Why and How to Introduce Fruits to Your Dog’s Diet
We often think of dogs as carnivores. In cartoons and films, dogs are most happy when they’re chowing down on a big juicy steak. While that’s true – dogs do love their meat – there are also numerous benefits to introducing other foods into their diet too. That includes fruits.
Here at Doggie Playmates, we’re convinced that fruits are too often neglected as a key part of a dog’s diet. Not only does it add a bit of variety to your dog’s usual dinner, but they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals as well.
It’s a win-win addition.
So, how do you start introducing fruits to your dog’s diet? We at Doggie Playmates are ready to share our tips.
Speak to your vet first.
Before any big diet change, it’s always great to chat with your dog’s vet first. They’ll be able to advise on any dietary specifics of your own dog’s breed. And, fruity foods you should avoid.
Nevertheless, you probably don’t want to feed your dog fruit every day. It’s a terrific healthy treat – far better than the many high calorific processed treats available. But it’s still not 100% suitable as a doggy staple.
What not to feed
As mentioned, your vet will provide a complete breakdown of the foods that dogs shouldn’t eat.
Here are some foods dogs should typically avoid: onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, rhubarb, wild mushrooms, grapes, raisins, avocado, citrus fruits, plums, tomatoes, seeds, fruit rinds, and nuts (particularly macadamias).
Dog-safe fruits include apples (de-seeded and cored), bananas, blueberries, cranberries, mango, nectarine, orange, peach, pears, pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon. Obviously, remove any seeds, pits, stones, or peel.
How to add fruits into your dog’s diet
The simple answer is as a treat. While there’s likely to be a few fruits they’re not fond of; most are absolutely delicious – for dogs and people alike. Introducing new tastes and food types to dogs is not unlike introducing new foods to young children. Whilst puppies are eager to try new tastes, it may take time for an older dog to accept and enjoy fruit varieties.
Beginning with a doggie favourite, like watermelon is a good start. Remember to cut off a small piece of fruit, then feed it to your dog or add it to a small quantity of their usual dry food and see their reaction. If their tail is wagging and they look pleased, they probably love it. But just be careful not to overdo it. Feeding dogs too much fruit can cause obesity and digestion problems, including intestinal irritation, diarrhoea, and bloating. The secret is moderation.
Nevertheless, fruit is brimming with essential nutrients. For example:
Apples: High in fibre and protein. An excellent source of vitamins A and C.
Blackberries: Strong in antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, K, and E.
Kiwi fruits: A source of potassium and vitamin A.
Pears. High in fibre and copper.
Strawberries: Rich in vitamins B1 and B6 – great for dog’s muscles.
Ultimately, adding a few select fruit choices into a dog’s diet can help boost their nutrition. It’s not absolutely essential. However, it can be a fun and exciting additional treat for your doggie playmate.
Here at Doggie Playmates, we love to add a strawberry or piece of banana into our dog’s diets. It’s just a healthy, happy treat.
Our feature image shows one of our doggie playmates, Tank, an English Mastiff. receiving portions of a banana.
One of a variety of fruits, Tank loves.