There’s no denying that in recent years society has become a lot more aware of self-care and the ways in which we can aid our bodies in terms of what we put in it. Vitamins and supplements are big business and you can barely get through a day online without seeing a story telling you what you should and shouldn’t be eating.
Along with this raise in consciousness about food intake to keep us feeling our best has come a greater interest in how we can do the same for our pets, with an increased awareness in general of all the bad stuff that goes in to so many of the pet foods you can buy from the supermarket shelves.
I’ve always done my research when it comes to what I feed my animals and I always make sure they’re getting the very best possible in terms of their diet, and one of the ways I support this is by adding a few fruits and vegetables into Poppy’s bowl and using them as treats too. When training a dog (or just wanting to shower them with love) it can be easy to pop them a few too many special somethings which all adds to the growth of their waistline to the detriment of their health, so swapping them for a healthy option makes all the difference!
There’s some controversy when it comes to dogs eating fruit and vegetables as a lot of people feel it isn’t necessary, however, dogs in the wild aren’t pure carnivores and will naturally scavenge for fruit and vegetables.
However, not all fruit and vegetables are safe for animal consumption with some being toxic, so it’s important to do some homework as even the most innocent of things can prove to be poisonous to our furry friends.
(Fruity frozen doggie smoothie. Don’t worry, she didn’t eat this whole tub in one go!)
We are really lucky in that Poppy is very food orientated and she LOVES fruit and veg. In fact, her favourite treat is frozen broccoli – healthy and good for her teeth as it’s hard enough to help clean them as she chews. She will also do pretty much anything for a carrot and seeing her trotting off, tag wagging, as she chows down on a piece of fruit always makes me smile. No doggie chocolate for this one, she wants all the good stuff!
I’m forever recommending people add some natural items into their dog diet so I thought it might be a good idea to create a little crib sheet, highlighting some of the safe fruit and vegetables for your dog, to add to their daily food intake to keep them feeling their best.
Note: It goes without saying that if your dog has any health issues, check with your vet before changing their diet.
Apples (Remove the core and seeds as these aren’t safe for them to eat)
Bananas (Top Tip: Slice the banana up and pop in the freezer for cool summer treats)
Brocolli (Not too much though as it can reduce thyroid function)
Carrots (Great for their eyes, skin, teeth and gums. A great alternative to a rawhide chew)
Celery (Stalks only, no leaves. Freshens breath too!)
Pears (Remove the core and seeds as they are not safe for doggie consumption)
Watermelon (Remove seeds before feeding. 92% water so a great source of extra hydration)
All of these are perfectly safe to feed to your dog raw but if they’re not too keen on any of the raw vegetables you can try boiling or steaming them first to see whether they prefer them that way (don’t roast or bake). Also, always make sure you remove any seeds from anything, as these shouldn’t be eaten.
I’ve been known in the past to whizz up a little summer smoothie or even create some doggie ice lollies for Poppy, both of which she loves – a tried and tested recipe is apple, watermelon, banana and strawberries. Obviously don’t feed a human-sized portion though; they only need a little (recommendations seem to state you’re looking at around 10% of their diet being treats ideally overall so they certainly don’t need large quantities).
As I mentioned earlier, although these fruit and vegetables are safe for dogs, that’s not the case for everything and some are actually incredibly dangerous, so before adding anything to your pet’s diet be sure to do some research and find out if it is safe to do so.
If you’re looking to change your dog’s diet to something more natural and want to take it a step further than supplementing with fruit and veg, you can look into putting them on an entirely raw diet which is fast becoming more popular. You can find out more about the science behind it and how it all works on the Cotswold Raw website, where there’s plenty of advice and guidance to help you make a decision.
Of course, as with anything, adding a raw element isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but adding a few frozen peas to Poppy’s dinner and giving her a carrot to chew on as a treat is something that really works for us. I get the benefit of knowing I’m adding extra goodness into her diet and she gets to eat some of her favourite things. It’s a win-win situation.
Look at her. My beautiful bull breed.
* In Association with Brand *