Safe fruits and vegetables for dogs should be something that every owner knows about. We all love to give our dogs treats, but most widely available dog treats are nothing but little calorie bombs that are devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever.
Humphrey who is currently at 113lb. needs to lose a little weight, so I’ve decided to educate myself on which fruits and veggies he can eat!
A far better way to treat our dogs is to give them fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies offer nutritional value, are lower in calories than manufactured dog treats, and have the added bonus of making our dogs feel like they’re getting table food, something that is oh so special.
That being said, we have to be careful which ones we give our dogs. So let’s take a look at safe fruits and vegetables for dogs.
The Importance of Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs
Fruits and vegetables are a great way to add variety to your dog’s diet. They add a pop of new flavor, extra vitamins and minerals, and are just plain fun for dogs. We all know that almost all dogs are walking stomachs so they really get a kick out of getting these treats.
However, some fruits and vegetables are toxic to dogs, so it’s important to know which ones you can safely give your pooch. I’m covering all the bases today with a complete, A to Z list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs. Also, be sure to check out these fun summer DIY treats that feature some of the fruits mentioned later!
Which Fruits Are Safe For Your Dog
Fruit is a wonderful, healthy treat for our pooches, but it’s important to remember that fruit is higher in sugar than most vegetables, making them a poor choice for overweight or diabetic dogs. If, however, your dog is the ideal weight and has no blood sugar issues, fruits are excellent in moderation.
Apples are high in fiber and low in fat. This makes them an ideal snack for any dog, especially those who might be carrying a couple of extra pounds. They’re also full of vitamins A and C. Always remove the core and seeds first, as they contain cyanide.
Apricots are full of potassium and beta-carotene, powerful cancer-fighting nutrients. This makes them an ideal treat, especially for middle-aged to senior dogs, as almost all dogs are prone to cancer as they get older.
Bananas are a great source of potassium which helps support kidney function. However, they’re also a great source of carbohydrates and sugar, so give these sporadically and in small amounts.
Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, these little berries are also low in calories, making them the perfect treat. They’ve also been shown to help lessen the chance of urinary tract infections.
Cantaloupes contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and C. They’re also mostly water, so they won’t pack on the calories. Just remember that they have a high sugar content so they’re a no-no for hefty or diabetic dogs. Since Humphrey needs to drop a few pounds, I steer clear of giving him cantaloupes.
If your dog doesn’t mind a little tartness, cranberries make a great snack. They’re full of Vitamin C, fiber, and manganese, and just like in humans, they help fight urinary tract issues. Only give raw, cooked, or dried cranberries, not cranberry sauce or juice which are packed with sugar.
Mangoes are healthy and delicious, a great combo for our dogs. In addition to removing the pit, peel the skin, as well to ensure your dog has no GI issues.
Full of vitamin C, oranges can help bolster our dogs’ immune systems. Many dogs are known to love these sweet citrus fruits. Just be sure to remove all seeds as well as the skin. The sees contain oils which are poisonous.
Pears contain Vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, making them a healthy treat for our dogs. Just remember to remove the core. Just like apple seeds, pear seeds contain traces of cyanide.
Pineapples are filled to capacity with folate, zinc, and a host of other vitamins and minerals, making them super healthy as well as super tasty. Like all sugary fruits on this list, give this to your dog sparingly and not at all if your dog is overweight or diabetic.
Raspberries are low in sugar and high fiber and Vitamin C. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them a great choice for older dogs. Only give them in small amounts, as they contain a small amount of naturally occurring xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sugar-free foods like gum.
In large amounts – say, if your dog eats a piece or a pack of sugar-free gum – this is toxic and potentially deadly. However, small amounts of raspberries contain such low amount of xylitol, it’s perfectly safe.
The nutrients in strawberries help strengthen the immune system as well as providing powerful antioxidants. Serve them frozen or fresh, but never give any strawberry products that contain extra sugars.
Watermelons are about 92% water, so although your dog will love the sweetness, he won’t gain weight from eating it. It’s also packed with Vitamins C, C, and B-6, along with potassium. These make it a great addition to our list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs.
