Not only is fruit great—and delicious!—for humans, but did you know they’re good for your dogs, too? Not only will your dog love that he is getting “human food,” but you will love that the same benefits fruits provides digestive support, antioxidants, immunity boosts, better eyesight, healthier skin and hair—with your pup.
Fruits Safe For Dogs
Apples are a great source for potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin C. It’s no surprise that they make a yummy fresh treat for pups! Apples are also included in a variety of dog treats, like Blue Buffalo Blue Mini Bars apples and yogurt natural biscuits dog treats, for a easy way to feed this nutrient-packed fruit.
Note: Do not give dogs the core or the seeds, which contain arsenic. (Half of an apple slice is a good size treat.)
Bananas offer potassium and carbohydrates for dogs (1 inch is a good size treat). For a ready-to-go reward that contains bananas, try Hill’s Science Diet Soft Savories with peanut butter and banana dog treats.
Blackberries are a great source of antioxidants (anthocyans), polyphenols, tannin, fiber, manganese, folate, omega-3s. They’re also high in vitamins C, K, A and E. (Two or 3 blackberries is a good size treat.)
Zuke’s Superfood Blend with bold berries dog treats are a bite-sized teat made with blackberries and other nutrient-rich superfoods.
Blueberries offer a rich source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries also contain vitamins C, E, A and B complex. (2 or 3 blueberries is a good size treat.)
Looking for a way to give your dog the benefits of blueberries without access to the fresh fruit? Nutro Ultra wild blueberry and pomegranate dog biscuits help maintain and boost your dog’s immune system.
Cantaloupe is a great way to feed your dog vitamins A, B complex, C, plus fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. (1 inch of cantaloupe wedge is a good size treat.)
Cranberries offer your pup a source of vitamin C, fiber and manganese. They also help fight against urinary tract infections and balance acid-base in dog’s body. (2 tablespoons of stewed cranberries added to dog’s food is good size portion.)
Note: To stew cranberries, put them in a saucepan with water, cover and cook until tender. Put them through a sieve and add to dog food.
For a dog treat that contains cranberries, Instinct by Nature’s Variety Grain-Free chicken meal and cranberries oven-baked dog biscuits are an all-natural and crunchy treat that provide the benefits of cranberries without the prep.
Kiwis are a source of fiber, potassium and high in vitamin C. (A half a slice or one slice of kiwi is a good size treat.)
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Oranges provide dogs with fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, flavonoids, phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6. (Half of a segment is a good size treat. May cause stomach upset if fed in too big a portion. Remove the rind and any seeds.) Do not feed your dog any part of the orange tree.
Pears offer fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2 to dogs. (One or 2 pear cubes is a good size treat.)
An easy way of feeding pear every day is making sure it makes it into your dog’s diet. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free duck recipe with pears freeze-dried raw dog food is nutrient-dense and packed with naturally-occurring probiotics that support healthy digestion and a strong immune system.
Pumpkin is a source of fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zinc, iron, potassium and Vitamin A.
Note: Although you can feed your dog pumpkin seeds, most recommend feeding them to dogs unsalted, roasted and then grounded. Do not feed your dog any other part of the pumpkin due to the small, sharp hairs on the pumpkin stem and leaves. (1 to 3 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix] is a good size treat.)
Pumpkin is also a popular supplement for dogs as it packs his diet with fiber that aids in digestion. The Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! dog and cat food supplement pouches come in single-serve pouches for a quick and easy way to include pumpkin in your dog’s food daily.
These berries are a compact source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium. Not only that, but they are also rich in vitamin C, K and B-complex. (2 or 3 raspberries is a good size treat.)
Strawberries contain fiber, potassium, magnesium, iodine, folic acid, omega-3 fats, vitamins C, K, B1 and B6. (A half or 1 strawberry is a good size treat.)
Made with limited ingredients, Fruitables Greek strawberry yogurt crunchy dog treats contain only simple and all-natural ingredients.
Watermelon isn’t only a refreshing treat for us, but our dogs can enjoy it, too! It is a great source of vitamins C and A, potassium, magnesium and water.(1 to 3 pieces of 1-inch watermelon wedge is a good size treat.)
Note: Do not feed your dog the seeds or rind.
Tips For Feeding Fruit To Dogs
Feed fruits to your dog as a small training treat or stuff his favorite dog toys with some peanut butter and fruit for a great and healthy occupier. Here are some other tips:
• Always talk to your veterinarian about any treats you feed your dog, including fruit.
• Give your dog small portions of fruit only, especially the first time feeding them to your dog. Even though fruit is good for him, fruit is not calorie free. Also, you don’t know if your dog will have an allergic or other adverse reaction, such as gas or an upset stomach.
• Clean fruit thoroughly before offering it to your dog.
• If you can, introduce small portions of fruit to your dog when he is young. He may be more likely to try it and like it.
• Some dogs don’t like raw fruit. Try mashing it into their food or adding it as an ingredient when you make homemade dog treats. You can also use fruit juice, but make sure it is 100 percent fruit juice and not added sugars.
• Avoid feeding your dog any type of seeds or pits. Although not all seeds are known to cause problems, it is better to be safe than sorry. What is known to be problematic or toxic are apple seeds, apricot pits, nectarine pits, plum pits, cherry pits and peach pits
Fruit That Is Not Safe For Dogs
Although some fruits in small portions can be good for your dog (unless your dog is allergic), never offer your dog the following. If your dog accidentally eats the below fruit, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Grapes or Raisins: They have caused many cases of poisoning when ingested by dogs.
- Avocados: Avocados can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Figs: Figs have caused allergic reactions in some dogs. Also, the fig is grown on the Ficus tree (Ficus benjamina), which causes skin inflammation if your dog comes into contact with it. Ficus plants or trees also cause diarrhea and vomiting if your dog ingests them.
- Orange Tree: The orange tree (Citrus sinensis) is toxic to dogs, cats and horses due to its psoralens and essential oils. You don’t want your pet to ingest the seeds, peel, leaves or stem of this tree or fruit. Symptoms of orange tree poisoning are depression, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Lemon Tree: The lemon tree (Citrus limonia) is toxic to dogs, cats and horses due to its psoralens and essential oils. You don’t want your pet to ingest the seeds, peel, leaves or stem of this tree. Symptoms of lemon plant poisoning are depression, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Coconut: While coconut is safe for your dog, it does contain tryglicerides that may cause bloating and discomfort. Check with your vet before feeding your dog coconut. If you want a safe way to share the benefits of coconut with your dog, consider coconut oil.
By: Kristina Lotz and Melissa Kauffman
Featured Image: via Benthin-Design/iStock/Thinkstock