Fruits and vegetables are a wonderful option to work into your pet's diet.
They'll not only (for the most part) benefit from the same nutrients as humans do, but they'll enjoy them just as much!
However, it's so important to know which produce is safe for your furry and non-furry friends. Here are a few tips and debunked myths when it comes to incorporating produce into your pets' diet.
Most berries tend to be no-brainers for cats and dogs. Blueberries specifically have antioxidant properties that provide a lot of the same health benefits that they do for us humans: improved cognitive functions, support for joint and bone health, etc. Blueberries can also potentially lessen the chances of urinary tract infections and improve night vision for your pet.
However, that doesn't mean to go blueberry crazy! They are a great alternative training treat, but remember, everything in moderation. Introduce 2-3 blueberries at a time and observe how your pet reacts. If your dog or cat starts to experience digestive or behavioral changes, consult your vet ASAP.
An apple a day keeps the veterinarian away! Plenty of pets benefit from a crisp, vitamin-filled apple slice. Becuase of their high fiber amounts and low-fat counts, they're an ideal snack for overweight or senior pets who might have lower metabolisms.
However, beware of the seeds. The seeds specifically contain toxins (cyanide) that are highly poisonous to dogs, birds, and other furry friends.
This green snack is a great source of fiber, vitamins, and potassium for your pets. However, they do take a bit of preparation in order for them to easily enjoy. Raw stalks can be a choking hazard, so be sure to cook and soften asparagus then cut into bite-sized pieces to allow for easier digestion.
Kale, types of lettuce, and other leafy vegetables are actually pretty critical to most pets' diets. When pets don't consume green foods, they are more likely to experience digestive disorders, trace mineral deficiencies and even some forms of cancer.
A simple, raw green can go a long way in helping your four/two-legged companion live a healthy lifestyle! Again thought, everything in moderation. Be sure to start with small amounts and monitor their response – too much all at once could potentially cause diarrhea, especially if your pet isn't use to eating vegetables.
Peas (or snap peas)
These mini but mighty vegetables are packed with essential amino acids that benefit dogs, cats, and even goldfish! In fact, goldfish suffering from swim bladder disease benefit greatly from softened peas. Be wary that the added sodium in canned peas can be harmful to dogs, and that the pods on fresh peas are a choking hazard as they can get lodged in your pets throat.
Did you know that rabbits don't naturally eat root vegetables or fruit? That's right! Bugs Bunny may not have been entirely wrong, but the rabbit/carrot connection is certainly a misconception.
These high-in-sugar vegetables can be a portion of your pet rabbits diet, but in moderation as an occasional treat. Be sure to balance with other green, leafy veggies to keep their diet healthy and hearty!