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Snacking Right!

Snack {verb} /snĂŠk/

Consuming food in small quantities in between main meals.

By this definition, fruits are just the perfect snacks for your pup! Not only are they healthy alternatives to the regular treats we get from pet stores, they are also great incentives for dogs to behave. All pet parents would agree that a little bribery goes a long way! 😉

THE BENEFITS OF FEEDING YOUR PUP FRUITS

Fruits make great snacks because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutritional contents are not only beneficial for us humans, but also for canines. Fruits are generally safe for dogs to snack on but some could be toxic or come with unnecessary risks, so read on to make sure your pup is snacking right –

AVOID

Citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits are highly acidic and may upset your pup’s stomach and cause diarrhea and vomiting. Oranges, however, make great treats for pups when consumed in small quantity as they are packed with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. The citrus level in them is not high enough to cause harm unless consumed excessively.

Cherries contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs.

Grapes and Raisins contain toxin(s) that causes kidney damage, with the exact toxin remaining unknown. If symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are observed after accidental consumption, bring your pup to the vet immediately.

OCCASIONAL INDULGENCE

Apples are full of vitamin A, C and fiber. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” probably doesn’t apply to your pup, but a slice of apple would be just the perfect amount for an afternoon snack (how big the slice is depends on your pup’s weight).

Bananas are good sources of potassium and fiber. They are also low in sodium and cholesterol which makes them great occasional treats. A perfect little something to nibble on before dinner.

Watermelon is packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as lycopene thiamin. It also serves as a thirst quencher during hot summer days!

Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries are not only rich in anti-oxidants, which help defend your pup’s cells from damage, but also packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are relatively low in calories and come small, which are great for an afternoon snack. However, not all berries are safe for your pup. Mistletoe berries, holly berries and juniper berries, for example, should be avoided.

Technically not a berry, strawberries make excellent snacks as they are also high in anti-oxidants fiber and vitamin C.

Peaches are great snacks. They are great sources of vitamin A, C and fiber. Always remember to remove the pit as it contains cyanide!

Pears also have a lot of nutritional benefits as they are high in vitamin C and K, copper and fiber.

 

Angus looking forward to having his blueberries

HOW SHOULD THE FRUITS BE PREPARED?

As a rule of thumb, cut fruits into bite-size chunks for easy digestion. Wash them thoroughly, remove inedible skins, seeds, and pits though as they could be toxic and may cause intestinal blockage and other complications. When it comes to how much fruit you can feed your pup, it varies not only depending on the type of fruit, but also on its proportion to the size of your pup (assuming they are within the healthy range of weight for their breeds).

Generally, snacks shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pup’s diet. And since fruits are not calorie-free and the sugar content in fruits are higher than that in vegetables, it wouldn’t be wise to overfeed your dog with fruits, especially if he/she is overweight or has diabetes.

*This article doesn’t cover all the fruits that dogs can and cannot eat. Always talk to your vet if you are unsure of such.

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