In general, fruits and vegetables are healthy for humans. But not all of them are actually good for our dogs. Of course, dogs love a good human snack, and it’s fun to give them a treat now and then, but it’s critical to know what is good and what is bad for your dog.
We’ll go over which fruit and veggies are good for your dog, the ones that should only be given to them on occasion, and what kinds you need to avoid entirely.
How Much Fruit/Vegetables Should My Dog Eat Each Day?
To start, dogs don’t actually require any fruit or veggies as a part of their diet. If given the right kind of vegetables and fruit, it won’t hurt them as a snack, but it shouldn’t be more than 10% of the daily calories for your dog.
As long as your dog is eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet, then extra fruit and veggies are unnecessary, so it’s best to use them for a treat rather than as a part of your dog’s diet.
9 Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Safely Eat
The core and seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, so it’s very important to cut as much of the core out as possible.
Be sure to wash them thoroughly, and they can be given fresh or frozen.
Cucumbers are great for overweight dogs as they are super low in calories and contain about 96% water.
Like some of the other fruits on our list, the pit contains cyanide, so it’s important to remove the pit (which can also be a choking hazard) and cut the flesh out of the pit area as well. Cut them up into chunks, or they can be given frozen as well.
Cut the pears into bite-sized chunks and be sure to remove the core and seeds (cyanide again).
Watermelon is an excellent way to hydrate your dog as it’s 92% water! Be sure to remove the rind and all seeds as they can potentially cause intestinal blockage.
Carrots are low-calorie, and their crunchiness makes them great for your dog’s teeth.
Celery is great for doggy breath, but it needs to be cut into small pieces because the strings in the celery can be a choking hazard for small dogs.
9. Green Beans
Green beans can be served frozen, fresh, or even canned, as long as they don’t contain any salt.
9 Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Enjoy in Moderation
Bananas are a great snack for a dog, but they do have a high sugar content so bananas should only be given as an occasional treat.
Cantaloupe should be cut into small chunks, but it is high in sugar, so avoid feeding it to diabetic or overweight dogs.
Cranberries are great for urinary tract infections. They are very acidic, however, so too much can upset your dog’s stomach.
Strawberries are tasty, healthy, and can whiten your dog’s teeth, but they are high in sugar.
Broccoli is super healthy, but too much can be a choking hazard and can cause severe gastric irritation.
15. Brussel Sprouts
Be sure the sprouts are small enough to not cause choking, and too much can cause a lot of gas. The same goes for cabbage.
Don’t give your dog canned peas and only in the pod if it’s also safe for you to eat. Too much can cause stomach upset and gas.
Pumpkin is excellent for a dog’s digestive system, but it’s high in calories. Avoid pumpkin pie filling as it will contain sugar.
18. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in carbs, and caution should be used if your dog is overweight or diabetic.
7 Fruits and Vegetables Dogs That Are Toxic for Dogs
Avocados contain persin, a toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The flesh doesn’t have as much of the toxin, but it’s still too much for a dog.
While the flesh doesn’t contain cyanide, there isn’t enough flesh on the small cherry to risk giving any to your dog.
No part of the grape is safe, including raisins. A 50-pound dog can suffer from kidney failure by eating 15 ounces of grapes or 2 to 3 ounces of raisins.
The flesh of a ripe tomato is generally safe, but anything green on a tomato contains solanine, which causes tomatine poisoning.
Not all mushrooms can be toxic for dogs, but as a general rule, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You should prevent your dog from eating any wild mushrooms while out for a walk.
All onions, including shallots, chives, and leeks, are poisonous to dogs. It can actually cause the red blood cells to rupture, which leads to anemia.
Rhubarb stalks might cause a small amount of upset stomach, but the leaves are very toxic. They can cause tremors and coma.
Detecting Allergies to a Fruit or Vegetable
If your dog is allergic to any fruits or vegetables, it isn’t all that different from a typical food allergy.
In most cases, the allergy won’t present as stomach upset but will show up on your dog’s skin and in his ears.
The most common signs of a food-related allergy are:
These allergic reactions can occur at any time in your dog’s life and are diagnosed when all other causes of the allergic reactions have been ruled out.
What Should I Do If My Dog Has Eaten a Toxic Fruit or Vegetable?
If your dog isn’t showing any symptoms and you just suspect he might have eaten something toxic, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Your best bet is to call your vet and speak to them over the phone. However, if your dog starts exhibiting worrisome symptoms, take him to your vet or the closest emergency vet clinic immediately.
Be sure to note what your dog has eaten and how much, and of course, remove any food so your dog doesn’t eat more.
For the most part, your dog doesn’t really need fruit and veggies in his diet, but there are some definite advantages. It should always be in moderation, even those that we have listed in our “safe” list.
Do not give your dog any canned fruit, particularly if it’s been packed in syrup. Double-check the ingredients so you can check for any added preservatives, sugar, or salt.
Giving your dog the occasional bite of apple or carrot will be just fine. But talk to your vet before you consider adding any to your dog’s regular diet, particularly if you’re trying to treat any mild health issues. We all want our dogs to live long lives and to stay healthy.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she’s not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.