Not all foods are created equally, and this is especially true for the different kinds of foods that you feed your dog. In human diets, fruits are held in high regard. When feeding Fido, you need to remember that there are fruits dogs can eat and fruits that are toxic to our canine companions.
For humans, fruits are seen as a great source of natural and easily digestible natural sugars, vitamins, trace minerals, and they just plain old taste good. But, can the same be true for canines? The short answer is yes, but not all fruits are safe for dogs.
Much like in humans, fruits have the potential to positively effect a dog’s health. However, just like with many other human foods, there are some fruits that are not easily digested by canines, while some can be even toxic to dogs and will be fatal (like grapes).
Then there’s also the amount of sugars contained within fruit. Most humans don’t need to worry about the amount of natural sugars in every single fruit we eat, barring the person doesn’t have a metabolic condition like diabetes. Since we will be giving the dogs the fruits, we need to watch how much of it we give as some fruits contain so much sugar that, were moderation not practiced, would end up compromising the health of the dog.
With that in mind, here are six fruits that are actually very nutritious and safe for dogs to eat. Remember, if you want to give your dog fruit, start by feeding a very small quantity and observe your pet for any signs of an allergic reaction. If no reaction is seen, you can use these fruits as a healthy alternative to commercial dog treats.
6 Fruits Dogs Can Eat and Probably Should
(based on scientific studies)
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so the old saying goes. While you may not want to necessarily stick with this apple feeding schedule, giving your pooch an apple now and then will do him a world of good. Low in protein and fat, apples are a great source of vitamins A and C and one of the best fruits dogs can eat.
Apples contain Vitamin K and pectin, which is a soluble fiber and is great for scrubbing teeth and intestines of detritus. While most focus on the virtues of the vitamins contained within apples, it is actually the fiber which is to be celebrated. The soluble fiber contained in apples’ flesh was shown to improve digestion and nutrient absorption in dogs (1).
There are, however, a couple of things to watch out for when it comes to feeding apples to dogs, not the least of which are apple seeds. Consuming apple seeds can be fatal for your dog, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide that dogs have a nearly impossible time passing through their system, and then there’s also GI tract problems.
The stem and core of apples should also be withheld from dogs, as they may serve as choking hazards. This is especially important for larger dogs that tend to forego chewing and just swallow the small core or stem whole when consuming apples.
Next on our list of fruits dogs can eat is the banana. I have yet to encounter a dog that doesn’t like bananas. This is most likely due to the plethora of sugar they contain, which is why it’s so important to ensure you feed them to your pet in moderation.
Bananas are an excellent fruit to give to your dog. Low in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats, this fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and, much like apples, dietary fiber. For many people, potassium has become synonymous with bananas. As such, bananas have been seen as a quick source of energy.
There’s evidence to suggest that potassium from bananas has a similar effect on dogs (2).
Potassium has also been shown to play a part in initiating a cardiovascular response to static muscular contractions. This once again shows the effects that potassium has on muscular contractions, much like how humans tend to eat a banana when they suffer a cramped…