It’s no exaggeration to say that owning a dog is a huge responsibility! One of the most crucial aspects of pup parenthood is ensuring that your pet doesn’t snag any foods that they’re not supposed to be eating.
There’s a lot to know about food and how it can impact your pet. It’s essential to ensure that your pet is getting the nutrients they require and not getting any food that could be potentially detrimental to their overall health.
Frequently our pets like to snatch food we have lying around in the house, so it’s important to understand what foods could cause harm to your dog.
Of course, we know meat like chicken, beef, and lamb are totally okay for most adult dogs, especially large breeds. Salmon, tuna, and turkey are other special feed schedule favorites, and they're easy to mix with dry food or wet food for a treat.
Other non-pet food items like raisins, onions, garlic, and grapes are definitely unsafe for your dog, but have you ever wondered if other fruits and veggies are safe?
Read on, and you’ll learn more.
Can My Dog Eat Apples?
First things first, the answer is yes, your dog certainly can eat an apple.
Dogs often enjoy these fruits, and they can be beneficial to your pup’s health. Talk about a win-win! Of course, there are things you should know about feeding your pet an apple.
We suggest you cut the apple into slices or pieces. Smaller pieces of fruit can help your dog chew and swallow the pieces easier than if they were large chunks.
If you are considering giving them fruit with seeds, you’ll want to avoid seeds at all costs. In fact, apple seeds contain amygdalin. After apple seeds are chewed, amygdalin then releases cyanide into the bloodstream. Cyanide is a harmful chemical that should never be ingested, not even in small amounts from apple seeds.
To take the safer route when cutting up an apple for your pup, you will want to pull the core — including the stem. Again, this is because it poses a choking hazard to your pup.
Keeping moderation in mind, apples are a delicious, healthy treat for your dog, but you shouldn’t feed them an unlimited amount. Eating too many apples could lead to diarrhea, stomach upset, or bellyache in your pup.
Dogs can also have allergies or special dietary needs, so be sure to monitor your pup after giving them a new food—the same rule of thumb goes for new dry dog food or new wet dog food, too.
If your dog gets an upset stomach or diarrhea, you can feed them easy-to-digest foods like potatoes, sweet potato, or rice.
If your dog doesn’t like eating apples, but you want them to reap the health benefits, there are other ways to integrate apples into their diet. One way is to use apples in recipes. If you like to cook or create treats for your dog at home, try incorporating apples into some of your creations.
Recipe idea: Apple Pretzels. This is a simple, delicious dog treat with few ingredients. All you’ll need are eggs, unsweetened applesauce, and almond flour.
What Are the Health Benefits of Apples for My Dog?
Now, let’s dive into some of the health benefits associated with feeding your dog apples.
Apples are a valuable source of vitamin C, fiber, phosphorus, and calcium. In addition, apples are sweet — meaning they’re a fabulous way to give your dog a treat that won’t harm them (like chocolate, avocado, soy, or macadamia nuts which are a major no-no for your pup).
Another reason apples are an excellent food to incorporate into your dog's diet is because they’re low in calories (relatively speaking). When you feed your dog an apple, you’ll notice they will probably enjoy the taste of the fruit and the loud crunch.
Apples also help to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t substitute an apple for the dental care your pup needs!
What Other Fruits Can My Dog Eat?
So apples are a go, but what other fruits are suitable for your dog? We can help you figure out what fruits you can feed your pet.
Some of the other fruit options that are safe for your pup to eat include the following:
- Blueberries — These are incredibly antioxidant-rich, meaning they’re healthful for your pup. Blueberries are an excellent alternative to bagged treats. They’re even better frozen on a hot summer day!
- Bananas — If you’re going to give your dog a banana, feed it to them in moderation — while bananas are high in potassium, biotin, copper, fiber, and vitamins, they’re too sugary to be part of your dog’s main diet.
- Cantaloupe — This fruit has lots of nutrients, low calories, and is an excellent fiber and water source. Nevertheless, it’s high in sugar, so feed it to them in moderation.
- Cucumber — Cucumbers are ideal if your dog needs to shed pounds instead of hair. Cukes have no fats, oils, or carbs — and even boost your dog’s energy levels!
- Pears — As long as you remove the pit and seeds, pears can be an excellent snack that is rich in vitamins C, K, and copper, too.
- Peaches — Peaches are safe, healthy, and provide your pup with fiber and vitamin A—just be sure to remove the pits.
- Strawberries — These can provide your pet with fiber and vitamin C, but they’re also sugary! Be careful not to overfeed.
- Pineapple — Remove the outside peel and crown, and you have an excellent treat. We recommend you give your dog only a few chunks at a time.
- Watermelon — If you remove the rind and seeds, then this fruit is safe for your dogs. Since watermelon is high in water content, it’s a nice treat on hot days.
Should Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
Now that we’ve covered which fruits your pup will love, it’s time to dive into another common type of produce—mushrooms!
If you have mushrooms in your yard or home, you might be wondering if your dog can snag one. Today, we’re going to answer that burning question: can dogs really eat mushrooms? The answer is multifaceted.
