If you're anything like us, you regularly check online what human food is safe to eat for your pup. Surprisingly, there are many fruits and veggies that are dog-friendly and offer the same nutritional value they have for you too!
Yes, dogs can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, but some are not safe for them to eat, as they digest food differently than us humans. If they ingest the wrong fruit or veggie, it can lead to long-term health issues or even death. "As carnivores, they have no real need for fruits and vegetables as part of their diet," explains The American Kennel Club. "But an occasional fruit or veggie as a treat is OK".
When it comes to giving your dog fruits and veggies, it's essential to keep it moderated. Like any treat, they can cause stomach issues, especially if it's a food they're not accustomed to. For example, fruits are chock full of natural sugars, and many fruits and veggies are high in fiber. These are both great examples of why they're great for humans, but too many fruits or veggies can cause digestive problems for your pet.
Even with a healthy option - too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Dogs are carnivorous, so 75-85% of their diet should be meat-based.
Next time you're making your grocery list, incorporate these dog-friendly vegetables to feed your family and your pet!
Broccoli stalks support immunity, aid in preventing cancer, and combats arthritic inflammation. Chewing on stalks can help fight plaque build-up too! Owners beware: too much broccoli, especially the heads, can upset the digestive system and cause gas.
Raw, crunchy carrots are a great way to clean your dog's teeth naturally, are great for eyesight, and boost your pup's immune system with antioxidants. Note that some dogs find raw carrots hard to chew. So if undigested carrot pieces are seen in their stool, chop into smaller pieces or serve cooked.
Whether you serve them cooked, dehydrated, mashed, or pureed, sweet potato is a healthy and tasty treat that satisfies your dog's treat cravings and boosts their immunity with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
As you know, spinach is incredibly nutrient-rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins. Many feed their dogs this leafy green on occasion to fend off cancer and inflammatory and cardiovascular issues. The American Kennel Club warns that it should only be given in moderation: "Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body's ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage."
While dogs enjoy vegetables raw as a yummy treat, they have short digestive systems. For your pup to reap the full benefits of their favorite vegetables, pureeing them is your best bet. According to the study published in the Journal of Animal Science, the lightly cooked and raw diets are more beneficial. No matter how you prepare vegetables for your furry friend, do not add salt!
Many fruits are great for your pup, just be wary of the sugar quantity!
Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C. They are low in protein and fat, making them the ideal snack for older dogs. Before feeding them to your dog, remove any seeds and the core as it can get caught in their digestive tract.
Bananas are a great low-calorie treat - but only in moderation! They are low in cholesterol and sodium and high in potassium, vitamins, fiber, and copper. However, they have quite a bit of natural sugar, so they should only be given as a special treat, and not incorporated into their regular diet.
Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants and carry the same benefits us humans love them for. Dogs like the taste of blueberries, so they're an ideal swap for store-bought treats.
Pears are a great snack, full of copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. Like apples, prepare the fruit in bite-sized chunks, removing any seeds (they can contain traces of cyanide!) and the core.
Remember, your dog's diet should only be 10% fruits and vegetables - so don't go overboard with their newfound favorite treats! When served in moderation and prepared properly, these healthy foods are an excellent way to keep your dog healthy and strong.