What foods are safe for your dog to eat? What foods are unsafe for your dog? If you look for the answer to this question on the internet you will be overwhelmed at the amount of contradictory information that you might find in response to these questions.
These days enlightened dog owners know that dog food is not limited to feeding kibble. People are realizing that raw foods are a great source of nutrition for dogs but with all the contradictions it can be hard to know just what to safely feed your sled dog.
Today I discuss what fruits are safe to feed your dog and which fruits to stay away from. In the next section I will discuss dog safe vegetables, nuts, and dairy.
Feeding Fruits To Your Husky
We know that fruits contain vitamins and nutrition and dogs can also reap the nutritional benefits of eating fruit.
If your dog has never had a fruit before, start out by giving only a small portion of fruit until you know that your dog will not have an allergic or gastric reaction to it. A fruit that is safe to eat and well tolerated by other dogs may not be necessarily well tolerated by your dog.
Always clean fruit well to remove any residue of wax or herbicides from the outer covering.
As with most things, dogs do best if they are introduced to new foods when they are young. Some dogs won’t like eating raw fruit. For these dogs you can try mashing it into their regular food or include it as an ingredient when you are making your homemade doggy treats.
You can also occasionally add fruit juices to their regular food but make very sure that it is pure 100% fruit juice with no extra additives, especially not artificial sweeteners. Manufacturers seem to be putting this stuff in everything these days. These sweeteners are toxic for dogs.
You may want to consider avoiding juices that come from pitted fruits (cherry, plum, peach, nectarines, and apricots) as the pit of these fruits contain amygdalin, a compound that is toxic for your dog. You don’t always know how careful the manufacturer was about keeping the pit material out of the fruit pulp.
Fruits That Are Safe To Feed
Apples (with core and seeds removed). Apples contain potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, flavonoids, Vitamin C. An average sized apple cut in half is a reasonable portion for your dog.
Bananas are wonderful source of potassium and carbohydrates. A reasonable sized banana portion for your husky is about one inch of banana.
Blackberries are considered to be one of the super fruits. They are a great source of antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, manganese, folate, omega 3 and contain high amounts of vitamins C, K, A and E. A portion of blackberry is 2 or 3 large berries.
Blueberries are another of the super fruits. They are a rich source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc, and iron and they are very high in in vitamins C, E, A and B complex. A good portion size of blueberries is 2 or 3 large berries.
Cantaloupes contain magnesium, potassium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamins A, B complex, and C. The portion size for a dog is about a 4 inch chunk of a one inch wide wedge.
Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. These berries also help fight urinary tract infections. The portion size for a dog is 4 to 5 mashed berries with the skins removed. (the skin is bitter and your dog won’t care for it at all).
Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. A good portion size is a half of a slice of a large kiwi or one slice of a smaller kiwi.
Mangos are a rich source of vitamin A, B6, C, and E. They also contain alpha and beta carotene, potassium, and copper. They are a pitted fruit so be aware and take slices from the outside of the fruit rather than the middle of the fruit nearest to the pit. A good portion for your dog is about 4 inches of a 1 inch wide slice of mango.
Pears are wonderful source of vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2. They also contain phosphorus, copper, potassium, folic acid, niacin, and fiber. One or two slices of pear is a good portion for your dog.
Pineapple contains bromelain that helps to break down protein so it can be a good aid to digestion. It contains vitamin A, B complex, and C. It also is a good source of minerals like copper, manganese and potassium. A four inch chunk of an inch wide slice is a suitable portion for your dog.
Raspberries are filled with antioxidants, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper and iron. They are a rich source of vitamins C, K and B complex. A good portion size is about 2 or 3 large berries.
Strawberries contain vitamins C, K, B1 and B6. They are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iodine, folic acid, and even contain a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids. The portion size for your dog is about medium sized berry or a half of large berry.
Watermelon is a great fruit for your dogs. It contains vitamin C and A. As well, they contain potassium, magnesium, and water. DO NOT feed the seeds or rind to your dog. The portion size is about 4 inches of a one inch wide melon wedge.
Citrus Fruits are very acidic and can upset your dog’s stomach. The fruit is not toxic but the rind, seeds, and leaves are toxic due to its psoralens and essential oils. The flesh of the citrus is a good source of fibre, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids, and phytonutrients. It also contains vitamins A, C, B1 and B6. One section or segment of a citrus fruit (oranges, lemons or limes) is a portion but should be fed infrequently and minimally.
