It's hard to look at a tiny Chihuahua and imagine it evolved from a massive wolf, but man's best friend is most certainly a wolf descendant. That means their diet, like a wolf's diet, should be based mostly on consumption of meat. That being said, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables dogs can eat. In fact, some fruits and vegetables can actually be great for your dog, adding necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber to his diet.
An apple a day
Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber. They are low in protein and fat, meaning they're an ideal snack for overweight and senior dogs. Plus, many dogs actually enjoy the satisfying crunch of an apple. When giving them to your dog, always core and seed the fruit first, and you may even want to freeze it for a great warm-weather treat.
Apricots are pleasing
Both cats and dogs can enjoy the sweet, fleshy fruit of an apricot as long as the poisonous stem, leaves, and seeds are removed first. These small stone fruits are packed full of potassium and beta-carotene, which Trupanion says can help fight against cancer.
Go bananas for dogs!
High in potassium, vitamins, biotin, copper, and fiber, bananas are a great dessert for pups that can help heart and kidney functions. That being said, they should only be an occasional treat because while they are low in calories, cholesterol, and sodium, they are high in carbs and sugar. Because they should be fed in moderation, bananas for dogs should only be served in small portions, so don't ever give your pup a whole banana all at once.
Better love bell peppers
Red, green, yellow, or orange, any color of bell pepper is a good addition to your dog's diet because they are high in beta carotene, fiber, and antioxidants that will boost your dog's immune system. Always remove the stem and seeds and cut the peppers into manageable pieces before serving to your pet.
The beauty of blueberries
Of all fruits that are good for dogs, you might have the easiest time giving your pup blueberries since many dogs love to catch these in the air and gobble them down. These superfoods are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and phytochemicals, and they have been shown to help lower the chances of urinary tract infections while also boosting night vision. Talk about a super snack!
Broccoli for your good boy
Don't go crazy giving your pup this veggie because the florets contain isothiocyanates, which can upset some dogs' stomachs. In small quantities, though, broccoli is a great treat that is high in fiber and vitamin C as well as low in fat. Always chop the broccoli in small pieces, as stalks can cause obstruction in the esophagus when not broken down enough, according to the American Kennel Club.
Believe in Brussels sprouts
While many dogs will turn their nose up at these snacks, Brussels sprouts are a very healthy food for man and beast alike, as they are loaded with vitamins C and K as well as antioxidants. Always cook until tender and chop into bite-sized pieces before you feed them to your dog, or the healthy treat could be a choking hazard. If your pup does love them, don't give her too many because Brussels sprouts do cause gas in dogs just like in humans.
Like Brussels sprouts, few dogs are overeager to eat cabbage. If you can get your pup to snack on it, though, you'll be giving him something that can help digestion, fight cancer, and improve the condition of skin and fur. Always serve it cooked in order to aid in digestion, and don't serve too much because it can harm the thyroid gland when served in excess.
Cheers to cantaloupe
High in nutrients, fiber, and water while still low in calories, cantaloupe is a great summertime snack for dogs. It may even have anti-inflammatory properties. It is still high in sugar, though, so always serve this one in moderation, especially if you have an overweight or diabetic pooch. When serving, always remove the skin and seeds first and then cut it into small bites before giving it to your dog.
Crazy about carrots
Here's another veggie that many dogs love right off the bat. You can feel good giving your pup carrots because they are high in fiber, low in calories, full of beta-carotene, great for the eyes, good for the fur, and crunching on them can even help your dog's teeth.
Share the cauliflower
The vitamins and antioxidants in cauliflower may help reduce inflammation in arthritic pets, and its high fiber is great for digestive health. Serve it raw or cooked but always in small bites without the stem and leaves, as these can be choking hazards. Also, serve it in moderation because too much may upset your pooch's tummy.
Crunch some celery
Dogs don't always like the taste of celery but many love its crunchy texture. That's good news too because celery is high in vitamins A, B, and C, promotes heart health, fights cancer, and it even freshens doggy breath, which is something everyone can appreciate!
The mighty cranberry
Many dog owners love feeding their pups cranberries since they can help fight urinary tract infections. As a bonus, these little berries also offer a good dose of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. While dried, cooked, and raw cranberries are fine for dogs, avoid giving them cranberry sauce or juice, as these are too high in sugar and will upset your dog's stomach.
