As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, many of us find ourselves starting to make healthier choices.
Known as the season of salads and healthy living, these months are perfect for prioritising wellness and self care, and a healthy and balanced diet is one great way to do this.
The question is, can our furry friends enjoy the same healthy snacks as us?
We know how important getting the right nutrition is for pups, but if you’ve ever asked yourself what fruit and veg can dogs eat - you’re not alone!
Understanding which fruit and vegetables dogs can eat safely isn't always easy. While lots of food is suitable for us, certain food groups can be highly toxic for dogs. For this reason, it's important to research everything you plan to feed your pup in advance.
Knowing how essential this topic is to our dogs’ health and wellbeing, we are in the process of preparing a full nutritional guide written by experts - watch this space!
A guide to fruit & veg for dogs:
- Can I feed my dog fruit and vegetables every day?
- How much fruit or veg should a dog eat each day?
- Which vegetables can dogs eat?
- What fruit can dogs eat?
- How do I feed my dog fruit and veg?
- What are the best fruit and vegetables for dogs?
- Things to look out for when feeding a dog fruit and veg:
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can I feed my dog fruit and vegetables every day?
Yes, you can! All dogs, including puppies over the age of 6 weeks, are able to eat fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.
A portion of raw vegetables can be a good source of nutrition for dogs, as many dog food brands that contain these ingredients often lose the important natural nutrients when cooked at high temperatures.
Although you can feed your dog fruit and vegetables every day, it’s important to consider quantities.
How much fruit or veg should a dog eat each day?
You might be surprised to find out that, unlike us humans, incorporating fruit and veg into a dog’s diet is not essential. We’ve all heard the 'five a day keeps the doctor away' mantra, but does the same go for our pets? Not necessarily, no.
Fruit and vegetables should only be enjoyed by dogs in small portions. As a general rule of thumb, these food groups should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Which vegetables can dogs eat?
When it comes to understanding which vegetables dogs can eat safely, it’s also important to mention that any veg you feed your dog should either be raw, boiled or steamed.
There’s no need to season the vegetables either, and you should always avoid coating the veg with any oil or butter. Butter isn’t toxic for dogs, but it has a high fat content and doesn’t offer any real health benefits.
Dog friendly vegetables include:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussel sprouts
- Kale (more difficult to digest than cooked kale)
What vegetables can dogs not eat?
Some vegetables are not recommended for dogs and can cause harm when eaten in large amounts. Because of this risk, it’s better to avoid feeding them to your dog altogether.
- Onions (contains thiosulfate, which can damage red blood cells and lead to anaemia)
- Garlic (contains thiosulfate)
- Chives (contains thiosulfate)
- Mushrooms (wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs)
- Radish (peppery in taste, can cause stomach upset)
What fruit can dogs eat?
Fruit tends to contain a lot more sugar than vegetables, which is why it’s important to limit this food group as an occasional treat. While there are lots of fruits dogs can eat safely, you need to prepare and serve them to your dog correctly.
Always be sure to remove pips and seeds and cut fruit into small pieces to avoid the risk of choking.
Dog friendly fruit includes:
What fruit can dogs not eat?
There are lots of fruits that can cause stomach issues for dogs, some of these fruits are toxic, and others run the risk of causing a dangerous blockage in your dog’s digestive system. Fruit that is not safe for dogs to eat include:
- Avocado (contains persin, which is toxic for dogs)
- Cherries (contains cyanide, which is toxic for dogs)
- Grapes (extremely toxic and can cause kidney failure)
- Figs (contains ficin, which is toxic for dogs in large quantities)
- Lemons, limes & grapefruits (can cause stomach upset through acidity)
- Tomatoes (parts of the tomato can be toxic, better to avoid)
How do I feed my dog fruit and veg?
As with any produce you feed your dog, you should always make sure you wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before serving.
After this, you need to prepare the fruit and vegetables correctly to ensure that they are ready to be consumed by your dog safely.
Always make sure that you chop the fruit and vegetables into small chunks to prevent choking, and depending on which fruit you are feeding your dog, you will need to remove any pips, seeds or stones.
Some vegetables are digested more easily when they are boiled or steamed, so do your research on each fruit or veg type before feeding it to your dog.
If you are just introducing fruit and veg to your dog’s diet, start small. You won’t know your dog’s tolerance to these foods, and some dogs can have more sensitive stomachs than others.
What are the best fruit and vegetables for dogs?
Some fruit and veg are better suited to dogs than others. Even if something is safe for a dog to eat, that doesn’t necessarily mean it offers the most nutritional benefits. The best fruit and veg for dogs include:
Apples are an excellent source of vitamins for dogs (predominantly Vitamin A and C, they also offer high levels of fiber and low levels of fat. Whenever you prepare apples for your dog, make sure you remove the core and any seeds, the skin can be ingested safely.
Bananas contain healthy amino acids and potassium which can work to improve a dog’s heart health and blood pressure. Like apples, they include vitamins (predominantly Vitamin C and B6). However, bananas have an extremely high sugar content. While these sugars are natural, bananas should be limited to avoid hyperactivity.
Carrots are a vegetable that dogs famously enjoy raw and boiled / steamed. Ripe with nutritional value, carrots contain iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber, which makes them great for dog’s vision and teeth! Carrots also contain plenty of vitamins, including Vitamin A, C, D, E and K - ideal for a dog’s immune system!
Watermelon is 90% water, which makes it an amazing source of hydration for dogs, particularly on warmer, summer days. Boasting both potassium and Vitamin A, B-6 and C, watermelon can be enjoyed by dogs - just make sure you remove the rind and seeds.
Broccoli is a high source of fiber, folic acid, calcium and beta-carotene. It also contains Vitamin A, C and D. However, despite offering vast nutritional benefits, broccoli can cause gas. For this reason, it should only be eaten in small quantities
Green Beans 🍃
Green beans are a winner in terms of the minerals and fiber they offer. These low calorie vegetables are a great source of green for dogs, and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
Things to look out for when feeding a dog fruit and veg:
Even feeding a dog small quantities of something that doesn’t agree with its stomach can cause upset.
Remember that fruit has a high sugar and fibre content, which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Whenever you give your dog a new food, look out for:
- Itchy skin
- Lack of energy
💡 Top Tip: You should also always make sure that you speak to your vet before introducing any new fruits or veg to your dog's diet. Your vet is qualified to provide nutrition advice, and is a helpful resource for dog feeding questions and concerns.