Many pet parents put a great deal of thought into their pup’s food. Ensuring that your dog has plenty of the proper nutrients in his diet is part of being a responsible pet parent, but many overlook the importance of fruits and vegetables in their dog’s diet. Just like humans, dogs thrive on the nutrients they can only get from fruits and vegetables. Here are the best fruits and vegetables you can include in your pet's diet:
Besides being tasty, cantaloupe meat is chock full of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. These nutrients help prevent cancer and can actually slow cell damage caused by age. Additionally, cantaloupe is a prime source of Vitamin B-6, fiber, folate, niacin, and potassium, which will help keep your pup’s coat, skin, nails, and heart healthy.
2) Green Beans
Green beans are a great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These important nutrients support brain and coat health, while the high levels of calcium, copper, fiber, iron, folic acid, niacin, manganese and beta-carotene support all of your dog’s internal organ systems. To get your pooch to eat green beans, chop them up into small pieces and mix them into your dog’s food with some small leftover meat scraps.
Spinach has two times more iron than many other green leafy vegetables, which makes it a wonderfully nutrient-dense addition to your pup’s diet. Iron is important in preventing inflammation, heart issues and many different types of cancer. Although many dogs won’t eat plain leaves of spinach, pet parents can easily chop the leaves into small pieces and mix them into a can of wet food for a special treat that packs a nutrient-rich punch.
4) Sweet Potato
Since sweet potato is already an ingredient in many high-end dog foods, it is obvious that this hearty vegetable is a great source of important nutrients. Thanks to its high levels of Vitamins E, A and B-6 as well as calcium, iron, folate and potassium, sweet potato is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can add to Fido's diet. Many dogs will eat plain sweet potato chunks mixed into their food and even the pickiest eaters will often accept it in boiled, pureed form mixed in with their daily kibble.
Blueberries are often touted as a super-food and they aren’t any less beneficial for dogs. Thanks to their high resveratrol levels, blueberries provide a variety of nutritional protections against cancer and heart disease. Additionally, the blueberry’s naturally present tannins can help ward off urinary tract infections and dogs that are particularly susceptible to UTI’s may benefit from a daily dose of blueberries. Many dogs will eat blueberries right out of the carton and will willingly gobble them up from their pet parent’s hand or from the top of their kibble.
It is important to note that not all fruits and vegetables are necessarily good for your dog. Some can in fact be toxic, so if you are unsure about a specific fruit or vegetable, don't give it to your pet until you have consulted your vet or one of the professionals here on LovePets.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.