It’s well known that humans need fruit and vegetables in their diet for balanced nutrition, but does your dog have the same requirements?
Well, most vets and experts agree that they’re not necessary for a dog to be healthy if they’re eating good quality dog food, but they can make great treats, particularly for overweight dogs.
Fruit and vegetables add a bit of variety for your dog and they’ll enjoy the different tastes and textures. Hard vegetables that take some chewing, like carrots, are good for removing plaque from teeth too.
Apple is safe to feed to your dog as a treat. It is high in fibre, vitamin A and C, while being low in protein and fat, making it the perfect sweet treat for dogs, particularly seniors who can benefit from the vitamins. Bananas also make a great treat, but due to their high sugar content make sure they’re only given occasionally.
Your dog will also enjoy many greens, such as broccoli, sprouts, celery and cucumber. Be sure that anything you give is in moderation, making up approximately 10% of your dog’s diet.
Anything that comes from the family of Allium plants should be avoided as they’re poisonous to dogs and most other pets. This includes things like onions, leeks and chives. They can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, as well as vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. All dogs can be affected by this, but Japanese breeds are more susceptible, such as Akitas and Shiba Inus.
Tomatoes are considered safe for dogs if they are ripe, but many owners steer clear of them as the green part contains solanine, a substance that is toxic to dogs and can make them sick.
Just like many parents enjoy giving nutritious treats to infants by blending fruits, dog parents can do the same by making frozen treats. Get some high-water content fruit that is safe for them, such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes and bananas, and blend them with ice cubes. Pour them into ice cube trays and freeze them.
One or two fruity treats is enough at a time, depending on the size and breed of your dog. The RSPCA recommends frozen treats for hot days and cooling down after long walks.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t essential for a dog’s diet, but they can make delicious treats. Feed treats in moderation and always check which fruits and veggies are safe to give to your pooch and which can be dangerous and should be avoided.