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Fruits and Veggies Your Dog Will Love
So, you're sitting back and relaxing with a delicious bowl of fruit when you get that all familiar feeling that someone is watching you. You look down and there is your dog, sitting at attention and waiting for you to share. You shake your head and think, 'Silly dog, you don't like fruit.' Well, that's where you're wrong! It may come as a surprise but many dogs do enjoy the delicious and nutritious taste of several fruits and vegetables. Research has even shown that both humans and dogs are 95% similar in genetics. This means that dogs can receive the same health benefits from fruits and veggies that we do.
We love our dogs and want to give them the best life possible. That's why feeding your dog the occasional treat of fruits and vegetables is a wonderful idea and even recommended by some veterinary professionals. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Make sure you give your dog these foods in moderation to prevent discomforting problems such as diarrhea. Also, please read the tips and warnings at the bottom of this article. You do not want to give your dog any seeds or pits, for example!
So without further ado, here are the fruits and vegetables you can safely feed your dog to provide him/her with the healthy love they deserve!
Strawberries are one of nature's best. They rank 4th among all fruits containing antioxidants, only behind their fellow berries: blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries. Antioxidants are crucial in helping to prevent cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, and esophagus. Strawberries are also thought to provide defense against certain inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and macular degeneration. This is certainly a welcome benefit to those with aging dogs. Strawberries have several cardiovascular benefits as well, which makes it's heart-shaped appearance very fitting. They also contain a generous amount of vitamin C. In fact, one serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than one orange, the fruit that is more popularly proclaimed as a source of the nutrient. Lastly, strawberries contain fiber that aids in digestion and it also has been discovered to help regulate blood sugar and decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
While they tend to be bland in flavor, cucumbers pack quite a punch in the nutrition department. Many of us know that they are great for hydration due to their high water content but they also contain phytonutrients. One key phytonutrient is cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins have anti-cancer properties, blocking the pathways for cancer cell development and survival. Cucumbers also provide an important anti-inflammatory flavonol called "fisetin". This flavonol is essential to brain health, protecting memory and age-related issues. And the benefits of cucumbers doesn't stop there. Cucumbers are filled with B vitamins that have been proven to reduce stress, and they can help regulate both low and high blood pressure.
Carrots, like the previous items, have been associated with a lower risk of cancer; lung and colon in particular. The vibrant root vegetable has also shown to slow down cognitive decay and memory loss. Carrots also contain the very power antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is believed to lower the risk of diabetes and prevent eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, and night blindness. If you want to cook the carrots, you won't have to worry about losing a lot of nutritional value as beta-carotene is heat-stable. Steaming is recommended.
Blackberries may be small, but their benefits are certainly not. In fact, prolonged consumption of this sweet and tart fruit can help keep your brain strong by maintaining clarity, good memory, and reducing the risk of stroke. They are even believed to minimize the effects of conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia. These berries also help in guarding against vascular failure and reducing DNA damage. Due to the magnesium content, blackberries regulate blood pressure, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, and prevent cardiac arrhythmia. Blackberries also help in another important area, the bones. They assist in building and maintaining strong bones by aiding in the regulation of calcium. Lastly, blackberries are good for your digestive system. Their high tannin content fights against colon cancer, soothes diarrhea, and reduces inflammation of the intestines.
Watermelons are just as nutritious as they are delicious. Known for their hydrating juiciness, they also provide the powerful antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene reduces your risk of stroke, the growth of tumors, and risk of ovarian cancer. Staying on the topic of cancer, watermelons are known as an alkaline-forming food. Alkaline-forming foods are important to have in your diet as alkaline is believed to be key in preventing and treating cancer. Watermelons also encourage vasodilation, relaxing muscle cells within vessel walls, which lessens the resistance of blood flow and can be beneficial to those suffering from high blood pressure. Potassium and various amino acids are also present in watermelon, helping to regulate nerves and reduce muscle soreness.
Do not allow your dog to eat the watermelon rind.
Tips & Warnings
- Feed your dog fruits and vegetable in moderation, as you do not want to upset their tummies. If you're having a bowl of fruit, it is not recommended that share half of it with your pup. A little piece here and there will do!
- Never allow your dogs to eat seeds or pits. They are poisonous to dogs.
- Just as you do for yourself, make sure to wash all fruits and vegetables before feeding.
- If your dog has a sensitive tummy, limit the amount of sour-tasting or high acidic fruits.
- If you have any concerns or are unsure about what your dog should have, consult with your veterinarian.
- Never give your dog: Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, currants, mushrooms, raw potatoes, or rhubarb. If you are unsure, please do your research or ask your veterinarian.
- If your dog has eaten something it shouldn't have or you know he/she has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or a 24-hour animal poison control hotline such as the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.