Dogs are experts at grabbing our food, especially during the holidays when more food is available and within easy reach of a dog’s inquiring nose. A lot of people food isn’t healthy for our dogs to eat and certain foods like chocolate, grapes and raisins are toxic to them if they eat even a tiny amount. However, there are fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat and can be added to their daily meal to help boost their immune system and help keep them healthy.
Dogs are omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything they can find when they are hungry, but according to their anatomy and how their short digestive system works, dogs are considered to be carnivores. But that doesn’t stop a dog from chowing down on anything they consider food and for most dogs, people food is their favorite. They have no idea if the food they just ingested is safe for them to eat or not. It’s up to us as responsible pet owners to make sure everything our dogs eat and drink are safe for them.
Fruits and vegetables can be added to your dog’s daily diet or given as treats. Because their digestive tract is short, they aren’t able to break down the cell wall of the fruits or vegetables completely. Some fruits and vegetables can give your dog diarrhea if he eats too much. Feed any people food in moderation and give appropriate amounts depending on the size of the dog. Fresh fruit has sugar in it, and even too much natural sugar is bad for them.
People food that’s safe for dogs to eat.
Apple– The stem and seeds in this fruit contain a form of cyanide which can be deadly for your dog or cat, so make sure to remove both stem and seeds before giving this people food to your pet. Most dogs will gobble down an apple in nothing flat, but some don’t like the peeling. If your dog won’t eat an apple treat, try peeling it first. Apples are low in sodium and saturated fat, contain phosphorus and calcium and are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. However, if your dog has kidney disease or arthritis, it’s best to not give him apples. Talk with your vet before giving your dog people food if you are unsure if it’s safe or not. Too many apples can give your dog diarrhea or an upset stomach, so make sure to monitor how much they eat.
Banana-This sweet fruit is a great source of potassium that helps keep the muscular system healthy.
Blackberry-Some dogs love blackberries so much they will pick them right off a brush. This is a good fruit to help keep the blood healthy.
Broccoli-Definitely give this vegetable in moderation because it can give your dog excess gas. The same health benefits we get from any of the green vegetables are also given to dogs. Antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and minerals that helps promote good intestinal health. Cats will also eat broccoli, but you usually have to mix it in with their canned food or mixed in with some fresh raw ground turkey. If you use turkey, make sure it’s ground turkey and not the turkey you eat at Thanksgiving. You can also mix it in raw hamburger. A great treat for cats or as their everyday meal.
Beets-I had a dog who loved eating canned beets straight from the can. Too many beets, however, can give your dog a reddish tint to their skin or coat. You may also see a reddish or pink color in their urine. It’s nothing to worry about, but you may want to cut back on the amount of beets your dog is eating. Carrots can also give your dog a orange or reddish color to their skin and urine. Stick with a couple slices a day up to 1 or 2 beets or carrots a day to avoid a color change in your dog’s skin or coat.
Cranberry-A healthy little red fruit that’s as beneficial for our pets as it is for us. This people food has been used for centuries to help prevent urinary tract infection and if your dog or cat wants to nibble on some berries, they are perfectly safe to eat. If your dog or cat has had UTI, try mixing in some chopped up berries in their food to help the infection from returning or give them cranberry supplements. Talk with your vet about proper doses if giving a cranberry supplement.
Pumpkin-Cooked or raw, is a great people food to keep around the house. Not only do most dogs like the taste, it works good to help clear up diarrhea or constipation. Mix a tablespoon in with their food if you have a small dog or cat and a large dog can have 2 or 3 tablespoons two or three times a week. Most dogs will eat the pumpkin by itself. If your dog had diarrhea and becomes constipated from eating the pumpkin, cut back on how much you are giving him and the same thing for constipation if he then gets diarrhea. Caution: make sure to use plain canned pumpkin if you buy it in a can. The pumpkin used for making pumpkin pie is not something your dog should eat because of the added spices. This tasty vegetable is also safe for cats to eat for the same reason you give it to your dog and most cats like it as much as dogs.
Other fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs to eat. The vegetables are easier for dogs to digest if they are cooked, but some dogs like them raw. All the people food listed is safe for dogs. Any of them make good treats that will help keep your dog from gaining weight from eating too many regular dog treats.
Watermelon-with no seeds
Carrots-cooked or raw.
White Potatoes as long as they are cooked.
Green Beans-cooked or raw with no salt if giving them canned green beans.
Lettuce and other green leafy vegetables like, cabbage, bok choy, mustard greens, spinach, etc.
Peaches-with no seed.
Mango-make sure it doesn’t upset your dog’s stomach. Mango is acidic so feed this slowly at first.
Oranges-like mango, make sure it doesn’t upset your dog’s stomach.
Pears-with no seeds.
Sweet Potato cooked or raw.
For a list of people food cats should never eat, go to this article. These foods are also not safe for dogs to eat.
Mary Kearl, 10 Human Foods Dogs Can Eat, Paw nation
Pamela Babcock, People Foods Your Dog Can Eat, WebMDRoschelle Heuberger, PhD, The Bark, 10 Ways to
Liven up Your Dog’s Dinner, Care2