Fruits are full of fibre and antioxidants and as healthy for your furry babies as for you. However, care must be taken to choose the correct fruit for your dog or cat as a few can be toxic for them and cause adverse reaction. Experts say it is best to avoid any fruits that have small seeds or bits in them that may get stuck in your canine or feline companion’s intestinal tracts. Otherwise most of the fruits can be included in your pet’s diet from apple to watermelon. Fruits can also be the perfect snacks for them considering the sweet or deep fried stuff can cause many health problems in pets. (Also read: Is your pet ageing? Here are ways to take care of your senior pet)
“There are many seasonal fruits that are good for dogs and can be given in moderate amounts. Make sure to avoid the toxic ones. Grapes, cherries and avocados are fatal for dogs. Most importantly, make fruits fun. Make your dog work for these treats and associate happy times with fruits. You could also make healthy fruits into smoothies and freeze them in ice trays,” said Dr Dilip Sonune, Veterinary Officer at Wiggles. (Also read: Mental health benefits of sleeping with your pet)
Ideal fruits for dogs, cats and parrots
“What is also important to note is that many of these fruits are very high in sugar, like bananas and mangoes and so should be given in small quantities and less frequently. For both cats and dogs, one must steer away from avocado, cherries, grapes and tomatoes which can, in cases, even lead to sudden death of the animal. Berries in general are safe for cats to consume. Parrots can eat almost every fruit and it is a must to include at least 5-10% of fruit in your parrots’ diet,” says Devanshi Shah, Founder & CEO, PetKonnect.
Here are 5 important fruits suggested by Dr Dilip Sonune, pet parents can give to their little companions.
Apples: Apples are extremely healthy for your pets. It consists of antioxidants and lots of Vitamin A and C. Apples contain a great source of potassium, flavonoids and phytonutrients which keep your pet healthy. It’s advisable to wash apples properly and cut them into small pieces after peeling the core. Apple seeds contain cyanide and if pets consume that, it can not only be harmful but over time it can cause severe health issues as well.
Bananas: Pets can eat bananas as they are rich and high in potassium, carbohydrates, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and are low in calories too. They should be given in moderation and with the peel removed. Giving too much bananas can lead to constipation. Pets with kidney failure, blood pressure and severe heart conditions should not be given bananas.
Watermelon: Watermelons are fresh and a great fruit to give your pets. It contains high water content, essential minerals, vitamin A, B-6, C and Thiamin. Pet parents should be careful and remove all the seeds as it may cause blockages in the pet’s intestines.
Strawberries: Strawberries are low-calorie, full of antioxidants, high in fibre and Vitamin C and help in whitening your pets’ teeth. They also contain anti-aging properties. Strawberries should be given in limited amounts as they contain sugar which can be harmful for pets.
Blueberries: Blueberries are dogs’ favorite. They contain natural elements like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help in reducing risk of diabetes, heart attacks, liver failure etc. The fruit also contains high levels of resveratrol which fight cancers in dogs. Tannis found in blueberries can prevent urinary tract infections and are good for eye health.