Are Fruits and Vegetables Good For Dogs?
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla is the managing partner at Hinsdale Animal Hospital with Kremer Veterinary Service, as well as a partner at CARE Animal Emergency Hospital. She received her BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, where she also completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She is AO certified, USDA-APHIS accredited, and is a member of the CVMA, ISVMA, AVMA.
When you imagine a dog in the wild eating a meal, we think of them eating the meat from their hunt. We don’t usually think of this instinctive hunter running into a field of vegetables and gorging themselves on carrots and lettuce.
However, evidence shows that dogs were designed to eat both meat, vegetables and fruits (omnivores). But are vegetables good for dogs? What about fruit? Yes! There are considerable health benefits to be gained by dogs eating some of these foods. Fruits and vegetables for dogs are a good idea, but some can harm them. So of these safe fruits and vegetables for dogs, which are actually good for them? Let’s look at the options.
What Vegetables Are Good For Dogs?
Here are some safe vegetables for dogs that will do them a lot of good:
Chopped Baby Carrots – Carrots are crunchy and promote dental health. Carrots are also high in soluble fiber, which helps maintain regularity in digestion. Carrots also contain beta-carotene and vitamin A. When it comes to healthy homemade dog treats, carrots are hard to beat!
Frozen Green Beans – A great source of fiber, green beans are a great choice for snacking or treats. By freezing the green beans, they are crunchier and will hold up better to mashing and chewing. They are also low in calories.
Cabbage - This vegetable can be an aid in digestion. Cabbage is also really good for a dog’s skin, as the leafy vegetable is rich in antioxidants.
Spinach - Spinach contains a good deal of roughage and it also has important iron and antioxidants, as well as high levels of vitamin K (for good bone health). Using spinach is a great way to make healthy homemade dog treats!
Not many people know what vegetables are good for dogs. But now when you are at the store, you will know which options are great for both you and your dog!
What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Not only are vegetables good for dogs, but some fruits are equally as beneficial. So what fruits can dogs eat?
Apple Slices (without seeds or core) – Rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C. These elements are good for heart health, digestion and boosting the immune system.
Bananas – Bananas are a good source of good carbs and potassium. This helps to promote positive blood iron levels, a strong immune system and a healthy skin/coat.
Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe is a great way to get vitamins A, B complex and C. These vitamins are responsible for boosting eye health, regulate the nervous system, and strengthen the ability to fight infection.
Blackberries – Blackberries aid in promoting a strong immune system, bone health and eye function. This is due to blackberries being a good source for antioxidants as well as vitamins C, K and A.
Knowing which fruits are good for dogs is crucial, but understanding how often to give them these treats is important as well. Experts note that pet owners should be careful about giving their dogs fruits as they are often high in sugar. But consumed in moderation, these safe fruits for your dog can be very good for them!
What Fruit and Veggies Should You Avoid In Dogs?
Even though so many fruits and vegetables provide beneficial nutrition for dogs, there are ones to avoid at all costs.
Onions and Garlic – Can cause stomach upset and blood abnormalities.
Avocados – The leaves, skin and pit of avocados contain a toxin called persin, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Grapes – This fruit and its cousin (the raisin) are toxic to dogs. Grapes can actually lead to sudden, acute kidney failure.
Tomatoes – A toxic substance called solanine can be found in green tomatoes. Most ripe tomatoes don’t contain enough solanine to be harmful, but nearly all veterinarians suggest that you avoid giving tomatoes to your dog. Also, if you do grow tomatoes, be sure that your dog does not eat their leaves and stems either.
Who would have known that fruits and vegetables are good for dogs? Turns out the that our mom was right. The same foods that are healthy for us are equally as healthy for our four legged friends. A fun way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your dog’s diet is by making homemade dog treats. Healthy homemade dog treats are fun to make and good for the tail waggers in our lives!