Safe fruit and vegetables for dogs
We might be used to buying our dog’s food from a pet shop, but if you’re looking for a small treat for them you might find some safe options already in your fridge or cupboards. There are lots of fruit and veg that are safe (some are even healthy!) for your pup as an occasional treat.
When it comes to dogs and human food, it’s usually best to steer clear. After all, there are a lot of human foods that can make our dogs very poorly, or even kill them. Alcohol, chocolate and foods containing the sweetener xylitol can all be deadly to our four-legged friends. As a general rule, it’s safest to stick to feeding your dog a commercially available, good quality, complete dog food. This way you know your dog will get the right balance of nutrients and it will only contain safe ingredients.
However, if you want to give them a treat, your dog may love some safe fruit and veg as a healthy snack. If you’d like more information on what to feed your dog and keeping them in shape, visit our free guides:
How much fruit and veg should I feed my dog every day?
As long as you’re feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet appropriate for their age (your vet or vet nurse can help you with this) then they don’t actually need extra fruit and veg every day. Complete dog foods contain all the nutrients your dog needs to keep them happy and healthy. We wouldn’t recommend feeding fruit and veg as part of your dog’s daily diet.
Some fruit and veg, on the other hand, make great treats! Just like our favourite snacks, commercial treats from the pet shop or supermarket can sometimes be quite fattening and contain a lot of additives. If you’re looking for a tasty treat for your dog, safe fruit and vegetables can be a great, healthy option.
Which vegetables can my dog eat?
There are a few different vegetables our dogs are fine eating (but remember, a little for us is a lot to our dogs so keep treat sizes small!). Any veg you give to your dog should be raw or boiled/steamed with no extra oils, butter or flavourings. Always cut it into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking and feed in moderation, especially if your dog isn't used to eating fresh veg.
Dog-safe vegetables include:
- Broccoli – in small amounts, raw or steamed
- Brussel Sprouts
- Carrots – many dogs enjoy them raw, but they can be given steamed or boiled
- Green beans – steamed, boiled or raw
- Peas – sugar snap peas, garden peas and mangetout, but avoid tinned peas
- Sweet potatoes and potatoes – plain, boiled or steamed (not raw)
- Sweetcorn – fresh cooked corn with nothing added can be given to dogs but it must be cut off the cob first!
Which fruit can my dog eat?
Just like veg, there are a number of fruits our dogs can eat safely. However, most fruits have more sugar then vegetables so they’re best given as an occasional treat. Make sure they’re plain (with no sugar or chocolate coatings) and cut into bite-sized pieces to avoid choking. If you are giving your dog a bit of fruit, it should be alongside their normal diet - don’t forget to reduce their daily food allowance that day to account for the extra calories.
Dog-safe fruit includes:
- Apples – de-seeded and cored
- Bananas – in very small amounts as they are high in sugar
- Cranberries – some dogs might not like the taste, but they’re safe!
- Mango – remove hard stone/pit and skin
- Nectarine – remove the stone/pit
- Orange – remove the skin and any seeds. Some dogs don’t like the taste but oranges are safe
- Peach – remove the stone/pit
- Pears – remove the seeds/core/pit
- Pineapple – remove the skin
- Strawberries – very sugary so only very small amounts
- Watermelon – remove rind and seeds
Which fruit and vegetables are NOT safe for dogs?
Although feeding your dog any new fresh food can give them a tummy upset, especially if you give them too much at once, there are a number of fruits and veg that you really shouldn’t feed your dog. At all. These can be toxic, cause a blockage, or just cause a very big stomach upset. If they accidentally eat some, it’s probably best to call your vet for advice to be on the safe side!
Unsafe fruit and veg includes:
- Avocado – can cause very upset stomach
- Cherries – pits/stones contain cyanide which is toxic to dogs
- Corn on the cob – the cob can cause blockages
- Garlic – toxic to dogs
- Grapes/raisins – toxic to dogs. Find out more about grape and raisin toxicity on our Hub
- Grapefruit – very acidic and can upset your dog’s stomach
- Leeks – toxic to dogs
- Lemon – very acidic and can upset your dog’s stomach
- Lime – very acidic and can upset your dog’s stomach
- Mushrooms – certain types are toxic to dogs, so best to steer clear
- Onion – toxic to dogs
- Plums – stone/pit can be toxic or cause blockages and can often get left in the plum
- Potatoes (raw) and potato plants – when raw they can be toxic and the plants and leaves can also be dangerous
- Rhubarb – toxic to dogs
- Tomato (unripe) and tomato plants – while the ripe red flesh is safe, the green parts can be toxic so best to avoid