Fruit and Vegetables: which ones can my dog eat?

6th Feb 2019

Fruits and vegetables are delicious and healthy, they are highly nutritious and have antioxidants so its no wonder you want your dog to tuck into your fruit salad or bowl of greens. Although the benefits for eating your five a day are clear for humans, they are not necessarily the same for your canine. In this guide we cover some of the items your dog can and cannot eat. When Introducing your dog to new foods, it should be done in small amounts. You should always look for signs of allergies and seek advice from your vet as all dogs react to certain foods differently.

Apples

Short answer: Yes, when deseeded and core has been removed.

Long answer: When prepared properly (seeds and core removed) apples can make a great snack for your dog. Apples are nutritious as they contain vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fibre. They keep your dog's teeth clean and promote fresher breath. Feeding your dog apples allows them to take advantage of the antioxidants they provide and are a great substitution for meaty treats when trying to introduce your dog to a low protein diet.

Please note: it is important you remove the seeds when giving your dog apples as they contain cyanide which can be dangerous to your dog when consumed in large amounts.

Bananas

Short answer: Yes but in moderation.

Long answer: Bananas are delicious and contain a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fibre, biotin and copper which is why they are seen as a favourable fruit.* They are not toxic for dogs however their high levels of sugar mean they should only be given as an occasional treat. Consuming a large amount of bananas can also cause constipation as its not easy for them to digest.

Broccoli

Short answer: Broccoli is ok in small amounts but beware of isothiocyanates

Long answer: Broccoli is filled with lots of Vitamin C and is high in fibre, these of which all work in your dogs favour. Broccoli however also contains isothiocyanates which can be harmful to your dog if consumed in large amounts. When preparing Broccoli for your dog, it is recommended to remove the stalks as they could become a choking hazard.

Cherries

Short answer: No

Long answer: Cherries are not safe for dogs to eat. The cherry pit contains cyanide (same as the seeds in apples) which can cause dangerous blockage in your dog's intestines. The fruit can also cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset.

Raspberries

Short answer: Small amounts are ok but they do contain low levels of Xylitol which is toxic for dogs in large amounts.

Long answer: Raspberries are a great source of vitamin C and fibre, by eating them your dog can benefit from their anti-inflammatory effect. With raspberries being made up of 86% of water, they make a good low sugar and low calorie snack. However amongst that 86% lies small levels of Xylitol which can be dangerous if given to your dog. Xylitol is widely known as an artificial sweetener added to foods but not for its natural presences in certain fruits and vegetables including raspberries. The sugar alcohol is very toxic for dogs when large amounts are eaten as it can cause low blood sugar levels. A dog's level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas, however when Xylitol is present it stimulates the release of insulin. Xylitol doesn’t have this same effect on humans and is relatively safe for them.

Xylitol can also be found in other toxic foods for dogs such as peanut butter and chocolate.

To summarise, human foods are processed in your dog's digestion system differently which is why you need to be careful about what and how much of these foods you give them. When feeding your dog fruits beware of cyanide, which is normally found in fruits which contain seeds or pits. Also watch out for foods containing Xylitol as these can lead to low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Remember that whilst fruits and vegetables are great for providing your dog with nutrients, there are also dog foods that can do this just as well. And lastly, when in doubt always seek advise from your vet.

*Paw Culture