible.

Are there vegetables to avoid giving to my dog?

While there are some veggies are dog-safe, many can be toxic. Some veggies can cause your dog to have various issues, such as an upset stomach. Of course, this is also true when too much of anything is given to your dog.

Want to learn about easy and affordable ways to boost your dog’s immune health? In this article, I share everything I’ve learned and what I do for Henry.

Here’s a list of veggies to avoid for your dog:

  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Hot peppers
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Raw potatoes (cooked potatoes are fine)
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Unripe tomatoes
  • Wild Mushroom (yep, watch those walks and hikes so your dog doesn’t eat one)

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What best vegetables to grow for my dog? 

While there are other dog-friendly vegetables you can grow, these are the easiest and can all be planted in a pot indoors. That makes these veggie dog treats the best vegetables in any size space. Thus, in my book, these veggies are the best for home growing.

However, a cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, or cabbage may be your favorite. These vegetables are more difficult to grow. Thus, they didn’t make my list.  

Although, if you prefer these cruciferous vegetables, just make sure to stem them first before giving them to your dog. Otherwise, your pup may get an upset stomach. 

For more info on these more difficult-to-grow high-dietary fiber veggies, just check out Preventive Pet’s list

Is your dog a digger? This article provides easy and affordable tips to combat your gopher dog. 

NOTE: There are many books available on small space gardening.

I think Henry would say carrots are one of his all-time favorite vegetables. Heck, they could be mine as well.

Easy to grow: 

Very Easy!

Pot grower: 

Yes, as long as the pot is at least 6” – 15” deep. However, depths will vary by variety.

Inside or outside grower: 

Both 

Amount of sun needed: 

Full sun, which is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. 

Planting directions: 

Seeds should be 1/4” deep and 2-3” apart. 

Soil needs: 

Carrots love moist and well-drained soil (germination happens when soil is at 55-65 degrees F)

Size of full-grown plant:  

12-24”w x 12” h

Germination time: 

1-3 weeks

Harvest time: 

55-80 days depending on the variety

Canning possible: 

Yes and with just carrots and water. Perfectly safe for dogs!

Freezing possible: 

Yes! 

Special: 

Avoid giving the tops to your dog. But your horse or bunny can enjoy the whole carrot. 

Benefits: 

Carrots are full of nutrients such as vitamins B6, A, K, Potassium, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and high fiber. This all helps with your dog’s eyes, immune, skin, coat, and digestive health. 

Cost: 

Seeds: $2.00 or less   Seedling plants: not available

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NOTE: Thanks to a faithful reader, I've learned that the "half long" carrots are much easier to grow indoors. The pot size isn't as big, since the carrots are smaller. But they are just as delicious!

Easy to grow: 

Very easy!

Pot grower: 

Yes. The pot should be at least 8” wide and 12” deep.

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

4-6 hours a day and a bit of shade is fine

Planting directions: 

Seeds should be planted 1/2” deep and 18-24” apart, vining varieties should be 24-36” apart

Soil needs: 

Cucumbers like their soil moist to wet. Additionally, cucumbers are mostly water and need a lot of water

Size of full-grown plant: 

4-18” wide x 2’ tall depending on bush or vine variety

Germination time: 

6-10 days

Harvest: 

50-70 days

Canning possible:

Not for dogs as spices are required, which is a big no-no for dogs.

Freezing possible: 

Yes! Avoid salting or using a salt brine. You can juice a cucumber and freeze it like an ice cube. Or even dehydrate them for cucumber chips.

Special: 

Make sure the cucumber pieces you give to your dog are small to avoid choking.

Benefits: 

Cucumbers are full of vitamins B, C, K, potassium, and magnesium which help with your dog’s blood sugar and inflammation. Moreover, cucumbers are also great for helping to hydrate your dog.

Cost: 

Seeds: $2.00   Seedling plants: $5.50

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Easy to grow: 

Yes! Very easy!

Pot grower: 

Yes as long as the pot is at least 8” deep.

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

6-8 hours of full sun daily

Planting directions: 

Seeds should be sowed (planted) at 1” depth and 2-4” apart

Soil needs: 

Green beans love their soil moist but not soaking wet.

Size of full-grown plant: 

1-10’ height x 1-4’ wide depending on bush or vine variety

Germination time: 

8-10 days

Harvest time: 

50-65 days

Canning possible: 

Yes and safely for dogs without any spices, salt, or additives

Freezing possible: 

Yes!

Special: 

I break green beans at least in half or smaller to avoid choking. Besides, with Henry’s underbite, it’s easier for him to chew. 

Benefits: 

Green beans are loaded with protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K, plus they are full of fiber and are low in calories. This all means green beans help your dog with weight, support their immune system, and aid in wound healing. 

