This is a great question, and a very commonly asked one. Most people assume if we can eat it, why can’t my dog? It is important to know that dogs digest foods differently than humans-whats safe for us to eat may not be safe for our furry four-legged friends. Some fruits and vegetables can be harmful to our pets and potentially cause long-term health problems and in extreme cases-death.
Here is a small list of commonly used fruits and vegetables:
Apples – Apples are ok for dogs to eat, as long as you remove the seeds and core first! They are an excellent source of fibre, Vitamin A and C.
Avocados – Although great for us, these should not be fed to our pets. They contain a toxin called persin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Bananas – In moderation bananas are an excellent treat for your pet. They are a low-calorie option filled with potassium, fibre and vitamins. A great opportunity is to mash up your banana (after peeling), stuff it into a Kong and place in the freezer. A good way to keep your pet busy!
Grapes – No, pets should not eat grapes. Grapes and raisins both can be very dangerous to your pet’s health. They can cause sudden or acute kidney failure. Sometimes all it takes is one grape, so keep these away from your pets!
Mushrooms – Mushrooms should be avoided. Wild mushrooms especially can be toxic to dogs-so if you have any growing in your yard be sure to pick them out!
Onions – Onions belong to a family of plants called Allium. Your pet should not ingest these. They can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and also gastrointestinal upset.
Cucumbers – Cucumbers are a great snack for your pet, especially if they are looking to lose a few pounds. They contain little to no carbohydrates and fat and are full of nutrients.
Blueberries – These berries are an excellent antioxidant and source of fibre, helping to prevent cell damage in dogs and humans alike. Also, a great size snack for if your dog likes to catch treats in the air!
Carrots – Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack to use for tricks and treat with your dog. Not only are they full of fibre, but their crunchy texture is right for your pet’s teeth. Be sure to cut them into pieces your dog can manage to avoid choking. If you freeze them, they can be soothing to teething puppies.
These are just a few of the many fruits and vegetables offered today. Before introducing something new to your pet, it is essential to do your research or check with your veterinarian. The introduction of something new to your pet always has the potential to cause some gastrointestinal upset, so introduce slowly. Fruits should be given in moderation as snacks, as they tend to be high in sugar. So, if you’re looking to spice up your pet’s treat game, and eliminate some calories try some pet-friendly fruits and veggies!
Written by Melissa Penner, RVT