Summertime can mean visits to the pool or lake, family and friend barbeques, and a more relaxed atmosphere overall. The kids are generally out of school, so the early morning hustle and bustle to get out the door and the late night homework assignments don’t re-start until mid-August.
If you’re like me, your meals are lighter in the summer. Why? Because it’s often too hot to cook or eat a heavy meal. The good news? Not only do I get more exercise in the summer, but I eat better — fruits and vegetables galore.
Many fruits and vegetables are low in calorie and provide vital vitamins that your body craves. Did you know that many of these are good for your dog as well?
Here are some great healthy snacks your dog will enjoy.
- Apples. Apples are a great source of Vitamin A & C as well as fiber. They are low in protein and fat. Don’t feed your dog the whole apple – remove the core and seeds.
- Bananas contain natural sugars that can give your dog a boost in energy. They also contain amino acids, potassium, vitamin C and B6 and improve heart health and blood pressure.
- Blueberries are great for humans and dogs too! Blueberries contain antioxidants which prevent cell damage and cancer in people and pets. They are also low in calorie.
- Broccoli. Dogs can eat broccoli sparingly because it may cause gas. Broccoli contains Vitamins A, C and D, beta-carotene, folic acid, fiber, calcium and chromium.
- Brussel sprouts. Although I’m not a big fan of Brussels sprouts, they contain vitamins A, B1, B6, K and G and are a good source of fiber.
- Cantaloupe. If your dog is overweight or has diabetes, cantaloupe should be given in small quantities because it is high in sugar. However, it contains many nutrients, water and fiber. Do not feed your dog the seeds.
- Carrots. Most dogs love carrots. They are good for a dog’s vision as well as his skin and for cleaning teeth and gums. They contain vitamins A, C, D, E and K, beta-carotene, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
- Celery. Does your doggie have bad breath? Try feeding him some celery. Containing vitamins A, B and C, this snack can promote heart health and fight cancer too.
- Cranberries. Although many dogs do not like the tartness of cranberries, they can be healthy for your dog in small quantities.
- Cucumbers. Is your dog overweight? Cucumbers are low in calorie and have few carbohydrates, fats or oils. They contain vitamins C, B1 and K, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
- Green beans. Raw, chopped or cooked, green beans have important vitamins and minerals and are full of fiber while being low in calorie.
- Orange. After an orange is free of its peel it can be a tasty treat for your dog. Oranges contain vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.
- Peaches. Avoid canned peaches because of their sugar, but once the pit and skin have been removed from a peach, they are a great source of fiber and vitamin A.
- Pears. Once the pit and seeds have been removed, pears are rich in copper, fiber and vitamins C and K.
- Peas. Cooked, frozen or thawed (not canner), most dogs love peas. You will often find this ingredient in dog food because peas are a natural source of protein. Peas contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and K in addition to thiamin, phosphorus, manganese, fiber and folate.
- Pineapple. Pineapple is a great sweet treat for dogs containing vitamins, minerals, fiber and bromelain (helpful in absorbing proteins).
- Strawberries. Want your dog’s teeth to be whiter? Believe it or not strawberries contain and enzyme that help to brighten dog’s teeth. They are also full of fiber and vitamin C. Feed these to your dog in moderation because they are high in calorie.
- Watermelon. Who doesn’t like watermelon to keep you hydrated on warm sunny days? Watermelon also contains Vitamin A, B-6 and C as well as potassium.
Take our advice and dig into these dog-friendly vegetables!