Healthy ‘People’ Food Can Be Good for Dogs, Too

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Are you looking for ways to liven up your dog’s diet but unsure of what’s healthy for them beyond their daily (often prescribed and expensive) kibble?

Though fruits and veggies aren’t necessary for your dog’s diet, many offer the same benefits for canines as they do for humans. They’re cheap, relatively easy to find and you can share them with your furry best friend.

Of course, there are some caveats to this. Just like with people, any one of these by themselves isn’t necessarily going to be a balanced meal by itself, so these should be treated as snacks or added to their regular meals. Remove any fruit seeds or pits, as they contain varying amounts of cyanide. They should be introduced in small portions at first so you can see how your dog reacts to them.

If your pup is overweight or has any other health issues it’s a good idea to ask the vet if feeding them anything outside their regular diet is advisable or not.

Apples — These have loads of fiber along with vitamins C and E. They’re low in calories and protein, which makes them an especially good fit for senior dogs’ diets. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core.

Blueberries — Good for your dog for the same reasons they’re good for you — loads of antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber. A great substitute for dog treats or biscuits.

Cantaloupe — It’s a great source of water, along with fiber and nutrients. It does have sugar, so like apples it should be fed in moderation, especially to diabetic dogs.

Carrots — Already a crunchy delight to many dogs, either whole or cut into strips. High in beta-carotene and vitamin C, carrots also boost their vision and skin.

Celery — Another crunchy snack with few drawbacks, it provides vitamins A, B and C. It has nutrients that build heart health and may fight cancer, and they even freshen doggie breath!

Cucumbers — These awesome fruits (or are they veggies?) are very low calorie and contain vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.

Green Beans — As long as they’re plain, they’re a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and they can be served raw, chopped or from the can (reduced-salt varieties are better).

Oranges — remove the rind and any seeds first, but the fleshy part of the orange is of course replete with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. But many dogs are sensitive to strong citrus odors.

Strawberries — Due to their sugar content they should be given in moderation, but they contain an enzyme which can whiten your dog’s teeth, along with all that vitamin C and fiber.

Unfortunately, some fruits and veggies are harmful to dogs. Here are a few of the most toxic.

Avocado — All parts of the fruit contain persin, a compound which can induce vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. They can also induce pancreatitis due to high fat content.

Cherries — The pits, stems and leaves contain enough cyanide to cause poisoning, especially after eating more than one. The unprocessed fruit itself can be OK, but probably isn’t worth the risk.

Grapes and raisins — They are so toxic they can cause sudden acute kidney failure, though research has not been able to determine what causes this reaction in dogs.

Onions — Along with leeks and chives, they are toxic for dogs and even more so to cats. They contain an oxidant known as N-propyl disulfide, which damages dogs’ red blood cells and causes anemia. Other symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting can also occur.

For more information, visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/