It goes without saying that we love our dogs. They are loyal, unconditionally loving companions that do so much, and ask for so little (metaphorically speaking, of course). And it’s tough, as dog mommies and daddies, to think that our pups have to eat the same dish of dry kibble every single day.
For all that they give us, the least we can do is periodically brighten their diets with a sweet—and safe—treat.
Here are ten fruits suitable to share with your four-legged friend.
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Dogs love the taste of this refreshing and healthy summer staple. Not only is watermelon a great source of lycopene, vitamin A, B-6, and C, it’s primary composition (water, of course) provides nourishment and hydration—perfect for active pups who love to run around the yard. A word of warning: be sure to de-seed (both the black and white ones) any quantity of watermelon before giving to your dog, and absolutely no rinds as these present choking hazards and can cause digestive issues.
A great addition to your dog’s diet, blueberries are positively brimming with nutrients, including high levels fiber, vitamin C and resveratrol (a natural phenol shown to fight heart disease and various types of cancer). Additionally, the tannins are great at preventing urinary tract infections, while antioxidants help to boost your dog’s immune system. On those hotter days, freezing a handful of blueberries makes for a refreshing, crunchy snack.
Yep! Believe it or not, pumpkin is actually a fruit so it definitely makes our list. Feeding your dogs some of this seasonal staple ensures that you are loading them up on fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants—all of which help to alleviate digestive issues, like diarrhea and constipation, and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Many dog owners use bananas to hide pills and medications that they feed to their pups, however, when consumed in moderation, bananas can definitely be a tasty, low-calorie treat all on their own. Not only are they loaded with potassium, vitamins, fiber, and copper, bananas are also low in cholesterol and sodium. The reason for moderation? Bananas, though delicious and digestible, are high in sugar so plan accordingly before you peel.
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Blackberries are another healthy treat for your pooch when consumed in moderation (again, like most fruits, they are high in sugar). Blackberries are teeming with numerous benefits, including those for skin, eyes, heart and brain function. Antioxidants, fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K help boost immunes systems and flush toxins from the body. Try them frozen for a yummy, crunchy snack.
Cantaloupes are not only safe for dogs, but they are also loaded with vitamins (A, B-6 and C) and beta-carotene that can help with vision and cell management, while fiber, folate and potassium help reduce the risk of cancer. An added perk: cantaloupe is a great, low-calorie source of hydration for those summer afternoons. Be sure not to overindulge, however, as high sugar levels may prove challenging to overweight or diabetic pups.
Now, this is a tough one. The benefits to including cranberries into your dog’s diet are plentiful, however, many pups simply do not like the distinctive texture and tart taste. And their tiny size can present choking hazards for those excited eaters. However, as an anti-inflammatory, a natural nausea suppressant and a great remedy (and preventative measure) for urinary tract infections, cranberries are a great treat—as is, or dried.
Who doesn't love an apple? Not only are they a fantastic source of vitamins A and C, but they are also extremely low in fat and high in fiber, making it the ideal treat for dogs (and their humans). Additionally, the gritty texture helps to remove plaque and tartar that builds up under the gum line, while brightening teeth and freshening breath. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core, as these can present choking hazards.
This one may come as a surprise to some, given the acidity levels present in citrus fruit but, rest assured, it is definitely on our safe list. That is, the inner, fleshy fruit is safe—not the rinds, which are nearly impossible for dogs to digest. As you may have guessed, oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, not to mention their high potassium and fiber content. Remember to limit the quantity you share with your pup as oranges are very high in sugar.
Not just a favorite of humans, raspberries pack a sweet and tangy taste and offer a range of benefits for your pup. They are teeming with vitamin C for bone and muscle development, high in fiber for ease with digestion and low in sugar and calories. Raspberries also contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the pain and pressure of your older dog’s tendons and joints. Again, everything in moderation: high levels of Xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol, can upset stomachs. To be safe, no more than 1 cup of raspberries a week.
11. Strawberries (bonus)
Like raspberries, strawberries are a sweet and delicious go-to fruit for many; unlike raspberries, they contain a lot of sugar. While strawberries are still safe for dogs, it is best to consider them a monthly, or even an every-once-in-a-while, treat. That being said, dogs love the taste of these berries. And who can blame them? In addition to their palatable profile, strawberries are high in fiber and vitamin C—perfect for digestion and immune system support. They also work wonders at maintaining healthy bones and teeth and have even been shown to brighten and whiten smiles.
There you have it! Ten of the tastiest treats that you can safely and confidently feed your dog. Always remember to exercise moderation, and be sure to monitor your furry friends for dietary reactions and behaviors post-snacking.
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