What Are Mushrooms?
First, let’s quickly recap what mushrooms are. Mushrooms are unique because they’re technically fungi and not vegetables, even though we shop for them in the produce section of our grocery stores.
Mushrooms are made of several components. There’s the stipe, or stem. Then, there’s the pileus, or cap. Finally, we have the lamellae, or gills, of the mushroom. Of course, not all variations of mushrooms have these features, but that’s the general structure that you can expect.
Did you know that there are actually about 14,000 different species of mushrooms? Of course, not all 14,000 of these species are edible—in fact, plenty of them are considered toxic.
Let’s talk about how mushrooms come about. These fungi form from a small structure referred to as a primordium. This grows on several types of substrates. From there, the primordium enlarges into a structure that looks like an egg. This is composed of hyphae and is called a “button.”
Mycelium, or the universal veil, will surround the button to start. Then, as the button grows, the veil will break. From there, the remnants of the veil on a fully matured mushroom will appear in the form of warts. Alternatively, it could appear to be found hanging from the cap of the mushroom.
Now that you have some background on mushrooms and how they are formed, let’s discuss the connection between mushrooms and dogs. Namely, is this fungus safe for dogs to ingest?
Are Mushrooms Safe For Dogs?
Our best suggestion for you is to incorporate mushrooms into your pet’s diet mindfully. The best way to go about it is to visit a grocery store and look for organic, human-safe varieties. This is the safest option for your pet because mushrooms can soak up both pesticides and toxins. Therefore, organic options will be devoid of unwanted compounds that could be hazardous to your pup’s health.
Let’s run through some of the mushrooms that your dog can safely eat. Consult this list before you bring mushrooms home to your canine companion to ensure that you’ve selected the right types.
Dogs can consume the following mushrooms:
- White button
If you want to feed your dog one of the above mushrooms, you should avoid putting them in heavy seasonings or sauces. When it comes to incorporating mushrooms into your pup’s diet, it’s best to keep it simple.
Which Mushrooms Are Unsafe for Dogs?
The mushrooms that you should never feed your dog include:
- Gyromitra species (false morel)
- Amanita phalloides (death cap)
- Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)
- Galerina marginata (deadly Galerina)
- Amanita gemmata (jeweled death cap)
- Inocybe species
- Clitocybe dealbata
All of the above mushrooms are toxic and poisonous for dogs to consume. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to identify a toxic mushroom species, even for experienced people who spend a lot of time in the woods.
If you find your pet eating a mushroom during a walk in the woods, you must reach out to a vet or poison control center right away. Don’t throw away valuable time attempting to identify what type it is. You should treat any mushroom your dog gets ahold of that you didn’t feed them as poisonous.
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits of Feeding My Dog Mushrooms?
You might be wondering why anyone would feed their furry friend a safe mushroom because they’re not typically considered dog food. We’re here to share with you some of the perks associated with feeding your dog the safe types of mushrooms.
They are full of nutrients, and that’s why most pet owners might be curious about adding them to their dog’s diet. These potential health benefits include:
- To help improve nutrient levels in weak animals
- To support kidney and liver function
- To potentially lower cholesterol, they can assist with weight loss if your dog is at a dangerous weight and also help prevent fatty liver disease
- To reduce metabolism and blood sugar
- To help prevent viral infections from occurring
- To boost your pet’s immune system
- To reduce their blood pressure
- To support their heart health
Of course, if you have any questions about how you can soothe chronic issues your pet is fighting, you should first reach out to your vet. There are supportive steps that you can take to help improve your pet’s condition.
My Dog Ate a Mushroom, and I’m Not Sure If It’s Toxic or Not. What Do I Do?
If your dog consumed a mushroom and you’re unsure if it is toxic or not, you need to get them to the vet as soon as possible. Poisonous mushrooms are extremely dangerous to your pet’s health, and a mistake could prove fatal. The faster you get your dog to a vet or call poison control, the higher chance they have of surviving.
There are several factors to watch out for if you think your dog has eaten a toxic mushroom. There could be salivation, urination, sedation, tear production, tremors, liver failure, seizures, extreme gastrointestinal distress, or even death if you don’t act soon enough or if the mushroom is that dangerous.
Once you get your pet to the vet, they will work to rid your dog’s body of the toxicity the mushroom contains. This is usually either done by inducing vomiting or utilizing activated charcoal.
There are a few things that could improve your dog’s prognosis and recovery time. The first is most crucial, and that’s early supportive care. This typically includes the usage of IV fluids, liver-protectant, and even anti-nausea medication.
What About Water?
Now that you know a little bit about what you can feed your dogs, it’s time for a reminder about water.
You’ve probably experienced dehydration before, and if so, you understand how bad it feels. However, you don’t want your pup to experience that, so ensuring that your dog is getting enough water is important. Because dogs cannot vocalize their needs as humans do, it’s even more important to be mindful of your pup’s water consumption.
