Fruits and vegetables can make great snacks for dogs. They can be a great way to provide healthy, low calorie treats compared to many commercial dog treats, and they can help maintain healthy body weight.
Although many dog foods and treats advertise “real vegetables” in their ingredients, nothing is quite as good as fresh from the source. Offer them in small pieces for a healthy, tasty treat, but not a replacement for daily food rations.
You may also want to consider freezing some of these treats before feeding them as long as they don’t freeze solid. If you can’t make an impression with your nail, then the frozen item is too hard and could cause a tooth fracture! Frozen fruits and veggies like frozen peas can be novel for your pet, and provide a cold, refreshing chew on a hot day.
Here are 10 ideas for fruit and veggie treats that your dog might love:
- Apples (without core or seeds)
- Asparagus (cooked)
- Blueberries, strawberries
- Brussel sprouts (cooked)
- Green beans (cooked or raw)
- Pumpkin (cooked)
- Spinach (cooked)
- Sweet potatoes (cooked)
Handle with Care
Be sure to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your pet, and remove any inedible rinds, cores, and seeds – they can create intestinal blockages and may contain toxic compounds. Steam or boil any cruciferous vegetable varieties so they are easier for your dog to digest.
Fruits and veggies can be a fun and healthy way to bring variety to your dog’s diet, but be careful – there are some fruits and veggies you should never feed your dog.
- Avocado: Every part of the avocado contains persin, a toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Avocados are also high in fat, which can lead to pancreatitis.
- Citrus: Fruits in this category can cause upset stomachs.
- Currants, rhubarb, and mushrooms: These can be toxic for your dog.
- Grapes and raisins: They seem harmless but can cause some pets to become seriously ill, leading to kidney failure and even death.
- Onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and leeks: These vegetables are off-limits to dogs and cats. A small amount may destroy red blood cells, causing anemia.
As always, if you have any questions about your dog’s diet or what you can and cannot feed your dog, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. They can give you nutritional advice that is tailored for your dog’s unique breed and conditions.