Dogs are carnivores, they do not necessarily need fruits and vegetables in their diet, but the occasional fruits and vegetables as a treat can be very beneficial to their health.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can assist in the healthy growth and development of dogs, whether big or small. On the other hand, certain fruits and vegetables are toxic and could be fatal if ingested by our dogs and it would be wrong to assume otherwise.
As a rule of thumb, even fruits considered safe and healthy should be included in your dog’s diet in moderation. As most fruits are high in calories and sugar, they could lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other negative effects.
The aim of this blog post is to create the ultimate guide of what fruits and vegetables should and should not be fed to dogs.
It is not intended as a professional medical guide, although the information to be shared have been researched from verifiable and professional sources, you should always seek the advice of your vet before changing your dog’s diet.
With that being said, here are fruits and vegetables your dog can and cannot eat:
Fruits your dog CAN eat
Listed below are fruits you can safely include into your dog’s diet to help boost their intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals:
- Bell Pepper
- Blood Orange
- Dragon Fruit (or Pitaya)
- Egg Plant
- Kiwi Fruit
Dogs can eat Apples, they are an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, and fiber while being low in calories, making them serve as an excellent treats option.
When feeding your dog Apples, ensure to have them chopped into slices or little pieces, remove the seeds because they contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs when ingested. Also, remove the core and stem to prevent choking hazards.
It is important to feed your dog apples in moderation because they stand the risk of getting bellyaches and diabetes.
Dogs can eat Banana. Bananas are high in Potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. It also contains magnesium, which helps with bone growth, absorption of vitamins, and protein production src.
Like most fruits listed here, moderation is key as the high sugar content can lead to obesity and diabetes in your dog.
Dogs can eat Bell Pepper. Yep, Bell Pepper is a fruit. They contain vitamins A, E, B6, C, various minerals, and beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that is beneficial to a dog’s healthy immune system growth src.
The red bell pepper is the most nutritious of the whole bunch. Remove the seeds to prevent indigestion and as always, feed moderately.
Dogs can ear Blackberry. They are loaded with antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals. Like most fruits, they should be offered in moderation.
Dogs can eat Blood Orange. Belonging to the citrus family, blood oranges pack a punch of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Vitamin C especially helps in the development of your dog’s immune system.
Just like most citrus, blood orang should be feed to your dog sparingly, only 1 or max, 2 segments should be fed per day.
Dispose of the peel and seeds, although not toxic, they can create choking hazards amongst other things when ingested src.
Dogs can eat blueberries. Either fresh or frozen, blueberries contain a high amount of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber.
They also contain phytochemicals, which have been linked to helping fight cancers in humans.
Blueberries should be thoroughly washed to remove any extra dirt or pesticides. They should also be offered in moderation and fed as treats, making just 10% of the total diet.
Dogs can eat cantaloupe. Low in calories, it is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, folate, dietary fiber, and potassium src.
Fed your dog cantaloupe in moderation and ensure to properly dispose of the rinds as they can cause a choking hazard when ingested by your dog.
Dogs can eat coconut. Yep, Coconut is a fruit, not a nut. The meat of the coconut contains vitamins and nutrients that have been found to help decrease inflammation, boost the immune system, and improve the overall condition of your dog’s skin and fur.
You can also include coconut oil into your dog’s diet as well. It is non-toxic and would aid in the overall well being of your dog.
Dogs can eat cranberries but only small amounts. Cranberry contains some vitamins and nutrients that can be beneficial to dogs but should only be given in small quantities at a given time.
Cranberry juice, sauce, dried cranberry mixed with raisins should never be given to a dog.
When consumed in large amounts, cranberry can lead to the development of calcium oxalate in the bladders according to Veterinarian Dr. Marie Haynes.
Dogs can eat cucumber. Although they are mostly considered a vegetable, cucumbers are botanically a fruit.
They are low calorie, with high water content, making them a great snack for dogs that need to lose weight.
They should be fed in moderation as when consumed in large quantities, it could lead to gastrointestinal (GI) upset in dogs. Also, cucumbers should be chopped into bite-size depending on your dog to prevent choking hazards.
Dogs can eat dates. These low fat, cholesterol-free, rich in Vitamin A, B, C, dietary fiber, and calcium fruit are great snack alternatives for your dogs.
