In honor of National Watermelon Day, we’ll be sharing slices with our dogs. Yup, watermelon is one fruit that is not only safe to feed Fido, but its high water content and hefty helpings of nutrients like potassium and vitamins A and C also make it a wag-alicious choice for hot summer days like today. A couple caveats: pop out large seeds first as they could cause a blockage — small white ones are fine — and skip the green rind, which can be hard to digest. (Although one SWD pack dog with a nonstop appetite and an iron gut considers that part a delightful treat worth snatching from plates, and does just fine with them.)
We did some digging to find out which other fruits are fine ‘n dandy for doggies. Tip: These options all freeze well, making them even more wonderful for warm weather and for stuffing Kongs and the like.
- Apples: Full of fiber and vitamins A and C, chunk up any variety for a flavorful add-in to food or stand-alone snack. Remove the seeds and core though!
- Bananas: High in potassium and minerals like biotin and copper, this fruit is also higher in sugar, so offer in moderation.
- Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, these babies make super(food) training treats, too. (Blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are all A-OK as well.)
- Cantaloupe: Another melon that gets high marks for mega nutrients, this is one of the best choices for canines.
- Mangoes: Jammed with alpha- and beta-carotene — along with lots of other nutrients — this exotic edible is a grrreat one to give ‘em. Remove seeds first, though.
- Papayas: A pawesome pick to mix into your rotation. Again, be sure to offer sans seeds.
- Peaches: With vitamin A and fiber, this one’s a summer standout with only one prob: the pit. Never ever let pups get a hold of one! (Same goes for other stone fruits like plums and nectarines. Flesh is a yes, not the pits.)
- Pears: An all-around winner that’ll give your pooch a nice fiber boost and a bit of essential copper, too. No seeds, no core, though.
- Pineapple: Fiber, vitamins, and minerals make this tropical treat hard to beat.
- Strawberries: Packed with vitamin C and fiber, this bigger berry is a bit on the sugary side, so practice portion control!
THE NO-GO ZONE
As far as citrus fruits go, most will cause gastro distress or worse, so steer clear. If your dog lurves oranges, though, a small slice should be fine. Remember that grapes and raisins are toxic no-nos. Not good, not ever. And puh-lease take our warning on seeds and pits to heart.
Supplementing your pal’s meals with fruit is a tasty way to mix in more whole-food nutrition and treat them to (generally) low-cal and low-fat fare. Plus, it’s an easy way to use up extras or anything that’s overripe.