As many of Hemopet’s readers know, we advocate for nutritionally balanced homecooked meals for companion dogs. We realize this might be a daunting – if not scary – prospect for many companion pet parents. So, we encourage everyone to start experimenting with treats of fruits and vegetables. Think about it: many fruits and vegetables are low cost, can be cut up in small pieces, and are easy to carry around. You can feed many of them raw, steamed, grilled, roasted or dehydrated. If anything, it’s actually quite fun to see what our dogs will eat and in what form.
Case in point, we came across an 8-year-old Pomeranian/Beagle mix named Maddie. Maddie will eat just about anything, but still has a discerning palate. For instance, she’ll sneak a drink of standing water outside if nobody is watching, but will only drink freshly poured water in a clean bowl inside.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, Maddie will eat fruit, but her pickiness reigns supreme when it comes to vegetables. Maddie will slowly gnaw on a small piece of raw broccoli without much interest, but will gobble up steamed broccoli and asparagus (yes, asparagus!) in a heartbeat.
What does Maddie think about carrots? We thought it was interesting that Maddie thoroughly rejects raw carrots, but will eat steamed asparagus. As an experiment, we lightly steamed some carrots and gave her a few small pieces one at a time. Guess what? She loved them! Steamed purple carrots appeared to be her favorite carrot variety! Who would have thought?
In fact, many fruits and vegetables should be lightly steamed to enhance bioavailability (digestibility) for dogs and to reduce their goitrogenic (antithyroid) effects. Tiny pieces or shredded apples, pears, carrots, melons and green beans can be given raw.
Popular, easy to give your pup in tiny pieces fruits and vegetables:
- berries (strawberries without the stem)
- green beans
Please avoid grapes, onions and citrus fruits with your companion dogs.
The moral of the story: don’t give up, have fun and experiment with your companion dog’s treats!
Dodds WJ, Laverdure, DR. Canine Nutrigenomics. DogWise Publishing, 2015.
Dodds, W. Jean. “Fall Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs.” Dr. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog, Tumblr, 30 Sept. 2018, https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/178600798431/fall-fruit-vegetable-dog#.YJMcbbVKjIW.
Dodds, W. Jean. Is Puppy Food Too Rich? Hemopet, 16 Apr. 2021, https://hemopet.org/is-puppy-food-too-rich/.
Dodds, W. Jean. “Tiptoeing from Treats into Home Cooking for Pets.” Dr. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog, Tumblr, 21 June 2015, https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/122096074811/tiptoeing-from-treats-into-home-cooking-for-pets#.YJMdMLVKjIW.