Dogs require vitamins and minerals just like the rest of us, and it's your job to incorporate them into their diet healthily. You've seen your four-legged pal gaze up at you with sad eyes as you sort through the grapes, but you already know those are the no-go. So what about the rest of your pantry? Many fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of nutritional benefits for dogs, helping keep them strong, happy, and healthy. When you know what to shop for, you can contribute to a lifetime of canine well-being.
Carrots are a nutritious snack for dogs, packed with potassium, fiber, and vitamin A; you can even substitute them for standard treats. They're good for the bones, help keep blood sugar levels stable, and encourage healthy vision, so they provide a bevy of benefits for canine companions. Having a mid-day treat? Slice up some raw carrots and pass them to Fido; their body will thank you. Alternatively, try mashing and mixing them into a regular meal.
Spinach is a true superfood for both people and pets, so your four-legged friend will be more than happy to delve in. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this go-to ingredient provides robust benefits. It aids eye health, energy levels, and bone health, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps regulate brain function, boosts immunity, and can even help prevent cancer! Cook up an unseasoned version, chop the leaves, and mix it with your dog's standard meal for a simple-to-swallow solution.
With green beans, you'll find a steady supply of vitamins A, C, and K, along with plenty of fiber and magnesium to help clear out your pup's system, regulate muscle and nerve function and keep their blood pressure in check. As long as you serve them fresh or cooked, they're a healthy addition to any dog's diet. Steer clear of canned varieties or those with heavy seasoning; lighter is better.
Dogs love brussels sprouts, and that's a good thing when they help reduce inflammation and clean out the colon. Since sprouts tend to make our canine companions gassy, only feed them in small, snack-sized amounts: two to three sprouts are all your pup needs to reap the benefits. Cook unseasoned and split in half to make pieces more manageable. Boiling, microwaving, or steaming helps preserve the most nutrients.
You've probably noticed sweet potatoes being used as a primary carbohydrate in many dog foods, and there's a solid reason for that. Since they're filled to the brim with dietary fiber, they're excellent for the digestive system. They also help lower the risk of disease in both humans and dogs, including aiding your pet during injury recovery. To serve, load up a teaspoon or tablespoon (using your pooch's size as a guideline) with cooked veggies, removing the skin first. Make sure they're always cut up and cooked; raw sweet potatoes are difficult to chew and could upset your pup's tender stomach.
Pumpkin functions like a magician inside the digestive tract, working hard to keep your dog healthy while helping prevent constipation and diarrhea. Low-calorie and easy to incorporate into your dog's diet, it also bolsters skin and fur health and lowers the risk of cancer. Fido can't enjoy the same version you do, however. Stick to plain canned pumpkin; it's packed with the most nutrients and fiber and won't cause stomach upset. Start with a few tablespoons, then work your way up from there.
With a makeup of 96% water, cucumbers give your dog a welcome hydration boost, especially after they've spent the whole day outdoors. An excellent treat, especially for overweight pets, they give your four-legged friend the water they need while staying impressively low in calories and fat. If your dog puts a lot of wear and tear on their body, the supply of vitamin K can help strengthen their worn-down bones and joints, and you'll find vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium in cucumbers. Serve it raw or cooked as a special treat.
Man's best friend loves them as much as we do, and that's a good thing when they're stuffed with nutrients such as vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. Their high sugar content makes them suffice as a treat. Keep an eye on the portions; at the most, a medium-sized banana satisfies the average-sized pooch.
This sweet summer treat is also a dog-friendly favorite. It contains four key vitamins Fido needs: A, B6, C, and E. From supporting a healthy immune system to promoting eye health and energy, it's clear to see why this one's so popular. Before serving, you'll need to remove the pit — it's a huge choking hazard for pets. Sugar means that mango functions more of a treat than an everyday thing, but it's a great way to reward your pup after a successful training session.
The crunch of an apple is like Heaven to dogs, comparable to their fave bone or chew toy. Along with an assortment of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and antioxidants, they're also loaded with fiber to support healthy digestion and helps your pup maintain or even lose weight. An even better benefit? They help boost breath, functioning like doggy dental floss. While peels are the greatest source of fiber, as long as they're washed with the core and seeds removed, they can be eaten in slices just like any other Fido-approved snack.
Get your paws on the latest animal news and information