This also makes watermelon the perfect treat for hot summer days, allowing your dog to enjoy the outdoors and get a little extra water and vitamins when he stops for a piece of this tasty fruit.
Vegetables Your Dog Will Adore
As with fruits, vegetables are a great way to add variety to your dog’s diet. The following vegetables are safe. Also as with fruits, this part of the list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs should not be deviated from, as some vegetables are toxic to dogs.
Who doesn’t love asparagus? I’m personally OBSESSED with it. Asparagus makes the list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs because it’s high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and potassium.
Always chop the asparagus up into bite-size pieces so your dog doesn’t choke.
2. Bell Peppers
All varieties of bell peppers provide beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants. They have a natural sweetness and a high water percentage, making them tasty and low calorie.
Small pieces of broccoli without the tough, fibrous stems are great treats for dogs. This fruit is high in Vitamin C and absolutely overflowing with fiber so give it to your dog in moderation.
Too much can result in GI tract irritation in some dogs and nasty gas in almost all of them.
4. Brussels Sprouts
Although their health benefits make Brussels sprouts a great addition to the list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs, their taste does not. You can entice your dog to eat these little balls of health by cooking them to a nice, soft texture.
They’re packed with Vitamin C and K, making them a healthy treat if you can get your dog to bite, as it were.
Cabbage can aid digestion, fight cancer, and improve skin and fur health in dogs. Cooking the cabbage makes for easier digestion, and giving it in moderation helps avoid any adverse effects to your dog’s thyroid gland.
Unfortunately, I personally hate cabbage, so Humphrey doesn’t get a chance to eat it often.
Loaded with fiber and beta-carotene and low in sugar, carrots are a great, crunchy treat for dogs. Beta-carotene is excellent for the eyes, and the crunchy texture is great for the teeth!
Just like broccoli, cauliflower is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. And just like broccoli, too much can lead to upset GI tract or massive gas. Give this healthy treat sparingly.
Celery is packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. It’s also extremely high in water. Add that to the fact that celery actually takes more calories to digest than it contains, and you’ve got a great crunchy treat for your dog.
Bonus: it’s also been shown to improve a dog’s breath.
Cucumbers are one of the best on the list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs if you have an overweight pooch. In addition to being full of Vitamins C and K as well as magnesium, these veggies are ultra low in carbohydrates and fat. This makes them the perfect choice for a hefty dog. They’ve also been shown to improve breath.
10. Green Beans
A good source of protein and iron combined with low calories make green beans an excellent treat for our dogs. You can give them fresh, frozen, or canned. Just be sure the canned variety is sodium-free.
Lettuce is an excellent choice for any dog, most especially an overweight one. They are full of fiber and water, making them perfect for helping to fill up a dog’s belly without adding any calories to speak of.
Full of Vitamin B, thiamin, and potassium, peas can boost energy levels and improve bone health. They’re an excellent addition to your dog’s daily food. Just don’t go overboard.
Pumpkin is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. The vitamins and minerals combined with its fiber makes it perfect for any dog, but most especially dogs with GI issues. Pumpkin can be fed to help alleviate both constipation and diarrhea.
Spinach is as much a superfood for dogs as it is for people. Containing almost every vitamin and mineral, and particularly high in iron, spinach offers incredible health benefits to your dog. It’s important to note that spinach is not recommended for dogs with kidney issues, as it can exacerbate the problem.
15. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to your dog’s diet for many of the reasons that pumpkin is. Offering tons of fiber and nutrients like thiamine, niacin, and copper, they have the added bonus of also helping with many GI tract issues.
Zucchini is a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also low in calories, making it a great treat for your dog. You can feed it sliced or shredded over the top of your dog’s regular food.
Safe Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs Make a Great Dietary Addition
These safe fruits and vegetables for dogs make a great dietary addition to any pooch’s food. However, as with any change in your dog’s lifestyle, be sure to speak with your vet first. Sugary fruits aren’t recommended for overweight or diabetic dogs.
Likewise, dogs with kidney issues shouldn’t be fed spinach. This list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs is a broad one and meant to be used in conjunction with your vet to decide which are right for your dog.
So be sure to speak with your vet and then start adding a little spice to your dog’s diet!