You already know that fruit is important for keeping yourself healthy, but did you know that it’s great for your dog, too? While dogs don’t need fruit to be at their healthiest, the addition of fresh fruits to your pup’s normal diet, with permission and instructions from your vet, can provide them with an added boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as some always-welcome extra hydration.
While many human foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are perfectly safe, some are very unhealthy and downright dangerous to dogs. Dogs digest differently than humans, and eating the wrong foods can lead to long-term health problems and, in extreme cases, even death. As carnivores, they have no need for fruits and vegetables as part of their diet, but an occasional fruit or veggie as a treat is OK.
Read below to find out which fruits and vegetables are OK for sharing in moderation and which should be avoided.
Apples are a great source for potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin C. It’s no surprise that they make a yummy fresh treat for pups! Apples are also included in a variety of dog treats.
Note: Do not give dogs the core or the seeds, which contain arsenic. (Half of an apple slice is a good size treat.)
Bananas offer potassium and carbohydrates for dogs (1 inch is a good size treat). For a ready-to-go reward that contains bananas, try Hill’s Science Diet Soft Savories with peanut butter and banana dog treats. Or, make a yummy peanut butter banana DIY dog cupcakes for your four-legged friend.
Blackberries are a great source of antioxidants (anthocyans), polyphenols, tannin, fiber, manganese, folate, omega-3s. They’re also high in vitamins C, K, A and E. (Two or 3 blackberries is a good size treat.)
Zuke’s Superfood Blend with bold berries dog treats are a bite-sized teat made with blackberries and other nutrient-rich superfoods.
Blueberries offer a rich source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries also contain vitamins C, E, A and B complex. (2 or 3 blueberries is a good size treat.)
Looking for a way to give your dog the benefits of blueberries without access to the fresh fruit? Nudges Soft Bakes with Chicken and Blueberries help maintain and boost your dog’s immune system.
Cantaloupe is a great way to feed your dog vitamins A, B complex, C, plus fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. (1 inch of cantaloupe wedge is a good size treat.)
Cranberries offer your pup a source of vitamin C, fiber and manganese. They also help fight against urinary tract infections and balance acid-base in dog’s body. (2 tablespoons of stewed cranberries added to dog’s food is good size portion.)
Note: To stew cranberries, put them in a saucepan with water, cover and cook until tender. Put them through a sieve and add to dog food.
For a dog treat that contains cranberries, Instinct by Nature’s Variety Grain-Free chicken meal and cranberries oven-baked dog biscuits are an all-natural and crunchy treat that provide the benefits of cranberries without the prep.
Kiwis are a source of fiber, potassium and high in vitamin C. (A half a slice or one slice of kiwi is a good size treat.)
Oranges provide dogs with fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, flavonoids, phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6. (Half of a segment is a good size treat. May cause stomach upset if fed in too big a portion. Remove the rind and any seeds.) Do not feed your dog any part of the orange tree.
Pears offer fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2 to dogs. (One or 2 pear cubes is a good size treat.)
An easy way of feeding pear every day is making sure it makes it into your dog’s diet. Acana Singles Dog Treats – Duck and Pears, 3.25oz Each (3 Pack) is nutrient-dense and packed with naturally-occurring probiotics that support healthy digestion and a strong immune system.
Pumpkin is a source of fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zinc, iron, potassium and Vitamin A.
Note: Although you can feed your dog pumpkin seeds, most recommend feeding them to dogs unsalted, roasted and then grounded. Do not feed your dog any other part of the pumpkin due to the small, sharp hairs on the pumpkin stem and leaves. (1 to 3 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix] is a good size treat.)
Fruits You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog
While the list of fruits that dogs can eat is long, as a responsible pet parent you should also be aware of the fruits that dogs can’t eat. These include:
Always err on the side of safety when it comes to feeding your dog any type of fruit for the first time. Even fruits that aren’t on this list can pose a problem to your particular dog, so do your research, feed only small amounts at first, and be on the lookout for signs of a bad reaction.