The addition of fruit provides essential nutrients, beneficial antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber to a raw diet for dogs. Fruit, specifically berries, prove useful to fight against free radicals and prevent oxidation. It is recommended to provide 2-5% fruit in raw BARF model diets.
Fruit provide a variety of nutrients and benefits to raw diets for dogs.
Although dogs do not require fruit for essential nutrients, adding them into raw diets proves beneficial.
Antioxidants are natural chemical compounds created by plants to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet light and oxidation. These nutrients are not considered essential nutrients for optimal health. However, antioxidant help fight against free radicals and prevent oxidation to promote optimal health.
Feed the Rainbow
Fruit deeply pigmented in vibrant colors contain beneficial antioxidants. The five shades of the rainbow provide a specific type of phytonutrient within each color group.
Berries are the recommended fruit to feed to dogs because they are highly nutritious. They are high in antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber.
Blueberries are one of the most common varieties and can be found in local grocery stores both fresh and frozen. They exert a protective effect on LDL and protect the cells from oxidation. Studies show blueberries have anti-carcinogenic properties.
Blueberries Nutritional Data
Blackberries are very similar to blueberries but are less common in grocery stores and may only be sold when in season. Wild blackberries are three to five times higher in polyphenols (antioxidants) in comparison to farm grown blackberries!
Blackberries Nutritional Data
Cranberries are another berry safe to add into a dogs raw diet but are typically sold only in the fall when they are in season. Cranberries are very high in vitamin C and may help prevent urinary tract infections.
Cranberries Nutritional Data
Strawberries, fresh and frozen, are often available year around in local grocery stores. Strawberries are jam packed with vitamin C and provides more vitamin C than an orange!
Strawberries Nutritional Data
Although carnivores do not have the essential tools to properly breakdown and digest plant matter in comparison to omnivores, fruit do not have any specific preparation methods. Fruits, specifically berries, are high in water and are easily digested when fed as is.
The BARF model diet includes a 2%-5% ratio for the inclusion of fruit in a dog’s raw diet. Fruits, particularly berries, are a whole food that provides beneficial antioxidants which fight against free radicals, prevents oxidation, and promotes optimal health.