Fruit, Veg and your pets!
We all know that smaller pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits love fruit and vegetables, but did you know that your cat and dog would too! Fruit and veg can make a great addition to your cat or dogs’ diet. Not only do they provide your pet with the right vitamins and minerals, they can also act as a cooling agent. During these warmer months it is important to keep your pet hydrated as it only takes a loss of 10% total body fluids to lead to a serious illness. A great way to introduce fruit and veg to your pet is through a game, the buster dog maze has proven a great way to keep your pet entertained whilst being fed. The maze was originally designed for dogs but has also been used for cats, parrots and even small animals.
Here are our recommendations of fruit and vegetables to give to your pets.
Sweet fruits tend to be more appealing to pets, so we recommend serving them ripe. Ripening enhances fruits sweetness and tastiness so by serving them right your pet is more likely to want to eat it. The best fruits for your pet includes; apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, mango, orange, pear, strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and watermelon. Apples are a great snack for your pet because they are high in fibre and low in fat. They are also packed with vitamins A and C which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. Make sure you remove the core and seeds first as they contain cyanide which is poisonous to your pet and will make them very sick. Apricots also make an excellent snack for you pet as they are full of potassium and beta-carotene which can help fight against cancer, again be careful with the pit, stem and leaves from the apricots as they are also poisonous to your pet. Bananas are also a great source of potassium however, they have a high sugar content so be aware of how much they have. Whereas raspberries are relatively low in sugar and contain lots of fibre and vitamin C. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them great for older pets. Watermelon is almost 92% water, so it is great for keeping your pet hydrated, but make sure you remove the seeds. It also contains Vitamins A, C, and B-6 as well as potassium, which helps maintain healthy muscles and nerve function.
Vegetables are a great way to boost the vitamins and minerals that your pet is getting, they are also a great source of water. Many dogs live in a continuing state of dehydration which contributes to other problems such as kidney disease or bladder stones. Vegetables help to alkalize the body which is important for dogs because the processed packet foods that they get fed are so high in acidity that it can contribute to inflammation and thus lead to a chronic disease.
However, not all vegetables are suitable for your pet. Some vegetables to stay clear off include onions, garlic, rhubarb and wild mushrooms as they are toxic to them. They cause damages to the red blood cells which ultimately causes them to burst. Here are some of the vegetables which are suitable for your dog and cat to eat include; broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, peppers, celery, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, sweet potato and pumpkin. Something to keep in mind is if you are feeding these to your cats they may need to be pureed. Broccoli is very high in fibre and vitamin C so make as a great snack for your pet, carrots are also low in calories and high is fibre. Lettuce is a great way to up your pets water intake, it also a good source of vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and calcium.
Something to keep in mind of is the amount of fruit and veg you are feeding your pet. Fruit and veg should be given in moderation as introducing new foods into your pet’s diet may cause an upset stomach, if this happens be sure to try out the Johnson’s diarrhoea tablets suitable for both cats and dogs. We advise introducing only one new fruit or vegetable at a time to help spot any health changes.
A great way to source fruit and veg is through an allotment and this week marks national allotment week. This is to highlight the importance of allotments and open spaces in your local area. Allotments have a lot of benefits including bringing people together, providing low-cost healthy fruit and veg, physical exercise and social interaction. To find out what you can do to show your support during this week visit https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news-events-campaigns/national-allotments-week/ for more information.