Summer is the time for delicious fruits and vegetables. So while you’re enjoying this season’s abundant harvest, why not share some with your beloved pet?
There are many fruits and vegetables your pet will love. And they’re good for them too. Just like any new food, start slow. Try small amounts first to see how your pet reacts. If you notice any stomach upset that fruit or vegetable may not be a good choice.
Some fruits and vegetables are dangerous for pets. We’ll talk about those next week. But this week, let’s look at the delicious and healthy treats your pet can enjoy along with you.
They’re a great source of vitamins A and C. They also contain a lot of fiber. Because they’re low in fat and protein, they’re a better snack choice for senior and overweight pets than store-bought treats.
Slice them and freeze them for a refreshing summer treat. Don’t feed the seeds or core. As with many fruit pits and seeds, they contain cyanide and that can be dangerous to pets. And the core is a choking hazard.
They’re a mineral powerhouse high in magnesium, potassium, biotin, and copper. Bananas are also a great source of fiber. But they are high in sugar. So don’t overdue it.
You can stuff a Kong toy with banana and freeze it for a great treat and an entertaining activity for your dog.
Avoid giving your pet the peel. Although it isn’t toxic, it’s hard to digest.
This fruit’s high in vitamins A, B6, C and potassium. And it’s 92% water which makes it great for keeping your pet hydrated in the summer.
Remove the rind. It can cause stomach upset. And the seeds can cause an intestinal blockage.
There’s lots of fiber and vitamin C in this fruit. But it’s also high in sugar, so go easy. Cut the berries into small pieces to avoid choking.
A bonus… strawberries have an enzyme that can whiten your pet’s teeth.
Not all pets will like the tartness of oranges. But they are high in vitamin C, potassium and fiber. You can give a big dog a whole orange (minus the skin). But smaller dogs should have only a third.
One or two segments are really enough for a treat. Oranges are high in sugar too. So an overweight pet shouldn’t eat too many.
Some pets have a hard time digesting oranges. So start with just a small amount until you’re sure it agrees with them.
This fruit is considered a super food for humans and pets. It’s full of fiber, phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds), and antioxidants. It’s low in calories and high in vitamin C.
And just like in people, antioxidants prevent cell damage, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the effects of brain aging… great for our elderly pets.
I’m talking about the raw, fresh kind only. No canned pineapple in syrup for your pets. It’s got way too much sugar in the syrup.
As long as you feed your pet the raw yellow flesh without the spiny skin or core, pineapple is a delicious treat.
It’s nutrient dense containing vitamin C, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium and iron.
If you give your pet pineapple, feed small quantities. It’s very high in fiber which can cause diarrhea. And very high in sugar… that’s not good for anyone.
Peaches have vitamin A and fiber. They are a tasty treat but never feed your pet the pit. It has cyanide as many pits and seeds do.
And once again, only the fresh version. No canned peaches soaked in sugary syrup.
They have anti-inflammatory properties making them a good snack choice for elderly pets with joint pain.
They’re high in fiber, manganese and vitamin C, but low in sugar and calories. And they contain antioxidants. But you don’t want to feed your pet too many because they contain a small amount of Xylitol which can be deadly to your pet.
A mango has vitamins A, B6, C, E, and potassium, beta-carotene and alpha carotene making it a healthy snack option for your pet. But again remove the pit. It has cyanide and can be a choking hazard.
Cantaloupe is a great year-round treat. It’s got vitamins A, B6, and C, along with beta-carotene, fiber, folate, niacin and potassium.
Beta-carotene helps prevent cell damage and reduces the risk of cancer.
But again, skip the rind and feed only the flesh.
This is a great addition to the diet if your pet has gastrointestinal problems. It can alleviate diarrhea and constipation. It’s also good for cardiovascular health.
Pumpkin is full of fiber, vitamin A and antioxidants.
These are good raw or cooked but the crunchiness of a raw carrot is great for your pet’s dental health.
They’re high in fiber and beta-carotene.
My Greyhound came running when he heard the peeler come out of the draw.
Cucumbers are terrific because they’re low in carbohydrates and fat, making them great for overweight pets.
My Greyhound had the metabolism of a tri-athlete and could have used a little fat on his bones. But that didn’t stop him from loving cucumbers.
They contain vitamins K, C, B1 and potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. And they say cucumbers can give your pet an energy boost.
Not only does celery contain vitamins A, B and C, but it also can freshen doggy breath. That sounds good!
Sweet or white potatoes
Washed, peeled, boiled or baked, potatoes are a great source of fiber. But never feed potatoes raw… way too hard to digest. White potatoes contain iron. Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, and vitamins B6 and C.
Stay away from mashed potatoes that contain butter and milk, and sweet potato pies with added sugar or marshmallows.
This is the super power of veggies for pets. They contain omega-3 fatty acids; vitamins A, C, and K; calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and beta-carotene.
Wow… this one’s worth keeping at the ready!
Although there are many great options your pet can enjoy, I realize not everyone wants to feed their pet fruits and vegetables. And you don’t have to. If you are feeding your pet a well-balanced nutritious food like Husse, your pet is getting all it needs.
But if you like to give your pet a treat, fruits and vegetables are better options than store bought packaged treats.
Regardless of your treat choice, remember moderation is always best. And if ever your pet has a negative reaction to something you feed them, stop giving them that food and call your vet if problems persist.
What fruits and vegetables do your pets enjoy? Tell us in the comment section at the top of the page.