Your dog’s relative, the wolf, is considered a carnivore. But don’t fruit and vegetables contain valuable vitamins and nutrients – also for animals? Can your dog eat cucumber, broccoli or tomatoes? And what should you look out for when feeding him? In the following article, you’ll read about which fruit and vegetables are suitable for your dog and which are best avoided.
Most experts on dogs agree that meat should be predominant in a dog’s diet. But wolves also eat fruit and vegetables on the side, e.g. in the form of pre-digested food leftovers in the stomach of another animal. So, it’s clear that dogs are allowed to eat fruit and vegetables. But what should you keep in mind?
Dogs digest fruit and vegetables better when they’re not raw. This can cause diarrhoea. On the other hand, a lot of cooked vegetables or fruit can cause constipation. Chop up the fruit or vegetables, puree them and boil the mash briefly. However, small amounts of raw vegetables or fruit are not forbidden.
Many types of fruit and vegetables have pips or stones that your dog can’t tolerate. Before cooking or pureeing, you should take these out.
Your dog’s mash should consist mainly of vegetables. Fruit usually contains a lot of sugar and is not a good source of energy for your dog.
To prevent your dog from eating already fermented tomatoes or catching germs or other pathogens, the following applies: fresh is best.
A dog’s body can only absorb the vitamins in fruit and vegetables if the mash contains something to dissolve fat, e.g. egg, yoghurt or oil, or the other way round - you mix the vegetables and fruit into the meat.
A small strawberry from the garden, beef and then a vegetarian mash? Sure, if you stick to the rule that the meat content is much higher than the vegetable content, then variety is healthy.
Dogs can’t eat every type of vegetable or fruit. What are particularly valuable sources of vitamins and fibre and which are not tolerated by dogs?
Some fruit and vegetables are completely harmless to your dog’s digestive system. Others are more complicated or even poisonous. So, what’s allowed?
Most fruit and vegetables for dogs contain a notorious “but...”. In principle, the above varieties are all easy for a dog to take, but it always depends on the quantity. Apples contain a lot of vitamins and the fibre, pectin. The same applies to pears, although these may only be fed when overripe. Bananas are very rich in sugar and therefore good sources of calcium and magnesium, but they should be eaten with caution. Excessive dosage can lead to diarrhoea.
Contrary to their reputation, strawberries can be used as healthy treats. Blackcurrants contain a lot of vitamin C, as do blackberries, which can detoxify your dog’s liver. Make sure that berries are ripe; blueberries should actually be overripe. Watermelon can cool your dog down in summer. Dogs prefer mandarins to sour oranges. These also contain valuable substances such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.
Kohlrabi contains many nutrients and, when cooked, is a wonderful food supplement for your dog. Many owners rely on potatoes as their vegetarian dog food, as they are easy to take for dogs and contain a lot of fibre. Read more below as to why potatoes should really only be served cooked. If you want your dog to grow big and strong like Popeye, spinach is also a good option. Its iron and vitamin content is high, but this vegetable may only be fed to adult dogs.
Unfortunately, there are also types of fruit and vegetables that dogs can’t tolerate. Some can only be eaten with caution; others are actually dangerous for your dog.
The reasons are as varied as the fruits and vegetables themselves. Avocado, for example, can be poisonous because the pit contains persin, which often rubs off on the flesh of the fruit. Grapes can damage your dog’s kidneys. Grapes or raisins in dog food can cause diarrhoea or stomach cramps.
Many garden owners ask themselves if dogs can eat tomatoes. Unfortunately, the red vegetable contains solanine. The same goes for peppers, goji berries and aubergines, which are not recommended for dogs when raw. When cooked, you can treat your dog to a red pepper snack, but you should avoid green and yellow plant parts.
Some fruits and vegetables are only tolerated by dogs under very specific conditions. For example, unripe pineapple is life-threatening for dogs. When ripe, you can feed it to your dog in small doses. The same goes for figs, but you should make sure that all traces of peel are removed.
Raw broccoli causes flatulence in dogs, similar to other vegetables in the cabbage family like cauliflower. Potatoes are a very good source of carbohydrates, but the same applies here: the solanine is only broken down when you cook the potatoes; before that the vegetables are poisonous for dogs.
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