Having a healthy balanced diet is important. We know that for our human family that means incorporating plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables — but how can we be sure our four-legged family members are getting the healthy diet they need? Of Course, the very best way you can assure your pup is getting a balanced diet is with food developed by vets and veterinary nutritionists, but it’s only natural to want to treat your dog every so often with a little something extra.
You’ll be happy to know there are fruits that are safe and healthy for your dog to consume. In fact, fruit can be a great source of vitamins and minerals to add to your dog’s diet. Just remember that fruit contains high amounts of naturally occurring sugars, so you don’t want to go overboard with treating your pup. Too much sugary food can lead to dental problems and obesity. So, think of fruit as any other treat you might give your furball, and remember that any additional goodies they eat should make up 10% or less of their daily diet.
Not all fruit is safe for k-9 consumption. Some fruits and vegetables contain trace amounts of cyanide, others are harmful to livers and red blood cells. Plenty of food that is safe for humans can be toxic to dogs. Keep your pups away from grapes, raisins, cherries, onions, garlic, avocados, and stone fruit. Don’t let that scare you though, there is plenty of good fruit for your dogs diet that can be safe and beneficial for most dogs.
When in doubt about whether or not something is safe to feed your dog, it’s always best to check with your vet first.
Apples are generally safe for dogs, however, be sure to remove the seeds and core! This is the case for almost all fruit you plan to give to your pup. Apples are fairly low in protein and fat but contain lots of fiber, as well as vitamins A and C making them a healthy treat.
Bananas are pretty high in sugar, so they shouldn’t be a regular treat, but they are great as an occasional indulgence. They are an excellent source of potassium, biotin, and copper.
Berries are generally safe for pups. Blueberries especially are packed with antioxidants, which counteract free radicals and help prevent cell damage. Their size and shape also make them a great substitute for store-bought treats.
Cantaloupe is another fruit that is fairly high in sugar and should be used only as an occasional treat. That being said it is also low in calories and great for dogs that need a little extra fiber. Cantaloupe is also very hydrating. Try serving chilled on a hot summer day.
Mangos are packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and E. They’re also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene so they make a great summertime treat for your dog. However, be sure to remove the pit. Pits and seeds can contain traces of cyanide that can be dangerous to pets.
These are just some of the fruit you can safely treat your dog to. As you see fruit can be a great way to add vitamins and minerals to your dog’s diet, as long as it is given in moderation. Just remember that there are some fruits that can be harmful to your pet and that many seeds are toxic to k-9s. For example, apple seeds, apricot pits, nectarine pits, plum pits, cherry pits, and peach pits are all dangerous for dogs. Even seeds that aren’t explicitly toxic can be a choking hazard or cause bowel obstruction. To protect your pup by keep seeds out of any fruit you feed them.