29 Fruits and Vegetables German Shepherds Can and Can’t Eat

Categorized as Feeding, Health
fruits and vegetables german shepherds can and can't eat

German shepherds are big dogs with a big appetite. It seems that they can’t get enough. German shepherds are often recommended to eat fruit and vegetables to supplement their diet. While there are some fruits and vegetables that a German shepherd can eat without ill effect, others can cause gastrointestinal upset or even make them sick.

Therefore, it is essential that you research the foods on this list of fruits and vegetables to see if they are safe for your German shepherd before feeding them. Here is a list of fruits and vegetables that your German shepherd can eat, as well as some to avoid.

1. Bananas

German shepherds can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great alternative low-calorie treat for them to snack on. They are also packed with potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper.

Just remember that bananas are also high in sugar, so give them in a moderation. Aside from feeding them a piece of banana, here are some other ways you can give your German shepherd banana.

  • Puree bananas and add them to your dog’s regular food.
  • Chop up some bananas, freeze them, and serve them like ice cubes during the summer.
  • Mix it with peanut butter.
  • Stuff your dog’s Kong with banana and freeze it.

2. Strawberries

German shepherds can eat strawberries. Just like bananas, they are low calorie and high in fiber and vitamins C. Along with that, they have a high concentration of antioxidants that are good for the immune system.

However, you have to remember that they are also high in sugar, so only feed your German shepherd strawberries in moderation.

The best way to serve strawberries to your German shepherd is to cup them in small pieces. You can also puree the strawberries and mix them into their regular food.

3. Blueberries

German shepherds can eat blueberries. Blueberries are superfoods, meaning they are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals and keep the immune system healthy and strong.

In addition to that, blueberries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and phytochemicals. This chemical compound is known to help prevent cancer.

You can feed your shepherd fresh or frozen blueberries. Blueberries are small so you don’t need to cut them up. Just as you would do with strawberries or any other fruit make sure you thoroughly wash them prior to giving them to your German shepherd.

4. Oranges

Although oranges are fine for your German shepherd to eat, they may not like them very much because of the strong citrus smell. But if your dog likes it, oranges make an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

When you give your shepherd an orange, vets recommend tossing the peel and only feeding them the flesh, minus the seeds. Orange peel is not poisonous but it may be too tough for your dog’s digestive system to handle.

5. Carrots

German shepherds can eat carrots. In fact, they are an excellent source of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, among other vitamins. Furthermore, crunching on carrots can help clean their teeth. Some vets even recommend giving cold or frozen carrots to teething puppies as a healthy alternative to teething toys.

Raw and cooked carrots are generally safe for your German shepherd to eat. But you may want to cut the carrots up into smaller pieces to avoid choking hazards.

6. Pineapple

A few chunks of pineapple are good for your shepherd. Pineapples are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. On top of that, they contain bromelain, an enzyme that aid in digestion and helps break down proteins.

To feed your shepherd pineapple, you need to peel the prickly skin off and slice it into bite-sized chunks. Because of the hassle, you may be tempted to give them canned pineapple, but don’t do it as it contains high amounts of sugar that can be too much for your dog’s digestive system to handle.

7. Tomatoes

German shepherds should avoid eating tomatoes altogether. While the ripened fruit is safe for them to eat, the green parts of the plant—leaves, stems, and young green tomatoes—contain a substance called solanine, which is poisonous for dogs.

This can be problematic if you grow tomatoes in your garden as the dog can accidentally eat the green parts of the plant without you noticing.

8. Mangoes

This summer fruit is safe for German shepherds. They are packed with four different vitamins—including vitamin A, B6, C, and E—plus potassium and both beta carotene and alpha-carotene making them quite nutritious not only for your shepherd but for you as well.

Just remember, before feeding mangoes to your shepherd, you need to peel the skin and remove the pit. The skin may not be toxic but it may be too tough for your German shepherd to digest, so it’s best to remove it.

The mango pits, however, can present a serious choking hazard and get lodged in the dog’s digestive tract. The pit also contains a small amount of cyanide so you need to dispose of it. While ingesting a small amount of it is not usually deadly, each dog is different so if symptoms of poisoning show up, contact your veterinarian.

9. Celery

Celery is safe for your German shepherd to eat. It is low in fat and cholesterol, but high in fiber which makes it a good choice for dogs who need to lose weight.

