Our list of the 40 Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Eat and Can’t Eat provides a quick, easy reference to get it right. Feeding your dog fruits and vegetables has many benefits, but it’s important to know which ones are safe and healthy for your dog and which ones should be avoided.
The Great Debate
Feeding vegetation to dogs is greatly debated. Prey feeders don’t think it plays a role in the diet, while BARF feeders include vegetation in the dog diet. While carbohydrates are not an essential macronutrient for dogs, they have adapted to use them. Additionally, there is evidence that vegetation has been found in the scat of some wolves that have been studied. This suggests that plants are a part of the primordial diet.
This is an individual decision you should make for you and your dog and you should certainly consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns.
Personally, I’ve always fed my dogs appropriate fruits and vegetables within the suggested dietary guidelines. Some they love and can’t get enough of and others have been left in the bowl. Just like kids who have different preferences, so do our dogs.
Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
- This is a great way to supplement your dog’s diet for added nutritional benefits.
- Vegetation contains phytonutrients – plants that help fight or prevent disease.
- Yellow, orange, and red colored fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids which act as antioxidants.
- Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant is found in carrots, cabbage.
- Lutein – protects, eyes, skin, and heart and is found in leafy dark greens and yellow plants such as kale, broccoli, oranges, and papaya.
- Flavonoids can regulate cells – have anti-inflammatory properties
- Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables and this bulks up food to help it pass through the colon. Additionally, soluble fiber can be prebiotic and feeds good bacteria to the gut.
How Much and How to Prepare?
Fruits and vegetables should comprise about 10% of your dog’s diet.
Overall, fruits and more importantly vegetables need some type of pre-digestion before they are fed to the dog. Dog’s don’t have the teeth, jaw structure, or salivary enzymes to begin the digestion process in the mouth. That said, if you choose to add fruits and vegetables to your raw dog diet it’s best to:
1. Purée them. The more finely you puree them, the more nutrients they will get from them. I use my Ninja Blender with the various sized cups that I can blend in. This is very handy as I don’t need to use the big 72-ounce pitcher each time.
2. Ferment them. Fermenting them also ensures the best nutrient absorption.
3. Steam or cook them. Steaming or cooking them is acceptable too, however, cooking causes some nutrient loss. Using a mini microwave steamer makes steaming a snap and cleanup is quick.
About Our List
Not all fruits and vegetable are healthy for dogs. We’ve grouped our list of 40 fruits and vegetables into three groups:
- YES – OK for your dog and good to eat.
- CAUTION – OK to eat in smaller quantities. Some cautionary suggestions exist regarding preparation, seeds, skin, etc.
- NO – These are either toxic to dogs or for various stated reasons are best to be avoided.
40 Fruits and Vegetables Dogs Can Eat and Ones that Should be Avoided:
YES – Fruits and Vegetables that Dogs CAN EAT:
APPLES – Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C. They are high in fiber and low in protein and fat. Caution: Just remove the seeds and core first. Seeds can be toxic.
BANANAS – Dogs can eat bananas in moderation due to higher sugar content. They are low in cholesterol & sodium and high in potassium, biotin, fiber, and copper.
BELL PEPPERS – (red, green, yellow) – Red is best. All provide beta carotene, fiber, and antioxidants. Cut into small pieces and feed with stem removed to boost immune function.
BLUEBERRIES – Blueberries are a superfood packed with fiber and rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike.
CANTALOUPE – Cantaloupe is OK for dogs in moderation as it is higher in sugar. It’s low calorie, full of nutrients, and a great source of water and fiber.
CARROTS – They are high in fiber and beta-carotene and crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth. But, they are higher in sugar so feed in moderation.
CELERY – Celery contains vitamins A, B, and C, promotes a healthy heart and even fights cancer. Plus, it freshens doggy breath. Just remember, everything in moderation as too much can cause increased urination in some dogs.
CUCUMBERS – Cucumbers are great. They are low in fats, oils & carbohydrates, and high in vitamins K, C, B1, potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin and can boost energy.
GREENBEANS – All types of green beans are safe for dogs. Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals and they’re also full of fiber and low in calories.
MANGOS – Dogs can eat mangoes but remove the pit. They are full of vitamins A, B6, C, E and also have potassium, both beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene.
ORANGES – Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Serve in small quantities. Caution: Remove the peel and seeds first.
PEACHES – YES-Small amounts cut up are fine and are a great source of fiber, vitamin A, and can help fight infections. Caution: Remove the pit as it contains cyanide.
PEARS – Pears are a great snack and are high in copper, vitamins C, K, and fiber. Caution: Remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.
PEAS – Green, snow, sugar snap, garden, and English peas are all OK. They’re high in protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals. Fresh and frozen are OK, but not canned due to high sodium.
PINEAPPLE – Pineapple is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins. Caution: Remove the prickly outside first.
PUMPKIN – Pumpkin is fiber-rich and contains vitamins A, E, C, potassium, and iron. It can also ease digestion and help some cases of dog diarrhea. Fresh and canned plain pumpkin (has more fiber and is better at firming poop) are acceptable. Do NOT feed pumpkin pie filling.
