Which Fruits Are Best For Dogs?
As carnivores at heart, there’s nothing dogs love more than real, fresh, raw meat — but a few pieces of fruit now and then don’t hurt. In fact, they can even be a good, sweet source of added vitamins for your best pal.
For example, blueberries are one of the healthiest and most nutritious fruits for dogs. They’re full of so many natural nutrients and antioxidants that they can even be considered a superfood for both humans and canines. (That’s why all grain free dog food here at Nature’s Advantage contains this incredible wonder-fruit!).
Be aware that some of the fruits that are not on this list (like cherries, avocados, star fruit or lemons) are not good for dogs, and may even be toxic to your best pal. Stick with the foods you know are safe — and if you’re ever in doubt, offer your pup a healthy dog treat instead!
Healthy Berries for Dogs
Many of our favorite berries are good for our dogs, too — including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries. Berries are low-calorie and high in fiber, packed with Vitamins C, K, and E as well as other nutrients like manganese.
Berries are also a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent cell damage, reduce the risk of cancer, and fight heart disease. There’s also evidence that antioxidants can boost the immune system and improve brain function. At least one study has even linked antioxidants to improved night vision!
Cranberries, blackberries and blueberries also contain high levels of tannins, which can help prevent UTIs. If your dog is prone to UTIs, don’t rely on berries as your only treatment, but definitely see if your pup may be interested in a cranberry or two with breakfast.
Blueberries and blackberries also contain phytochemicals, a natural cancer-fighting compound. Blackberries are also a good source of Vitamin A.
Strawberries and blackberries contain omega-3s, and strawberries also contain malic acid (which has been linked to whiter teeth). Be aware that strawberries are naturally higher in sugar than other berries, so only feed in moderation. Don’t let your dog eat the green part, either.
Strawberries and raspberries are a good source of Vitamin B, and raspberries are also known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you have a pup with a joint injury or arthritis, a few raspberries a day can help keep aches and pains away!
Some dogs don’t like the taste of berries, while others go mad for them! But even if you have a berry-loving Beagle, make sure to feed your dog berries in moderation. Some berries, like blackberries and raspberries, do contain a very small amount of xylitol (birch sugar) which is toxic to dogs. A handful of berries won’t do any harm — but don’t let your dog raid a bucketful of berries.
With all berries, feed only the fresh version. Stay away from candied or sugared berries, or berry sauces, jams, or juices. These processed products contain too many sweeteners and artificial preservatives. (Oh, and definitely keep your pup away from the Craisins!)
Healthy Tropical Fruits for Dogs
Do you have an island-loving pup?? There are several tropical fruits that are healthy for dogs, such as mangoes, oranges, bananas, kiwis and pineapples. These tropical fruits are rich in vitamins and other nutrients, especially fiber, Vitamin C and potassium.
When feeding your dog any tropical fruit, always remove pits, seeds, peels and rinds first. These parts of the fruit may be harmful for your dog. Remember, it’s the juicy fruit itself that is good for them!
Mangoes are a good source of alpha-carotenes and beta-carotenes, and also contain Vitamin B. Oranges are rich in Vitamin B, too, as well as folic acid, calcium, iron, flavonoids and phytonutrients. (Note that while fresh orange slices are good for your dog, stay away from orange juice, which is heavily processed).
While some dogs are skeptical of citrus-y fruits like oranges, almost all dogs love bananas. Frozen banana slices are excellent snacks for dogs, rich in Vitamin B and potassium.
Finally, pineapple is one the best tropical fruits to give your dog because it contains the enzyme bromelain which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapple is also rich in thiamine, copper, zinc and folate.
These sweet treats are rich in nutrients but also tend to be high in sugar, so feed them to Fido sparingly — maybe a bite of fruit every few days. (For low calorie, low sugar treats that you can feed your pup as often as you like, stick to lean protein treats like turkey or minnows!).
More Healthy Fruits for Dogs
Some of our favorite everyday fruits are also good for dogs, including apples, pears, peaches, cantaloupes and watermelons. These are all good sources of fiber as well as Vitamins A and C.
Apples and pears are both good sources of phosphorus and calcium. Pears are also rich in Vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, copper and folic acid. Watermelon and cantaloupe are both excellent sources of beta carotenes. Watermelons also contain lycopene, while cantaloupes are a good source of thiamine, niacin and folic acid.
Whenever you are feeding these healthy fruits to your dog, remember to always remove the non-fleshy parts of the fruit. That means the core, stem and seeds of apples and pears, the seeds and rinds of watermelons and cantaloupes, and the pits of peaches. These parts of the plant contain toxic compounds such as cyanide that can be very dangerous to Fido.
You should also avoid canned, dried or otherwise heavily processed fruits for the same reason. Remember, fresh or frozen is best!
When prepared correctly and fed in moderation, all of these fruits can be healthy snacks or mix-ins for your dog. One excellent use for berries or fruit slices is in pupsicles. Freeze a few fruit pieces in an ice cube tray along with your dog’s favorite treats for a refreshing and hydrating snack.
In short, fresh fruit can be a healthy addition to your dog’s clean, natural diet!