Berries and fruits are a wonderful addition to a real food diet for dogs. At GPFK we add no more than 5-10% per meal of fresh fruit or berries. Some dogs love little bits of fruit or a few berries as a treat between meals.
Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and blackberries are all packed with powerful antioxidants. May help prevent cancer, heart disease and other health issues. Studies have shown that blueberries help older dogs with cognitive functions.
Cranberries are beneficial to dogs in the same way they are to humans, they can improve urinary tract health. High in Vitamin C, cranberry juice is acidic and can lower the pH of a dog’s urine which makes the urinary tract inhospitable for bacteria.
Apples: Most dogs love a crunchy little bit of apple. Green apples seem to be a bit too bitter for dog’s taste buds so we stick to the sweeter red skinned apples like Royal Gala, Johnathan and Fuji.
Apples are a great source of dietary fibre and Vitamin C, which is believed to assist with hip dysplasia. Apples also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help maintain a shiny, glossy coat and to help control skin allergies. Because apples contain calcium and phosphorus its best NOT to feed to dogs with kidney issues.
Remember NEVER allow your dog to eat apple seeds or cores. The seed contains small amounts of amygdlin, a form of cyanide, which if eaten occasionally won’t hurt but if eaten regularly can accumulate in the dog’s system and become toxic.
Apples may also loosen bowel motions so don’t overfed.
Bananas contain high levels of vitamin B, C, fibre and potassium and are very nutritious for dogs. Like with all fruit, use in moderation. No more than 10% of a meal and if giving as a treat, 2-4 cms is enough for a small dog and half a medium sized banana for a medium to large dog, once or twice week is plenty. Feed only ripe bananas, not hard, green ones. Adding some ripe banana to the diet can help dogs with colitis (inflammation of the colon) but always check with your vet first.
Excessive potassium, known as hyperkalemia, can lead to heart problems in dogs so never fed your dog more than the recommended amount.
Citrus Fruit: Some dogs may like the taste of mandarins and oranges as they are sweeter than lemons and limes. Giving in small amounts without the skin or seeds is ok but from our experience citrus fruit is not usually a favourite with dogs so at GPFK we tend to focus on fruits they enjoy more.
Melons cantaloupe/rockmelon, honeydew and watermelon: Most dogs love melon, skin and seeds removed. Full of vitamins and minerals and a high water content, they are a great treat for your dog in the hot summer months. Too much of these good things can make your dogs poo a little runny so not too much, half a cup for a medium size (20kg) dog is a good amount.
Paw Paw/ Papaya is great for all dogs, young and old. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre and can help with digestive system upsets such as bloating and flatulence. Always remove the seeds and the skin before feeding and give no more than 10% of total diet.
Pears as with apples, are full of goodness. Are best served soft and ripe to dogs. Leaving the skin on is fine but don’t let your dog eat the core or seeds.