Be careful though, dates contain a high amount of sugar which can lead to obesity and diabetes. The high dietary fiber content means that too much of it can lead to diarrhea src.
Dragon Fruit (or Pitaya)
Dogs can eat dragon fruit (pitaya). This exotic fruit is totally non-toxic and can be enjoyed by both you and your dog.
Containing high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C, incorporating dragon fruit into your dog’s diet can be a great way to boost his/her immune system.
When preparing dragon fruit for your dog, only offer the flesh and never the spiky, leathery, pink skin as if ingested by your dog, it could be difficult to digest.
Remember, moderation is key, only offer small amounts to your dog at any given time.
Dogs can eat Durian fruit. This delicious, creamy fruit can be fed to dogs as treats, but, only a little at any given time.
The spiky skin, stem, and seeds of the durian fruit should never be fed to your dog. The seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs.
Dogs can eat Eggplant. They are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins (B6, K) and potassium, folate, and niacin.
Your dog might not like eggplants raw, in this case, you can cook or roast them, just ensure you don’t season it as most spice and seasoning are bad for dogs.
Chop the eggplant into bite-size before offering it to your dog to prevent choking hazards.
Dogs can eat Guava but in moderation. Low in calories, guavas are rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants src.
Guavas are not-so-popularly known fruits that are grown mostly in tropical climates.
Dogs can eat Honeydew. They are a good source of Potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber src.
Due to the. high level of water in it, Honeydew makes for a very hydrating snack for your dog.
It is important to chop it into safe sizes, remove the rinds and seeds before offering it as a treat to your dog.
Dogs can eat Kiwi fruit as a treat. This all-year-round fruit has more Vitamin C than oranges and more Potassium than Banana.
Although the skin of the kiwi fruit is safe to eat, you should ensure to remove it. Also, cut it into small sizes and only offer just a little to your dog.
Dogs can eat Mango. They are sweet and nutritious, also rich in vitamin A, B6, C, and E. This makes them a great choice of treat for your pooch.
Dice it into smaller pieces after removing the peel and pit before you feed your dog.
The skin, although not toxic, could be difficult for your dog to digest. The pit of the mango could lead to choking hazards if swallowed whole.
Dogs can eat Mangosteen. This exotic, tropical fruit is low in calories and rich in nutrients, fiber, and unique antioxidants known as xanthones src.
They should only be fed to your dog in moderation.
Dogs can eat Olives, as a treat. These tasty Mediterranean fruits are packed with various vitamins and minerals important in the healthy growth and development of your dog.
It is important to only feed your dog only plain and pitted olives occasionally and in moderation.
You should avoid feeding your dog canned and pickled olives as they contain high amounts of sodium, too much of which would lead to dehydration.
Also, you shouldn’t also feed your dog garlic-seasoned olives src.
Oranges are safe for dogs to eat as a treat. This popular fruit can be found in various homes. They are packed full of nutrients, fiber, and potassium.
Due to their high sugar content, it is important to only feed your dogs orange in moderation.
Excess consumption could lead to bellyache and diarrhea.
Dogs can eat Papaya. This tropical fruit is sweet and high in Vitamin A and C, as well as fiber.
It is important to feed your dog papaya as a treat and in moderation. Also, ensure to remove the seeds because they may contain cyanide and cause an intestine blockage.
Dogs can eat Peach. This juicy fruit is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Peaches should be only be fed to dogs in moderation as they could lead to stomach upset when eaten in excess.
It is also important to remove the stem, leave, and pit/stone of the peach as it might contain a sugar-cyanide compound called amygdalin.
Do not feed your dog canned or preserved peach as it contains a high amount of sugar.
Dogs can eat Pear in moderation. They are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.
For small dogs, just one slice should be enough as too much pear can result in stomach upset.
It is important to cut the pears into smaller bite sizes to prevent choking hazards.
Dogs can eat Persimmon. Originally grown in China, the persimmon is a sweet, honey-flavored fruit that is rich in vitamins A, C, and B with minerals.
It is important to remove the seeds and pit before feeding it to your dog to prevent choking.
Dogs can eat pineapple. This delicious tangle fruit is rich in vitamins C and B, along with other minerals.
