Kiwi seems mostly to be a simple fruit that would be safe, however it is best to take a second look at this fruit that has the fuzzy skin. It may not be all that safe.
Kiwi is packed with seeds. These seeds are actually toxic to dogs. The skins, because of the texture pose a choking hazard as well. The seeds are very tiny and this fruit is very difficult to deseed, making it a pretty poor choice to give to a dog as a snack or even a treat. Their juices even tend to upset the stomachs of most dogs.
Why not try a different type of fruit that would prove easier to deseed? Apple seeds are also toxic to dogs but can easily be removed with the core and most dogs love apples. Add some peanut butter to a slice and your dog will sit and stare at you for more. You will become the master of treats in his eyes.
There are many things that you can give your dog that are safe and special that won’t cause serious harm to them. Let’s explore some fun snack ideas that you can do to enrich their lives and treat them to some special summer fun.
Freeze some yogurt – A little plain, Greek yogurt won’t hurt your dog and if you freeze it, it becomes a special cool summer treat. Drop some into ice cube trays and you can grab one when you like and drop it right into their food dish. They’ll love this simple and easy treat to help cool them off when temperatures spike. If you have a young pup that is still teething, adding some of this yogurt to a chew toy made for stuffing will make their day too. Pop it into the freeze so that they enjoy the fun of figuring out how best to enjoy this cool treat that feels wonderful to teething gums.
Freeze fresh fruit in water – Many dogs are fond of fresh fruits. Try using old plastic dishes and filling them with water, then adding some apple slices, fresh peach slices, and watermelon for a twist on summer heat. Freeze the bowl into a block. When you take it outside for them, pop it out of the bowl and let them lick and chew on it until they get to the fruit that their noses tell them is inside the ice. They will get hydrated, cooled off, and enjoy some fresh vitamin C. This is also a wonderful enrichment activity as it gives them something constructive to do with their mind and body when outside, other than digging holes.
Watermelon – Watermelon can be frozen whole, halved, or sliced. Giving your dog some seedless, frozen watermelon will make their day. Hide it in places around the yard so that they have to play a little game of hide and seek. This will keep them busy, hydrated, and happy.
You’d be surprised at how bored dogs get. They are very smart creatures and when they don’t have anything to do, they get bored and sometimes naughty too. The best thing you can do, especially with a new puppy, is to give them animal enrichment activities. Anything that is designed to offer them a new type of food, a new experience, and a puzzle to solve is considered an enrichment activity.
Creating spaces that encourage your dog to climb, use their nose, use their paws, and follow a scent trail are the best places to create well-behaved puppies and dogs that are worn out from doing ‘dog stuff’ all day long.
Freezing peanut butter in a hollow hide toy like a Kong chew toy, will keep a dog busy for at least twenty minutes because frozen peanut butter is twice as hard to get out. Mix some fruit in with the peanut butter. Frozen bananas work great. Hide these things in the yard and then turn your dog loose.
Walk out with him and watch him sniff all over looking for the treat that he has caught a whiff of. You may need to help young puppies as they are just learning how to use their whiffer and honing their skills. On the other hand, a beagle or bloodhound pup may lead you straight to it.
When we do things to enrich their daily lives, we create animals with less stress, less pent-up energy, and these animals are better behaved in general. Dogs that have had plenty of exercise tend to have less anxiety. Dogs who have learned skills and felt the feeling of success will have far more self-confidence, which also leads to less anxiety issues and barking in frustration.
So many behavioral issues can be discouraged through enrichment activities. Many zoos also provide this sort of enrichment for gorillas, lions, big cats, and other animals that need to have daily job.
Before animals are let out for the day, trainers and sometimes volunteers will go into enclosures and habitats, hiding treats, leaving ice blocks full of frozen fruits and even frozen fish for fish-loving creatures like polar bears. This keeps animal’s stress levels low because it gives them something to focus on so they aren’t bored out of their minds.
When keepers open the doors to let animals out for the day, the animals immediately begin looking for their goodies. This gives them a purpose, using their natural hunting and foraging skills. Your dog is no different. He has natural instincts to follow his nose, hunt, and ‘kill’ his food. Digging and pawing at a block of ice helps release some of that energy and it is a great way to allow them to play and develop.
In the summer heat, try adding a small wading pool for your dog in the back yard as well. Let them get wet, splash, fetch a ball out of the water, and give them some goodies that sink to the bottom so they learn to hold their breath and grab that fruit from the bottom. They’ll have a blast ‘digging’ in the water and it will keep them nice and cool too.
It is important to remember that the majority of behavioral issues, like fence chasing, barking, digging, and separation anxiety come from lack of self-confidence and lack of exercise. When these two things are addressed, with some foundation training skills, many dogs will turn 180-degrees and be a different dog in short order.
Even giving your dog some things buried in a sandbox and encouraging him to dig there, instead of the rest of the yard, will improve his overall mental health. He needs an outlet and he needs a purpose in life. When we pour food into their bowls and they are left with little else to do all day, they are unsure what their job is.
Since they are pack animals, this leaves many of them with total confusion. Give them some food to forage for and get them working for their meals this way. You’ll be shocked at the improvement in their behavior in a few weeks.
Foods to Not Use
Remember that dogs can’t have some types of foods and these may seem odd as they are perfectly safe for humans. Here’s a short list of things to never give your dogs:
- Macadamia nuts
- Uncooked white potatoes
- Apple seeds
- Peach, plum pits
- Avocados or their pits
- Xylitol artificial sweetener
- Animal fat
This is a short list. Before giving your dog anything specific, check it quickly with a short web search. You’ll know in moments if it is safe for your dog. Always be cautious as some things that seem benign are not so good. Like Kiwi fruit. Remember that they won’t like everything you introduce them to.
Some dogs are actually quite picky eaters and you don’t want them to eat too much of something new, in case it upsets their stomach. Fiber should be in small doses too. Dog’s daily fiber should be around 4 to 5% of their total daily intake. More than that will lead to intestinal issues like diarrhea.
If your dog has diarrhea, try adding a bit of rice to some boiled chicken for a meal or two. The rice typically helps give some bulk to the stools and firm them up. Just remember, new things should be given in small amounts as you take note of how your dog tolerates them. Have fun this summer!
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.