5 Phenomenal Fruits For Dogs
Along with vegetables, fruit is a fantastic addition to your dog's diet - whether you feed kibble or a balanced raw diet. Fruit provides high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre; important nutrients that lower inflammation in the body, which leads to better health.
If there were Academy Awards for fruit, I think berries would win all the awards. Berries top the list for the amount of work they can do in the body.
Generally, feed fruit in small amounts. (Try to feed green leafy vegetables more often than fruit.) Berries will need to be pureed or mashed with a fork. Soft fruit can be fed 'as is'. Firmer fruit will need to be whizzed in the food processor.
There is some discussion over whether fruit exacerbates yeast overgrowth in dogs, and certainly there are many anecdotal reports that it does. If your dog regularly experiences an overgrowth of yeast you might consider limiting or even excluding certain fruits from his diet, and see if it helps.
Fruit is known to loosen the stool - something to keep in mind when you are planning meals. It's totally fine to use frozen fruit, and I use frozen wild blueberries regularly for my own dogs.
My Favourite 5 Fruits for Dogs
Blueberries - Low in calories, and lower on the GI index, blueberries are very high in antioxidants, fibre, and pytochemicals. They can help lower inflammation, prevent cognitive damage, and along with other berries, are considered an 'anti-cancer' food.
Raspberries- Also high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, red raspberries contain ellagitannins which have anti-cancer properties.
Cranberries - Cranberries are one of the go-to foods for promoting urinary tract health.
Watermelon - Watermelon is low in calories, high in lycopene, and a favourite of many dogs. Try them frozen in cubes. Remove the seeds and the rind before feeding.
Apples - Apples make my list of favourite fruits because they are convenient, available year round, and in the fruit bowls of many kitchens. Apples contain gut soothing pectin. Unsweetened applesauce is a great option on occasion. Avoid feeding the seeds of apples.
Let's not stop with this list. There are many other kinds of fruit that are healthy for dogs, and you can expand your dog's diet beyond my favourites; think pears, cantaloupe, pomegranates, peach, pineapple. Imagine your dog's delight to share a piece of ripe, juicy fruit with you! I often think how boring it must be for a dog to eat dry kibble, and nothing but, for weeks or months on end.
A couple of slices of banana will give your dog a sweet treat that is also a good source of prebiotics (unripe bananas in particular) and a great source of potassium. Bananas are higher in calories, and are best as an occasional treat.
As with any new food, start small with one new food at a time, test for tolerance and build up slowly over time. Slow and steady is the best way to add new foods to your dog's diet.