Research done by the Australian Veterinary Association has found that more than 40% of pet dogs in Australia are obese. Being overweight can have a serious impact on your pet’s health, causing joint issues and putting undue strain on their heart. There are two simple reasons for a dog being overweight – they are not getting enough exercise and they are being fed too much. Swapping high calorie dog treats for a little fresh fruit is a good way to start getting this issue in check and manage their weight effectively.

What can I give my dog? 

Dogs can eat apples, but just like humans, they shouldn’t eat the core, as the pips contain small amounts of cyanide. The same can be said for stone fruits like apricots, peaches, plums and cherries. Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries make an ideal dog snack as they are high in antioxidants and vitamins E, C and K. Blueberries are also high in vitamin B, which is good for energy levels and brain function. They are not too high in calories either, so they’re a good option if your dog is on a diet. Bananas are also a favourite treat (in moderation) for dogs, but limit these to a small piece a day, as they are high in fruit sugar.

Ways to give dogs fruit

Blending up some fruit, such as bananas and berries, putting the puree in a Kong, and freezing it is a great way of giving your dog a fruity treat, especially in the summer. You can also use your blender to make them a delicious fruit or veggie smoothie. A smoothie is a great meal replacement option for a dog if they are on a weight management plan. Slices of apple and pear are a good option, instead of your dog’s normal treats. Berries make a good training treat instead of biscuits or pieces of cheese, and they are much better for your dog.

What fruit should I avoid? 

Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit are not good for your dog’s digestive system, due to the acid that they contain. Cranberries are another fruit that aren’t good for your dog’s stomach. You should completely avoid grapes, raisins and sultanas – they are extremely poisonous for dogs. Other kinds of dried fruits, such as prunes and dates, have sugar levels that can be harmful too, so are best avoided.

Fresh fruit can make a great treat for your dog as long you’re mindful of what you’re feeding them. It is also a great alternative to their regular treats to help keep their weight under control.

Take a look at this great infographic which gives a quick  low down on the do’s and dont’s of food for dogs. 

Of course, before you add anything to your pet’s diet, please check with your vet and also moderation is key so you can figure out quickly if something is  not agreeing with your pooch!

Good luck, and let us know if you have any special recipes for your pooch?

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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