Most dog owners know that their canine pals need meat in their diets. Dogs of all ages require a high amount of protein that is primarily provided by meat. Beyond that, they also need a variety of nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables. This is especially true for seniors who are more prone to health problems. For example, vitamins like A and C are necessary for healthy bones and tissue while fiber aids with digestive problems. Dogs also require a diet that is lower in calories to prevent unnecessary weight gain. Fruits and vegetables in senior dog food are an important source of vitamins and help create a lower calorie diet.
Different fruits and vegetables differ in the type and quantity of nutrients they contribute to a dog’s diet but some are much better sources than others. Dog food can only contain a certain number of ingredients. To choose the best senior dog food, it pays to look at the number of top fruit and vegetable choices listed in the ingredients. Below are some of the best fruits and vegetables commonly used in senior dog food.
- Carrots – Carrots are naturally great for dental health. When included in the list of ingredients in senior dog food they also contribute a lot of soluble fiber to the diet which aids in digestion. In addition, the chewy veggies contain beta carotene, the nutrient that aids in eye health. Finally, carrots contain vitamin A that aids in maintaining healthy skin and coat and boosts immunity.
- Peas – Peas have gained interest for use in pet food over the last few years for a number of reasons. They are high in protein, contain most of the essential amino acids, and they have Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Peas also contain a variety of vitamins including C, K, and B complex vitamins.
- Blueberries – Blueberries are high in antioxidants, high in vitamin C, and low in calories. They also have a sweet taste that a lot of dogs love without a lot of sugar. They can be especially beneficial to senior dogs that have a compromised immune system. Blueberries can also aid in digestion.
- Cranberries – Cranberries are another good source of antioxidants that help prevent illness in dogs. They naturally support the dog’s immune system and reduce inflammation. They can also aid skin conditions and allergies that are more common in seniors. Cranberries are also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. they aid in the prevention of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, bladder health, cancer, and tooth decay. It’s not surprising that they are one of the most common fruits and vegetables in senior dog food.
- Apples – The popular fruit is good for dogs because of their high-fiber, low-fiber content. They also contain vitamins A and C. You can also feed your pet apple slices as a snack, but be sure you remove all the seeds. They have ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
- Sweet Potatoes – These red veggies are packed full of nutrition. They are loaded with vitamins E, A, B-6, and C. The nutrition doesn’t stop there. There’s also calcium, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and thiamine in each delicious bite.
While you may find these and other fruits and vegetables in dog food, there are also some foods that you should never feed your dog. These include raisins, onions, cherries, and grapes. Also remove any seeds or pits from any fruit before giving it to your dog. You can supplement your dog’s diet by providing a variety of snacks that differ from the fruits and vegetables in senior dog food. This will provide him with a low-calorie, nutrient-diverse diet that will help keep him at his healthiest.