Saturday, February 28, 2015

Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs

An article to share with dog lovers from Vet Street

If your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier, we've got some good news:  Your dog can do it too!  Fruits and vegetables make great treats for dogs, and we've got the skinny on which ones are OK to feed your dog.

If your pooch already eats a quality commercial diet that's been approved by your veterinarian, he doesn't necessarily need fruits and vegetables to balance his nutrition - not like we humans do,  anyway  Still, fruits and vegetables (offered in moderation, of course) can be tasty, low-calorie and inexpensive snacks for dogs.  So toss those fattening cookies and hit the produce section.  It's time to get healthy!

Broccoli makes a great snack for pups.  Just remember to serve human food sparingly - even the best fruits and vegetables, if eaten by your pet in huge amounts, can cause stomach problems.  Some canines love sweet potatoes.  Be sure to serve them to your dog in small bites and make sure that they're cooked, never raw.

Zucchini and other squash are healthy treats for your canine.  Before you change anything about your dog's diet, though, consult with your veterinarian, because some foods may be incompatible with certain medical conditions or prescribed diets.

If you want to give your canine a few banana slices but don't want to deal with a squishy mess on the floor, here's an easy solution.  Freeze the banana slices before you offer them to your dog.  Giving your dog peas instead of cookies can make you feel better about his calorie intake.  But keep in mind that treats, even healthy vegetables, should be less than 10% of your pet's diet.
Many dogs love juicy apples.  Just be sure your dog doesn't get hold of seeds or the core, which can be harmful to him.

Good news for all you green bean fans out there.  It's safe to share them with your dogs.  Plenty of dogs enjoy carrots, but if yours is hesitant about eating raw vegetables for the first time, you can steam or boil the vegetables for an easier transition.

How about some fresh cucumber slices?  Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables and remove rinds, skin, seeds or pits before feeding them to your pet.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fruits and Vegetables that are Dangerous for Dogs

My dog is my best friend so I try to stay up on what is good and not so good for him to eat.  I receive emails information from my vet now and then with sites that I find quite informative.  This is one he sent that I want to share.  It comes from Vet Street.

Onions, garlic, leeks and chives, which are all members of the Allium genus, can damage healthy red blood cells, leading to life-threatening anemia.  Cooking these household staples won't make them any less toxic, so leave them out of your pet's diet no matter how they're prepared.

Grapes or Raisins may look harmless, but they can cause illness and kidney damage in dogs.  Clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Raw Potatoes can be risky for your pup, especially if it has any green parts or sprouts.  Potatoes contain solanin, a toxin that can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and severe stomach upset.

Wild mushrooms can be pretty, but they can also be deadly for dogs.  Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can range from vomiting and hallucinating to liver failure and death.  There are many different species of mushrooms and toxicity levels differ, so to be safe, keep your animal away from all wild mushrooms.

Apple Cores with seeds and stems are a no no.  It's fine for your dog to eat an apple slice or two but don't give him the core, seeds, stems and leaves which contain cyanide, a toxin that can cause dilated puples, panting, difficulty breathing and shock.  You'll also want to be cautious about other fruits with seeds, such as watermelon - offer only the fruit, not the seeds, stems or leaves.

Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries are not safe for dogs - their pits can be choking hazards.  And choking isn't the only problem with these fruits.  The stems, leaves and pits of apricots, plums, peaches and cherries also contain cyanide.

Rhubarb Leaves are toxic to pets so if you're making a rhubarb pie, make sure you carefully dispose of the leaves.  They can cause kidney failure and tremors.