Avocado seed, bark and leaves contain an oil-soluble toxin called persin. While dogs and cats don’t seem to be affected by persin, some other larger animals definitely are. The bigger risk to dogs and cats is the obstruction caused by the avocado seed if it is swallowed as it can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestinal tract.
Fruits That Are Unsafe and Should Never Be Fed To Your Dog
Grapes, Raisins, and Currants
While the exact substance that causes the toxic reaction is unknown, it is known that even small quantities of these fruits may cause sudden kidney failure with a lack of urine production. So pass on feeding these fruits for your dog.
Figs can cause allergic reactions when dogs eat them. Exposure to the leaves can cause skin inflammation when the dog comes in contact with it and when ingested, the leaves cause diarrhea and vomiting. Pass on feeding this fruit to your dog.
Some Additional Foods That Are Toxic Or Unsafe For Dogs
These foods are fairly commonly understood to be toxic to dogs but it is worth repeating. It is also worth remembering that your dog is a smaller body mass than you are so what constitutes a small mouthful for you, may be a significant amount to your dog.
Chocolate, Coffee, and Anything That Contains Caffeine
The cacao seed, the fruit of the plant, is used in the making of foods that contain caffeine. The cacao extract contains a substance called methylxanthine and when dogs ingest it, it can cause a host of medical issues for them including diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, urination, panting, abnormal heartbeat, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and in some cases, death.
The caffeine content found in coffee, tea, or drinks is similar to the toxic chemical in chocolate. It can also cause damage the heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system so keep cups and glasses up out of the reach of dogs.
Chocolate also contains theobromine. This compound will cause issues with heart, lungs, kidney and central nervous system of dogs. The darker the chocolate the higher the methylxanthine content and the more dangerous it is for your dog. Baking chocolate is the most toxic for dogs. Just two ounces of baking chocolate can kill a 20 pound dog while it would take closer to 20 ounces of milk chocolate to cause the same amount of harm.
Tip: It should also be noted that cocoa mulch is being sold as a decorative mulch that you can use in your garden and flower beds. Homes with dogs should avoid using this product in their yards because if this mulch is ingested, it is every bit as toxic to your dog as is ingesting chocolate or caffeine.
Alcohol will cause the central nervous system to be depressed causing breathing difficulty, tremors, decreased coordination, coma, and possibly death. Again, keep those drink glasses away from where dogs can have access to them.
Xylitol is a commonly used artificial sweetener is used in the production of sugar free gum, candy, and even toothpaste. How it affects animals is that ingesting this product causes an insulin release that can lead to elevated liver enzymes and eventually liver failure. Toxicity symptoms include loss of coordination, vomiting and seizures. Keep purses and book bags up out of reach to keep dogs from eating gum or candy and do not leave these products sitting out on tables or counters.
All products that contain artificial sweeteners are toxic to your dogs, so check labels carefully so that you know what foods should be carefully monitored.
Salt. while dogs are usually not in danger of ingesting a box of salt, they are in danger of ingesting salty snack foods that are left down where they can reach them. Large amounts of salt can cause sodium ion toxicity in dogs. In addition to causing excessive thirst and urination, it can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, all leading to dehydration and possible to an electrolyte imbalance. It can also lead to depressed central nervous system functioning, elevated body temperatures, tremors, seizures or even death. So keep snack foods up out of the reach of dogs.
Onions, Garlic and Chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage and will be covered in greater detail in the next part of this article that covers safe and unsafe vegetable for your dog.
Cooked Bones. While raw bones are great for dogs as they offer a source of calcium and are great for developing good jaw muscles and for helping to keep plaque from forming on teeth, cooked bones are NOT good for your dog. The cooking process causes the bones to become soft and easily splinter. These splinters when swallowed can cause punctures or tears in the stomach or colon. They can also cause impactions that may require surgery to fix so no cooked bones for your dogs please.
In the next part of this series, I will be discussing safe vegetables, nuts, and dairy that you can feed to your dogs.
What fruits do you feed your dog?
As always we welcome your questions, comments, and stories regarding this topic. When we share our wisdom and our stories we may well be helping someone who is struggling with their Snow Dog.
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