ROMAIN LETTUCE – Dogs can eat lettuce of the romaine, arugula, and iceberg variety. It’s 90% water and it’s a low-calorie, crunchy snack. Note: dogs should not eat spinach.
RASPBERRIES – OK in moderation. The fruit contains antioxidants, which are great for dogs, especially senior dogs due to anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate joint pain. Caution: limit to less than a cup at a time as they contain Xylitol which can be toxic to dogs.
STRAWBERRIES – They’re full of fiber, vitamin C and contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth. They are high in sugar, so give them in moderation.
WATERMELON – Watermelon is safe for dogs and full of vitamin A, B-6, C, and potassium. At 92% water, it provides great hydration. Caution: First, remove the rind and seeds, as they can cause intestinal blockage.
YELLOW SQUASH – Dogs can eat yellow squash. Don’t feed it raw. Cook the squash and always remove the seeds.
ZUCCHINI – They low in fat and calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are full of nutrients and are one of the best vegetables to feed dogs.
CAUTION – Dog’s Can Eat These, But Proceed with Caution in Terms of Amount or Necessary Preparation
BROCCOLI – Can be eaten in very small quantities (Less than 10% per day), contains isothiocyanates which can cause gastric irritation, Member of cruciferous family – may increase chances of hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid).
BRUSSEL SPROUTS – OK in moderation. They are packed with nutrients. Feeding too much can cause lots of gas. As a member of the cruciferous family, they may increase the chances of hypothyroidism.
CABBAGE – OK in moderation. Rich in antioxidants, aids digestion. However, it can cause gas. As a member of the cruciferous family, it may increase the chances of hypothyroidism.
CAULIFLOWER – Some sources claim that the cruciferous veggie family (cauliflower included) can increase the chances of hypothyroidism. Best to avoid and eat other veggies.
CRANBERRIES – Cranberries and dried cranberries are safe in moderation. Caution: Don’t confuse dried cranberries with craisins or raisins as they are very toxic to dogs.
MUSHROOMS – Wild mushrooms can be toxic for dogs. Supermarket varieties that are safe for people are safe for pets, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and skip out on the fungi all together.
SWEET POTATOES – They’re full of nutrients, fiber, beta carotene, vitamins B-6 and C. Caution: Wash, peel and cook first as raw sweet potatoes can be rough on stomach and skins are toxic to dogs. They are also higher in starch and can spike insulin levels. Since these are nutritionally a better option than potatoes, they are OK in moderation.
NO – These Fruits and Vegetables Are Toxic to Dogs or For Other Reasons Should Be Avoided
ASPARAGUS – Asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, but it’s too tough to be eaten raw and cooking it down loses the nutrients. Not an ideal veggie. Better options exist.
AVOCADO – The pit, skin, and leaves contain persin, a toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The inside fruit contains lower levels of persin, but is still too much.
CORN – While it is a common ingredient in most dog foods, it’s a grain and high in starch and best avoided. Don’t feed corn on the cob as it’s hard to digest and may cause intestinal blockage.
GARLIC – Garlic and other members of the allium family, including onions, contain thiosulfate, which is toxic to dogs. Toxicity can occur whether the products are fresh, cooked or in a dried/powdered form such as in spices
GRAPES-Grapes and raisins are very toxic to dogs. In fact, grapes are so toxic that they can lead to sudden acute kidney failure and be fatal. Skip this very dangerous food.
KALE – Kale contains several potentially harmful natural compounds, including calcium oxalate & isothiocyanates and can cause mild to potentially severe gastric irritation and kidney and bladder stones in some cases.
ONIONS – Onions, leeks, and chives are poisonous to most pets and can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.
POTATOES – While peeled and cooked potatoes are ok on occasion, they are high in starch, can spike insulin levels and best avoided. Never feed raw potatoes as they can be rough on the stomach, skins contain chaconine and are toxic to dogs.
RAISINS – Raisins are known to be highly toxic to dogs and should not be fed to them under any circumstances as raisin toxicity can even be fatal.
SPINACH – Spinach is very high in oxalic acid, which blocks calcium absorption and can lead to kidney damage. While it likely takes a large amount to have this problem, it’s best to go with another vegetable.
TOMATOES – The green parts of the plant contain a toxin called solanine. While it takes a large amount for it to make a dog sick, it’s better to be safe and not feed them tomatoes.
FREE Printable File – Fruits and Vegetable Dogs Can and Can’t Eat
We’ve also provided a FREE Printable file of this handy reference chart of the fruits and vegetables dogs can eat (and can’t eat). It’s the same 40 fruits and vegetables as above, but we’ve put them all in alphabetical order and then color-coded them as follows:
- GREEN- YES – OK for your dog and good to eat.
- YELLOW – CAUTION – OK to eat in smaller quantities. Some cautionary suggestions exist regarding preparation, seeds, skin, etc.
- RED – NO – These are either toxic to dogs or for various stated reasons are best to be avoided.
Here’s a peak of what it looks like below:
Download the Free Printable File: Fruits and Vegetable Dogs Can Eat and Can’t Eat
Fruits and vegetables are a healthy part of your dog’s diet but don’t mistakenly feed them the wrong ones and suffer the consequences by making a deadly mistake. Keep your printable handy and always watch your dog carefully as you introduce new foods into their diet.