We’re so excited to welcome Dave from My Pet Academia to the blog today sharing some of the best fruits and veggies you can share with your dog!
Giving fruits and veggies to our furry friends keeps them healthier—the vitamins make them more resilient and keep their fur shiny. What’s more, fruits and veggies make amazing treats for dogs.
We all know a doggy or two who go wild at the sign of apples or carrots. But what else can you share as an afternoon snack with your best friend?
Protein is crucial—but fruit makes an excellent snack!
Before we get started, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Throw away the pit, seeds, stem and leaves as they can be a choking hazard and/or contain cyanide which is toxic.
- Moderation is key, serve in small amounts. Too much can do more harm than good.
- Cut the fruit or vegetable in small pieces to avoid potential choking risks.
1. Apples—keep that poop solid and regular!
Apples are the most common fruit that dogs enjoy. They are low in fat, which makes them an ideal snack, even for senior dogs.
Furthermore, they are high in fiber, which can keep the digestive system more regular. This is especially important for overweight dogs and puppies.
But there’s more to apples than meets the eye! They are rich in vitamins C and A, which are crucial for maintaining bone density and tissue health.
However, keep in mind that fruit and vegetable seeds, as well as huge chunks of fruit, can be a choking hazard. So clean and cut everything neatly before giving your dog a treat.
2. Bananas—a great punch of potassium for healthy kidneys!
Everyone knows that potassium in bananas will maintain the kidney and heart health in dogs. But bananas are also rich in magnesium and vitamin C, which promote bone growth.
That makes them perfect for dogs of all ages. But it’s crucial that you don’t go overboard with banana snacks.
High levels of sugar and carbohydrates mean that this snack should be given as an occasional treat and in small portions. An inch or two of a banana, sliced in small pieces, is more than enough to make your furry friend both healthy and happy.
3. Blueberries—the most powerful antioxidants
Two or three blueberries every now and again will keep your doggy’s urinary tract safe and sound from infections. What’s more, blueberries are potent antioxidants, and they prevent the damage of cells and tissue.
A rich source of iron, zinc, and selenium, blueberries will help in cancer prevention. Moreover, they also give a huge boost to the metabolism and the immune system, as they have high levels of vitamin C and fiber.
4. Oranges–flush the toxins out of the system
We all know oranges are rich in vitamin C, but did you know they also have high levels of potassium, folic acid, calcium, iron, and fiber? These minerals and vitamins will boost the immune system and prevent diseases and illnesses.
However, bear in mind that oranges can be dangerous as well. Only the flesh of the orange is safe for animal consumption — everything else contains poisonous oils.
Furthermore, big portions of oranges can lead to a runny stool or diarrhea. Therefore, one segment of the orange is an ideal treat size.
5. Pears—watch out for the cyanide in the seeds
Much like apples, pears are rich in vitamins C and A, but they are also rich in copper, vitamin K, pectin, folic acid, and fiber. Sounds like a great snack all around!
One or two cubes of the fleshy part of the pear will act as a probiotic and keep your dog’s digestive system healthy. What’s more, pears also have anti-cancerous properties.
6. Watermelons — the perfect summer treat
Watermelons are great for keeping your dog hydrated. They are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can prevent the development of vision issues in dogs.
Muscles and nerves will also stay healthy thanks to a watermelon snack, as the potassium will maintain their function.
Since it’s high in sugar, you need to be careful of the amount.
Vegetables—the best “people food” treats for dogs
1. Sweet potatoes — great for the digestive system
If your dog had an upset stomach, you could offer a sweet potato snack. The potassium and calcium will soothe the issues, and the vitamins A, C, B-6, and E will boost the immune system.
For dogs that love roots, sweet potatoes are a superior option. They are more nutritious than white potatoes, and they are more abundant in iron, calcium, copper, and thiamine.
2. Spinach — not just for Popeye!
If the famous cartoon has taught us anything, it’s that spinach is a superfood. It’s the most powerful source of iron, and it will keep your dog’s digestive system healthy.
Iron is crucial for deriving nutrients from the food. But it’s not just a punch of iron that spinach packs.
It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals that will help fight any inflammatory processes. What’s more, it has anti-cancerous properties as well.
3. Carrots — for mighty fur and a keen eye
The beta-carotene in carrots protects your pet’s sight. What’s more, it also maintains healthy skin and fur.
We all know that carrots are excellent for vision health due to vitamin A as well. But, did you know that these veggies are fantastic for your dog’s teeth? Try freezing a couple of cubes and giving it to your dog as a dental toy.
Furthermore, since they are low in calories, carrots are an ideal snack for overweight or senior dogs. The high fiber levels are great for digestion, which is also crucial for mature dogs.
4. Cucumber — a refreshing, hydrating snack
Chubby dogs have a real problem with begging for food. Well, now you can give them a healthy, low-calorie snack — cucumber.
Cucumbers are a delicious snack that doesn’t have a lot of fat or carbohydrates. In fact, cucumbers are 95% water.
However, the remaining 5% is packed with magnesium and vitamins K, A, and C. Those help with high blood pressure, and as a nice bonus, they keep your pooch's breath fresh.
5. Brussels sprouts — healthy bowel and smelly gas
Humans either love or hate Brussels sprouts. However, if you teach your dog to eat them as a snack, you’ll have a much healthier and happier friend.
Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamins K and G, which maintain a healthy liver and improve bone density. Moreover, they are filled with magnesium, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Fiber helps with digestion. However, keep in mind that Brussels sprouts can cause rather smelly gas in pets.
Brussels sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, and B6.
6. Celery — fresh breath for dieting dogs
Much like the cucumber, celery is ideal for overweight dogs. However, it is richer in antioxidants than cucumber, so it will keep tissues and nerves healthy.
Potassium and manganese in celery will promote bone growth and regeneration.
A few parting words
Overall, fruits and veggies make great snacks for dogs. This is a perfect way to diversify your pet’s diet or enrich it with some key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Always keep in mind that moderation is crucial. Any of these fruits and veggies can do more harm than good if you give them in huge portions or too often.
Therefore, a nice, healthy snack every now and then, served in a small portion, is the key to a healthy and happy dog.