Cool as a cucumber
These treats are a great source of hydration for pets, and they contain little to no carbohydrates, oils, or fats, making them a great option for overweight animals. They can also boost energy levels, lower blood pressure, and even freshen your dog's breath. Finally, they are loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as biotin, potassium, copper, and magnesium.
Green beans are grrreat!
Raw, steamed, canned, frozen — it doesn't matter as long as the green beans are plain and low in sodium. These healthy snacks are a good source of protein, iron, and fiber. They're also low in calories, making them a good treat for pups who need to slim down a little. Maybe that's why PetMD labeled them as one of the top 10 fruits and veggies to feed your dog.
Munching marvelous mangos
Filled with vitamins A, B6, C, and E, mangos also have potassium, beta-carotene, fiber, and alpha-carotene. Don't just toss your pup a full mango, though, as the seed needs to be removed first since it contains cyanide and can also be a choking hazard. Ideally, you'll want to chop it into small pieces before serving to make digestion easier and so it won't upset your dog's tummy.
Orange you glad about oranges?
You probably know that oranges are high in vitamin C, but they also offer a good serving of potassium and fiber. That being said, it's important to serve these treats carefully, discarding the peel, seeds, stems, and leaves because these can be poisonous to dogs.
Peaches are just peachy
Fresh peaches are a great treat for pups, as they contain a lot of fiber and vitamin A. They can even help fight infections. However, always keep your dog away from the pit because these contain cyanide. Also, avoid serving your dog canned peaches, as these are packed in sugary syrups that are not appropriate for pets.
Perfectly pleasant pears
Petfeed says that eating pears may reduce the risk of stroke in humans by as much as 50 percent! While that may or may not apply to dogs, it certainly won't hurt to feed your pooch these healthy treats that are full of copper, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and fiber. Plus, they even offer anti-cancer benefits. Always remove the core and seeds of the pear when serving, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.
More peas, please
Like green beans, you can serve up frozen, mashed, thawed, fresh, steamed, or canned peas to your pup as long as they are plain and low in sodium. Practically any pea variety will be fine, too, including snow peas, sugar snap peas, and English peas. These tiny treats offer vitamin B, thiamin, potassium, protein, and fiber, which can, among other things, boost energy levels and improve bone health.
Pineapple is so pleasant
Fresh pineapple is a great treat for pups, but be sure to remove the prickly outside and hard core in order to eliminate choking hazards. This tropical treat is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help your pup's immune system and digestion. Keep servings small and infrequent since the fruit is very sugary.
Pumpkin for pups
Pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals, but its biggest benefit is that it is full of water and fiber. Those last two benefits mean that pumpkin is fantastic for constipation, diarrhea, and anal gland problems. Never give your dog premixed pumpkin pie filling, though, as this contains sugar and spices on top of the pumpkin puree.
Red raspberries, really
In moderation, raspberries can be a great addition to your dog's diet because they are low in sugar and calories but high in antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. They also have many anti-inflammatory properties, making them a good treat for older or arthritic dogs. That being said, they contain slight amounts of Xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs, so never feed more than a cup at a time.
Sweet, succulent strawberries
Full of vitamin C and fiber, strawberries are fine for dogs in moderation, but avoid giving too many to your furry friend, as they are high in sugar. They can be given fresh, frozen, or pureed and will help strengthen the immune system, slow age-related problems, and even help whiten your dog's teeth.
Celebrate with spinach
Spinach is a superfood and contains a whole rainbow of vitamins and minerals that can help all areas of a pet's health. Unfortunately, you'll only want to share a small amount with your dog at a time because it contains a lot of oxalic acid, which makes it more difficult for the body to absorb calcium, something that can ultimately cause kidney damage. Your pup would have to eat a lot of spinach for this to happen, but it's best to keep the servings small so you don't risk it.
Savory sweet potato
Sweet potato offers many of the same benefits as pumpkin, including those digestive benefits related to a high amount of fiber and water, but it also offers more vitamins, thiamine, niacin, and copper.
Wet, wonderful watermelon
With its 92 percent water content, watermelon is a fantastic way to help hydrate your dog over the summer. It also contains vitamins A, B-6, and C as well as potassium, which can help maintain healthy function in your pup's nerves and muscles. When serving, be sure to remove the rind and seeds, as these can cause intestinal blockage.
Sweet and savory zucchini
Zucchini has high levels of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium and can help protect your dog from infections, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Try serving it shredded on your dog's regular food to give her meal a healthy boost.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.