Fruits and Vegetables: Benefits for Your Pooch & How to Incorporate More of Them

“Primarily I am a meat man, although once in a while, I toy with a few vegetables,” quoted Nat King Cole.

This quote could apply to your dog as well. Whether you prepare your puppy’s meals from scratch, are looking for healthier treats, or want to supplement his diet, adding fruits and vegetables is an easy way to enrich what your dog consumes. The reward is that your canine will build a stronger immune system, have controlled weight issues, and maintain the much needed puppy-like energy. Since dogs are naturally carnivorous, there are various approaches you can use to entice them to take fresh farm produce.

Nutritional benefits of fruits and veggies

Fruits give your dog fiber, vitamins, minerals, beta carotene, and phytonutrients. Getting your puppy to eat them might take a bit of time and effort, so you need to keep trying until you find what she loves. To improve their edibility and reduce chances of choking, chop fruits into small pieces and thin slices, according to OneGreenPlanet.

Some of the fruits you can try with your canine include apples, bananas, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Veggies provide dogs with healthy antioxidants, soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as V-dog puts it. They also have some cancer-fighting beta carotenes, thereby boosting immunity. Some of the vegetables you should consider feeding to your dog include asparagus, beets, carrot, cabbage, zucchini, and pumpkin.

Knowing Which Foods Are Toxics for Pets

As tempted as owners can be, sharing human food with our pets may not always be safe or even healthy. In fact, some human foods, including fruits and vegetables, can be downright dangerous to dogs. Canines digest differently than humans, leading to long-term health issues, and in extreme cases, death.

So, what foods should pets avoid? 

Fruits like avocados, cherries, grapes, and tomatoes contain a toxic substance called Solanine. Grapes are extremely toxic for pets that they can lead to acute kidney failure. In fact, avocados contain persin, which may cause vomiting and diarrhea in canines. Not to mention, the seed can become stuck in the stomach or intestines, resulting in fatal conditions for your four-legged pal. 

Encouraging your dog to eat fresh farm produce

Fruits can be eaten raw but always remember to remove seeds, pits, and bad skin. Vegetables should be steamed, boiled or baked so they are easier to swallow and digest. Smashing both fruits and veggies makes it easier to incorporate them into your dog’s usual food such that she eats obliviously. You can also add farm produce as ingredients to homemade treats, including cookies and meatballs.

Smoothies are also an intelligent way to get your dog to consume what he otherwise would not eat. Being healthy and refreshing, they are a perfect option to supplement your dog's diet and keep him hydrated. Make sure that your smoothie is free of fillers, and common allergens to keep your dog’s health in check. Some of the dog-popular smoothies to prepare include banana, carrot and turmeric smoothie, and spinach, celery, and apple smoothie.

Just like with kids, the sooner you introduce fresh farm produce to your canine’s diet, the more likely he is to love and enjoy it. While many human foods, especially fruits and veggies are safe for your dog, some are unhealthy and potentially dangerous. In this line, always research to check if the produce you intend to feed your dog is safe. Also, it is vital to understand that as carnivores, dogs do not need fruits and veggies as part of their diet, but occasional feeding of the same is okay.

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Written by Dane The Great

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