Dogs, like almost all domestic animals, have adapted their diet and have become accustomed to the food that people can give them. However, that doesn’t mean they eat anything. If you have wondered what kind of fruits or vegetables you can give your pet, we invite you to continue reading.
How do dogs feed?
Dogs are known to be man’s best friend. For many years, they have been the protagonists of amazing stories of courage, loyalty and friendship, earning a special place in the hearts of people.
Due to this long period of interaction with humans, dogs have changed their eating habits. If a dog lived completely outdoors, its diet would be based on meat, since they are naturally carnivorous animals. But, being very popular home pets, their diet depends on the decisions of their owners.
Fortunately, those who have dogs as pets tend to care a lot about them, and want to do their best to keep them healthy, happy, and active. Most of the food for domestic dogs comes from processed food, created specifically for them with all the necessary nutrients and protein.
However, some owners wonder if it is possible to vary the diet of their pets a little every now and then, and feed them fruits or vegetables. But is it a good idea to allow dogs to eat this type of food?
Understanding canine nutrition
A dog can generally be a little reluctant to eat something other than the food it is used to. The diet of a dog does not vary too much, it is simple and usually consists of meat and derived foods.
Meat and dog food give our pets the nutrients they need. In this sense, if their diet is balanced, they should have no problems regarding their nutrition. Despite this, it is possible to include fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Keep in mind that neither fruits nor vegetables are part of the usual diet of dogs. So adding these foods to their diet goes through an adaptation process.
Over time, they get used to eating vegetables and even fruits, but not of any kind. A dog cannot eat all the fruits and vegetables that people eat, so it is necessary to be very careful when expanding the diet of our pets.
What vegetables can dogs eat?
Vegetables are the ideal complement to our dogs diet, they give our pets all the extra nutrients they need, and help them digest their food more easily. Despite this, not all vegetables are suitable for our pets, and it is necessary to know which vegetables we can give them and which ones we cannot.
Initially, a dog can eat neutral-tasting vegetables that easily mix with their daily food. These vegetables are:
All these vegetables are suitable for our dogs, and will be an ideal complement to their diet. Likewise, a diet with vegetables especially for canines must be controlled, and we should never give them legumes or cereals, since they do not digest them well and could even cause gastrointestinal problems.
Fruits, only the essentials
In nature, a dog would rarely eat fruits, as these are not part of their diet. A canine, as it happens with the rest of the carnivorous species, obtain the nutrients of the fruits by means of the undigested food consumed by their prey.
But a pet dog cannot hunt, much less attack a prey large enough to feed on. It is their owners or caretakers who are responsible for covering their nutritional requirements.
These requirements must range from the taste of dogs for meat, to their need to consume nutrients that are only found in fruits and vegetables. If you want your dog to have access to all the food it needs, and you want to give it some fruits so that its diet is varied, you can feed them with:
The wide range of fruits that dogs can eat gives them the possibility of enjoying a diverse diet that meets all their nutritional needs. However, avoid giving them fruits with very acidic flavors such as lemons or other similar citrus fruits, which can cause unfavorable reactions.
Balance, the essential element of any diet
Although canines can eat different types of vegetables and greens, it is necessary to remember that dogs are carnivorous animals and that they cannot only be fed with completely vegetarian diets.
Likewise, carbohydrates, sugar and frying are completely discouraged for dogs. Dogs can eat rice, but only in small quantities and always as a supplement, never as a main food.
Also, dietary variations should only be made in dogs that are at least one year old. When they are puppies, it is recommended that they be fed exclusively with their mothers’ milk and soft foods.
As for fruits and vegetables, they should never represent more than 30% of a canine’s diet. Ideally, a dog’s diet should be made up of 25% vegetables and fruit, and 75% meat.
Finally, by following the right recommendations, and making sure the fruits and vegetables our dogs eat are clean and fresh, we make sure that our precious pets get all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients they need.