Did you know that fruits and veggies can be perfectly fine to treat your dog? That said, there are certain ones that you should never give your dog. Today, our vets in Nashua, NH, share some of the fruits and veggies that your dog can and can't eat.
Can My Dog Eat Fruits and Veggies?
A dog's diet should consist of a variety of veggies, fruits, grains and meats. This is because they are omnivores. Dog food blends are created with this in mind and formulated to contain everything that your dog needs to stay healthy. That being said, fruit is a great treat to offer your dog.
Be sure to keep the daily intake of fresh fruits and veggies to less than 10% as these are only meant to be treats and can lead to health and weight concerns for your dog if fed too much. Here, our vets at Animal Hospital of Nashua talk about how to safely feed your dog fruits and veggies.
How to Bring New Foods Into Your Dog's Diet
With any new food introduction, the vets at our pet clinic in Nashua, NH, recommend introducing them slowly to ensure your dog tolerates the food and does not experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. You should only begin with a piece of fruit or vegetable a day and gradually build to more.
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.
What fruit can my dog 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 regularly. 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 You Should Not Give Your Dog
- 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.
Fruits That Are Dangerous For Dogs
- 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.
What veggies are safe for dogs to 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 your veterinarians in Nashua, NH, or your nearest or emergency clinic or Nashua vet hospital right away.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.