Your dog deserves the best diet available to them. Your veterinarian can recommend a high-quality dog food for your dog’s breed, size, and lifestyle. However, supplementing your dog's diet with fruits and vegetables has many health benefits as well. Fruits and vegetables are tasty and filled with disease-fighting antioxidants. Your dog will enjoy the taste of fresh fruit and vegetables added to their diet, and you will know you are providing the best foods for your best friend. Here are some reasons to offer fruits and vegetables to your dog at every one of their meals, as well as for treats when rewarding positive behavior.
Your dog's high-quality veterinarian-recommended dog food has the nutrition they require to grow, play, and thrive. Dog foods are created with lean proteins with a well-rounded balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates dogs need in their diet. Adding fruits and vegetables to these meals provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids not always found in processed dog food. Vegetables and fruits are well-rounded, giving your dog fiber and phytonutrients processed foods often have added, rather than naturally available. Some dogs, such as large breeds, require added vitamins to aid in rapid bone growth. Vegetables are an excellent way to meet these dietary requirements.
Fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidants and vitamins which help your dog fight disease. Antioxidants are powerful at fighting abnormal cell growth. Antioxidants fight free radicals your dog's body naturally produces, counteracting the damage these free radicals do to your dog’s healthy cells. Antioxidants are known for fighting against cancers and building your dog's immunity, so they are less likely to become ill. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet is an easy way to fight disease naturally.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally filled with water your dog needs. Keeping your dog hydrated is essential for overall health, but especially beneficial for fighting kidney disease and dysfunction. Keeping your dog hydrated can help prevent bladder stones from forming within your dog's bladder, kidney stones from forming within the kidneys, and blockage occurring from the result of painful stones. Always offer your dog clean and fresh water. Supplementing the diet with fruits and vegetables will also provide an excellent source of water your pooch's body requires for overall health.
Fruits and vegetables have natural fiber whereas processed dog foods, even high-quality dog foods, will have processed fiber available in your dog's diet. Plant fiber is highly nutritious and better for your dogs than fiber found in grains. Soluble fiber that that comes from vegetables is digested later in your dog's system, helping to keep your dog regular but also to fight diseases in your dog's digestive system. Fiber is beneficial to your dog’s diet and overall health. Getting fiber from a natural source is always better than the alternative of fiber in manufactured foods.
A Simple Change
Dogs love the taste of vegetables and fruits. Starting early when your dog is a puppy is the easiest way to introduce fruits and vegetables to your dog's diet. Raw vegetables such as carrots can be given instead of treats like rawhide chews or bones, which can seriously injure your dog and provide no nutritional benefit. Steamed vegetables can be easily added to your dog's meals to give extra flavor and added nutrients.
Be sure to educate yourself on fruits and vegetables that are not safe for your pooch such as cherries, grapes, and avocados. Check with your vet to make sure you’re providing the best options possible for your dog.