Cost: 

Seeds: $2 -3    Seedling plants: $6/for a package of 6

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NOTE: Thanks to a reader, I discovered that the "bush" variety of green beans are best for pot and indoor growing. The space required is less and you won't need a trellis. 

Easy of growth: 

Yes!

Pot grower: 

Yes!

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

8-10 hours of bright sun daily

Planting directions: 

You’ll want to use a pot that is 4-6” wide and deep. Then plant seeds 2” apart. Additionally, you’ll need a stake or mini trellis for the peas to grow up on for a healthy plant.

Soil needs: 

Peas like soil damp and moist soil. 

Size of full-grown plant: 

9-18” tall, depending on variety

Germination time: 

7-21 days

Days to harvest: 

60-70 days

Canning possible: 

Yes, but requires a pressure cooker. Home-canned without salt or spices is fine for dogs, but not store-purchased isn’t recommended because of the high sodium. 

Freezing possible: 

Yes. Simply wash and freeze without any spices or perspectives.

Special: 

You’ll want to pinch off the tops of your peas to encourage more growth.

Benefits: 

Peas are a great source of protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, lutein, zinc, A, K, and B vitamins. This all helps to support your dog’s skin, eye, and heart health

Cautions: 

Don’t give peas to a dog with kidney issues. Additionally, don’t give pods to a dog as it can be a choking hazard.

Cost:

Seeds: $3   Seedling plants: $7-8/ per seedling

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Easy to grow: 

Can be a bit tricky to grow due to the size of the pot needed. But a smaller variety is definitely doable for almost anyone. 

Pot grower: 

Yes, with a big enough pot.

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

8-10 hours of sun daily

Planting directions: 

Sow (plant) seeds in small individual seedling pots, then transplant to a large pot at about week 4 mark. The new pot should be at least 18” deep by 18” wide and only one seedling per pot. If planting outside, then plant 12” apart.

Soil needs: 

Pumpkins like moist soil but not drenched or dry soil. Moreover, the temperature shouldn’t drop below 70 F.

Size of full-grown plant: 

Will depend on the variety. The best options for pots are smaller varieties such as Bushkin/small sugar pie or Baby (Boo) Bear

Germination time: 

7-10 days

Harvest time: 

90-120 days 

Canning possible: 

No

Freezing possible: 

Yes! Cook and puree your pumpkin and then freeze into ice trays or smaller. 

Special: 

You can re-populate your pumpkins by using the seeds in your homegrown pumpkin to grow your next batch. 

Benefits: 

Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, Zinc, omega 3, potassium, and high dietary fiber. Thus, pumpkins help to regulate digestion, aid in immunity, kidney, and coat health.

Cost:

Seeds: $3-4    Seedling plants: $20+

Do you know that pumpkins can help cut your dog’s expenses? In this article, I share all the details. 

Easy to grow: 

Yes!

Pot grower: 

Yes!

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

4-6 hours of bright sunlight daily

Planting directions: 

Plant 3-4 seeds in a 14” diameter pot. Seeds should be evenly spaced.

Soil needs: 

Spinach likes moist but not soggy soil.

Size of full-grown plant: 

8” – 12”

Germination time: 

About 5 days

Harvest time: 

35-45 days

Canning possible: 

Yes, but will stink up your home. Additionally, you’ll need a pressure cooker.

Freezing possible: 

Yes! Wash, dry, and freeze. 

Special: 

Thin out plants so that they are about 3-5” apart. Seeds will need to be kept warm at about 80-85 F to germinate.  After germination, avoid excess heat. 

Benefits: 

Spinach is full of vitamins A, B, C, K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, and fiber. This all helps with your dog’s eye and heart health. Additionally, spinach helps to improve your dog’s immunity and aids in digestion.

Cautions: 

Avoid spinach if your dog has kidney issues.

Cost:

Seeds:$2   Seedling plants: $14-20

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Henry, my dog loves gardening.
Henry loves to help with gardening, especially if he gets a veggie treat.

Easy to grow: 

Yes!

Pot grower: 

Yes!

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

8-10 hours of sun daily is best

Planting directions: 

You’ll need to plant in at least 12” wide and 2’ deep. Plant the slips (seedlings) in just one pot. Additionally, you can grow your own seedlings from a sweet potato and plant it for future harvesting.  

Soil needs: 

Sweet potatoes like their soil moist but not overly wet. You’ll want to water your sweet potatoes thoroughly and let the water drain out of the pot. Or water thoroughly if planting outside.

Size of full-grown plant: 

6’ wide and 10’ long

Germination time: 

About 4 weeks if you’re getting a slip from a sweet potato you already have.

Harvest time: 

90-120 days

Canning possible: 

Yes!

Freezing possible: 

Yes! It’s best to cook your sweet potatoes first.

