Fresh feeding can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. While adding meat to your pup’s bowl is super beneficial, you can also add some fruit to their bowl. Having said that, some fruits can be dangerous to your pup. This includes grapes and onions. But don’t knock all of them! There are some that are super beneficial to add to their bowl. Some fresh food models include fruit and vegetables, while others don’t. Either way, adding fruit to your dogs’ diet as a supplement is beneficial.
Apples are a great source of vitamin A and C, as well as fiber. But because they are lower in protein and fat, they make great treats for older dogs, or dogs who have weight management issues. Be sure to feed without the core and seeds, as these contain small amounts of cyanide which is toxic to dogs. I usually blend them up with a teaspoon of cinnamon and kefir. This makes for a great ice cube treat, or a quick drizzle over their food. Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, and is anti-inflammatory. When using Cinnamon, ceylon cinnamon is the safer choice, rather than cassia cinnamon. I would air on the side of caution and not use cassia cinnamon.
Berries (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries) are one of my favorites to add to my pup’s bowl. They are high in manganese, fiber, and vitamins K, C, and E. Apart from all of those benefits, they also have phytochemicals and antioxidants that are said to help with immunity, and even chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and aging. However, when you decide to add these to your pup’s bowl, make sure you have frozen them first. Whole fresh berries can be difficult for dog’s bodies to digest. By freezing the berries, they will expand, breaking their cell walls down. This allows for all those beneficial vitamins and minerals to become more bioavailable to your pup!
Thiamine, a necessary vitamin to your dogs optimal health, is found in oranges. Thiamine helps your brain, and other high energy organs because it is used for carbohydrate metabolism. This is when the body breaks carbs down, and turns them into ATP (energy for the body). Oranges are also full of vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Feed these with extreme caution as they are very high in sugar which isn’t good for your pup, or their GI tract!
Most people forget about pears. They seem to be the ugly duckling of the fruit family. But they pack a punch! Full of fiber, vitamins A, and C, and electrolytes make this fruit not only the most hydrating of them all, but also the best option for dogs with diabetes as they are low in sugar. Pears are also a cooling food, making them a great choice for pups with allergies! I also add cinnamon and kefir to this fruit because my pups have been known to turn their nose up at it.
Mangos aren’t a popular choice when it comes to giving your pup a healthy snack, but they should be! Mangos are one of the only fruits that have vitamin E in them. Vitamin E helps with your dogs circulatory system, muscle building, and immune system. It is an antioxidant, which also helps fight free radical damage. Mangos also have fiber, and vitamins B6, A, and C. Mangos are also very high in sugar and should be fed sparingly as with all high sugar fruits!
Watermelon recently became super popular to feed your dogs because they seem to really love it! Watermelon is high in potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and B6. When it’s hot during the summer it is a great way to hydrate them as well! I would avoid the rind and the seeds, while neither are toxic, they both can cause intestinal blockage.
While watermelon is the most popular, cantaloupe is the most beneficial of the melon family. It helps with eyesight because of its large amounts of beta carotene. Cantaloupe also has fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins B6, A, and C. It is also great for dogs struggling with their weight because it has niacin, which helps break down fatty tissue.
Kiwi is a fruit that commonly gets lost in the mix at the grocery store. While it has the typical fiber and potassium, it is also full of flavonoids and carotenoids. These help with cell rejuvenation, fighting cancer, and boosting the immune system.
Zinc is super important for thyroid function, as well as immune system function. In fact, zinc deficiency is known as the “silent killer” for dogs. A natural source you can add to your dogs’ diet, to up their zinc levels is surprisingly pumpkin. Pumpkin is also high in phosphorus, vitamin C, iron, folate and magnesium.
While all of these are beneficial for your furry kid, make sure you feed them in moderation. Small quantities are best. Use them as a treat or a meal topper. You also don’t have to feed them all in original form, get creative and mix it up! I gave a few suggestions, but the options are truly endless with adding fruits and veggies to your pups’ diet. If your pup won’t eat these things, no worries, you are able to find all of these essential vitamins in fresh meat as well!