It’s not just people that need fruit and veg!
Feeding vegetables to your dog at least three times per week can help reduce the risk of cancer.
It is widely accepted that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy, balanced diet has significant health benefits to humans and we are encouraged to do so - as described by the World Health Organisation and included in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.
Our dogs are omnivores; their digestive systems have adapted to better utilise plant material than their ancestors and they too can benefit from a balanced diet that includes fruit and veg. (NEVER grapes/raisins or plants within the onion family - which are all toxic to dogs).
Fruit and vegetables are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folic acid and potassium as well as being a great source of fibre. In addition, plant based foods contain numerous phytochemicals, which help your dog in the following ways:. decreasing blood pressure; improving lipid and insulin resistance; antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging; sensitising malignant cells to cytotoxic agents and enhancing the host immune system. Through these actions they are thought to decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and hypertension, some cancers and diabetes. They are also believed to have antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.
The School of Public Health at Imperial College London pooled results from 95 different studies, involving almost 2 million people worldwide, to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and chronic disease. They published the findings in The International Journal of Epidemiology and concluded that a high intake of fruit and vegetables had tremendous health benefits. They considered it important to eat the fruit and vegetables as whole food rather than having a purified isolate of the phytochemical compound or taking a dietary supplement. It seems that it's the package of beneficial nutrients acting synergistically in the whole food that's crucial for health. It also concluded that having a variety of fruit and vegetables of all colours is
important to gain the maximal benefit and at this time they did not see a benefit of raw over cooked.
Smaller studies have been undertaken in dogs with encouraging results. A case-control study was undertaken by Purdue University to evaluate the effect of vegetable consumption on reducing the risk of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) in Scottish Terriers, a breed prone to this disease. They showed a statistically significant association between frequent vegetable intake and a reduction in TCC in this breed. This led their Oncology department to advise owners to feed their dogs vegetables at least 3 times a week as part of a strategy to try to reduce the risk of this aggressive form of cancer.
Different Dog food contains a variety of lightly cooked fruit and vegetables. In fact, we include over 30% in every recipe to provide your dog with the vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytochemicals to help them thrive.