Dogs benefit from the addition some fruit and veggies to their diet.
What we are striving for with raw feeding is complete nutrition over a period of time, not perfection in every meal. Do you get complete and balanced nutrition in every meal? And remember, a human's nutritional needs are even more complex than a dog's.
We feed the dogs meat and bone with organ to cover 3/4 of the dogs' nutritional requirements. The remaining quarter is made up of fruit and veggies. Not every meal has produce in it, but they probably get at least 1 fruit or vegetable every day.
We use fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables, with preference in that order. The easiest way to feed raw F & V is to puree them in a food processor with some water or you can even buy them prepared this way from a raw dog food store.
You can also cut up raw F & V into chunks, but it's worth noting that dogs don't really chew them. Think about the teeth they have to work with- no flat grinding teeth like humans, horses or rabbits have. Even their back teeth are pointed. Their teeth are designed to tear and gulp- with their highly acidic and very short digestive system lined up to do all the breaking down.
Frozen vegetables can be thawed to room temperature and fed with meat and bone in a meal. After being frozen and thawed, they are mushier than raw as the freezing process causes the tough cellulose to break down and burst, so they are digestible.
Canned F & V are often processed with sugar or salt and heat, but there are still some that we don't find too bad and add to the grocery list for variety.
Top Ten Tips for Fruit and Vegetable Feeding:
- The harder the texture, the tougher this will be for a dog's teeth to break down (i.e. carrots, apples, celery, cauliflour, brussels sprouts.) Harder foods will do some good toward keeping the teeth clean, so they can be included in your dog's diet on occasion. Pureed/ground has much higher nutritional value.
- Never microwave any food you plan to feed your dog. This zaps nutrients, so it does more harm than good.
- When in doubt, yellow, green, purple and orange veg are the healthiest and safest veg to give a dog. Red and white- proceed with caution.
- Completely avoid onions, grapes, citrus and raisins.
- Keep a container in the fridge with the wilted lettuce, ends of celery, etc. and puree it once a week with some water for your dog to enjoy.
- Go for fresh or frozen whenever possible, as canned are heat processed with added salt or sugar.
- Be sure to vary your F & V as you would in your own diet so your dog is guaranteed to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Nightshade vegetables are discouraged or to be fed in small infrequent doses (potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, zuchini, etc.)
- Your dog should not eat seeds. (they are impossible to break down and some are very harmful, such as apple seeds which act like cyanide in a dog's digestive system and the pits from stone fruit.)
- If you are in doubt about something, don't do it, just check with us or consult a book or website you trust.
FAVE FRUIT AND VEGGIES
greens (pureed raw, cooked or frozen spinach, cabbage, all varieties of lettuce, collard greens, bok choy)
baked, cooled yams & squashes
cooked (lightly steamed) or frozen cauliflour, broccoli, green beans, peas, wax beans
fresh avocado, strawberries, bananas, mango, apple, carrots, cherries, blueberries, watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew
canned tomatoes, peaches, pears, and pineapple