Not all fruits are suitable for dogs to consume. Dogs can eat certain fruits as part of their diet and receive a wide range of health benefits. Only specific fruits contribute to a dog’s nutritional needs. The most common ingredient in the natural diet of a dog is typically protein from meat, however more balanced and healthy dog foods contain fruits (and vegetables).
Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. Some fruits may not be toxic but for some dog’s systems they can be too rich leading to stomach upsets and diarrhea. Before feeding any of the safe fruits below, remove all pits and seeds before feeding to a dog. Healthy, safe fruits in a dog’s diet include:
Apples: Apples are rich in potassium and vitamin C among other things, and can boost a dog’s diet as long as the apple is ripe, soft, and not hard and green. Apples should be sliced, the core and all seeds removed. It’s safe to spread a little peanut butter on a slice of apple to encourage a dog if hesitant to try a slice of apple. Slices of an apple can be a good treat or a supplement.
Banana: Banana is rich in fiber, carbohydrates and potassium. A portion of a banana may be mashed into the dog’s food, or slices may be offered as a treat. A serving size if approximately 1/3 of a medium sized banana. Feeding more than this serving size a day can lead to diarrhea, and adds extra calories. Most dogs enjoy the taste of them.
Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with healthy antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins making it a super-fruit. For owners who make homemade cookies or biscuits for their dog, adding a few blueberries to the ingredients provides an extra boost. Add frozen blueberries to a dog’s water bowl for a treat.
Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe has more flavor and taste than melon. Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins A, B and C, as well as contains fiber, potassium and magnesium, and beta-carotene, a benefit for eyesight. Cut a single slice of cantaloupe, remove seeds and cut into segments as a daily single serving.
Cranberries: Cranberries are another super-fruit. This fruit is rich in fiber, manganese and vitamin C. Cranberries are an excellent supplement for healthy dogs or dogs prone to urinary tract infections (UTI). Do to the tart taste, cranberries may be baked into dog treats if a dog won’t eat them when offered as a treat.
Melon: Melons are an excellent way to add extra fluids in hot weather because they are made virtually entirely of water. Steer clear of smaller melons that are very sweet. Chose watermelon and larger melons. Slice these melons into sections and remove seeds before offering as a treat or purchase seedless watermelons. For a cool, summer treat watermelon slices, without seeds, can be frozen and then cut into segments.
Mango –This fruit is packed with four different vitamins: vitamins A, B6, C, and E, in addition to potassium and both beta-carotene and alpha carotene. It’s imperative to remove the hard pit first, as it contains small amounts of cyanide, as well as can be a choking hazard.
Oranges: When feeding an orange to a dog, select a larger, less sweet orange. Half a segment of an orange daily will provide a dog with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6 and iron. Always remove the pips, seeds and the skin first. An orange is juicy, tasty, delicious, and a refreshing treat in hot weather.
Pears: A soft, ripe pear provides a whole range of health benefits: vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and E in addition to fiber, potassium, pectin and folic acid. Ripened pears are slightly softer and sweeter than apples, and can be more appealing to a dog, but seeds need to be removed.
Pineapple – Pineapple is a sweet treat for dogs as long as the prickly outside is removed first. The tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins. A few chunks of pineapple is a healthy, satisfying treat.
Raspberries: Adding four or five raspberries to a dog’s food bowl now and then will provide valuable antioxidants, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C, B and K. Ripe raspberries tend to be less tart than younger ones, and more palatable to a dog. This fruit may also be baked into treats.
Strawberries: Strawberries are rich in fiber, magnesium, potassium and folic acid, as well as multiple vitamins and essential omega-3 fatty acids. A serving is a half a handful of smaller strawberries for medium to larger dogs. Do not serve large servings of this fruit or a dog may experience diarrhea.
Summer is a time when fruits are plentiful. Just as humans get bored with the same food or treats day after day, dogs also enjoy variety in their menu. The above 12 fruits are safe and offer an range of health benefits for dogs. Spice up a dog’s diet from time to time with a variety of fruits with seeds and pits removed.
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