Anyone who knows me, either in person or online, knows that I am thoroughly obsessed with my animals. I am just as picky with their food as my own, so it makes sense that I enjoy sharing my groceries with them! We all know that pups will like things like marrow bones, the chickens like all sorts of chicken scraps, and Sage the bunny gets greens, but there are so many other options that are dog safe summer produce! So, after organizing my fridge (I’m a bit known for it on Instagram!) I pulled out some do’s and don’ts when it comes to summer produce and my latest grocery haul!
Before we get into the list or both yes, no, and ‘ehhh’ items, this doesn’t mean that all of the ‘yes’ items work for every dog! Dogs can have sensitivities just like humans can, so make sure if you are trying out a new type of produce, you watch your pup closely! Also, this list isn’t exhaustive, just from what is in my fridge right now!
Dog Safe Summer Produce: Yes! Try These!
Cantaloupe is full of great things like fiber, beta carotene, and vitamin C! It is also low calorie and high in water content! However, just like many fruits it can be high in sugar so should be given sparingly.
Carrots are a great treat for pups and my two fluffs’ personal favorite! Carrots are high in beta carotene, and the texture is wonderful for removing plaque from your pup’s teeth!
Cucumbers are hydrating and are full of lots of great vitamins and minerals!
With its crunchy texture and hydrating effect, celery can be a great treat for dogs! I personally like to remove the celery ‘strings’ before allowing my pups to chow down to prevent any choking hazard.
Green beans are totally safe for dogs! They are actually recommended as a weight loss method for some pups. One of my Samoyeds growing up was getting tubby and the vet recommended her kibble be reduced and then we supplemented with green beans!
Peaches with the pit removed are a fun treat for your pup! They are high in sugar content, so make sure to not overfeed.
Radishes are safe for pups! In my experience most dogs don’t particularly like radishes, but they can be a good source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C.
Watermelon Make sure to remove the rind and seeds, but watermelon is a vitamin rich, cooling treat for pups!
Zucchini is perfectly safe for dogs! Some pups will love zucchini slices as a treat (mine, not so much- silly pups) and even if they get into eating a bit of the plant from your garden the whole plant is non-toxic!
Ehhh- Are Technically Okay in Small Doses, But I Would Avoid
While corn can be a good source of protein, carbs, and certain good-for-you acids, many dogs have a sensitivity to it and the cob is a big choking and blockage hazard.
The flesh of a plum is okay for dog’s consumption, but just like peaches their pits are a no-go. I popped them in the ‘ehh’ category because relative in size to a peach, plums have a higher choking risk- most dogs can’t each peach whole, but plums are possible! Also plums have a high sugar concentration, so you should avoid them if your pup is overweight.
Tomatoes are in the ‘ehh’ category because of their life cycle stages. While red tomatoes can be fine for you pups, green tomatoes along with the tomato leaves and stems contain a compound called solanine which is toxic to dogs.
Spinach is high in a compound called Oxalic Acid which can block the body’s natural ability to absorb calcium. This is actually the reason I rarely feed spinach to my chickens as well- it can impair egg production because their eggs are made from calcium!
No- These are Dangerous!
Alliums are a family of plant that contains onions, garlic, leeks, chives, shallots, and varieties of each. I will insert a scientific explanation of the toxicity of the allium family, but essentially in both dogs and cats alliums can rupture red blood cells and create severe anemia, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and the like.
Allium species contain a wide variety of organosulfoxides, particularly alk(en)ylcysteine sulfoxides. Trauma to the plants, such as chewing, converts the organosulfoxides to a complex mixture of sulfur-containing organic compounds. Many of these compounds or their metabolites are responsible for the odors, flavors, and pharmacologic effects of these plants. Many Allium species’ organosulfur compounds appear to be readily absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and are metabolized to highly reactive oxidants. Cooking or spoilage of Allium species does not reduce their potential toxicity.Source: Veterinary Medicine
Avocados are toxic to pups because of a toxin called persin. The majority of the plant (including leaves and stems) contain persin, and while the flesh of an avocado doesn’t have as high of a concentration of persin, it is still not safe.
Kale contains a compound called Calcium Oxalate. This compound can crystalize into both kidney and bladder stones in dogs that need to be surgically removed.
Mushrooms in general are a no-go for dogs. The reasons why are as diverse as mushrooms are! From toxins that can induce vomiting to tremors there are a list of symptoms that mushrooms can cause.
As I mentioned above, this list isn’t exhaustive, just a selection of the dog safe summer produce (and not so safe!) I like to share with my two fluffs! As an extra bonus, if you’re a fan of dogs being super cute and taste testing, be sure to watch our video of these shareable treats!
I am not a veterinarian, so please consult your vet before adding new foods into your dog’s diet. All opinions are my own.