Most of our dogs have a set meal time and a specific food product that we have selected for them. Whether raw, dry food, canned food, pre-made from a dog food manufacturer or bought in the pet store, people always wag their tails at dinner.
And snack time too. In recent years, dog snacks have become more unusual – boring biscuits have been so in the last season, as we treat our dogs to everything from liver treats to fish canapes to exotic animal meat such as ostrich meat.
But have you ever tried giving your dog fruits and vegetables? It may feel strange, but there are plenty of crispy and chewy things that you can eat yourself that your DD will enjoy too.
From cucumbers and carrots to sweet potatoes, here are some ideas you can try. And if you are brave, you can even try to turn the fruit, vegetables and herbs into delicious delicacies.
Tails.com’s Happy Dog Cookbook is a fantastic selection with loads of recipes to try, including carrot and peanut butter bones and summer berry cookies. They may sound more like the kind of food you would find at the Great British Bake Off, but these concoctions prove that dogs can eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and you will love seeing them something enjoy different and homemade.
Fruits and vegetables don’t just mean another treat, there are other reasons why they are a great thing to try with your dog. Of course there is texture and taste – think of the crunch of a carrot or the “pop” of a pea in your mouth. But there are also vitamins and minerals as well as a strengthening of the intestinal health and fiber.
Here are some simple things to try before jumping into the recipes …
Carrots are cheap and easy to give away, and they give those gums a lovely crackling sound – especially if you keep them chilled in the fridge before feeding them. Cut into small pieces and use as a treat during training or as a treat after a walk before your dog settles down to snooze.
Make crumbs? Why not give your pooch some of that crispy apple too? Apple is a good choice if your dog is watching his or her weight as the apple is low in fat and high in vitamins A and C. Sliced an apple can be an after-lunch treat, or try it in some dog-friendly peanut butter to recharge your batteries after a long weekend walk.
That might seem strange, but it’s another winner for your DD’s dinner. There are two things to keep in mind here – skin needs to be removed, and there needs to be boiling. A good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, a sweet treat they will love but make sure you feed them in moderation.
You can also feed your dog pineapple and orange for a fully fledged tropical experience! Bananas are more of a treat than a daily treat because they contain more sugar. Mash a little in a Kong treat toy to keep her entertained.
Blackberries and blueberries
These can be very amusing as some dogs may find them a little pissed off! We humans often add blueberries to our granola or porridge for an antioxidant boost. So why not do the same for your DD and add a few to his breakfast? You may even notice that at the right time of year, your DD is picking some berries out of the bushes while taking a walk (make sure they can eat it too!). This should also be enjoyed in moderation, as berries also contain a lot of natural sugar.
Some Rules for Feeding Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs for Dogs
- As with all treats, be careful about the amount and frequency of giving such foods to your pet.
- If your dog and belly are not as keen on a fruity food as the other, watch for reactions or changes in their poop. Also, be warned, just like with humans, fresh vegetables can create wind at times!
- Try small first. For example, a bite of carrot or banana instead of a whole. You can always chop the fruit or vegetable up and use it for sitting, staying, or a training toy like a delivery ball. https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/pets-at-home-rubber-treat-ball-dog-toy.
- Remember that your DD has a strong sense of smell, so these foods will seem super exotic and alien to them at first. Feel free to offer the food and reward it with praise if it is well eaten. Let them play with the food if they don’t eat it right away – they may want to nudge a carrot around the kitchen and sniff at it before heading to the crisp.
- Get Cooking! Making recipes for your dog from “human” food is a fun way to build your relationship – and develop your cooking skills. This is also a great way to add herbs, as many dogs enjoy parsley and mint, which can help make doggie breath easier.
Avoid fruits and vegetables
Dogs cannot (and this list is by no means exhaustive!) Eat grapes, figs, cherries, avocados, or apricots. Also, watch out for seeds and kernels. Be with your dog when he tries a new food and watch out for negative reactions.
Oatmeal and strawberries “Jammy Dodgers” from Tails.com.