Organic Fruits & Veggies Side Dish for Dogsby Deborah Lundin
Sharing an apple with your furry pal is fine -- just avoid the seeds.
With organic foods growing in popularity, both in your local grocery store and local farmer’s markets, you may have changed your own diet to include these pesticide-free foods. In the same way, you may want to remove those pesticides from your dog’s diet as well. While your dog’s diet is primarily meat based, fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Creating a fruit or veggie salad is a great side dish to your pooch's current diet.
Your Dog’s Diet
Whether you feed your dog commercial dog food or create all his meals at home, adding fruits and vegetables provides a variety as well as a nutritional benefit. Fruits can be raw, while vegetables require cooking to aid in digestion. While most fruits and vegetables are safe for your dog, others can cause stomach upset or be toxic.
When it comes to vegetables, avoid onions and garlic. These break down red blood cells and can lead to anemia in dogs. Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, peas, green beans, leafy greens and sweet potatoes, however, make great ingredients for a variety of side dishes for your dog. A bowl of mashed sweet potatoes or a stir-fry of carrots, peas and broccoli in light oil and no spices are just a few examples.
Organic fruits to avoid include avocados, grapes and raisins -- these are all toxic to dogs. The fleshy fruit of apples, cherries, peaches, pears and plums is safe and healthy for your dog. However, the stems, leaves, seeds and pits all contain cyanide. When serving these fruits as a side dish, cut up the fruit and remove the toxic parts. Consider serving up a bowl of cut apples, berries and banana -- or giving your pooch his own slice of watermelon or cantaloupe.
Before adding organic fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist. You want to determine that you aren't adding too much to your dog’s current diet -- while fruits and vegetables are healthy, they contain calories, and too much can lead to weight problems. Add new foods slowly so you can monitor your dog’s reaction and watch for possible stomach upset with particular fruits and vegetables. You may find your dog doesn't like certain fruits or vegetables, but will be begging for others.
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