It is a well-known fact that fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that boost the health of humans, so it may occur to Golden Retriever owners that they might also be a good way to supplement the health of their Golden. What they may not be sure about, however, is exactly which fruits and vegetables are good for Golden Retrievers to eat?
Spinach and carrots are good for Golden Retrievers. It’s hard to argue against spinach, as it has many health benefits. Carrots are perfect substitutes for dog treats, especially for overweight dogs. For fruits, apples are great substitutes for dental treats and contain essential vitamins and fiber.
This article will go into further detail about which fruits and vegetables are good for Golden Retrievers and dogs in general, as well as serving tips and the precise benefits of supplementing your dog’s diet.
(This article may contain affiliate links and loyalgoldens may earn a commission if a purchase is made.)
Unlock your goldens natural intelligence and see just how quickly problem behaviors disappear.This is the best at home dog training I've ever used!
Supplementing With Fruits & Veggies For Golden Retrievers
Any Golden Retriever lover probably knows that dogs are best served with dog food specially formulated to provide the ideal levels of nutrients that canines specifically benefit from. Research is spotty on whether Golden Retrievers absolutely need supplementary food like fruits and veggies, but in most cases (save a few exceptions), it’s more healthy than giving your dog table scraps.
Generally speaking, it’s best to stick to dog food unless advised otherwise by a veterinarian. Treats like fruits and veggies are best used sparingly to minimize potential health risks caused by some ingredients in them.
Some tips for feeding fruits and veggies:
- Fruits are often high in natural sugars, so it’s best to serve only very small portions. For overweight dogs, fruits aren’t advisable at all. You’ll notice in our list of fruits and veggies for Goldens below that there are only a couple of fruits listed. Fruits are best given sparingly, or not at all.
- Many vegetables, including leafy greens, are high in fiber. Fiber can be a great supplement for your Golden Retrievers digestive system, but too much can lead to vomiting.
- When introducing any new ingredient to your Golden’s diet, watch them closely for any adverse reactions that may occur. Consult a vet if you observe any concerning reactions.
How Can Fruits and Vegetables Help Golden Retrievers?
In order to keep your Golden happy and healthy for many years to come, scrutinizing any food you give them is a good rule of thumb to adhere to. Some foods are toxic, some are just empty calories, and it can be maddening to keep up with what’s good for your dog and what should be avoided.
While you know that eating fruits and vegetables is a benefit to your health, you may be unsure as to exactly how fruits and veggies can help your dog? Golden Retrievers in particular have a higher risk of cancer compared to other dogs, making watching what you feed them of critical importance. Chief amongst cancer’s enemies are phytonutrients, particularly for dogs.
Phytonutrients have a whole laundry list of benefits for your Golden Retriever besides cancer prevention, which is why it’s such a good idea to feed your pup foods high in phytochemicals.
Some beneficial properties of phytonutrients include:
- Boosts antioxidant activity within your Golden Retriever’s body
- Helps fight cancer
- Promotes healthy aging and potential longevity
- Keeps blood sugar levels stable
- Helps increase muscle strength, especially in senior Golden’s
- Fights respiratory disease
- Helps prevent eye problems like cataracts
Fruits and Vegetables That Are Good for Golden Retrievers
While it’s generally okay to give fruits and veggies to your Golden Retriever, some aren’t that good for your dog and may even be toxic to them. With that said, we’re going to be focusing specifically on a comprehensive list of which fruits and vegetables are good for your Golden Retriever in small amounts.
Also, keep in mind that Goldens often have to learn to eat these items. If you’re regularly feeding your Golden Retriever table scraps full of fat, sugar, salt, butter, etc., they aren’t going to be very interested in eating a piece of brocolli.
We’ve found that if we don’t feed our dogs table scraps, and instead treat veggies like a treat, our pups learn to be just as excited about a bit of carrot as they are about pizza crust!
Now let’s see what type of fruits and vegetables are good for Golden Retrievers.
Spinach and Golden Retrievers
The king of leafy greens, spinach is not only good for you but great for your Golden Retriever! Spinach has a list of nutrients a mile long. Vitamins A, B, C, and K are great by themselves, but they’re not the only nutrients spinach provides! Potassium, iron, fiber, and folate are some other great additions as well. Plain boiled spinach will suffice for your furry pal, and additives like salt, pepper, butter, and others shouldn’t be used.
Ideally, you want to mix spinach up with your dog’s regular food to make it more palatable and easily chewable.
Bananas & Golden Retrievers
Bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins that are great for dogs. To serve, you can peel and serve no more than half a banana to a medium-sized Golden Retriever. Either whole or sliced is fine, and even better are frozen bananas packed into a Kong toy (Amazon) for your Golden to puzzle out on a scorching hot day.
Pumpkin and Goldens
Pumpkin is a great treat to add to your dog’s food on special occasions. Pumpkin is great because it’s full of dietary fiber to aid your pup’s digestive tract, and fatty acids keep their coat looking sleek and soft.
Other nutrients like minerals and antioxidants make this an even better idea, but make sure to portion correctly – a tablespoon is enough. Raw pumpkin and pumpkin with additives like spices aren’t suitable for dogs. Instead, look for regular canned pumpkin.
Apples and Golden Retrievers
Apples keep the doctor away for both humans and their best friends! High in dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C, apples are a wonderful and healthy way to reward your Golden Retriever. If those nutrients haven’t convinced you, apples also combat doggy breath and promote dental health!
To serve your dog apples, slice them up and remove the core and seeds which contain cyanide. Some Goldens are reluctant to try them, which is where your secret weapon comes into play – peanut butter! Even the most standoffish dog won’t be able to resist sliced apples drizzled with peanut butter.
Golden Retrievers Love Carrots
Carrots are a good substitution for traditional dog treats. With vitamin A, dietary fiber, and potassium, they’re sure to nourish your Golden Retriever the way he needs. Carrots are especially great for overweight dogs because they’re low in calories, and they help improve eyesight too.
You should always slice carrots before you offer them to your Golden Retriever (we like to use pre-packaged, organic baby carrots) – both raw and cooked are fine (no butter, salt, or spices if cooked) to use as treats or in addition to dog food. Frozen carrots have also been known to soothe teething Golden Retriever puppies’ gums and teeth.
Green Beans For Golden’s
Green beans are perfect for those Golden Retrievers that seem insatiable. Full of fiber and essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, green beans can be served in numerous ways. Dogs enjoy both cooked and fresh green beans, as either a treat or mixed with wet food. If your Golden always seems hungry, try giving them some green beans with their next meal.
Brussel Sprouts and Golden Retrievers
Brussel sprouts are full of vitamins, but the antioxidants and fiber help promote healthy blood circulation and heart health. However, they’re notorious for making Golden Retrievers gassy, but that just means that they’re cleaning out your dog’s digestive system! Cook these plain, cut off the woody stem, and serve up to three sprouts to your Golden at a time.
Broccoli For Golden Retrievers
Broccoli stalks help fight inflammation from arthritis, cancer and boost your Golden Retrievers immune system. Chewing on a couple of stalks can help improve your Golden’s teeth and fight plaque, making them an effective doggy toothbrush.
Too much broccoli can cause noxious gas, so only feed a few small pieces to your Golden at any given time. Vegetables should always be a supplement!
Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!
Final Thoughts on Fruits and Vegetables For Golden Retrievers
It can be difficult to determine what human foods are safe to feed Golden Retrievers, but it turns out that many of the same things we eat day to day can be great additions to your Golden’s regular diet, some even replacing treats altogether.
As long as you serve and portion correctly, your pup will remain healthy and happy for a long time.