26 Best Fruits and Veggies For Dogs
There are many good reasons to feed your dog fruits and veggies in addition to protein, as long as they are safe for them. Not all fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog to consume, but, those aside, there are still plenty of fruits and veggies that are safe for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Fruits and Veggies?
The answer is yes. On the herbivore-carnivore continuum, dogs are between omnivores (who eat both plants and animals) and carnivores. So, they eat proportionally more meat than humans do and do need meat in their diet, but they still have a need and a taste for plant matter as well.
Balancing alkalinity and acidity in the body is important and is something that happens through what we consume. Vegetables help to alkalize the body, which counteracts the acidifying effects of eating meat and prevents chronic inflammation that can result from too much acid.
Vegetables also provide a great range of nutrients, including proteins, lipids, fats, carbohydrates, phytonutrients, and fiber. This makes them a complete food that can be a great supplement to the meat in your dog’s diet.
26 Best Fruits and Veggies For Dogs
Whether you add them to your dog’s food, use them in some dog treat recipes, or use pieces as treats themselves, here are some of the best fruits and veggies for dogs:
Bananas are one of the classic fruits for dogs. Not only are they included in a lot of dog treat recipes, but they make good treats by themselves and provide some health benefits. Potassium, vitamin C, and fiber are all great nutrients. The fiber may even potentially help your dog’s digestion too.
Plus, bananas are portable, so they’re easy to bring on walks. And, you have a lot of flexibility in how to feed them to your dog. You can cut them into pieces for small treats, include them in a treat recipe, freeze pieces for a frozen treat, mush them up for easier eating, and more.
Because mushed-up bananas are easy to eat and don’t require chewing, they can be a good option for a dog that isn’t feeling well, a dog that had dental work recently, a senior dog, or a dog that is missing teeth.
Cantaloupe is great for dogs because it contains lots of beta-carotene and vitamin A. These have been correlated with preventing cancer and reducing cell damage. It also contains plenty of B-6 and C, fiber, folate, niacin, and potassium.
The nutrients in cantaloupe can also help support healthy eyesight and a healthy immune system. However, you want to make sure you do not feed them the rind. The rough texture of the rind can cause intestinal damage.
3. Green Beans
Green beans pack a huge nutritious punch, with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. They contain plenty of calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, and beta-carotene.
Your vet might even tell you to mix green beans in with your dog’s food if they need to lose weight. Just make sure they are plain green beans; if you are opting for canned green beans, go for a no-salt or low-salt option.
Papaya is an exotic, sweet fruit that is a great treat for both you and your dog. Just make sure to remove the rind and the seeds/core to keep rough textures from potentially causing intestinal damage.
The flesh of Papaya fruit contains high levels of calcium, fiber, and potassium. Plus, it has other beneficial nutrients, like vitamins C, E, and A, and folate.
Spinach contains plenty of iron and has been correlated with a healthy lifestyle that can help ward off cancer and help prevent inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases in humans. While it has many beneficial nutrients, it’s also high in oxalic acid.
In large quantities, this acid can negatively affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium, and high levels over time can lead to kidney damage. Because of this, it’s best to keep spinach as an occasional treat and in small quantities. It may be a good idea to avoid it with dogs that have sensitive stomachs that are prone to gas too.
Apples are wonderful for dogs. They contain vitamins A and C as well as fiber. When feeding apples to your pooch, make sure you remove the seeds and core. Besides the choking risk, the seeds also contain small amounts of cyanide, so you want to keep them away from your dog.
In addition to the nutrition, apples can help freshen your dog’s breath. Plus, as a crunchy fruit, they can even help clean your dog’s teeth. It won’t replace daily dental care, but it can be a good supplement to your efforts.
Watermelon is a great way to help keep your dog cool and hydrated on hot summer days because of its high water content. It also contains lots of good nutrients, including vitamins A, B-6, and C and potassium. Just make sure your dog does not have access to the rind or seeds as they are difficult for dogs to digest.
Pumpkin is a very heart-healthy food that can help with your dog’s skin and coat. It can also help to ease both diarrhea and constipation in dogs. It has a high amount of antioxidants and contains fiber and vitamin A.
Just make sure you are using fresh pumpkin. You can use canned pumpkin as long as it is 100% pumpkin; you just never want to feed your dog pumpkin pie mix.
9. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a good source of many important nutrients. It includes vitamins E, A, B-6, and C as well as calcium, iron, folate, potassium, copper, thiamine, and iron.
Although broccoli makes the list of the best fruits and veggies for dogs, it may not be the best fit for your dog if they are prone to gas and have sensitive digestive systems.
Broccoli has a lot of fiber, contains vitamin C, and is low in fat. It’s best in small quantities, as an occasional treat, and with the stalks removed; provided that your dog even likes it.
The texture of carrots makes them a good snack because they have the effect of helping to clean your dog’s teeth. They are also great because they contain lots of fiber and beta-carotene and vitamin A. Plus, they make fantastic frozen treats for your dog!
Pineapple contains lots of sugar, so limit your dog’s consumption. Also, make sure you remove the spiny rind and the crown.
