Updated: Apr 28
With the Easter bunny finishing his (or her) rounds this year, there were lots of fun, games and chocolate to be had. But with chocolate among the many human foods toxic for dogs, it’s also the time of year when an exciting egg hunt can quickly end in an emergency call to the vet.
Even in small amounts, chocolate’s a big no-no for dogs because it contains a chemical (theobromine) that’s toxic to pooches. It can stop a dog’s metabolism from working properly causing diarrhoea and vomiting, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, heart problems. In severe cases, it can be fatal.
So the human variety of chocolate is obviously one food we should never share with our pooches. But there’s a stack of fruit and veg that’s not only safe to share with our dogs, but is good for them too.
Fruit & veg safe for dogs
Apples: High in vitamins A and C, as well as fibre for your dog. They’re also low in fat, making them a great snack for senior dogs. Just remove the seeds and core first.
Bananas: A great low-calorie treat for dogs in moderation. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fibre, and copper – and low in cholesterol and sodium. But since they have a high sugar content, they should be a treat only.
Blueberries: This superfood is rich in antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage in dogs. They’re full of fibre and phytochemicals too.
Cantaloupe: This fruit is full of nutrients, low in calories and an excellent source of water and fibre. But it’s also high in sugar, so should only be shared as a treat.
Carrots: This vegetable makes a great low-calorie snack that’s high in fibre and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. It’s also great for keeping teeth clean.
Celery: As well as being known to freshen breath, celery is high in vitamins A, B, and C and nutrients that promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer.
Coconut: The flesh, oil and milk from this fruit contains lauric acid which is good for fighting bacteria, viruses, and bad breath. It can also be good for clearing up skin conditions like hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy skin.
Corn: While corn kernels are safe, corn cobs are hard for dogs to digest – so make sure you cut the corn off the cob before sharing.
Cucumbers: Although they have virtually no carbohydrates, fats, or oils, cucumbers are rich in vitamins K, C, and B1 as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
Mango: With the hard pit removed, mangoes are a safe treat for dogs. They’re rich in vitamin A, B6, C, and E, as well as potassium, beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. But they’re also high in sugar so should only be shared in small amounts occasionally.
Peanut butter: Raw, unsalted peanut butter is a great source of protein for dogs, as well as healthy fats, vitamins B, E and niacin. Just make sure it does not contain the sugar substitute xylitol which can be toxic to dogs.
Pears: This fruit is high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fibre. But like all fruit, be sure to remove the seeds first.
Pineapple: With the prickly peel and crown removed first, small chunks of pineapple make a healthy snack for dogs. It’s not only full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but contains bromelain – an enzyme that helps dogs absorb protein.
Strawberries: Full of fibre and vitamin C, strawberries make a delicious and nutritious snack for dogs. Although they contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth, they also contain sugar – so they should only be given in moderation.
Watermelon: With the hard rind and seeds removed, watermelon flesh is safe for dogs. It’s packed with vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as potassium. Plus, it’s mostly made of water, so can help keep your dog hydrated.
Peas: As well as being rich in vitamins and minerals, peas are packed with protein and fibre. Fresh or frozen green peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garden or English peas are all safe for dogs from time to time – but avoid canned peas with added sodium.
Quinoa can be a healthy alternative for dogs allergic to grains commonly found in dog kibble, such as corn, wheat, and soy.
Unsafe foods for dogs
As well as chocolate (made for human consumption), there are lots of foods that can be toxic for dogs or pose a choking hazard. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s worth being mindful to NEVER feed your dog these common household foods.
Garlic, onions, leeks and chives
Almonds and macadamia nuts
Want to learn more?
There are plenty of trusted sources for info about foods you can and cannot feed dogs, including the one used to research this article - www.akc.org. Look it up for expert advice on fruit and veg safe for dogs.
But as a rule 'when it doubt, leave it out'. And before starting to feed your dog something new, it's best to ask your vet first. Especially if they have a history of dietary issues and/or any health conditions.
If you're looking for some 100% plant-based treats full of natural fruit and veg goodness, take a look at our delicious range right here at The Dog Shoppe. If you need any help choosing, just give us a shout, yap, bark or howl.
In the meantime, keep being pawsome!
I'm a student of canine psychology & behaviour, a socialisation and training helper at The Puppy Nanny, and experienced dog mum to Indy & Mav (RIP my precious Jewels & Russ).