Cooler evenings, multicolored leaves, amber sunlight—Fall is upon us. Filled with delicious cuisine and plenty of homemade baked goods, fall is the best season for food, bar none. Sadly, nearly all these holiday treats are unhealthy or just plain dangerous for our dogs, who will no doubt be begging for food scraps at nearly every holiday gathering. Thankfully there’s several fall foods we can feed our pups so they can share in the holiday celebrating, too. Here’s 9 things you can feel good about feeding your dog this holiday season.
Remember to thoroughly wash all fruits and veggies before giving them to your dog. Just to be safe, we also recommend consulting a vet before incorporating any new foods into your pet’s diet.
From bobbing for apples and pie, to applesauce and cider, apples are a staple of fall festivities. Luckily, this delicious and healthy treat can be enjoyed by your pup, too (minus sugar, salt and other additives, of course). High in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A, apples can be given in slices, crushed into a sauce, or chopped and added to your dog’s regular diet (it’s good for their teeth, too). Just be sure to remove the entire apple core and seeds, as these contain arsenic and present a possible choking hazard.
Supermarkets are stocked with green beans during fall—and that’s good news for man’s best friend. Green beans are not only a good source of fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and protein, but they’re especially beneficial for chubbier dogs, as they’re both low in calories and very filling. By adding raw or cooked green beans to your pup’s diet, you’ll not only promote healthy weight control, but you’ll be helping regulate your dog’s blood pressure and immune system, too.
From lattes to pies and everything in between, pumpkin seems to find its way into nearly every food during the autumn months. Good news: your dog can join in on the fun, too! By adding a few teaspoons of fresh or canned pumpkin to your pup’s food bowl, you’ll help promote improved digestive health as well as healthier skin and fur. But pay close attention to the ingredients label, as many types of canned pumpkin contain salt and sugar—additives which should never been given to your dog.
What would Thanksgiving be without sweet potatoes? As long as you hold the sugar, marshmallows, and other sweet and salty fixin’s, your dog can enjoy sweet potatoes this holiday season, too. In addition to helping with both constipation and diarrhea, sweet potatoes are a great source of B6 and vitamin C. Simply add a few teaspoons of cooked sweet potato to your pup’s food bowl, or give it as a reward for good behavior.
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, beets are yet another good vegetable to add to your dog’s diet in moderation. Dog’s with liver issues can especially benefit from beet consumption, as this root vegetable is renowned for its detoxifying abilities.
Packed with vitamin A, B1, B2 and vitamin C, and beneficial for urinary tract health, cranberries are an awesome way to enrich your dog’s diet. Cranberries are best enjoyed raw and fresh, or in pure juice form. Avoid dry cranberries and juice cocktails, as the added sugars and preservatives can wreak havoc on your pup’s tummy. Because dogs aren’t built for a fruit-heavy diet, only give cranberries in moderation.
If your dog suffers from regular stomach problems, consider adding butternut squash to their bowl. While squash can add much needed fiber and potassium to your pup’s diet, make sure to thoroughly cook it first, as raw squash is difficult for animals to digest.
While not strictly a fall food, there’s just something about the smooth, buttery texture of peanut butter that screams autumn. Of all the human foods healthy for dogs, peanut butter seems to be the one they enjoy the most. Thankfully for pet owners, peanut butter is just as healthy for dogs as it is delicious, providing a solid source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins B and E. When choosing a peanut butter for your pup, read the label closely and select only a raw, unsalted, no-sugar-added variety. Especially look out for Xylitol, a sweetener added to many low calorie peanut butters, as the ingredient is outright toxic for dogs.
Thanksgiving turkey is almost here, and unlike most holiday foods, turkey is something you can feel good about sharing with your pup. Lean, white meats like chicken and turkey are a fantastic, easily digestible source of protein for dogs. Just be sure to skip on the bones and the skin (which is fatty), and to only feed your pup turkey that was cooked free of spices. In other words, if your turkey’s been prepared with other ingredients like salt, pepper, onion or garlic, do not feed it to your pooch.