In moderation, pineapple is an excellent occasional sweet treat. It contains a lot of vitamins and the added bonus of the enzyme bromelain, which can help dogs digest and absorb protein.
Cucumbers are nutritious. They contain vitamins C and B1 as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. They are low-carb and can boost energy levels as well as help to keep your puppy hydrated because they have high water content.
Although blackberries are a good fruit option for your dog, you will want to use your best judgment with them when it comes to flavor and size. Depending on your dog and their eating style, you may want to cut larger blackberries into smaller pieces.
You’ll also want to stick to the sweeter blackberries as your dog is more likely to prefer those over the tart ones. If they have a sensitive stomach, tarter blackberries could be too harsh on their systems.
Frozen or unfrozen, blackberries can be a quick treat for your dog. In addition to nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, some studies are showing potential for antibacterial properties that can help support oral and dental health.
Blueberries make a fantastic fruity treat for dogs. Not only do a lot of dogs love them, but they’re also the perfect size for dogs of all sizes.
On top of that, blueberries are low in sugar and fat, which is good for your dog and means you can use a handful or two without worry. Additionally, they are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants.
You do want to skip out on cranberry sauce because of all the extra sugar and other ingredients that may not be that great for your dog, but cranberries, like blackberries and blueberries, make a great sweet treat for your dog.
In addition to naturally being a good size for a treat for dogs of all sizes, you can feed them to your dog cooked, dried, frozen, or raw as long as they like the flavor. Not only are cranberries high in antioxidants, but they also contact vitamins E and C in addition to several beneficial B vitamins.
Raspberries are another option for your dog. Although many dogs seem to like the flavor of them, especially during summer when they are the sweetest, you do need to give these berries in moderation because of the sugar and the small amounts of xylitol.
Because xylitol is one of the toxic foods for dogs, you want to stick to less than a cup of raspberries at a time, or avoid them altogether if you can’t keep the quantities small. In addition to antioxidants, raspberries also have copper, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin C.
With all of the berries included in the list of best fruits and veggies for dogs, there are plenty of options to choose from and combinations you can make to keep treats interesting and healthy. As long as you remove the leaves and cut the strawberry into smaller pieces, these berries make a great treat for dogs.
They have a high water content, which can help keep your dog hydrated between access to water. They have a lot of antioxidants and several helpful nutrients, like vitamins E, C, B-6, manganese, and potassium.
Mangoes are another tropical fruit that make a sweet treat for your pup. Because they are high in sugar, you do want to use them as a treat in moderation.
You also want to make sure you remove the rind and the pit, so your dog cannot ingest them. In addition to helpful nutrients like alpha- and beta-carotene and potassium, mangoes are also packed with vitamins E, A, C, and B-6.
Although dogs can eat oranges, the strong citrus smell tends to turn off a lot of them. If your dog is an exception and seems to want to try some of the oranges you’re eating, just make sure you remove the peel and any seeds before you share with them.
It’s best to keep oranges as an occasional treat. But, in small quantities, it can be beneficial if your dog likes it. Along with plenty of vitamin C, oranges also contain fiber and potassium.
As long as you remove the skin and the pit, peaches can be a great sweet treat for your dog. Because they are high in sugar, you do want to feed them to your dog in moderation and also avoid canned peaches for the same reason.
Fresh or frozen, small pieces of peach can be a sweet snack that provides your dog with vitamin A and fiber. They make a great summer snack. Plus, the nutrients in peaches are even known to help fight infections.
As long as you remove the pit and seeds and cut it into small pieces, a pear can make a great treat for your dog. Because of the high sugar content and other ingredients, you want to avoid canned pears. Fresh pears or frozen are high in fiber, copper, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
23. Brussels Sprouts
Like broccoli, brussels sprouts can be a nutritious occasional treat for your dog as long as they like the flavor. They are loaded with nutrients that are beneficial. They also can cause gas, so may not be the best fit for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
If your dog likes the flavor and the crunch of cabbage, it can be a good occasional treat for them. It does have a lot of beneficial nutrients, but like brussels sprouts and broccoli, it can cause gas. So, if your dog is known to have a sensitive stomach or tends to be gassy anyway, this may not be a great choice for them.
If your dog is a chewer, celery can be a great treat for them. In addition to a satisfying crunch that can help clean teeth and freshen breath, celery is also high in water content, which makes it a hydrating snack. Additionally, it contains vitamins A, B, and C, which are known to keep hearts healthy.
Although you don’t want to feed a lot of them to your dog, a small handful of peas in your dog’s food or given to them to eat occasionally is a nice treat. English peas, garden peas, snow peas, and green peas are all okay for your dog to consume; just remove them from the pods first.
Peas are rich in both fiber and in protein. Plus, they have several other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Plain fresh or frozen peas are a good choice, but you want to be careful with canned options. Like green beans, if you pick up canned, make sure you’re grabbing plain, no-salt or low-salt options.
These are just a few of the best fruits and veggies for dogs that are also safe for you to give them. They can be a great way to give your dog a treat without contributing to a potential weight problem or overeating. This makes them a great option for dogs that are particularly food or treat-motivated.