Dogs can enjoy a variety of fresh fruits as snacks. Adding fresh fruits to their diets occasionally gives you the opportunity to share your garden bounty with your four-legged friends …
Providing your pet with a helping of nutrient rich fruits can help him live a healthier, longer life, even reducing the risk of certain diseases, including cancer.
In Moderation Please
Always remember to feed fruits and vegetables in moderation – a few berries here, a spoonful of pureed pumpkin there. Too much of a good thing can trigger stomach upset, particularly fruits, which contain certain acids your pet’s digestive tract can only tolerate in small doses.
Here are seven dog friendly fruits:
1.) Apples – Try peeling them and giving a few slices to your pooch. Most love the taste! We recommend serving your pup seedless, organic apple slices, because apple seeds naturally contain cyanide. Apples are the perfect training treat, and applesauce is an ideal base for all kinds of homemade biscuits.
2.) Blueberries – The sweet flavor is very attractive to canines. Drool worthy indeed! Blueberries are mini powerhouses of antioxidants. Like cranberries, blueberries help prevent urinary tract infections because they contain condensed tannins, the compounds responsible for keeping bacteria from attaching to the wall of the bladder.
3.) Pears – Like apples, make a great treat for dogs. They relish the sweetness. Beware of the seeds…only give your dog a few seed-free pieces. Too many pears can result in gastric upset.
4.) Strawberries & Raspberries – They are good for your furry friend for the same reason they’re good for humans: chock full of free-radical-fighting antioxidants. A lot of dogs like them frozen as a refreshing snack. Restrict your dog’s intake as too many berries may cause diarrhea.
5.) Pumpkin – A pumpkin is not a vegetable; botanically it’s a fruit! Pumpkins belong to the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and gourds. Vets prescribe pumpkin due to the many health benefits, especially helps to bulk up stool. A few tablespoons of canned, roasted or pureed pumpkin is gobbled up by hounds. Also excellent in dog biscuit recipes. (see below) Only use raw or canned raw pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling is loaded with sugar.
6.) Cantaloupe & Watermelon – Cantaloupes are an excellent source of vitamin A due to their very high concentration of beta-carotene, and help support good vision. It’s considered an especially safe fruit because it is not commonly allergenic, or contain pesticide residues. Watermelon is equally refreshing and packs a more powerful lycopene punch…more than tomatoes. Dogs love a few seed-free chunks. Chilled is even better!
7.) Bananas – Banana slices are safe for your dog and they make an excellent snack. They are a great source of potassium too. We enjoy freezing mashed up banana with plain or vanilla yogurt and scooping the mix into ice-cube trays. (We bought special bone-shaped trays at a sidewalk sale last month) A tasty summer treat pups love!
Not all fruits are good for dogs. Never give your pooch these:
• Grapes and raisins have the potential to be toxic to your canine companion. A bunch of grapes, or even just a few raisins, can lead to acute renal failure. Symptoms of toxicity include abdominal pain, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Harley, our neighbor’s great dane / black lab mix, loves dried apricots! When we watched him for a weekend this past summer, we placed his bag of apricots in the refrigerator. He really enjoyed them chilled … a refreshing treat! He also gives a paw’s up to the recipe below for frozen banana yogurt cubes …
You can also freeze them in cups for a longer lasting treat. Note: never give apricot pits to dogs as they can cause intestinal blockage plus contain a small amount of cyanide.
My Favorite Dog Recipes … Using Fruit:
Pumpkin – Peanut Butter Dog Cookies
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 tablespoons peanut butter (we use organic)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
* Mix together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter and cinnamon.
* Add water by tablespoons, as needed, to help make the dough workable. Note: the dough should be dry and stiff.
* Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll.
* Cut into cute shapes with cookie cutters. We use doggy bone and fire hydrant shaped cookie cutters.
* Bake in a preheated oven on cookie sheets for about 40 minutes. Don’t let the bottoms of the cookies burn.
Easy to make and so yummy…your dog will beg for more!
Here’s a great recipe for a hot, summer day …
Frozen Banana Yogurt Dogsicles
32 oz. plain yogurt
2 bananas mashed
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
Mix all the above together in a large bowl. Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze until hard. Pop out and serve. Great treat on a hot day!
Tip: Feed these to your dog outside as they can be a bit messy.