They make for a healthy snack but should only be given to your dog raw.
Never feed a dog canned pineapple because they contain sugar and other preservatives that can be harmful to a dog.
Dogs can eat Pumpkin in moderation. This sweet fruit is a great source of vitamins A, C, and E. They are also rich in minerals.
Feed your dog only fresh pumpkin that has been baked until it is soft, not canned.
Dogs can eat raspberries. They are low in calories and sugar but high in vitamins C, B-complex, and K. They are also high in fiber.
They also contain various minerals such as Copper, Potassium, and Manganese.
They also contain antioxidants that can be beneficial to dogs, especially senior dogs with joint pains.
It is important to only feed your dog raspberry in moderation. This is because raspberry contains a high amount of Xylitol in its natural form that can be toxic to dogs if consumed in high quantities.
Dogs can eat Strawberries. They are busting full of vitamin C, fiber as well as antioxidants.
Strawberries when chewed by dogs can help whiten their teeth.
Never feed your dog a whole strawberry to prevent a choking hazard. For small dogs, you can mashup the strawberry to be on the safe side.
Dogs can eat Watermelon. Watermelons are packed with vitamins A, C, and B6. It also contains other minerals and is highly refreshing on a hot summer day due to its high water content.
It is important to always remove the rinds and seeds of a watermelon.
The rinds, although not toxic, are difficult for dogs to digest, causing gastrointestinal upset and could possibly result in a choking hazard.
Fruits and Nuts your dog CANNOT eat
- Balsam Pear
- Chili Pepper
- Mistletoe Berry
- Passion Fruit
- Pecan Nut
- Poke Berry
- Star fruit
Dogs should not eat Avocado. This staple fruit found in our homes contains a fungicidal toxin that can be lethal to dogs called Persin.
The flesh of an avocado is high in fat content which can lead to pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset when eaten in excess.
Dogs should not eat Balsam Pear. This is also known as Wild Balsam Apple and bitter gourd.
Balsam Pear is known to be poisonous to dogs and can cause convulsion, vomiting, depression, and shock when eaten.
Dogs should not eat baneberry. Baneberry contains ranunculin and glucoside and compounds that can cause poisoning.
Dogs should never eat currants because they are toxic to dogs. No one knows why they are toxic to dogs but currants of whatever color are known to cause health problems for dogs.
These problems include vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia.
Dogs should not eat cherries. Save for the fleshy part around the seed, cherry plants contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs.
The harm cyanide causes include disrupting oxygen transplant, thereby preventing your dog’s blood cells from getting Oxygen.
If your dog has been cyanide-poisoned from eating cherries, the signs could be one or all of the following, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, red gums.
Dogs should not eat chili pepper. Even though chili peppers aren’t toxic, they contain a substance known as capsaicin which can cause some digestive issues in dogs.
If your dogs eat a chili pepper, he/she may show signs of an allergic reaction that could be vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, or indigestion.
Dogs should not eat grapes. Grapes are known to be very toxic to dogs.
Grapes can even cause kidney failure in dogs. It is best to keep this dangerous fruit away from your dog.
Dogs should not eat gooseberries. While a lot of berries are safe for dogs to eat, gooseberries appear on ASPCA’s list of fruits unsafer for a dog’s consumption.
It is best if your dogs didn’t eat them.
Dogs should not eat Marionberry. Marionberries are known to be toxic to dogs.
Dogs should not eat mistletoe berry. Mistletoe berries contain a poisonous substance known as viscumin.
It is this viscumin substance that causes gastrointestinal distress, breathing difficulties, and sometimes erratic behavior when dogs eat mistletoe berry.
Dogs should not eat Lemon. Lemons are citrus fruits and thus, contain citric acid, which is harmful to dogs.
While a small amount might cause minor problems such as stomach ache, a larger amount could cause vomiting, diarrhea, irritation, and wreak havoc on your central nervous system. You should not feed your dog lemons or any other citrus fruit.
Dogs should not eat lime. Just like lemon, it is a citrus fruit containing citric acid which is harmful to dogs.
It is best you do not feed lime to your dog.
Dogs should not eat passion fruit. Even though the flesh of passion fruit is not toxic to dogs, the fruit has too many seeds that contain cyanide.
