Can you image being served a bowl of kibble every day and how uninteresting and tasteless that would be? Or worse still, unknowingly feeding some of the toxic treats available in stores that are killing dogs. Don’t feed your dog commercially prepared treats when you have a fridge full of dog-friendly fruit they’ll love!
Dogs thrive on variety in their diet and like us can benefit from improved health by eating a wide variety of fruits. Fed fresh or added to meals, fruit is a healthy and vegan-friendly snack alternative for your dog.
What fruit can I feed my dog?
Every night at “bed time” our dogs get two small pieces of apple. They run happily to their crate knowing they’ll have a little reward before being tucked in to sleep at night. It’s not only apple they enjoy, like us they’ll be offered whatever fruit we’re having – as long as it’s dog friendly.
Fruit is an excellent vegan snack for dogs, simply be sure to introduce new food slowly, cut into bite-sized pieces and make sure it’s safe for your dog to enjoy. Opt for fresh fruit as tinned fruit can be very high in sugar.
Apple – a good source of vitamin A, C and dietary fibre. Apples assist in cleaning your dog’s teeth and help keep their breath fresh. Be sure to remove seeds and core first.
Apricot – contain fiber, potassium, and beta carotene, which can help fight cancer. Apricots also contact vitamin A, C and E; which will help aid digestion and eye health. Remove pit and any leaves first.
Banana – are high in sugar and should be moderated. Bananas are high in potassium, fibre, magnesium and vitamins and help regulate heart health.
Blackberries – are rich in antioxidants and contain a good amount of fibre and vitamins A and K.
Blueberries – are also rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamins. Our dogs have a small portion of blueberries most days at breakfast.
Coconut – rich in antioxidants and contains a reasonable amount of fiber and vitamins A and K. Try adding some shredded coconut to the top of your dog’s meal.
Cranberries – fresh and dried cranberries can make a delicious snack, in limited quantities. Cranberries contain potassium, fibre, vitamins A, B and E, antioxidants and support the immune system.
Dates – beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and many B vitamins. They also contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fibre. As dates are high in sugar they should be fed as an occasional treat, in small pieces and only if the pit has been removed.
Dragon fruit – contains a very high amount of antioxidants and lots of vitamin C. Antioxidants and vitamin C are a great way to naturally boost your dog’s immune system to keep them healthy. It will also help to prevent a variety of diseases, such as heart disease and cancers. The spiky pink outer flesh should be removed and only the inner flesh served to dogs.
Mango – another fruit high in sugar, so feeding should be limited. Mangos are full of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, and they contain a reasonable amount of potassium and alpha/beta-carotene
Nectarine – full of vitamin C, nectaries make a healthy treat for your dog as long as the seed is removed first.
Orange – try feeding your dog an orange and see if they like the citrusy taste! Oranges have vitamin C, potassium and fibre, so make a healthy treat in moderation. Peel first and remove any seeds.
Peach – a great source of fibre, vitamin A, potassium, flouride and iron to promote healthy skin. Feed the peach flesh, free of seeds and core.
Pear – another fruit full of fibre and vitamins, pears will assist your dog’s gut and heart health.
Pineapple – like dates and banana, pineapple is high in sugar. Feed only the flesh of the pineapple to boost your dog’s fibre, minerals, and vitamins.
Raspberries – are a super-berry! Low in sugar and packed with fibre, potassium, manganese, folic acid, iron and vitamins B, C and K to support your dog’s digestive system.
Rockmelon – another super-fruit that can be introduced to your dog’s diet. Dietary fibre, niacin, folate, potassium, Vitamins A, B6 and C support the immune system. With it’s high water content, rockmelon also prevents constipation.
Strawberries – are full of vitamin C and fiber. The enzyme malic acid supports teeth health by breaking down teeth staining particles. Packed with antioxidants and low in calories, strawberries will support the heart health of your dog.
Watermelon – great for hydration in Summer for hot and thirsty dogs. Watermelon is a good source of potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C. Remove the rind and seeds before sharing this sweet, low calorie treat.
Fruit recipes for dogs
Dogs are the best food critics, they’ll simply love every meal you dish up to them. Such is the beauty of their temperament.
Our dogs have been eating human food as part of their balanced diet for years, so fruit and veggies naturally make up their food each day. Apples at bedtime, blueberries at breakfast, carrots for a bit of crunch and main meals packed with other fruits and vegetables.
If you’re starting out incorporating fresh fruit into your dog’s diet, it should be done incrementally so as to avoid tummy upsets. If you’re wanting to be adventurous and prepare fruit-based recipes for dogs, there’s lots of insipiraton online or borrow a book from your local library. My favourite cook book for dogs is ‘My Dog Eats Better Than Me’, which sits proudly in my kitchen alongside my other cook books.