The Good & The Bad On Fruits & Vegetables For Dogs
We dogs want our human companions to spoil us by sharing table scraps or favorite snack. Just as humans know that fruits and vegetables are good for them, there are many that are safe and beneficial to dogs in small or moderate amounts.
Apples: An excellent source of vitamins A & C, as well as fiber. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core.
Bananas: High in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber and copper. Because of the high sugar content, they should be given as a treat.
Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants. Teaching your dog to catch treats in the air? Try blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats.
Broccoli: High in fiber and vitamin C, but is only safe in SMALL quantities as it can cause gastric irritation in some dogs.
Brussel sprouts: Loaded with nutrients but don’t overfeed as they can cause lots of gas.
Cantaloupe: Packed with nutrients and a great source of water and fiber. Use in moderation as it is high in sugar.
Carrots: Excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene. Plus crunching on carrots is good for the teeth.
Celery: Contains vitamins A, B and C. It is known to freshen doggy breath.
Cucumbers: Especially good for overweight dogs as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats or oil. They are loaded with vitamins K, C and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium and biotin.
Green beans: All types of green beans are safe for dogs, as long as they are plain. They are full of fiber and low in calories.
Mangoes: Packed with vitamins A, B6, C and E, plus potassium, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Remove the skin and hard pit first as it contains small amounts of cyanide.
Oranges: Excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber but give only in small quantities. Discard the peel and seeds first.
Peaches: Small amounts of cut-up peaches are good sources of fiber and vitamin A but remember to remove the pit. No canned peaches, however!
Pears: Pears are a great snack, high in copper, vitamins C and K, plus fiber. Again, remember to remove pit and seeds first.
Peas: Rich in protein and high in fiber. All types are fine except canned peas which have added sodium.
Pineapple: Ok as a sweet treat as long as the prickly skin is removed. It has vitamins, minerals and fiber plus bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin may be eaten in very small amounts. It tends to loosen or firm up stools according to need.
Spinach: This green, leafy vegetable is high in iron and may help fend off inflammatory and cardiovascular issues.
Strawberries: Full of fiber and vitamin C and contain an enzyme that may help whiten your dog’s teeth while eating them. Give in moderation as they are high in sugar.
Sweet potato: Provide vitamins A, B and C but limit amounts as they are high in carbohydrates. Make sure they are cooked, not given raw.
Watermelon: Provides vitamin A, B-6 and C, plus thiamin and lycopene. Remove rind and seeds first. Great way to keep dog hydrated on hot days.
That being said, here are some human foods that should not be given to dogs. Dogs digest differently than humans and eating the wrong foods can lead to long-term health problems and even death.
Grapes, raisins and currants could cause kidney failure even in small amounts.
Onions, garlic and chives can cause red blood cells to rupture and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and nausea.
Cherries, especially the pit, contain cyanide which disrupts cellular oxygen transport.
Mushrooms should be avoided as some species are toxic.
Avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Potatoes: Raw potatoes contain solanine, a compound toxic to some dogs. However, you can feed a plain baked or boiled potato.
Candy: While not a fruit or vegetable, avoid candy, particularly chocolate and candy containing xylitol.
Alcoholic beverages - A dog’s kidneys were not meant to filter or process the alcohol content.
Sources: American Kennel Club and PetMd websites