While fruits and veggies for some pets are common-sense, like rabbits or hamsters, they can seem a little unorthodox for dogs and cats! It turns out that many fruits and veggies can add a lot of important nutrients to your pet’s diet that even the more expensive dog or cat foods can be missing. They can also be a great way to help an overweight pet slim down! At this point, you may be asking yourself whether or not your could get Fido to eat a cabbage? How interested is Snowball going to be in a banana? You might be surprised! It’s all about presentation and learning your pet’s preferences!
That being said, be careful introducing new fruits and veggies into your pet’s diet though. Changes in diet can cause stomach upset in some pets so new items should be introduced slowly and in small quantities at first. Be sure to always wash all produce before you feed it to your cat or dog. Pesticides, germs, and imported fungi or bacteria can make your pet sick too. A simple and quick way to clean your pets produce is to take it straight from the grocery bag and submerge it in a weak vinegar solution in a bowl or your kitchen sink. The vinegar helps to cut the waxy coatings that can make the pesticides adhere to the fruits and veggies and help them rinse cleaner!
WARNING – Always remember to remove all seeds from fruit before feeding it to your pet! Especially apple seeds, which contain small amounts of arsenic. It’s not enough to hurt a human in most cases, but in small pets over time it can cause illness. Also, beware of pits in things like peaches and apricots, which can be a choking hazard! If your pet has a tender belly avoid citrus which can cause upset stomachs, as well as grapes and raisins since they can cause kidney damage in dogs and cats. It’s best to avoid corn, onions, and garlic too.
When introducing the new items, be sure to cut them up into bite-size pieces! You may find it easier to mince them up and mix them in with your pets regular food until they get used to the taste. Who knows though, some pets love fruits and veggies! This summer, if you’re feeling like really giving your pet a treat, try blending them up a smoothie with ice to cool them off and give them a nutritious boost!
What are some of the best fruits and veggies to introduce to your pet?
What about canned fruits and veggies? Try to avoid them since most canned fruits contain added sugars and preservatives, and canned veggies can contain added salt. When possible, stick to fresh produce and don’t try to feed your pet anything you wouldn’t eat too!