While dogs don’t require carbohydrates in their diet to survive, like they do protein and fats, there are many healthy fruits for dogs.
However, when when it comes to feeding your dog fruit, there are a few things we need to keep in mind.
Fruits are a great source of fibre, which contributes to digestive health, they contain an array of different vitamins and minerals which work to boost the immune system, and they’re rich in phytonutrients that help to fight chronic disease.
Tips when feeding fruits to dogs
When it comes to feeding healthy fruits for dogs we need to make sure we aren’t feeding too much due to the sugar content, so as with feeding both fruit and vegetables to dogs, it should contribute only around 5% of the total diet.
Any seeds and stones should always be removed as well because they are generally toxic, or at the very least can cause tummy upsets.
Plus, the larger seeds found in fruits such as peaches, apricots and avocados for example, can also become a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages.
Top healthy fruits for dogs:
Apples – Are a source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They’re rich in pectin which is a great prebiotic fibre that feeds our dog’s beneficial bacteria and supports both gut and immune health.
Blueberries – are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and fibre. They also contain a specific and potent class of antioxidants called anthocyanidins which have been researched to help with general health and wellbeing, healthy ageing, heart heath, and brain function.
Bananas – but ideally Green Bananas, as they’re a rich source of resistant starch which helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in our dog’s gut. As bananas ripen, this resistant starch is converted into sugar, which makes ripe bananas taste sweet, but is best kept to a minimum for our pets – so the greener the better.
Oranges – are an excellent source of potassium and fibre. They’re also one of the highest known sources of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that supports the health and function of the immune system.
Strawberries – are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids which have potent antioxidant properties, making them great for the immune system as well as the ongoing general health and wellbeing of our pets.
Cucumber – great for dogs that need to lose weight because of its high water content.
Pineapple – good in small amounts to support digestion because of the enzyme bromelain that it contains.
Pumpkin – a rich source of soluble fibre and potassium, which is great for supporting gut health when there is any vomiting or diarrhea.
Misconceptions about Avocado
Avocado often gets a bad rap when it comes to healthy fruits for dogs, but they’re extremely nutrient dense and a great source of potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, fibre and good fats. It’s really only the stone and skin you need to worry about, so make sure you remove those before feeding.
Avoid the high sugar fruits
I tend to recommend minimising the higher-sugar fruits such as mango, for example, especially for dogs with diabetes or that need to lose some weight.
And, while fruit can be a fun and healthy treat, dogs get the maximum benefit when fruits are crushed or minced, as this aids digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Other food health tips for your dog
You can learn more about some of the health benefits both fruits and vegetables can provide to your dog here.
Plus, you will find many of the healthy fruits for dogs, at the right amount and already crushed, in the Big Dog Pet Foods raw food diet, so to check out what they include and the benefits to your dog’s health, visit their website.
You can also learn more about the benefits of a raw food diet in many articles on our website, but a good place to start is here.
About the Author; Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, pet food nutrition specialist, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love Your Dog