We all look forward to delicious vine-ripened vegetables and fruit during the summer months. Maybe you even grow some of your own in your garden for your own enjoyment.
Don’t forget your pets! They love fresh vegetables and fruits too. The safest ones to include for your pet are:
- apples and watermelon (no seeds)
- blueberries and strawberries (in small amounts)
- pumpkin (seeds removed)
- squash (remove seeds and skin first)
- cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes (never raw)
- green beans, cucumbers and zucchini
Other good foods are yogurt, cooked salmon, cooked chicken, flax seed, cooked eggs, oatmeal, lentils (beans). Whenever possible, go for organic choices. And be sure to remove any seeds, stems and leaves first to avoid serious problems.
Foods That Are NOT SAFE for Dogs
Here are a few foods that can be dangerous to dogs:
- onions or garlic
- grapes or raisins
- candy, gum, chocolate
- persimmons, peaches, nectarines and plums (the pits are a danger zone)
This list isn’t comprehensive. For more on which foods are safe for dogs and which are not, this is a good place to start.
Recipe for Special Summer Meal
A favorite summer meal for dogs is to take a big frying pan and mentally divide into three sections. One third for protein (fish or chicken), a veggie area (tomatoes, green beans, etc.), a final third for sweet potato, yam or squash.
First, I chop up everything very fine and brown the meat. Then, I add the veggies and a little unsalted broth and maybe some flavorings. Check this list for spices and herbs that are pet-friendly and which ones to stay away from.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. All the favors blend and get nice and soft for the dogs.
Then you can pour the mixture over any kind of pasta or oatmeal. Dogs will love the change. Or you can add a couple of tablespoons to regular dog food for variety.
More Creative Cuisine for Your Dog
How about a small fruit salad for your pet as a snack or second meal of the day? You can use hard-boiled eggs, cut up melon of any type, strawberries, apples and some yogurt! And if you dog has no problems digesting dairy, try some low fat cottage cheese. Sounds good to me and very light and nutritious.
You can also take your dog for a walk to a park and have a little picnic! This is very special for the pet. Just remember to take plenty of water for all!
Carole Tomas is the owner and president of Pet Pleasers, Inc. She is a graduate of Ohio University and a Charter Member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. When she began Pet Pleasers in 1985, business was conducted Old School via a landline, snail mail and an answering machine the size of a breadbox. No internet, email, text messaging, digital photos, social media or mobile phones! What has remained constant over three decades: Carole’s love of animals and an unwavering passion for professional pet sitting.