13 Fruits & Veggies That Are Good For Dogs
I love to mix things up when I’m training Laika, and switching treats keeps her motivated. Instead of having to buy bags of treats all the time I usually just pick out whatever fruits and veggies I’ve already got on hand. My dog will work for celery – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Fruits & Veggies Make Great Training Treats
Looking for some easy dog treats? I was too and I kept finding myself asking “can my dog eat that?” when looking at all of the human foods we have in our house. But after doing some research I figured out which fruits and vegetables made safe options for dog treats.
I love using fruits and veggies for treats; they’re healthy, low in calories, and something I’ve already got on hand. Check out this list of 13 fruits and veggies that make great dog training treats.
Treats Are Great, But Use in Moderation
No matter what healthy treat you decide to use when training your dog moderation is key. Fruits have an abundance of natural sugar so stick with a few small pieces at a time. Make sure to wash thoroughly and remove seeds before serving.
According to recent statistics over half of U.S. pets are overweight. Although fruits & veggies tend to be low in calories they can add up quickly.
The Benefits of Using Fruits & Veggies as Dog Treats
The reason I stick to using my own fruits & veggies is because I can easily control the portion size. Besides Zukes I haven’t seen many dog training treats that come in a nice small size. Have you looked at the size of most dog treats lately? They’re huge.
The other benefit of course is knowing exactly what my dog is consuming. I don’t have to worry about ingredients I’m not familiar with, nor the ones I can’t even begin to pronounce. Here’s a list of the 13 fruits and veggies I use for dog treats.
13 Fruits & Veggies That Are Good For Dogs
If my dog Laika had her way I’d be using carrots everyday – she absolutely loves them. They’re easy to clean, peel, and chop up so I’m also a big fan. If you don’t like chopping and peeling you can use baby carrots. Carrots are high in fiber, low in calories, a good source of beta carotene and vitamin A. Their extra crunchiness also makes them good for your dogs teeth. Carrots are pretty high in carbohydrates so use in moderation.
Sugar Snap Peas
These are Laika’s favorite by far – and they’re pretty nutrient rich. They just need a quick washing and they’re ready to go. You won’t see my trimming Laika’s nails without a few of these on hand. Snap peas are a good source of fiber, protein, phosphorus, folate, zinc, manganese, and potassium. They’re also a great source of vitamins C & K.
When I give Laika green beans she seems a bit perplexed; I think she assumes they’re going to be snap peas. She’ll eat them regardless but she always pauses for a moment. They’re a great source of fiber, manganese, and vitamins A, C & K. To use as training treats I was them thoroughly and cut the ends off.
These are Laika’s second favorite treat. Because apples generally have the highest concentration of pesticides out of any fruit make sure you wash thoroughly. Remove the stem, core, and seeds before giving these to your dog.
These can be a bit messy but they’re easy to manage when frozen. Their small size makes them a perfect little training treat. They’re low in fat, high in fiber and vitamin C. A 2006 study found that supplementing sled dogs’ diets with blueberries increased the amount of antioxidants in their bodies. Blueberries have a tendency to stain everything; I recommend using these for outdoor training only.
Some of our favorite recipes use sweet potatoes; they make long lasting treats. They are excellent sources of Vitamins A, B5, B6 and C and they’re high in fiber, manganese, and potassium. To use them as treats I’d suggest using a food dehydrator or boiling them first. You can chop them up into little bite sized snacks or serve them in larger “chips.”
In the summertime I’ve always got some watermelon on hand. They’re an excellent source of water (92%), potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A & C. Make sure you buy seedless watermelon or take the time to remove the seeds and rind before serving.
Who doesn’t love strawberries? They’re full of fiber, magnesium, potassium, iodine, and folic acid. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamins B1, B6, C and K. To use as a treat I remove the top and cut in half after washing thoroughly.
When using bananas as training treats I like to dice them up and freeze them. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, and magnesium. They also contain plenty of vitamin B6 & C. Laika loves them, but my previous dog wouldn’t go near them; your mileage may vary.
I was surprised by how well Laika loved cantaloupe once she actually tried it. She spent so much time thoroughly inspecting it before she dared touch it. Cantaloupe contains vitamins A, B and C. It also contains high amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Before giving to your dog make sure you remove the seeds and rind.
Laika loves plain old celery – just like many dogs she’s a fan of super crunchy things. Celery is a great source of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, and phosphorus. It doesn’t get much simpler than washing and chopping up celery.
Another great healthy option that’s low in calories. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin K. To make them into dog training treats I cut them in half lengthwise to remove the seeds. Then they’re washed and chopped up into bite sized pieces.
There are numerous health benefits to pumpkin which make people refer to it as a super fruit. It’s a low calorie fruit rich in vitamins A & C, beta carotene, potassium, calcium, zinc, fiber, and magnesium. Canned or cooked fresh pumpkin is preferred – dogs can even have pumpkin seeds in moderation.
More Fruits & Veggies That Dogs Can Eat
A few other great options include spinach, squash, asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, black berries and brussels sprouts; I did not include them because no matter how much I’ve tried Laika will not eat them.
I’ve even tried mixing these into her dog food; she just spits them out. I’ve even tried the psyche out method of pretending like I’m cooking something extra special for her on the stove. She still won’t eat it and I end up with a floor full spinach.
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What Fruits & Veggies Does Your Dog Love?
Does your dog go bonkers for carrots & snap peas like mine? Have you managed to get your dog to eat asparagus? I’d love to know what healthy human treats your dog enjoys. Besides Zukes have you found any other bite sized healthy dog treats?
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