Dogs love meat, that’s a pretty well-known fact, and dog food commercials certainly don’t squander the opportunity to remind us all that their brand contains the most “real meat.” But most dogs like eating a variety of things if they are ever given the opportunity to try them. Dogs like variety in their diet too, so it’s useful to keep in mind that things like fruits and vegetables can be beneficial for a dog’s health. The following fruit is a good starting point if your dog is not a veteran fruit eater.
This treat is probably something you are more likely to share with your dog if you happen to be eating it yourself, since it is not as easy as dropping a few blueberries on the floor for him to gobble up. Cantaloupe, like most fruit, is loaded with good vitamins and other nutrients that will benefit dogs just as they will benefit people. Cantaloupe has a good supply of vitamin A, which is known to promote good eyesight. It is also good for reducing the incidence of cell damage which can reduce the risk from cancer. B vitamins as well as vitamin C are also found in cantaloupe and can also reduce cancer risk. Cantaloupe is probably a safe choice for the majority of dogs because allergic reactions to it are uncommon.
Here’s an easy one that might brighten Rover’s day a bit if you happen to roll one on his direction. For dogs it is best to remove the core and seeds since they contain compounds that could be harmful. Apples contain antioxidants that promote good health in dogs and may lower cancer risk. If your budget allows for it, organic apples are best, since apples are the fruit that is known to have the most pesticide residue on them. Peeling them may help reduce the risk from that somewhat. Apples contain vitamin C and lots of fiber that can help aid digestion and flush toxins and waste from the body. For dogs that don’t care for apples as they come off the tree, you can make applesauce for your dog with your food processor that he may prefer.
A pear, as long as it is properly ripened, usually has a nice sweet taste and is easy to chew. Pears contain pectin which is good for intestinal health and they also are a good source of potassium, which is good for the heart and also promotes healthy muscle development and nervous system function. For dogs that have problems with constipation or other digestive problems, pears may be able to improve their condition due their fiber content. Pears are yet another fruit that contains its share of beneficial antioxidants and the vitamin C in them boosts white blood cells’ ability to fight infection.
We all know oranges for their vitamin C content which has been touted by juice manufacturers for years, but oranges contain other nutrients that are very important and simply don’t get the same amount of press that vitamin C does. Oranges also contain calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, and thiamin. Although they sound like they might, the flavonoids found in oranges have less to do with the way oranges taste and more to do with how they can help bolster the immune system and also promote healthy development of connective tissues. Oranges may also help lower cholesterol levels which can reduce the risk of heart and vascular problems. Like some of the other choices on this list, oranges also may reduce cancer risk. Some dogs may not react as well as expected to oranges and could experience mild digestive problems. The likelihood for that can be reduced by removing the peel, rind and seeds before feeding it to your dog.
Here’s an easy treat that you can toss a handful of to your dog to introduce a little unexpected variety in his diet. Blueberries are known for a compound called resveratrol, which is believed to be helpful in reducing cancer risk and heart disease. Blueberries also contain tannins they can help lower the risk of urinary tract infections. Blueberries offer a host of vitamins and minerals including iron, selenium, and zinc, vitamins C, E, A and B complex. Even during the off-season, frozen blueberries are usually available in supermarkets and some dogs may even prefer to eat them that way.
This summer treat is a favorite for many people and it might just be a hit with your dog also. As the name suggests, watermelon is absolutely loaded with water which will probably be refreshing for dogs on a hot summer day. Where lycopene is concerned, we most often hear about it because it’s a healthy ingredient that’s found in tomatoes. It is also found in watermelon and is believed to help prevent bone cancer in both dogs and cats. Watermelon also contains vitamins A, B-6, C, and thiamin. Speaking of tomatoes, they are not recommended for dogs or other pets since they can be toxic to them.
This may be one of the last things you think of when you consider giving your dog some fruit. Although some adventurous canines might like to eat cranberries just the way nature made them, they are not known for being quite as tasty as some of the other items on this list. Stewed cranberries may be a good alternative if you want to provide your dog with all the beneficial nutrients that cranberries have to offer, including manganese, fiber and a good supply of vitamin C.