Special: 

Sweet potatoes help balance blood sugars and can thus, help dogs with diabetes.

Benefits: 

Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin C, manganese, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and high fiber. This all helps give your dog energy, and better immune health, balances blood sugar, and aids in digestive health. 

Cost:

Slip: Cost of the sweet potato to sprout, $1-2    Seedling plants: $14-35

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Easy to grow: 

Yes!

Pot grower: 

Yes, but it’s best with a 5-gallon bucket or 2” square (at least 20” wide) with good drainage. Also, you should avoid black pots as they can damage the roots. 

Inside or outside grower: 

Yes, tomatoes can be grown inside or outside.

Amount of sun needed: 

6-8 hours of sun daily

Planting directions: 

You want to use only potting soil. The seeds should be sowed (planted) about 1/4” deep.

Soil needs: 

Tomatoes love their soil moist but not flooded.

Size of full-grown plant: 

1-3” tall and will fill your bucket or pot.

Germination time: 

7-14 days

Harvest time: 

60-100 days depending on your variety

Canning possible: 

Not for dog purposes, since you have to add an acidic to your tomatoes when canning. This means adding lemon juice, which is toxic for dogs. 

Freezing possible: 

Yes!

Special: 

You will need a cage for support. Additionally, mature tomato plants will require 2-3 gallons of water daily. 

Benefits: 

Tomatoes are chocked full of vitamins A, C, potassium, and antioxidants. This all helps with your dog’s immune and muscle health. 

Cost:

Seeds: $2-3    Seedling plants: $10-20

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Easy of growth: 

Very easy!

Pot grower: 

Yes, but the pot should be at least a 5-gallon bucket and 12” wide

Inside or outside grower: 

Both

Amount of sun needed: 

Full sunlight for 6-8 hours daily

Planting directions: 

Seeds should be planted 1” deep

Soil needs: 

Zucchinis love moist soil.

Size of full-grown plant: 

2’ – 3.5 tall by 1’ – 4’ (bush variety) or by 6’ (for vines). Your zucchini plant will be contained by the size of the pot you choose. However, if you plant outside, your zucchini can get rather large.

Germination time: 

7-10 days

Harvest time: 

45-55 days

Canning possible: 

No. Not without something acidic vinegar or lemon, which then isn’t good for dogs.

Freezing possible: 

Yes!

Special: 

The bonus with zucchini is that all parts of the plant are fine for a dog to eat.  However, you will need both male and female plants to get flowers to produce zucchinis. I know that sounds difficult. Thankfully, there are self-propagating varieties or you can propagate your plant yourself by (shaking your plant or rubbing a feather from flower to flower). Additionally, an indoor Zucchini plant will only survive about 6 months. But you can start the process (or planting fun) all over. 

Benefits: 

Zucchinis are a good source of vitamins A, B6, K, copper, lutein, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus. This means that zucchinis will help boost your dog’s immune system, bone health, as well as coat and healthy skin. 

Cost:

Seeds: $2-3   Seedling plants: $6/pack of 6

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What’s the best way to give my dog veggies?

  • Raw vegetables are always great (but on this list avoid raw pumpkin)
  • Steamed
  • Lightly cooked
  • Small pieces to avoid chocking
  • Avoid:
  • butter
  • oils
  • spices
  • salt 
  • other additives

Also, if you can or freeze your harvest don’t add anything acidic or salt, which isn’t good for dogs.

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Are there cautions for giving veggies to dogs?

Yes! As with anything, too much of a good thing could give your dog an upset stomach. Moderation and small quantities are always best! 

For example, I give Henry veggies such as green beans and carrots as I would a doggie cookie. It’s a treat! Also, I make sure that anything I give him is small and won’t cause a choking hazard.

What if I don’t have enough sunlight to grow veggies?

We all suffer from less light in the winter. But who doesn’t love fresh veggies when it’s cold out? To overcome your lack of sunlight, you can supplement with artificial light such as this light. 

How does growing veggies for dogs save money?

This is the fun part. It’s the nuts and bolts as I like to say, which brings everything together. While prices can vary, consider the following.

Remember that with some veggies you can repopulate with your first harvest. Thus, you won’t need to re-purchase seeds or seedlings. Plus, your veggies are homegrown organic, and available year-round! 

Want to learn more about growing veggies and other edibles in pots, indoors, or even vertically? This book by Kim Roman is the perfect book to do it!
Home Growing Supplies:Approx. Cost
Pots$5+ (depends on the style you pick)
Soil$5 – 9 (depends on the size of your pot)
Seeds or seedlings$2 – 20+
Store-bought options:Approx. Cost
Carrots – 1 lb.$2
Cucumbers – 1 lb.$2
Fresh green beans – 1 lb.$3
Peas – 1 lb.$3
Small cooking pumpkin$5
Pure puree canned pumpkin  – 15oz.$1.50
Sweet potatoes – 3 lb.$4.50
Tomatoes – 1 lb.$4
Zucchini – 1 lb.$6

Related articles:

Summary of Save by Easily Growing Veggies for Dogs!

