Dr. Joyce Ashamalla
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla is the managing partner at Hinsdale Animal Hospital with Kremer Veterinary Service, as well as a partner at CARE Animal Emergency Hospital. She received her BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, where she also completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She is AO certified, USDA-APHIS accredited, and is a member of the CVMA, ISVMA, AVMA.
Most of the time when we think of a dog in the wild having a meal, we think of them eating the meat from their hunt. We don’t usually think of this instinctive hunter running into a field of vegetables and gorging themselves on carrots and lettuce.
However, evidence shows that dogs were designed to eat both meat, vegetables and fruits (omnivores). But are vegetables good for dogs? What about fruit? Yes! There are considerable health benefits to be gained by dogs eating some of these foods. Fruits and vegetables for dogs are a good idea, but some can harm them. So of these safe fruits and vegetables for dogs, which are actually good for them? Let’s look at the options.
What Vegetables Are Good For Dogs?
Here are some safe vegetables for dogs that will do them a lot of good:
Chopped Baby Carrots
– Carrots are crunchy and promote dental health by scraping material off of a dog’s teeth while being consumed. Carrots are also high in soluble fiber, which helps maintain regularity in digestion. Carrots also contain beta-carotene and vitamin A. When it comes to healthy homemade dog treats, carrots are hard to beat!
Frozen Green Beans
– A great source of fiber, green beans are a great choice for snacking or treats. By freezing the green beans, they are crunchier and will hold up better to mashing and chewing. They are also low in calories.
- This vegetable can be an aid in digestion. Cabbage is also really good for a dog’s skin, as the leafy vegetable is rich in antioxidants.
- Spinach contains a good deal of roughage and it also has important iron and antioxidants, as well as high levels of vitamin K (for good bone health). Using spinach is a great way to make healthy homemade dog treats!
Not many people know what vegetables are good for dogs. But as you can see, there are some great options when picking up some vegetables that are good for dogs at the grocery store!
What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Not only are vegetables good for dogs, but some fruits are equally as beneficial. So what fruits can dogs eat?
Apple Slices (without seeds or core) – Rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C. These elements are good for heart health, digestion and boosting the immune system.
Bananas – Source of good carbs and potassium, which promote positive blood iron levels, a strong immune system and a healthy skin/coat.
Cantaloupe – Great way to get vitamins A, B complex and C, which boosts eye health, regulates the nervous system, and strengthens the ability to fight infection.
Blackberries – Good source of antioxidants and is also high in vitamin C, K and A. These vitamins promote a strong immune system, bone health and eye function.
Knowing which fruits are good for dogs is crucial, but understanding how often to give them these treats is important as well. Experts point out that pet owners should be more judicious about giving their dogs fruits as they are high in sugars and can be the cause of weight gain. But consumed in moderation, these safe fruits for your dog can be very good for them!
What Fruit and Veggies Should You Avoid In Dogs?
Even though so many fruits and vegetables provide beneficial nutrition for dogs, there are ones to avoid at all costs.
Onions and Garlic – Can cause stomach upset and blood abnormalities.
Avocados – The leaves, skin and pit of avocados contain a toxin called persin, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Grapes – This fruit and its cousin (the raisin) are toxic to dogs. Grapes can actually lead to sudden, acute kidney failure.
Tomatoes – A toxic substance called solanine can be found in green tomatoes. Most ripe tomatoes don’t contain enough solanine to be harmful, but nearly all veterinarians suggest that you avoid giving tomatoes to your dog. Also, if you do grow tomatoes, be sure that your dog does not eat their leaves and stems either.
Who would have known that fruits and vegetables are good for dogs? Turns out the foods that our mom kept telling us to eat also have many of the same health benefits for our four legged friends. Whether they’re made from vegetables or fruits, healthy homemade dog treats are fun to make and good for the tail waggers in our lives!