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.
Dogs can eat anything right? No actually they can't. Even though they have a great immune system and wonderful bacteria to help them eat things like raw chicken, it doesn't mean they can eat anything. Here is a list of food that should NOT feed your dog.
1. Cooked bones
When cooked, bones become brittle and more likely to splinter which can cause various injuries to your dog. Splintered pieces of bone can get stuck in their mouth, throat, stomach or intestines which could also lead to constipation, rectal bleeding or peritonitis.
Raw meaty bones are a better option provided they are fresh and suitable to the size of your dog.
With Easter coming up there is bound to be lots of different chocolate based treats around your house (or yard if you do scavenger hunts with the kids) in the form of Easter Eggs or Bunnies. To avoid broken hearts and sick dogs keep your dog well away from the Easter stash. Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains cocoa (theobromine compound). Depending on how much cocoa is in the chocolate, how much the dog has ingested, the size of the dog etc. will depend on how sick the dog can get. Your dog may show signs of hyperactivity, increased water intake, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors etc. Chocolate poisoning can usually be treated by your vet.
3. Grapes & Raisins
At this stage it is unknown what it is exactly about grapes and raisins that is harmful to dogs, we only know that it IS harmful. Eating these can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and kidney failure.
Eating onions (or foods in the onion family like garlic and chives) can damage your dogs the red blood cells severely enough in some cases to require blood transfusions. Depending on how much your dog has ingested symptoms may not show for a couple of days. If your dog may display a lack of appetite, may seem lethargic, vomiting, diarrhoea, look pale (pale gums) and increased heart rate.
There is some debate about whether or not Avocados are toxic to dogs. The potential issue is with the compound persin which is found in some types of avocado (including HAAS) in varying amounts depending on ripeness etc. which can cause stomach upset. Plus the pit could cause your dog to choke if they got hold of it. Due to the diverse range of opinions it might be safer to err on the side of caution and forgo feeding avocado to your dog.
6. Seeds of some fruit (apples etc.)
The seeds of apple's , peaches, plums, pears and apricots contain a form of cyanide. While a few seeds may not cause any harm, the effects can accumulate over time.
7. Nuts (especially macadamia nuts)
Most nuts are high in oil and fat and this can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and may lead to pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts can also cause weakness, depression, tremors, inability to walk and hypothermia.
Side note. Peanuts are not actually nuts they are legumes so peanut butter is OK in small doses as it too is high in fat, and contains additional salt and sugar.
Does your dog like to eat EVERYTHING while out on a walk? Even if your dog is a bit more picky than that, make sure they don't consume any wild mushrooms. Certain mushrooms can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions and kidney damage.
Even though for a lot of us (myself included) coffee is a daily essential, it is definitely NOT essential to your dog. The stimulation from caffeine that helps us through the day can cause vomiting, restlessness and heart palpitations in dogs.
No surprise here! Alcohol can sometimes be toxic to humans too! The grapes and hops used in the making of wine and beer are both toxic to dogs and therefore so is the end product. Plus dogs are not designed to to process alcohol and due to their smaller size it doesn't take much for them to become intoxicated.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested any of these foods, seek veterinary assistance immediately. The symptoms listed above are not exhaustive and can also represent other illnesses in your dog. If you are unsure if something is safe to feed your dog, always check with your veterinarian. This is for your information only and is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.
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!