I love to mix things up when I’m training Laika, and switching treats is an easy way to keep her motivated. Instead of having to buy bags of treats all the time I usually just pick out some fruits and veggies I’ve already got on hand. My dog works for celery – it doesn’t get much better than that.
20 Fruits & Veggies That Are Good For Dogs
Looking for some easy dog treats? I was too and I kept finding myself asking “can my dog eat that?” when looking at all of the human foods we have in our house. But after doing some research I figured out which fruits and vegetables made safe options for dog treats.
I love using fruits and veggies for treats; they’re healthy, low in calories, and something I’ve already got on hand. Check out this list of 20 fruits and veggies that make great dog training treats.
Treats Are Great, But Use in Moderation
When it comes to giving your dog fruits & veggies moderation is key. Too much of any treat, regardless of how healthy they are, can cause negative consequences.
Fruits have an abundance of natural sugar, so stick with a few small pieces at a time. Many fruits & veggies are high in fiber which is great for us, but in dogs too much fiber can cause digestive problems. Although fruits & veggies tend to be low in calories they can add up quickly.
When feeding your dog fruits & veggies make sure to wash thoroughly and remove seeds before serving.
The Benefits of Using Fruits & Veggies as Dog Treats
The reason I love using fruits & veggies as treats for my dog is because I can easily control the portion size (making your own homemade dog treats is another great way to control portion size). Besides Zukes I haven’t seen many dog treats that come in a nice small size. Have you looked at the size of most dog treats lately? They’re huge.
The other benefit of course is knowing exactly what my dog is consuming. I don’t have to worry about ingredients I’m not familiar with, nor the ones I can’t even begin to pronounce. Here’s a list of 20 fruits and veggies that are good for dogs.
If my dog Laika had her way I’d be using carrots everyday – she absolutely loves them. They’re easy to clean, peel, and chop up so I’m also a big fan. If you don’t like chopping and peeling you can use baby carrots. Carrots are high in fiber, low in calories, a good source of beta carotene and vitamin A. Their extra crunchiness also makes them good for your dogs teeth. Carrots are pretty high in carbohydrates so use in moderation.
2. Sugar Snap Peas
These are Laika’s favorite by far – and they’re pretty nutrient rich. They just need a quick washing and they’re ready to go. You won’t see my trimming Laika’s nails without a few of these on hand. Snap peas are a good source of fiber, protein, phosphorus, folate, zinc, manganese, and potassium. They’re also a great source of vitamins C & K.
3. Green Beans
When I give Laika green beans she seems a bit perplexed; I think she assumes they’re going to be snap peas. She’ll eat them regardless but she always pauses for a moment. Green beans are a great source of fiber, manganese, and vitamins A, C & K. To use them as training treats I was them thoroughly and cut the ends off.
Apples are a good source of vitamins A & C, as well as being high in fiber. Because apples tend to have the highest concentration of pesticides out of any fruit make sure you wash thoroughly. Remember to remove the stem, core, and seeds before giving your dog an apple.
These can be a bit messy but they’re easy to manage when frozen. Their small size makes them a perfect little training treat. They’re low in fat, high in fiber and vitamin C. A 2006 study found that supplementing sled dogs’ diets with blueberries increased the amount of antioxidants in their bodies. Blueberries have a tendency to stain everything; I recommend using these for outdoor training only.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Some of our favorite recipes use sweet potatoes; they make long lasting treats. They are excellent sources of Vitamins A, B5, B6 and C and they’re high in fiber, manganese, and potassium. To use them as treats I’d suggest using a food dehydrator or boiling them first. You can chop them up into little bite sized snacks or serve them in larger “chips.”
7. Watermelon (Seedless)
In the summertime I’ve always got some watermelon on hand. They’re an excellent source of water (92%), potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A & C. Make sure you buy seedless watermelon or take the time to remove the seeds and rind before serving.
Who doesn’t love strawberries? They’re full of fiber, magnesium, potassium, iodine, and folic acid. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamins B1, B6, C and K. To use as a treat I remove the top and cut in half after washing thoroughly.
When using bananas as training treats I like to dice them up and freeze them. Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, and magnesium. They also contain plenty of vitamin B6 & C. Laika loves them, but my previous dog wouldn’t go near them; your mileage may vary.
I was surprised by how well Laika loved cantaloupe once she actually tried it. She spent so much time thoroughly inspecting it before she dared touch it. Cantaloupe contains vitamins A, B and C. It also contains high amounts of beta carotene and potassium. Before giving to your dog make sure you remove the seeds and rind.
Laika loves plain old celery – just like many dogs she’s a fan of super crunchy things. Celery is a great source of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, and phosphorus. It doesn’t get much simpler than washing and chopping up celery.
Another great healthy option that’s low in calories. Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin K. To make them into dog training treats I cut them in half lengthwise to remove the seeds. Then they’re washed and chopped up into bite sized pieces.
There are numerous health benefits to pumpkin which make people refer to it as a super fruit. It’s a low calorie fruit rich in vitamins A & C, beta carotene, potassium, calcium, zinc, fiber, and magnesium. Canned or cooked fresh pumpkin is preferred — dogs can even have pumpkin seeds in moderation.
Broccoli is safe for dogs in moderation. Broccoli is high in fiber and Vitamin C. Broccoli contains isothiocyanates, a chemical has been known to cause stomach upset in some dogs. In small quantities broccoli is safe for dogs.
15. Brussell Sprouts
Brusssel sprouts are good for dogs, though Laika’s not a fan and will spit them out immediately. They’re rich in dietary fiber and nutrients. Brussel sprouts are known to cause gas, so you may want to feed in moderation.
Zucchini is a great low calorie treat for your dog. They’re rich in vitamins B & C, and they’re a great source of dietary fiber. My dog’s not a fan of zucchini, but she is pretty picky.
Raspberries are good for dogs in moderation. They’re low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C. They do contain slight amounts of xylitol, so give your dog raspberries in moderation.
Pineapple is a safe treat for dogs. It has a large amount of vitamin C as well as being high in fiber. Because it’s so high in fiber use moderation when giving your dog pineapple.
Pears are a healthy treat for dogs. They’re high in vitamins C & K, as well as being high in fiber. Remove the seeds and and pit before giving to your dog.
Spinach is good for dogs, but if yours is like mine she won’t have anything to do with it. She’s picky like that. Spinach is a good source of iron, antioxidants and vitamin K.
Resources & Recommended Reading
What Fruits & Veggies Does Your Dog Love?
Does your dog go bonkers for carrots & snap peas like mine? Have you managed to get your dog to eat asparagus? I’d love to know what healthy human treats your dog enjoys. Besides Zukes have you found any other bite sized healthy dog treats?
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