One of the best ways to keep dogs healthy is to introduce vegetables and fruits into their diet. And one of the best and most cost-effective ways to do so is to give them dehydrated vegetables and fruit, which keep longer and are delicious additives to your dog's everyday food. They can even be used as treats.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables keep longer. Surprisingly, dehydrated fruits and vegetables have more antioxidants than fresh ones. Although dehydrated fruits and vegetables can lose nutrients, sugar and calories, there are many other benefits. Dehydrated fruit and vegetables are usually boiled or steamed to hasten the drying process. This can kill microorganisms which may be present in the fresh variety and would be harmful to your dog. Also, dehydrated fruit and vegetables are high in fiber, so they may lower blood cholesterol. They are high in potassium and are a good alternative to fatty snacks because they promote quick energy. They also contain iron, which may help anemic dogs.
Foods to Avoid
There are many foods not to give dogs, dehydrated or not. Among them are avocados, onions, garlic and all raisins or grapes. These are all toxic to dogs and may destroy red blood cells and cause difficulty breathing and/or fluid accumulation in the abdomen or heart. Also, never give dogs nuts, chocolate, mushrooms or raw egg yolks. Lastly, be careful the dehydrated fruit does not contain any amount of apple seeds, cherry pips, peach pips, pear pips, plum pips and apricot pips. These all contain cyanide. Make sure the dehydrated fruits or vegetables do not contain high amounts of salt or fat, as these can have an adverse impact on a dog's liver and kidneys.
Vegetables Especially Good for Dogs
Vegetables especially good for dogs are green beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, squash and most other green, leafy vegetables. Many of these can be bought dehydrated, or you can dehydrate them with little effort at home. Remember that a dog's diet should contain at least 20 percent vegetables. An all-vegan diet is not bad for dogs, and dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be a big part of it. Dehydrated vegetables are also good for controlling a dog's diabetes and obesity. You may want to consult a veterinarian before giving dehydrated fruits or vegetables to see if your dog's diet has any unique needs or prohibitions.
Chris Aguilar has worked for many newspapers including the "Washington Post," "Orange County Register" and "San Diego Union Tribune." He has been a professional journalist since he was 18 and has covered the Academy Awards and various sporting events. He lives in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.