Many people love feeding their dogs treats or adding a little special something into their normal kibble, or canned food. Some healthy and low-calorie options for this are fruits and vegetables. It is important to remember, that there are many toxic and dangerous “people foods” out there, and some of these are fruits and vegetables. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that are safe to give our furry friends:
- Apples – Apples are a great option for a healthy snack. It is important to remember that apples do have a lot of natural sugar in them, so moderation is key. Apples contain antioxidants, fibre, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Apples should be washed and sliced, with no core or seeds. Many dogs enjoy their apples with a bit of xylitol free peanut butter.
- Bananas – Bananas are also a great source of fibre. They also contain potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. Make sure the banana is peeled and cut into reasonably-sized pieces for your pet. Remember, bananas also contain a lot of natural sugar, so moderation is key. We also want to use moderation with bananas, as we don’t want your pet to have too much potassium.
- Blueberries – Blueberries make an excellent choice for our doggie friends; they contain antioxidants, dietary fibre, and Vitamin C. As with all fruits, these also contain natural sugar, so moderation is key.
- Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe that is cleaned with the rind removed and cut into reasonably-sized pieces for your pet, makes a great snack. Also, make sure there are no seeds. Cantaloupe is best given in small amounts and occasionally. Cantaloupe contains dietary fibre, antioxidants, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
- Carrots – Carrots are one of our most suggested dog treats. Carrots are low-calorie, high in fibre, and contain Vitamin A. Many dogs love them either raw or cooked. Just make sure they are plain with no butter, dipping sauce, or seasoning.
- Green beans – Green beans are a great option for dog treats. They are an excellent source of fibre, as well as magnesium, vitamin K, and Vitamin C. Dogs tend to like these either cooked or raw, as long as they are plain.
- Pumpkin – Small amounts of canned pumpkin can make a great treat for your dog. Pumpkin is very high in fibre and contains beta-carotene, antioxidants, and healthy minerals. Please make sure that it is plain canned pumpkin, not flavoured or spiced in any way. Most people give about one tablespoon at a time.
- Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, and they contain vitamin C and Vitamin B6. They also contain several minerals and beta-carotene. Just a small amount is great for dogs. Some people also bake sweet potatoes into chews for their dogs.
- Watermelon – Watermelon makes a nice summer treat for people and dogs alike. It is extremely low-calorie and helps with hydration. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. It also contains potassium, magnesium and beta-carotene. Be sure to remove the rind and seeds before serving it to your pup.
- Cucumber – Cucumbers have vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B1. They are also very low-calorie.
- Mango – Dogs can have small pieces of mango, but be sure to remove the pit first. Pits are a choking hazard as well as a foreign body/intestinal blockage hazard. Mangos contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are okay in moderation, but do contain a lot of sugar, so moderation is key. Strawberries contain fibre and vitamin C.
All of these fruits and vegetables make great treats for dogs in moderation. Moderation is key for all types of treats, these included. Treats should never exceed more than 10% of your pets’ daily food intake. Also, please keep in mind that new food and treats can sometimes cause vomiting, diarrhea, and upset tummy, especially if a lot is given at one time. Some dogs like frozen fruits and veggies as treats, especially in the summer.
Please make sure all fruits and vegetables are washed and cut to an appropriate size for your pet, before serving. Also, do not give your pet access to seeds, rinds, or pits, these can be dangerous for your pet. While these fruits and vegetables are safe in moderation for your pet, please be aware that there are many fruits and veggies out there that are not safe for your pet. Please ask your veterinarian before giving new food or treats, to make sure it is safe. Just remember that moderation is key!
Written by Mikaila Cariou, RVT