Do you love veggies? I’m certain your dog loves veggies. I know that Henry certainly enjoys a good carrot or pumpkin treat. 

However, when you grow your own, you know it’s fresh and safe. Besides you have the fun of seeing them grow. 

Honestly, I always love watching veggies and plants grow. But with veggies, there’s a yummy payoff at harvest time. 

Additionally, if you can’t eat all your veggies when they are ready, you can freeze your veggies for later use. Or with some veggies, you even can them. 

Homegrown veggies always taste the best and your dog is sure to love them as well. 

A cute Husky loves fresh veggies for dogs.

Are you now inspired to get started growing veggies for your dog? What will you start growing first?

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8 thoughts on “Save by Easily Growing Veggies for Dogs!”

  1. Brilliant post for those on a budget, I wish I could but I live in such a tiny studio there is no place for any plants but would so love to have my own veggie garden one day, I love veggies and Layla gets lots of them so it would be a money saver for us, thank you so much for all the information

    Reply
    • Awe, thank you! I hope you feel as if you can dig into small space gardening as well one day in the near future. I think you would love it and help both you and Layla. Make sure to give sweet Layla pets for Henry and me.

      Reply
  2. I love gardening! Great points in this article, I love that my veggies are safe, clean, and much fresher than store bought. I share the green beans and carrots I grow with my dogs, and they Love it. I’ve been gardening since high school. But, now that we’ve moved to Florida, I find gardening here very challenging, so perhaps indoor gardening could help with some of those challenges. In Florida, gardening time is the Winter not Summer – so weird for me to get used to! Right now I have green beans & lettuce growing in my garden. I sprouted tomato seeds too, but I started them late and they’re taking their time LOL! I have some advice, for indoor carrots – buy the “half long” variety of seeds, they’re much shorter and you won’t need such a deep pot – I grow these all the time, as they grow easier and better. With string beans, don’t buy the “pole” bean varieties – they are climbers and will need stakes or a trellis to grown on. I screwed up this year and mistakenly got pole bean seeds. They’re growing and are tasty, but what a pain the climbing vines are! LOL!! I Should have gotten the bush variety of bean seeds. Happy growing!

    Reply
    • Ooohhhh…Great insights, Cathy! I’ll make these updates to let all my readers know. Gosh, I bet it would be difficult to think of gardening in the winter and not spring/summer. Sounds like you have a wonderful crop of veggies for you, your husband, Icy, and Jessie. I love it!

      I think we should’ve probably worked on this post together. Maybe we can do that in the future. Thanks again for your insights!

      Reply
  3. Wow! This is brilliant, Terri! What a fabulous article! And with spring around the corner, this is great for folks to start thinking about what to plant in their gardens, and include their dogs! My Huskies loved pumpkin and sweet potatoes. We did a small garden in our new place, and did attempt pumpkins! We had a few great pumpkins and Wolfie loved sniffing them and knew he’d be getting some! I have some great pics of him checking out the gourds!

    As always, I love where you do the budget savings! I used to live in a small city and would go to buy cans of pure pumpkin by the caseload for my FiveSibes as it was a staple in their food. I’d sneak in some spinach in their omelets, too! {Shhhh….I don’t think they knew! 😉 }

    Henry looks adorable in the barrel, and I bet he loves those fresh veggies!

    Sharing, of course! And hoping folks pin this to come back to often!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Dorothy! Your encouragement pushes me to make sure to include a numbers breakdown whenever possible. I really appreciate the feedback!

      Isn’t it fun to watch grow veggies? I love watching them grow and knowing they’ll be the freshest possible when they’re eaten. I always think a homegrown veggie tastes miles better than a store bought one.

      Oh, I love the idea of an omelet! I hadn’t thought of that for Henry. I may need to try it.

      I think that photo of Henry in the barrel is hysterical. He does love to help.

      Thanks for you continued support and encouragement. I really do appreciate it!

      Reply
  4. I know there are a lot of books on what is called ‘vertical gardening’. You might be able to rcommend some from Amazon. They let you grow vegetables in very limited space (ye upwards!) and recommend the hardiest veggies you might try from your selection here.

    I admit Henry and I have carrots in comment. I love carrots!!!

    Reply
    • Oh, that a great idea to link to great vertical gardening books. I didn’t think of that one. I’ll do an update.

      Aren’t carrots great? I love them as well.

      Thank you for always being so encouraging and helpful. I really appreciate it!

      Reply

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