Fruits and veggies can be a great treat for your dog, but not all fruit is suitable for them to eat. Today, our Leighton vets discuss which fruits and veggies are safe for dogs to eat.
Dogs & Fruit
Dogs are omnivores and as such need a mix of veggies and meat in their diets. Luckily, modern dog food contains all the nutrients your pup needs to thrive so you don't have to worry about supplementing their diets. That being said, fruit is a great treat to offer your dog.
Always keep in mind that treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog's diet, so if you're adding fruit to the mix be sure to cut back on other treats so as not to overfeed your pooch.
Introducing New Foods
With any new food introduction, you should go slowly to ensure your dog tolerates the food and does not experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Introduce one type of fruit at a time with just a piece or two a day to see how your dog reacts.
When feeding a dog any type of fruit you should be sure it is cut into small pieces and that you are removing any seeds, rinds, or pits before giving it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs unwell, or in some cases even be deadly.
Fruit That Dogs Can Eat
The following fruits make excellent dog treats:
- Apples: Apples are high in fiber and low in fat making them a great option for overweight or senior pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C which help maintain healthy bones and tissue. Feed your pup apples in moderation and be sure to remove the core and seeds first, as they are toxic to dogs.
- Apricots: Apricots' fleshy fruit can be a tasty treat for dogs. They are high in potassium and contain beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer. Make certain that the pit, stem, and leaves are all removed.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. You can freeze blueberries for a fun summer treat.
- Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe may help alleviate inflammatory issues in pets. Be sure to cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before serving it up to your pup as a treat.
- Mango: Small pieces of mango with the skin and core removed are great, vitamin-packed treats for dogs.
- Pear: Pears are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. As with apples, before feeding to your pet, remove the core and seeds.
- Pineapple: Pineapple contains vitamins and minerals such as folate and zinc, which can benefit your dog's digestion and immune system. They are high in sugar and should not be fed to your dog on a regular basis. Before giving pineapple as a treat, make sure to remove the spiky skin and core.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are great for the immune system and make a great treat—fresh or frozen—for your dog.
- Watermelon: Watermelons are mostly water, so they're a great option for keeping your pet hydrated during the hotter months. They also have the added benefit of being rich in vitamins.
Fruits That May Be Unsafe for Dogs
- Avocado: Avocados have an extremely high-fat content, which can cause pancreatitis or upset stomach in some dogs, so they don't make good treats. Never feed the pit to your dog.
- Bananas: Bananas are a good source of potassium but are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Because of this bananas should only be given to dogs sparingly. A small slice is okay for an occasional treat.
- Blackberries & Raspberries: Blackberries and raspberries are low in sugar, contain fiber and vitamin C, and have anti-inflammatory properties that make them great for older pets. However, they should only be given in small quantities as they contain trace amounts of a sweetener called xylitol which can be fatal to dogs in large quantities.
- Tomatoes: While the ripe fruit isn't toxic to dogs it commonly causes stomach upset and should typically be avoided.
Fruit Dogs Cannot Eat
- Cherries: Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially fatal if consumed in high enough quantities. Cherry pits can also get stuck in a dog's intestinal system and cause blockages.
- Grapes: Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure, which can be fatal.
- Lemons & Limes: While not toxic, lemons and limes can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs and should be avoided
- Wild berries: It is always better to err on the side of caution as many wild berries are poisonous to dogs.
Veggies Dogs Can Eat
The following list of veggies should be good for dogs:
- Kale: Key vitamins in kale, such as K, A, and Iron, support bone health, proper vision, and immune function, fetal development, and energy metabolism.
- Carrots: Carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin B6.
- Green Beans: Green beans are high in vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. Green beans are also low in calories and high in fiber, which can make dogs feel satisfied.
- Broccoli: Broccoli contains a wide range of vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, which help dogs with bone density, disease prevention, and heart health.
- Beets: Vitamin C, fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium are all found in beets. These nutrients benefit your dog's digestion and immune system, as well as his skin and coat.
- Yams & Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are great for digestive health because they're high in fiber. They contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese, plus they are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
- Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is high in vitamins and minerals such as A, C, B6, and others that support your dog's immune system, vision, and cardiovascular function.
Veggies That Are Unsafe for Dogs
The following veggies are considered unsafe for dogs:
Garlic, Onions, Shallots, & Chives: Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives are toxic to dogs, whether raw or cooked. They have substances that may cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Signs of illness may take several days to manifest.
Mushrooms: Store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat, but wild mushrooms should be avoided because they may be toxic. If your dog consumes a toxic mushroom, he or she may develop symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in the heartbeat. Toxic mushrooms can cause organ failure, seizures, and comas in dogs at their most severe.
Rhubarb: Rhubarb also contains oxalates, which can cause problems with your pet's nervous system, digestive tract, and kidneys. Rhubarb can also lower calcium levels in your dog, causing renal failure and other health problems.
If your dog consumes any of these foods, take them to the vet or an emergency clinic right away.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.