Veterinarian Blog | Winding Hill Veterinary Clinic: Treat or Toxin?


Fruits and Vegetables for the Dog

Treat or Toxin?

By Terri Heck, CVT

shutterstock_173699618There is a long-standing disagreement on whether or not dogs are true carnivores. Primarily they are meat eaters but in the wild they ingested far more than muscle meat. Contents of the stomach and intestines of their prey were often of vegetation origin. Wolves and wild dogs often munch on plants and berries. There is a basis for fruits and vegetables to be part of canine nutrition.

We enjoy giving treats to our canine companions. Bits of fruits and vegetables can provide healthy nutrients and are often less calorie dense than many dog treats. Important to stress: Not all fruits and vegetables are safe – some are actually toxic.

Sensible and Safe: Apples (no seeds), bananas, pumpkin, green beans, romaine lettuce and spinach, peaches (no pits!), watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, mango, cucumbers, green beans to give a few ideas. Moderation is the key with any of these.

CAUTIONS: Grapes, raisins avocado, onion, garlic, asparagus and cherries should be avoided. The red part of tomatoes are fine but the green stems are toxic. Mushrooms should always be on the “do not give” list.

Small bits of fruits and vegetables are typically less calorie dense and healthier than dog treats. Dried fruits prepared without added sugar, frozen green beans – fresh is great but consider these options as well. Enjoy treating your dog to a healthy snack.