DOGS are omnivores, which means their bodies are designed to eat meat, vegetables and fruit.
Around half of Brits own dogs and we love to feed them well, so it’s important to know which foods are safe for them.
Is it safe for dogs to eat apples?
Yes, it is safe to give apples, which are a great addition to your dog’s diet.
Apples provide vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus, and fibre.
Vitamin A is good for skin, coat and eye health, energy and reproduction.
Vitamin C builds strong immunity, and calcium and phosphorus are important components for hard bones and teeth.
As well as being safe and tasty, some even say apples can help to combat doggie breath, and biting them can clean teeth.
They are one of the safest fruits to feed to your pup and can be frozen to make cooling summer treats.
All you need to know as a dog owner
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- Will my dog be put down for attacking a human?
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How much apple can I give my dog?
While apple is safe and healthy for your dog, it contains a lot of natural sugar.
Therefore, it should form part of the 10 per cent of your dog’s diet reserved for treats.
All fruits contain sugar, and canine diabetes is a common condition, so count those calories carefully.
Any new foods can cause reactions, so proceed with caution, and give small amounts of new foods at first, increasing slowly if your dog tolerates them.
You need to remove the apple core and pips because apple pips contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs.
That said, it isn’t a problem if your pooch swallows a few pips, but the cyanide will be an issue if the pips are chewed.
Exactly how many apples it is safe to give your dog depends on the size and level of activity of your pet, so calculating that 10 per cent of calorie intake is the best guide.
What fruits can dogs eat?
Dogs can eat many fruits, which are a great treat and a source of vitamins and minerals.
That said, some fruits are better than others for your four-legged friend, while others are very dangerous and should be avoided.
Along with apples, it is safe to give your dog pears.
Dogs can eat soft fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and, to a lesser extent, raspberries.
In fact, blackberries are a good source of vitamin K, and superfood blueberries are very safe to feed to your pooch.
Cranberries are safe for your dog too, but these are usually found in their dried form and have sugar added, so beware.
Plus, too many cranberries can upset your dog’s stomach.
It is safe to feed bananas to your dog, and they are very nutritious, but feed in moderation as they are high in calories.
Likewise, dogs can eat oranges, which give them lots of vitamin C, but you shouldn’t give them the peel. And remember that oranges are also high in sugar.
It is safe for your dog to eat melons, but not the rind or pips.
In fact, as a general rule, it is best that your dogs don't eat any pips or stones.
Dogs can eat tomatoes, whether or not you agree that they are a fruit, but only a few.
Tomatoes contain a substance called solanine, which is not particularly good for dogs, so don’t give too many.
Generally, stoned fruits are safe, so yes to peaches, nectarines and mangoes, but don’t let your pooch eat the stones.
Nectarines in particular provide good concentrations of beta carotene and vitamin A, great for skin, teeth and bones, and they contain potassium and fibre.
Cherries and plums, on the other hand, are a no-no for your dog, although the fleshy part of a cherry is probably safe.
Grapes and raisins are dangerous for dogs and need to be avoided as they can cause kidney damage and trigger a toxic response.
If your dog has eaten grapes or raisins and shows any of these symptoms: seizures, vomiting, diarrhoea, tiredness or weakness, you need to seek help from a vet.
MORE ABOUT DOGS
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Interestingly, grape seed extract is safe for dogs and some owners supplement with this to improve eye function.
Avocados contain persin, which can poison a dog, so don’t feed these either.
Citrus fruits should generally be avoided as they can cause sickness and diarrhoea, so no grapefruit and only a small amount of lemon or lime juice is safe.
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