Most dogs will do anything to get their paws on a morsel of "human food" and here are a few that are great to share.
It's hard to resist puppy-dog eyes staring up from under the dining room table but what if we told you that there are some healthy foods you can share with your pet? It's true and it's as close as your fruit bowl.
Here are some freshly-picked fruits that make it into my dog's bowl on a regular basis:
Does an apple a day keep the vet away? Well, it certainly helps! Apples are a sweet and healthy treat that you can share with your pet. A good source of potassium, fiber, phytonutrients and vitamin C, apples can be sliced up and added to your dog's food or dehydrated (with or without a touch of cinnamon) for guilt-free treats. When you're feeding your dog an apple, be sure to remove the seeds before giving it to him—apple seeds contain arsenic, and may also get stuck in a smaller dog's throat.
This pint-sized fruit offers fiber, potassium and vitamin C but remember to peel away the furry layer before feeding it to your dog. Kiwis also contain flavonoids, which protect cells from oxidative damage and can benefit the respiratory system and digestive health, as well as nourishing the skin.
What's blue and round and good for your dog? Blueberries! These small berries pack a wholesome punch thanks to their high levels of resveratrol that boast anti-cancer and heart disease fighting qualities. If your dog suffers from urinary tract infection, put some blueberries in his food—the tannins found in this fruit help keep these nasty infections at bay.
An important staple of your brunch, cantaloupe is full of delicious goodness that gives dogs so much more than a sweet treat. Cantaloupes come complete with vitamins A, B-6 and C, fiber, folate, niacin and potassium. They're also a great source of beta carotene, which helps reduce the risk of cancer, prevents cell damage, and helps your dog's eyesight.
A summer treat and thirst quencher, watermelon is safe to feed to your dog. Not only does it offer your dog extra water (hence, the name) watermelon is a source of vitamins C and A, potassium, and magnesium. And, because it's low in calories, you'll never feel bad letting your pooch indulge. Be sure to break off pieces for him. Dogs shouldn't eat the seeds or rind.
Who doesn't like a couple of strawberries to silence that sweet tooth? After all, this berry is a source for fiber, potassium, magnesium, iodine, folic acid, omega-3 fats, vitamins C, K, B1 and B6. One or two strawberries are enough to give your dog. You don't want to overdo it—too much of anything is bound to cause an upset stomach.
Ever wonder why your dog goes crazy for bananas? It may be because it's a good source of potassium, fiber, magnesium and carbohydrates. Or maybe it's due to the fact that this fruit comes complete with vitamin B6 and vitamin C. But your dog doesn't know that—he's in it for the flavor. Mush up a piece of banana and add it to your dog's food for a natural treat.
Just like they do for humans, cranberries can help dogs with urinary tract infections because they help the acid-base balance in his body. Additionally, this little red berry is rich in vitamins including A, B1, B2, C, is full of minerals and antioxidants, and a source of fiber and manganese. Grab a handful of fresh or dried cranberries and share some with your dog.
Pears are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, including fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2 and K. They also have antioxidants which help fight cancer and fight age-related issues. But be careful—the pear core and seeds can be toxic for your dog. Never give your pet a whole pear to eat. The best way to serve this fruit is to cut it up and feed the small slices to your dog.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.