Groenten en fruit voor honden en katten

Why it’s good to give your dog or cat little bits of fruit and vegetables and how to do it.

“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.”
— William Cowper

Whether you give your buddy kibble, raw or cooked, adding small amounts of fruit and vegetables is very healthy. Every food contains different nutrients and by varying a lot, your buddy will get all kinds of different good nutrients. In addition, it is also good for their well-being and makes them happier. Who doesn’t love a bit of variety?

Of course, this idea is not new, but recent studies increasingly support the positive effects that certain fruits and vegetables can have on the health of our pets.

In this blog I explain why it is good to give your dog or cat fruit and vegetables, I explain how much fruit and vegetables you can give and which types you can and cannot give.

Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs and Cats

Some of the benefits of fruits and vegetables include:

  • Natural Nutrients

Fruits and vegetables are rich in natural vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients , and antioxidants. These nutrients can help strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, support cognitive function, and help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer.

For example, regularly (at least 3 times a week) adding fresh vegetables to the food of Scottish terriers reduced the risk of a common type of cancer in this breed. (Raghavan et al 2005).

  • Weight management

Fruit and vegetables are relatively low in calories and are therefore very suitable for animals that have to watch their weight. Adding fruits and vegetables can make your buddy feel fuller, making her less hungry. They are also a good alternative to the less healthy high-calorie snacks. Many animals find a blueberry or a piece of cucumber just as tasty as any other snack!

  • Improved digestion

Vegetables and fruits are high in fiber, which can help regulate digestion, among other things.

  • From the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine, fruits and vegetables have specific functions that can support the body. For example, dark green leafy vegetables and beetroot can help with blood deficiency, black sesame seeds can support the kidneys, and sweet potatoes and pumpkin support the earth element. This way you can adapt fruits and vegetables to what your buddy needs most.

How many fruits and vegetables can dogs and cats eat?

While fruits and vegetables offer many benefits, it’s important to give them in moderation.

As a general rule, snacks, including fruits and vegetables, should not account for more than 10% of your dog/cat’s daily calorie intake.

That sounds fun, but how much exactly is that? How many calories a dog or cat needs per day depends on several factors including body weight, neutered or not, ambient temperature, amount of exercise, etc.

The table below gives a rough general guideline for the amount of fruit and vegetables you can give as extras/snacks on a daily basis based on the weight of your dog or cat. These quantities are a general guideline, the actual requirement may of course vary. When in doubt, always consult a veterinary nutritionist.

Dogs:

Body weightGrams of Vegetables/Fruits per day
210-20
520-40
725-50
1035-70
1545-95
2060-120
2575-140
3080-160
3590-200
40100-200

Cats:

Body weightGrams of Vegetables/Fruits per day
17-10
210-20
315-30
416-30
518-35
620-40

What Fruits and Vegetables can dogs and cats have?

It’s important to know which varieties are safe, as some fruits and vegetables can be toxic to dogs and cats. That said, dogs and cats can eat many more types of fruits and vegetables than most people think.

Always give everything without pits.

In any case, avoid: grapes, raisins, onions, chives and leeks. The skin and pit of avocado are poisonous, so be very careful with that as well.

You can find a list of options that you can safely give here:

Be creative and explore!

Find out what your buddy likes best. Which types does he/she like best, whole pieces of vegetables/fruit or perhaps pureed or in a smoothie. Warm or rather cold?

Of course, you can also get creative and create all kinds of tasty snacks. On my site you can find several recipes.

Be creative and eat the rainbow!

Do you have any comments or questions? Feel free to send me a message, I’ll be happy to help you!

Holistische dierenarts. Acupunctuur, voedingsadvies en voedingstherapie voor honden en katten.

Hi, I am Anneke

On this blog I share information about acupuncture and nutrition for dogs and cats. New research, tips and recipes will also come along regularly. Have fun reading!
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