Cyanide is a substance known to be poisonous and harmful to dogs. It’s best your dogs didn’t eat passion fruit.
Dogs should not eat pecan nuts. Pecans contain a toxin known as juglone.
This toxin can cause seizures and neurological problems in dogs. This is why your dog should avoid pecans and everything made with them, including pecan butter and pecan pie.
Dogs should not eat plums. Plums contain toxins that are harmful to your dog.
These toxic substances include amygdalin, prunasin, and cyanogen. The toxins can cause fatal health issues in your dog, from slowing down the oxidating process to destroying red blood cells.
Dogs should not eat pokeberry. Both the pokeberry and plant are toxic to dogs and can cause fatal health problems.
Your dog should not eat them.
Dogs should not eat pomegranates. Pomegranate contains a large number of seeds that can constipate your dog.
It’s better not to feed your dog pomegranate.
Dogs should not eat redcurrant. Redcurrant belongs to the currant family which is all toxic to dogs.
Currants can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. Do not feed your dog redcurrants.
Dogs should not eat salmonberry. There’s not enough research on the effect of salmonberry on dogs.
However, it is best to avoid them as they could be toxic to dogs.
Dogs should not eat star fruit. Star fruit is poisonous to dogs because they contain oxalate salt, which could cause a fast decrease in calcium in the intestinal tract, leading to immediate kidney failure.
Vegetables your dog CAN eat
- Brussels Sprout
- Green Peas
Dogs can eat Broccoli. Broccoli is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat.
It’s better though to serve Broccoli in small quantities and as an occasional treat as its florets contain a substance known as isothiocyanates, which can be toxic to your dog, causing mild to severe gastric irritation.
Also, broccoli stalks are known to cause an obstruction in the esophagus.
Dogs can eat Brussels sprout. Brussels sprout contains antioxidants and nutrients that are very good for your dog.
However, ensure not to overfeed them with it as it can cause gas.
Dogs can eat carrot. Carrots are an excellent choice for nutrients such as fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A.
Furthermore, crunching on carrots is also good for your dog’s teeth.
Dogs can eat celery. Celery contains nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and C, and other nutrients needed for maintaining a healthy heart and even to help fight cancer.
Also, the green snack helps to freshen your dog’s breath.
Dogs can eat corn. Although, it should be eaten in moderation.
A corn kernel is high in protein, carbs, linoleic acid, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it safe and beneficial for your dog’s consumption.
However, be careful not to feed your dog corn on the cob as it could lead to a choking hazard. It’s best to remove the kernels first, then feed in moderation.
Dogs can eat green beans. Whether raw, chopped, steamed, or canned, green beans are always good for your dog.
Green beans contain highly nutritional vitamins and minerals and also are rich in fiber and low in calories.
Dogs can eat peas. Green peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, English or garden peas are all beneficial to your dog.
Peas contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and are also rich in protein and fiber. It’s okay to feed your dog fresh or frozen peas but avoid canned peas as they contain sodium which is not good for your dog.
Dogs can eat rhubarb. Rhubarbs contain dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
They are also low in calories and high in fiber. However, only the stalks must be fed to dogs, as the leaves are known to be poisonous to dogs.
Dogs can eat spinach. It’s however, not one of the best choices for your dogs.
It is because spinach is also high in oxalic acid, which obstructs the body’s ability to absolve calcium and can lead to kidney failure.
Dogs can eat zucchini. Zucchini is low in calories, cholesterol, and fat while being high in dietary fiber.
Zucchini is also a great treat for your dog as it is full of minerals and vitamins.
Vegetables your dog CANNOT eat
- Onion, Chives, Leek
Dogs should not eat asparagus. Asparagus isn’t really unsafe for your dog’s consumption, but it’s a very hard plant and cannot be eating raw.
By the time you cook it to be soft enough for your dog, you must have boiled away all the nutrients. It’s better to feed your dog vegetables that would be nutritionally beneficial for him/her.
Dogs should not eat garlic. Garlic is toxic to dogs. It contains the compound thiosulfate which can oxidatively damage the red blood cell leading to hemolytic anemia.
Symptoms of this illness include jaundice, rapid breathing, discolored urine, and fatigue.
Dogs should not eat mushrooms. Wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs.
