Fresh Fruits and Veggies for your Doodle
by Debbi Spiegel
June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month. June is also the month when the Farmer's Markets and farm stands have lots of local produce to sell. Farmer's markets feature locally grown, seasonal and delicious farm-fresh food. Many of the products are organic, chemical-free and naturally grown. Ease in to your weekend as you shop the local goods. Fruits and vegetables for dogs can rev up important nutrients in their diet and can make a refreshing (and grain free) snack. Doodles are welcome at these open air markets!
Here is a list of dog safe fruits and vegetables and their health benefits:
- Cantaloupe will help with your canine’s eyesight. Plus cantaloupes are loaded vitamin A and lots of beta carotene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and prevents cell damage. It’s also a good source of vitamins B-6 and C, fiber, folate, niacin and potassium.
- Blueberries have high levels of resveratrol with anti-cancer and heart disease fighting qualities. They make a great option for your dog’s diet. Ideal for brain health, eye health and the cancer fighting properties.
- Watermelon is refreshing, full of water, and perfect for a fun snack on a hot summer day! Watermelon is full of vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and water. Watermelon is great for helping rehydrate dogs.
- Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and more, strawberries make a healthy and tasty treat that is low in calories and high in taste and nutrition. Another excellent frozen treat for dogs.
- Apple flesh itself is healthy, crunchy, low calorie and refreshing. Full of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Do NOT feed the core or seeds - they contain arsenic! A few apple slices a day keeps the veterinarian away!
- Pears are light, low calories and refreshing. Pears contain vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium! Do not feed seeds/core. A few pear slices make an excellent summer treat.
- Bananas are a mini powerhouse of nutrition containing protein, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, potassium, iron, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, vitamin A and more. They are tasty and make a great fresh or frozen treat!
- Green beans are good for dogs because of their omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and K. They’re also a good source of calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, niacin, manganese, potassium, riboflavin and thiamin, as well as beta carotene. Essentially, they’re the superpower of vegetables for your pooch.
- Carrots raw or boiled are an excellent snack rich in beta carotene, carotenoids and vitamin A. When raw, they can help clean the teeth by acting as a crunchy chew for dogs to gnaw on. They are well known for improving red pigments in the fur.
- Sweet Potato is a highly nutritious vegetable full of beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E. This vegetable is best boiled and mashed or cut into chunks. Sweet potato is ideal in sick or bland diets to help bulk up food, add fiber and soothe the digestive system.
- Zucchini is best fed cooked. It is full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B-6. Zucchini is also low in calories. Zucchini is extremely popular in homemade dog food recipes for it's B vitamins and fiber.
- Cucumber is a refreshing, healthy and crunchy vegetable dogs love. This is a great low calorie, low sugar option for dogs. Cut into thick slices and freeze for a hydrating snack in the hot months.
- Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Broccoli is fantastic steamed, baked or boiled, can be served cooked in the food bowl or given as a crunchy snack.
- Celery is ideal for dogs who need a healthy, very low calorie and low sugar treat. Crunchy and delicious with a high water content, this is a perfect treat for dogs. While it is not as nutrient dense as other vegetables, celery is a great source of potassium and fiber.
Bring reusable bags so that you can comfortably tote your bounty and bring your appetite so you and your Doodle can snack while you shop!