Fruits and vegetables make great snacks for dogs! They provide an extra boost of vitamins and nutrients to compliments your dog’s regular diet, which are good for teeth, bones, eyesight, coat, immune system, and more. Fruit and vegetable treats are generally lower calorie choices than commercial dog treats, providing a great treat alternative if your dog needs to shed a few pounds. Although many dog foods and treats advertise being made with ‘real vegetables’, nothing is quite as good as fresh from the source. Offer them in small pieces for a healthy, tasty treat!
Asparagus is a good source of vitamins K, A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folic acid, iron, copper, fiber magnesium and potassium, and has a high water content.
Watermelon is a source of A, B6, C, thiamin, fiber, potassium, magnesium and lycopene, as well as being hydrating. It’s a great treat to share at the summer picnics and BBQ’s!
Blueberries are a source of selenium, zinc and iron. High in vitamins C, E, A and B complex, they also have high levels of resveratrol, which has anti-cancer and disease fighting properties. The tannins also help prevent UTI’s.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins E, A, B6, C, calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, and thiamine. They are more nutritious than regular potatoes, contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and are easy on sensitive stomachs and the digestive system. Make sure to serve them cooked, not raw.
Pumpkin is high in fiber, vitamin A, and anti-oxidants. It can help with diarrhea and constipation, if your dog is having some tummy trouble, and promotes overall cardiovascular health. The high fiber content makes it great for helping your dog lose weight- adding it to treats or mixing it into your dog’s food is a great way to keep your dog feeling fuller longer.
Spinach is a powerhouse veggie for dogs, just like for humans- high in Iron, it also helps to reduce inflammation and is good for warding off cardiovascular issues and cancer.
Apples are high in vitamin A and C, antioxidants, and a good source of fiber. However, be very sure to remove all the seeds and core before offering apples to your dog, as the seeds contain compounds that are very toxic for your dog.
Green beans are a favorite of dogs, high in omega 3, vitamins A, C, K, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, and beta carotene. Putting them in the freezer before giving them to your pooch can satisfy the need for something cool to chew on.
Cantaloupe can help with your dog’s eyesight! It is high in vitamin A, B6, C, beta carotene, fiber folate, niacin, potassium, and generally non-allergenic.
Brussel sprouts contain vitamin A, B1, B6, C, K, manganese, folate, fiber, and potassium. Like most vegetables in the cabbage family, they are very nutritious for dogs and provide a good crunch. Be sure to cook them before serving.
Be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your pet, and remove any inedible rinds, cores and seeds. In the wild, dogs would have consumed most of their dietary plant matter in a predigested state, so steaming or boiling the more cruciferous vegetable varieties will be easier for your dog to digest.
Some fruits and veggies to never feed your dog are garlic and onions, grapes, currants, rhubarb and mushrooms, as they all are toxic for your dog. Citrus can cause upset stomachs. When feeding any fruits that have pits, such as cherries or apricots, be sure that the pits are removed, as they can often contain toxic compounds and create intestinal blockages in ingested. The stems, leaves and other plant parts of many fruits and vegetables can also be harmful to your dog, so make sure to only feed the flesh or pulp of them to your pet.