Many people want to know whether or not it is safe to feed their dog fruits. The truth is, yes – you can. This is excellent news for people that want to make sure that their dog eats a healthy diet. Instead of feeding store bought treats, why not consider a few fruit-based treats? Your dog will probably enjoy them- and it will offer them a lot of great nutrients as well. Before you feed your dog any fruits, however, you will want to make sure that you know what fruits can dogs eat.
If you continue reading, you will soon find out the top ten fruits that are safe for dogs to eat. First, lets take a look at the benefits of feeding your pup fruits. You may be surprised to learn that fruits actually offer many of the same benefits to pups as they do to us humans.
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The Benefits of Fruits for Dogs
- promotes healthy digestion
- a great source of antioxidants
- boosts immunity
- improves eyesight
- promotes healthy skin and coat
Tips for Feeding Your Dog Fruits
- wash the fruit before feeding it to your dog
- give it to them in bite sized pieces to prevent choking
- use small portions to prevent an overconsumption of calories
- consider mashing the fruit and mixing it into their food
- get rid of all of the seeds and pits, as they are a choking hazard
Now that you know a bit more about why you should feed your dog fruits, and how to go about doing it safely, you will want to know what types of fruits are safe to feed them. We have researched various fruits, and their benefits, and have come up with a top ten list for you to consider. The next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a few of these fruits and see how your pet reacts to them.
10 Fruits that Dogs Can Eat:
#1 – Apples
Apples offer a great deal of nutrients for your pet when they eat them raw. They are a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and phytonutrients. Just remember, cut the apple up into small pieces before serving it to your pup. Also, make sure that you don’t give them the core, or the seeds of the apple, because they contain arsenic.
To ensure correct portion size and prevent overfeeding, only give them about half of an apple slice. This makes an excellent nutritious treat that your pup is sure to enjoy.
#2 – Bananas
Bananas are another great fruit for you pup, as they are rich in potassium. They are also a great source of carbohydrates. There are both complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are easier for your pet to digest, and that is what bananas are. If you are looking to give your pup a banana treat, give them about a 1 inch slice. If you have a small breed dog, then you may need to cut it smaller for their tiny mouth.
The good news is that bananas are soft and easy to chew, so they are excellent for dogs that have sensitive teeth or gums. Just remember, it is a carbohydrate source, so don’t overdo it.
#3 – Blueberries
Blueberries are an excellent choice because they are so rich in antioxidants. They help your pet to fight off free radicals in the environment. Aside from antioxidants, they also offer zinc, iron and selenium, which are all minerals that are essential to your pup. As for vitamins, you will find that blueberries contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, E and B complex. If you are trying to choose an ideal portion, 2 or 3 blueberries are a great treat. If your pet doesn’t like them whole, try mashing them up and adding them to their food for added nutrients.
#4 – Cranberries
When it comes to cranberries, there are a whole lot of great benefits that come along with them. Cranberries are great in fighting off urinary tract infections, and it also helps to balance acidity in your dog’s body. Aside from these great benefits, they are also an excellent source of fiber, manganese and Vitamin C. The best way to serve cranberries is to stew them. To do this, you will want to put them in a sauce pan and cover them with water. Put a lid on it, and boil them until they are tender. Finally, put them into a sieve and add them to your dog’s food.
#5 – Oranges
Oranges have a lot of fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and phytonutrients. They are also packed with vitamins A, B1, B6 and C. Before feeding your dog oranges, you need to get rid of the rinds and the seeds. These can be harmful to your pup. It is best to give them really small portions, around the size of half of a segment of an orange. In large quantities, it can cause upset stomachs, but in small quantities it can really offer a lot of great health benefits. Whatever you do, don’t feed your dog orange tree, because it is toxic to them. Stick to regular oranges, peeled and seeded.
#6 – Pears
Pears are also a great way to get vitamins and minerals into your dog’s diet. They are packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, C and E. They are also a great source of folic acid, fiber, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, pectin and copper. If you are planning to feed your dog pears, then peel them and cut them into small cubes. By doing this, you cut down the chance of choking, and you give them perfectly sized portions. 1 or 2 cubes is an ideal amount if you are using it as a treat between meals.
#7 – Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a super fruit because it contains a lot of great vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, which are great for eye health and development. It is also a good source of fiber, zinc, potassium, iron and Vitamin A. While you can feed them ground unsalted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin puree, you don’t want to feed them any other part of the pumpkin. The stem and leaves are covered in tiny hairs, that are sharp and dangerous for your dogs. For portioning, 2 or 3 tablespoons of puree is best. That is not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling, so make sure that you look closely when you shop around.
#8 – Raspberries
Next, we have raspberries. Raspberries offer dietary fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, iron, and magnesium. They are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins C, K and B-complex. When feeding your pup raspberries, it is best to mash them up. Some dogs have texture issues with whole raspberries. It is a good idea to give them only 2 or 3 at a time. This makes the perfect sized treat for them, while still offering them optimal nutrients. This is because raspberries are very nutrient dense. If your pup turns his nose up to them, mix them into his food, or just look for a food that already contains raspberries.
#9 – Strawberries
Strawberries are by far one of the most popular fruits for dogs. They offer fiber, magnesium, folic acid, iodine, potassium and other nutrients. They are also rich in vitamins B1, B6, C and K. Aside from these great vitamins and minerals, they are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer optimal skin and coat health. Strawberries, when served to your dog, should be cut in half. A half of a strawberry is a good serving size, unless it is small, then a whole strawberry may be suffice. Remember to cut the leaves off the top and split it in half though, just to ensure safe eating.
Finally, we will look at watermelon. Watermelon is one of the best melons to feed your pup, and it is an excellent source of water. It also has vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium, which are great nutrients that your pet needs to thrive. When feeding your pup watermelon, it is important to not feed them seeds or rind. As for portions, it is a good idea to give them a couple 1 inch cubes. Since watermelon is seasonal, this makes the perfect snack for the summer time!
Now that you have seen a few of the fruits that are safe for your pup to eat, it is important to know about the fruits that are not okay for your dog. Grapes and raisins are actually known to have caused poisoning in dogs, and should be avoided. Avocados, unless formulated into specially blended foods like AvoDerm, should also be avoided, because in their original state they can cause intestinal irritation. Figs can also be an issue, as they can lead to serious allergic reaction. There is a long list of fruits that are safe for your pup, so these shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid!
Feeding your pet fruits is a great way to offer them additional vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in their diet. So now you will be able to offer them optimal nutrition through their meals and snacks. Just remember to watch for any allergies that your pet may have, because while some fruits are safe, some pets may have issues with digestion, which usually mean some type of allergy is present.