Most dog foods are made with ingredients like meat, poultry, fish, grains, vegetable oils, and added vitamins and minerals. Ideally, these ingredients should provide enough nutrients for dogs to live a long and healthy life on kibble alone; however, our veterinary team encourages owners to incorporate other foods into their pets’ diets, too. Not only will this combat taste fatigue, dogs can benefit from eating a variety of foods and gain more nutrients that aren’t always available in regular dog food.
Pet owners often associate dogs as carnivorous animals. While dogs do need more protein, they’re actually omnivores with the capacity to eat fruits and vegetables as well. Since their food is already high in protein, treating your dog to fresh produce occasionally can be a nice change of pace. Not only are fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, they have a high water and fiber content. It is important to note that dogs cannot eat all the fruits and vegetables that humans can, owners should be careful when they’re feeding their pets new foods.
Since there are so many fruits and vegetables, our veterinary experts at Brookhurst Animal have compiled a comprehensive list of fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat. Next time you have some scraps leftover, check if your dog might enjoy it first! Chances are, it may not only be edible for canines but also a delicious treat.
Leafy Greens & Cruciferous Vegetables
Though dogs can consume some raw vegetables, keep in mind that they only have canine teeth, so it can be difficult for them to grind crunchy greens up on their own. If you notice your dog struggling to chew, cut up or cook their vegetables before you serve them to your pet. Too much indigestible fiber can also cause bloating or gas, so be conscious of portion sizes.
- Collard greens
- Brussel sprouts
Dogs have different digestive systems than humans and they struggle to digest sugars as easily as we do. Since root vegetables are high in sugar, it can take a lot of energy for your dog to digest them. If you still want you pet to benefit from the carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, and sterols that these veggies provide, cook them and serve them in small amounts. This will make it easier to digest for your pooch. Here are some popular root vegetables dogs can eat:
- Sweet potatoes
Unlike the veggies listed above, onions and garlic are toxic to dogs. If you keep them around to for your own cooking, make sure they’re safely stowed away where your pets can reach them.
Beans, Stems, Pods, Grains, & Fruit Vegetables
Vegetables are chock full of water, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re especially refreshing for dogs during the summer when it gets really hot. At Brookhurst Animal, we have tons of patients who love eating zucchini or cucumber! Just remember to slice up the vegetables before serving them, so they’re not choking hazards. Corn needs to be removed from the cob to keep puppies from choking.
Dogs can also eat certain nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes and eggplants, but only in small quantities. These vegetables contain solanine, a substance that can be harmful when it’s excessively consumed by dogs.
Fruit is known as nature’s candy because it’s so sweet and delicious. Berries, in particular, are a quick and easy snack because they don’t need to be peeled or chopped. Here are a few types of berries that your dog can enjoy with you next time:
Not all berries are ideal for our furry friends, though. Raspberries should be eaten in moderation because they have high amounts of xylitol, a natural sweetener that can be toxic to dogs in high doses. Berries with pits or seeds should be avoided because dogs can accidentally swallow them, leading to health complications. A notable berry offender is the grape! Not only do most grapes have large seeds, they can also lead to kidney failure even when eaten in small amounts.
Take your pet to puppy paradise with these delicious tropical fruits. Just remember, most of them do need to be prepared by opening, peeling, cutting, etc, before your dog can enjoy. It’s also best to eat these fruits fresh because the canned versions can be saturated in sugar, causing stomach upset
- Dragon fruit
Citric fruits like grapefruit, lemons, or limes can irritate your dog’s stomach, so they’re not the best choice for pets. Another “tropical” fruit that dogs definitely can’t have is the avocado. They contain persin, a fungicidal toxin, that can be poisonous to dogs. So as much as your pups want to participate, definitely keep them away from the salsa and guac on taco night!
Since berries and tropical fruits can be more difficult to buy (especially out of season) and preserve, most people don’t usually have them on hand. Below are the most common fruits that dogs can eat:
Feeding your dog juicy, fibrous foods isn’t just beneficial for your dog, it can be helpful for owners, too! Certain fruits, like apples, can clean the teeth naturally and reduce unpleasant “dog breath”. They can also regulate your dog’s digestion and bowel movements by incorporating moving fiber through the body.
Remember, not all animals are the same. One dog may love eating cucumbers while another could be deathly allergic. If you notice your pet coughing, vomiting, or behaving abnormally, stop feeding them the fruit or vegetable that may have caused it and take them to the vet immediately. Getting your animal treated or diagnosed can help prevent major problems later on! At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, our Anaheim veterinarian is always prepared for veterinary emergencies. Give us a call if you would like to make an appointment or swing by. We’re here to help!