While only a few species of mushrooms have been confirmed to be toxic dogs, it’s best to be safe than sorry, and avoid feeding your dog mushrooms.
Dogs should not eat onion. Onions, chives, garlic, leeks belong to the plant family Allium and are known to be poisonous to pets.
Onion can damage your dog’s red blood cell and cause illnesses that include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Benefits of Feeding Fruits and Vegetables to your Dog
As earlier mentioned, fruits and vegetables are great in maintaining a healthy life for your pooch. Below are some benefits of feeding fruits and vegetables to your dog.
Vegetables help alkalize the body
It’s important that you balance the alkaline and acid levels in your dog’s diet.
Organs such as the kidney, gallbladder, heart, liver, pancreas, function better in an alkaline environment. Too much acidity, however, can cause inflammation which is responsible for many chronic diseases.
While proteins like meat make the body more acidic, fruits and vegetables like watermelon, apples, broccoli, and peas provide alkaline for the body.
Provide the body with nutrients
Vegetables and fruits provide the body with a wide range of nutrients. Nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables. These nutrients are essential for your dog to live a healthy life.
Vegetables and fruits provide the body with a lot of vitamins. These include vitamins A, B1, B12, C, E, and K.
Fruits and vegetables also provide the body with important minerals. Minerals like calcium. Potassium and magnesium can be found in dark leafy vegetables.
It’s important that you feed your dog vegetables.
Phytonutrients are little nutrients that are very essential for your dog’s health. Your dog would be missing out on these nutrients if he/she only eats meat, as these nutrients are only found in vegetables and fruits.
Phytonutrients can be found in fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, broccoli, and kale. These powerful little nutrients help kill cancer cells, reduce inflammation, promote gut health, and support a healthy liver.
A lot of fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. The health benefits of consuming fiber include feeding healthy bacteria and promoting gut health and cleaning toxins from the body.
Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are also the only sources for antioxidants.
Antioxidants guard the body against free radicals, that is molecules that are the main cause of aging. These molecules if left uncontrolled, damage the cells and organs in the body.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water.
One of the main contributors to health issues like bladder stones or kidney disease is dehydration. Regular intake of fruits and vegetables can prevent this.
Risks involved in Feeding Fruits and Vegetables to your Dog
The risks associated with feeding your dog fruits and vegetables can be prevented if you feed him/her the right fruit or vegetable in the right way and manner.
Here are the possible risks your dog might be exposed to in consuming fruits and vegetables and how to prevent them.
Food poisoning from dirty fruit and vegetable
To avoid the risk of food poisoning, ensure to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before feeding your dog.
Try to avoid fruits with molds and cuts as they provide an enabling environment for bacteria to hide and spread all over the fruit.
Pesticides are often used to kill pests that might cause damage to fruits and vegetables.
Pesticides can have severe health effects on anyone consuming fruits and vegetables heavily contaminated with these chemicals, including your pets. They can damage organs such as the kidney, liver, or even the lungs.
The remedy to this is washing the fruits with enough water before feeding your dog. To be very safe, it’s best to purchase fruits that are organically grown, without the use of any chemicals.
Your dog will only battle with allergies like nausea or fatigue if you feed him/her fruits that are toxic to dogs. Refer to the list above for a variety of fruits and vegetables that are suitable for a dog’s consumption.
As earlier mentioned, grating or chopping fruits is not enough to help your dog digest food properly.
To avoid a choking hazard, you can slightly pulverize your dog’s food in a juicer and blender. You should also feed your dog in small sizes and quantities, moderately.
How to add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Dog’s Diet
You should start feeding vegetables to your dog as early as six weeks old.
Vegetables and fruits should be part of your dog’s daily meal and should account for up to 10% of his/her diet. When the dog is ill should be about 50%.
For maximum health and nutritional benefits, vegetables must be consumed raw. You would have to, however, crush or pulverize them with a blender or juicer, so your dog can easily digest them. Grating or cutting them would not be enough.
You should also endeavor to feed your dog with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Ensure to make your selection from the fruits and vegetables suitable for dogs, to avoid feeding your dog toxic ones like onions, garlic, lemon, or lime.
Also, feed your dog ripe fruits to avoid diarrhea.
And finally, do not feed diabetic dogs too much fruit.