With spring well and truly underway, there is no better time to incorporate the perfect produce into your dog’s daily diet. From blissful berries to glorious greens, natural produce is a great way to add those vital vitamins to support your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Just like us humans, our dog’s require a balanced diet to help ensure their bodies get all the nutrition they need. Despite ingredients like meat and fish providing the protein your dog’s need for muscle and joint health, often your dog’s food is created with ingredients, like unnecessary bulking agents, often leaving your dog with a troublesome tummy. Not only incredibly natural, fruit and vegetables can aid in the intake of essential vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s immune, digestive, and skin health.
Benefit of Adding Fruits & Veggies to Your Dog’s Diet
Since the dawn of time, we have always used to fruits and vegetables to ensure our bodies stay healthy and happy. With nutritionists advising us humans to incorporate at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables onto our plates each day, we are starting to do the same with our four-legged friends.
Packed with pawfuls of vitamins and minerals to support our dog’s health, here’s all the ways those 5 a day can help your canine companion:
- Vitamin C – known for supporting immunity and fighting infections, many of your dog’s favourite fruits and veggies are packed with this vital vitamin – great for keeping bugs at bay.
- Vitamin E – for dogs with skin irritations or dull-looking skin, vitamin E is a fantastic source of nutrition to keep coats looking full, thick and shiny and the skin soft and supple.
- Beta-Carotene – found in root veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes and varieties of squash, beta-carotene is converted into vitamin a which is fundamental in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular and muscular system.
- Omega 3 – often associated with fish and cod liver, omega 3 can also be found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale which help contribute to healthy skin, healthy eyes and healthy brain function
- Fibre – as we all know – fibre is fundamental in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Soluble fibre, found in many of our fruits and vegetables, helps food move through the digestive tract at the right pace and improves the absorption of nutrients in the gut.
One of the most important factors to remember when feeding your dog fruits and vegetables is balance. Too much of any good thing can lead to gastrointestinal upset so although their 5 a day can support a healthy and happy hound – ensure you are not overfeeding your dog fruit and vegetables alongside their regular diet.
Safe Fruits & Vegetables for Dogs
Fruits and vegetables can provide your canine companion with massive levels of nutrition but understanding what fruits and vegetables which are safe for your dog to eat can be a tricky task. To make choosing the right ingredients easier than ever, our list below highlights all the best fruits and vegetables that are both safe and nutritionally beneficial for your furry friend.
The best fruits and veggies for your dog include:
- Apples (both green and red) are a great snack for your dog, however, green apple is highly recommended for freshening breath. Ensure you remove the core to avoid any potential choking hazards.
- Banana – this high in fiber fruit is a fantastic way of settling sensitive stomachs and pawfect when combined with your dog’s favourite treat – peanut butter. Prepare by remove the skin and slice into 3-4 pieces.
- Berries (forest fruits and summer berries) are ideal for adding antioxidants to your dog’s diet. Thoroughly wash and sprinkle on top of your dog’s daily kibble or combine with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt for a refreshing treat.
- Root vegetables such as pumpkin, carrot and squash are a great way of adding beta-carotene and vitamin C to aid in immunity and maintaining a healthy heart. These can be served mashed, raw, or roasted (without oil) for a tasty treat.
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale are not only super safe but packed with pawfuls of vitamin E and omega 3 oils to support healthy eyes, brain, joints and coat. For a crunchy and healthy snack, roast in the oven for several minutes to create a crispy treat great for teeth and gums.
When feeding your furry friend any human-grade food, it is vital to ensure that it is safe for consumption. Despite many fruits and vegetables being safe for your dog to eat, some fruits and vegetables are toxic to our dogs and must be avoided at all costs.
Fruits and vegetables that you should never feed to your dog include:
- Raisins or Sultanas
- Cherries (pits and tones contain cyanide which can be toxic to your dog)
Even in small quantities, these foods can be dangerous so if you believe your dog has consumed these foods and if suffering from gastrointestinal upset, seek veterinary advice right away.
Incorporating Fruits and Vegetables into Your Dog’s Diet
Adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet really can make a difference to their nutritional intake. For smaller breeds, add fruit and vegetables in smaller quantities by preparing steamed veggies or fresh fruits and add a tasty topper to their daily dinners. For larger breeds and avid chewers, raw vegetables like carrots, sliced squash or pumpkin, can make fantastic dental chews at a fraction of the price and can aid in both oral and nutritional health.
No matter how much your dog might adore their fruit and vegetables, moderation is a massive factor when feeding your dog any food so avoid overfeeding and try to keep to no more than a handful of fruits/veggies that you add to your dog’s daily diet.
Try Tasty Treats
Loaded with nutritional benefits for your canine companion, fruits and vegetables are key to providing your pooch with all the healthy nutrition they need. Adding healthy and all-natural treats are a great way to add fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet. Choosing fruit or vegetable based chews not only reduce the cooking and preparing time of serving fresh veggies but its an easy way of getting that goodness into your dog’s diet in scrumptious and simple way.
With just some simple additions to your dog’s diet, you can help improve their skin, their digestion and their immunity in fresh, fun and flavorsome ways.