As omnivores, dogs can digest plants as well as meat. Many nutritionists believe a mixture of both is important for a healthy dog. Fruit and veggies are rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients not found in meat.
While many human foods are perfectly safe for dogs, some are very unhealthy and downright dangerous, so it’s critical to learn which fruits and vegetables dogs can eat. So which are good for dogs?
A good rule for finding leafy greens that your dog can eat is to stick to those that you would consume. Lettuce, spinach, parsley, cabbage and kale are all good for dogs. Besides being rich in vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron and potassium, leafy greens are also a good source of fibre. Steaming these veggies ensure those nutritious vitamins are not reduced in the cooking process.
Parsley is excellent for dogs. It's a superfood packed with vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties, which support the immune system and liver health and maintains healthy blood clotting.
Carrots, peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes are packed with important vitamins, along with potassium, which is good for a dog’s muscles, nerves, and kidneys. Their fibre can also help dogs stay regular.
Carrots are enriched with pro-vitamin A carotenes, which aids in preventing heart disease and cancer and protects good vision in pups. The unique root storage protein in sweet potato has important antioxidant capabilities, as well as vitamins A, C, beta-carotene, copper and potassium. In dogs, this promotes gut health, healthy vision and delivers essential nutrients.
Celery and Brussel sprouts are safe for your canine friend. They are loaded with nutrients and vitamins A, B and C that promote a healthy heart. Celery is known to freshen doggy breath, while sprouts come with some gassy warning!
Dogs should never eat onions. Onions, leeks and chives are part of a family of plants called Allium that is poisonous to most pets. It can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.
Asparagus isn't necessarily unsafe for dogs, however, their toughness when raw, and loss of nutrients from cooking means that other veggies offer higher beneficial value.
Apples are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, which keep a dog's skin and coat healthy. They are low in fat, a great source of fibre and help to keep a dog's teeth clean and freshen the breath. Just be sure to remove the core and seeds before giving it to your furry friend!
Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants in helping to prevent cell damage. They provide the necessary fibre, such as pectin, which is crucial for normal metabolic functions in canines.
Fruits safe for dogs include peaches, mangos, oranges, cranberries, bananas, pears and strawberries. They are a delicious treat for you and your best friend to share! Some fruits that contain toxic substances are grapes, cherries and tomatoes, and it's best to exclude these from their diet altogether.
Just like us, dogs require a variety of organic foods and nutrients for a balanced diet. Fruit and vegetables are a great addition to your dog's diet if you stick to those that are safe and include an appropriate amount.