There’s a lot to know about taking care of your pet, and ensuring they are properly hydrated is crucial. Consider this your ultimate guide for what to know about canine dehydration and how to remedy it.
What Is Dehydration in Dogs?
Canine dehydration occurs when your pup’s body loses more fluid than it takes in. As a result, dehydration occurs. Not having enough of this crucial element can be disastrous because mammals rely on water to keep their bodies working correctly.
Water is required to keep almost every essential bodily function working correctly. It plays many important roles. From cushioning internal organs, lubricating joints, aiding digestion, and even regulating body temperature, there’s no debate: water is a must-have.
What Causes Canine Dehydration?
Of course, a lack of water intake can be a leading reason why your dog appears to be dehydrated. This occurs if your dog doesn’t have water or doesn’t drink the correct amount. Always provide your dog with clean, fresh water and leave it in a place they can easily access.
Other things that cause dehydration include vomiting, diarrhea, heat stroke, fever, or other illnesses. There are also certain dogs at a higher risk: these include puppies, nursing mother dogs, senior dogs, and toy breeds.
Sometimes dehydration is a sign of different underlying issues, including diabetes, kidney disease, or even cancer. If you notice this is repeatedly an issue, bring your dog to the vet.
Why Is It Important My Dog Isn’t Dehydrated?
Think about “nutrition.” What comes to mind? Most people think of food when this topic is discussed. In reality, water is just as critical.
That’s because water is necessary for life. Without it, the cells in your canine companion’s body won’t be able to absorb nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, or vitamins. Therefore, a lack of water can be detrimental.
It’s completely reasonable for your dog’s body to gain and lose water over a day, but if your dog isn’t able to regain some of that water, there could be big trouble.
You might wonder what causes your dog to become dehydrated throughout the day. Regular, necessary functions, including breathing, panting, peeing, pooping, and evaporation through the paws, are all part of why your dog loses water.
What Happens When My Dog Is Dehydrated?
Several things can occur when your dog is dehydrated. The best way to ensure that this does not happen is by making sure that your dog is always hydrated.
If your pup’s body reaches the point where their normal fluid intake cannot make up for water that has been lost, their blood flow and volume of fluids are reduced.
When a dog experiences dehydration, they will also lose electrolytes like chloride, potassium, and sodium. These minerals play important roles in the body, such as facilitating your dog’s muscle function, regulating nerve functioning, moving nutrients into your pup’s cells, and even balancing the body’s pH.
If you notice that your dog is dehydrated, treating them is key. In the direst cases of doggie dehydration, the shortage of fluids the dog experiences can lead to kidney failure, the failure of other organs, or even death.
What Are Some Signs and Symptoms My Dog Is Dehydrated?
Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, your dog can’t tell you when they need more water. Therefore, you’ll have to be attentive to your pup’s needs and know the signs and symptoms of dehydration. If you do this, you can catch a potentially serious condition before it becomes worse.
If you notice one or more of these, you’ll want to further look into the amount of water that your dog is getting.
- A loss of skin elasticity
- Vomiting — this is sometimes accompanied by diarrhea, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be
- A loss of appetite
- Lethargy or low energy levels
- A dry nose
- Sticky, dry gums inside your dog’s mouth
- Dry eyes that appear to be sunken
- Thicker than usual saliva
How Can I Check Whether My Dog Is Dehydrated?
You might be wondering how you can evaluate your dog for dehydration. There are several “tests” you can complete to check and see if your dog is dehydrated.
The first thing to do is to check their skin elasticity. To test, gently hold some of your dog’s skin near their shoulder blades.
Then, raise the skin and let it go. When it falls back in place, you’ll notice one of two things. In hydrated dogs, the skin returns to its original position instantaneously. If your dog is dehydrated, this takes much longer to occur, and the skin stays relatively wrinkly for much longer.
You can also check your dog’s gums. If they’re sticky and dry, your pup probably needs more water. Capillary refill time can also help indicate if your dog is hydrated or not. To do this, simply press your finger against your dog’s gums gently. Then, remove the finger. If your dog is properly hydrated, the area where your finger once was will be white for a moment and then nearly instantly return to pink. In a dehydrated dog, it will take much longer for pink to return.
If you can’t tell either way, your best bet is to take your dog to the vet to get checked.
Are There Any Solutions For Doggie Dehydration?
If you think your dog is suffering from dehydration, be sure to provide them with clean, fresh water. It’s a vicious cycle: often dehydrated dogs won’t want to eat, which means they lose the water content they’d get from food.
Sometimes dogs will need to have electrolytes replaced. If your dog is not throwing up, you can provide them with an electrolyte-enhanced fluid, like Pedialyte.
Of course, you should check with your vet first for the correct dosage.
We know: pet parenting is a huge responsibility. We are here to support you through figuring out how to get your dog the nutrients they need — and none that they don’t! You should always read the label before giving your dog a new food and talk to your vet before starting special diets like grain-free diets.
Next time you’re debating what foods to give your pup, you should know that there are many to choose from. Of course, remember that there are plenty of other ways to support your pet’s health — such as with supplements!