After recently adjusting my own diet to eat healthier, I began to wonder what types of human healthy foods could also be eaten by my Great Dane. Is it ok for them to eat fruits and vegetables as well?
Let’s jump into some common examples of fruits and vegetables that you might consider sharing with your Great Dane.
Can Great Danes eat apples?
Apple slices smothered in peanut butter are one of my own personal favorite snacks! I’m not sure if it’s the smell of the apple or peanut butter, but Gus also seems to find her way around me when it’s time for this tasty treat 😉
The real question is, can she have some apples too? Lucky for Gus, the answer is yes! However, it’s best to remove the core and seeds before sharing an apple with your Great Dane.
Apple seeds contain large amounts of a plant compound called amygdalin. While amygdalin is harmless on it’s own, after being digested by stomach enzymes it’s actually broken down into hydrogen cyanide! Cyanide is a highly poisonous compound that could make your dog sick and even kill them at a high enough dose.
Before you get too scared – accidentally eating a few seeds alone won’t be enough to cause harm to your Great Dane. It would take several cups of ground apple seeds to reach a point at which they would become harmful.
However, it’s important to ensure that you remove the seeds before sharing an apple with your Dane to ensure that they’re not consistently eating them. In addition to apples, amygdalin is also found in peaches, cherries, apricots, and almonds.
Can Great Danes eat carrots?
If there’s one Great Dane joke that annoys me most of all its those related to comparing my dog to a horse! Coincidentally, horses are notorious carrot lovers – so I guess the comparison isn’t completely out of line 🙁
Carrots can make for an excellent low calorie snack for your Great Dane. Like any produce that you get from the farm or store, make sure to give it a wash to remove any remaining dirt or pesticides.
You can choose to serve the carrots raw or cooked. For cooked carrots, try steaming them to soften them up. This can be a good option for younger Danes who are teething, or older ones experiencing some oral discomfort.
Especially when it comes to raw carrots, it’s best to chop them into bite sized chunks. Otherwise, bigger pieces could break off inside their mouth and be a choking hazard.
In addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals, carrots are great for eye and oral health as well. Antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein help promote eye health, while its starchy exterior helps to scrub their teeth clean during eating.
Can Great Danes eat bananas?
Bananas offer yet another healthy treat that can be shared with your Great Dane. High in variety of vitamins including K, B6 and C, bananas also contain magnesium which is extremely important to bone growth and over 300 additional biochemical reactions in the body!
While they aren’t extremely tough, it’s not recommended to share the peel with your Great Dane. (You don’t eat the peel either right?!?) The peels fibrous nature makes it hard to digest and could lead to internal blockages, so its best avoided.
It takes all of 10 seconds to peel a banana by hand, so there’s not reason not to remove it before sharing with your Great Dane.
As you’re probably already aware, bananas are extremely high in the natural sugar fructose. To lower the amount of total sugar, you can try mixing the cutup banana with peanut butter or in their food.
Can Great Danes eat strawberries?
Yet another summertime favorite fruit is the strawberry! Their juicy red exterior is quite possibly the most visually inviting of all fruits.
Like others on this list, strawberries are yet another safe fruit that your Great Dane may consume. Make sure to give them a quick rinse before sharing to remove any dirt or pesticides. Quickly pulling off the leaves and stem won’t hurt either 😉
Like bananas, strawberries are slightly higher in sugar so its best to share them in moderation. In addition to vitamins B1, B6, C, K, they also contain Omega-3. Omega fatty acids are fantastic for helping to treat a number of conditions including skin conditions, heart disease, arthritis, and many more!
Strawberries also have a high water content that can be helpful for hydrating your Great Dane on warm summer days.
Last but not least, they also contain an enzyme that acts as a natural teeth whitener. This doesn’t mean that you can skip on brushing their teeth, just that they might start to look a little whiter after incorporating strawberry snacks.
Can Great Danes eat watermelon?
Watermelons are one of the fruits most commonly associated with warm summertime days. Nothing is more refreshing than taking a big bite of a sweet juicy watermelon! But is it OK for your Great Dane to also enjoy some watermelon with you?
Generally speaking, yes, it’s fine for your Great Dane to eat watermelon. Much like humans, they should avoid eating seeds to help prevent intestinal blockages. Feed them pieces that have had the seeds removed, or are seedless, is the recommended approach. Also, avoid feeding them pieces of watermelon containing the rind (hard, green exterior) as it can upset their stomachs.
Aside from it’s sweet taste, watermelon is a great way to help you dog stay hydrated. As the name implies, watermelons come packed with a lot of water. In fact, they’re about 92% water! In addition to all of that water, they’re also loaded with vitamins A, B, C, and potassium.
Another other nice thing about watermelon is that it’s a low calorie treat. Because weight management is so critical for a Great Dane’s health, you want to avoid sharing too many high calorie snacks with them that will bump up their daily caloric intake and lead to weight loss.
Can Great Danes eat pineapple?
Oh that most tasty of tropical fruits, the lovely pineapple!
If you do have fresh pineapple on hand, then it is ok to share small amounts with your Great Dane. Because of its naturally high sugar content, feeding them large amounts can lead to intestinal issues so make sure to serve it in moderation. Canned pineapple should be avoided due to its extremely high sugar content and will almost certainly result in diarrhea for your Great Dane.
Like other rind containing fruits, make sure you’ve peeled the pineapple and cut it into reasonable chunks before sharing with your Great Dane. Avoid giving them chunks containing the tough inner core as well.
Also like other fruits, it comes packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help to boost your dog’s immune system.
Conclusion on healthy foods to share with your Great Dane
While all of the fruits and vegetables in this list were ones that are safe to share, that’s not the case for every fruit and vegetable out there. For examples, grapes, onions, garlic, leeks, and chives are all foods that should be avoided.
In addition to certain fruits and vegetables, there are also additional foods that you shouldn’t share with your Great Dane. Items like almonds, macadamia nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate should be strictly avoided.
Regardless of whether or not these snacks are healthy, they should still be looked at as exactly that – snacks. They should not represent a significant portion of your Great Dane’s daily caloric intake, nor should they be used as permanent measures to fill dietary gaps. Instead, you should focus on creating a balanced diet from the get go.
Either way, these healthy natural snacks are far better alternatives compared to the highly processed salty treat alternatives.