Apples are a great healthy snack alternative for your dog, minus the core and seeds of course. Apples are a good source of fibre and vitamins A& C and can even help clean your dogs teeth! Chop them up and give to your dog as training treats, slice then up and freeze in ice cube trays, wedge quarters into a Kong or even grate the apple over their biscuits, Did I mention how versatile they are?
2. Watermelon & rockmelon
Melon's are a tasty and nutritious way to hydrate your dog on a hot day. Did you know that watermelon is around 90% water! Both watermelon and rockmelon are full of vitamins, fibre and potassium. They are great to give your dog cut up into cubes, pureed and frozen into ice cube trays or even just freeze the fruit in cubes. Just remember to remove most of the seeds and the rind as eating these can cause stomach upsets.
Think blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries. Not only are they full of antioxidants which help to prevent cancer and heart related issues they taste amazing too! Blueberries can also help older dogs retain cognitive function and cranberries can help with urinary tract health. Basically they are a delightful addition to your dogs diet. They can be fed to your dog raw, in dog popsicles, ice cube trays or baked into cookies.
Banana's have a lot going for them including potassium, vitamins B6 & C, fibre while being low in sodium and cholesterol. They are however high in sugar so any use in small amounts. They are great to cut up and give as treats or as a part of a frozen fruit cube or popsicle.
There are so many wonderful things about this vegetable I don't even know where to start! Full of fibre, vitamin A, iron, antioxidants and amino acids both the flesh and seeds are good for your dog. Pumpkin can aid in digestion and urinary tract health, help prevent kidney or bladder stones, some cancers and can be used to help your dog lose weight if required. Roast the seeds and give them a couple a day and add pureed, cooked pumpkin to their dinner.
6. Sweet potato
Again so many vitamins and minerals are packed into this vege! Vitamin E, A, C, B6, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, folate and antioxidants. Plus they are naturally sweet in flavour. You can cook them up and scoop onto their dinner, make baked chips or slices to use as treats or as the "stick" in a popsicle.
7. Spinach, kale & leafy greens
Loaded with iron, vitamins and minerals leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, celery, carrot & beetroot tops are great for your dog. Finely process these and add to their meal. Dogs will often eat kale and celery in bits but the rest is better to finely process.
Dogs can eat both the florets and stem of this antioxidant rich, super food vegetable. Broccoli also has anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory agents and can help boost the immune system. Broccoli is best given in small amounts to your dog as if given as more than 5% of their daily food intake can give them stomach upsets. You can process it up and sprinkle over their dinner, give cubes of the stem as a treat or a small floret or two while you prepare your own dinner.
9. Green beans
Green beans are nutritious and low in calories so can be a good addition to your dogs diet if they need to lose weight. There are plenty of iron and vitamins packed into a green bean and they can be fed to your dog cooked or raw.
Another vegetable that is low in calories but full of vitamins and fibre. Chewing on a carrot can help clean your dogs teeth but only feed in small amounts as dogs don't digest large amounts of carrot well. Another option is grate or finely process the carrot and add to their meal or add small amounts of chopped carrots to icy treats.
This is for information only purposes and is not intended to replace the nutritional recommendations of your vet. If you have any questions on the nutritional needs of your pet this should be discussed with your vet. Fruit and vegetables can be used as part of a balanced diet for your dog but should not make up the full daily intake of food.
As a dog owner, dog trainer and pet sitter I have learnt many different tips and tricks over the years and I thought this would be a great way to share them with you. Enjoy!