There is nothing better during the hot summer months that the sun-ripened and refreshing taste of fresh fruit. While you are kicking back by the pool and enjoying a tasty fruit snack, feel free to share some of your fresh fruit with Fido. Just like humans, most healthy dogs thrive best on a well-balanced diet of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Incorporating canine-safe fruits in your pet’s diet can provide both an immune system boost, and a party for his palate.
Most veterinarians agree there are many fruits that are safe and full of the immune boosting benefits your pooch needs. Be aware there are also fruits considered unsafe for pets, so always do extensive research and consult your pet’s healthcare professional if there is any question.
Pet-Friendly Fruits and Their Benefits
1. Apples can aid in digestion because of pectin, a natural fiber, and assist in the elimination of toxins. Apples are also good sources of vitamins B and C.
2. Bananas provide vitamin C and potassium and can act as a natural antacid.
3. Cranberry has been known to naturally create a healthy urinary tract as well as help reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections (UTI). Females tend to experience UTI’s more often than males so it is a great idea to include fresh (without pits) or dried cranberries to your pet’s diet.
4. Pineapple is chock full of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as the natural anti-inflammatory bromelain. Pineapple also includes manganese, which is good for building strong bones.
5. Oranges are a good source of fiber, vitamin C (which boosts immunity) and has been proven to help with blood circulation. The folate in the fruit aids in the healing of wounds as it promotes production of new cells. Oranges are a great food for your pet that is older or has degenerative diseases.
Fruit Servings for Your Dog
There are a variety of ways to incorporate fruit into your dog’s diet. Look for fruit ingredients in pet food or treats. Dried fruit is a convenient choice that travels well to the park, or fresh fruit can be a guilt-free "table scrap". Because the digestion of meat and fruit require different enzymes, offer fresh or dried fruit at least thirty minutes before, or a couple hours after the main meal. Always be sure to remove seeds, pits, stems, and leaves from any fruit you offer to your pet, and be sure to supervise ingestion.
As with any type of food, consider the size of your dog and the appropriate amount of fruit per serving. Some fruits are very high in sugar, so always feed it in moderation. Providing a well-balanced diet is essential for your pet’s health and well-being. Fruit is a sweet and refreshing treat that your dog will enjoy, while providing many benefits for a healthy and happy life.
The Bottom Line
Dogs can benefit from fresh fruit, we just need to know which ones are safe for them and which ones aren’t so do your research and let them share in a well-balanced whole foods diet.
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Image via Steve Terrell