In addition to vitamins A, C, and K, this crunchy green treat also contains folate, potassium, and manganese. All are the necessary nutrients that aid in regulating your dog’s body metabolism, muscle control, and keeping the bone and joints healthy and strong.

Even though celery is less likely to cause choking hazards than some other vegetables in this list, it’s still a good choice to cut them into smaller pieces. Doing so will make it easier for your dog to digest the vegetable and for you to measure the right amount to feed him.

As a general rule, treats should make up about 10 percent of a German shepherd’s daily food intake maximum.

10. Potatoes

Potatoes are not safe for your German shepherd whether they are raw or cooked. According to recent research by the FDA, potatoes can increase the risk of your dog developing DCM or Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy.

This is a serious disease where the heart becomes enlarged and can’t pump blood resulting in severe consequences such as congestive heart failure.

In addition, potatoes contain a substance called solanine which can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, lethargy, weakness, and even confusion. So, it’s best to avoid feeding your German shepherd potatoes altogether.

11. Cucumbers

German shepherds can eat cucumbers. Just like celeries, these crunchy green snacks are especially good for dogs who need to lose weight, as they hold little carbs, fats, and oils.

It is estimated that one-half cup of slices of a cucumber contains only about 8 calories. Along with that, they are also loaded with potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin in addition to Vitamins C, K, and B1.

There are two potential issues with cucumber, though. First, you can dog can get an upset stomach if they eat too much of it, especially if it’s a new food for them. The best rule of thumb for determining how many cucumbers a dog can safely eat is to feed them no more than 10 percent of their daily recommended intake.

The second issue is that cucumbers can cause choking even though it’s an extremely rare occurrence in big dogs like German shepherds. To avoid this, just be sure to cut the cucumber into smaller pieces before giving it to your German shepherd.

12. Almonds

Not only German shepherds but all dogs shouldn’t eat almonds. Almonds are not toxic to dogs themselves but they do contain high amounts of fat and can put your shepherd at risk of pancreatitis.

Moreover, almonds pose an obstruction problem because they are hard to digest and can get stuck easily in your dog’s esophagus, intestines, or windpipe. So, it’s best to keep them away from your shepherd for his own safety.

13. Corn

It is perfectly safe for your German shepherd to eat corn off the cob in small amounts. Corn is one of the most popular and inexpensive grains which are often used as fillers in dog food.

Depending on the type of corn, some may contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals. Some of the caveats of these nutrients include the possibility of triggering or exacerbating your German shepherd’s allergies and the risk of getting choked on it if your shepherd ingests the cob.

To keep it safe, first, always be sure to confirm that your dog is not allergic to corn if this is the first time you’re feeding them this particular grain. And second, never give your dog corn on the cob.

14. Peaches

Small amounts of cut-up fresh or frozen peaches are safe for your German shepherd to eat but canned or preserved ones should be avoided as they often contain a high amount of sugar or artificial sweetener, and preservatives.

Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and fiber but just like mangoes, the pit contains a small amount of cyanide, so you should always completely cut it out before feeding it to your dog.

15. Cherries

No, your German shepherd shouldn’t eat cherries. Almost all parts of a cherry plant—pits, stems, and leaves—contain a substance called ‘cyanide’, which can be lethal when consumed in large amounts by dogs.

The only exception to this is the fleshy part around the seed, but since it can be difficult for your dog to consume only the flesh and not bite into the pit, it is best to keep cherries off-limits for your shepherd.

16. Cantaloupe

It is perfectly safe for your German shepherd to eat cantaloupe. Aside from being low in calories, it is also an excellent source of vitamins, niacin, folate, potassium, and fiber.

Just remember that it should be given in moderation due to its high amounts of sugar. Too many of this fruit can lead to gastrointestinal upset and obesity. Also, don’t forget to remove the rind to avoid choking.

17.  Brocolli

Brocolli is safe for your German shepherd to eat, raw or cooked, as long as no seasonings or oils are added. However, although it is relatively safe, this vegetable should be given in very small amounts because it contains isothiocyanate, a chemical that can cause gastric irritation in large amounts.

As for the portion, always refer to the 10-percent rule that states the total amount of broccoli ingested should be no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily intake. More than that can be toxic to your dog’s health.

18. Cashews

Cashews are generally safe for your German shepherd to eat, but you must take note that they are very high in fat and can lead to pancreatitis if he eats too much. Fatty foods can lead to obesity and increase their risk of diabetes, joint issue, and other serious conditions.

The most important thing to look out for when feeding your dog cashews is the signs of an allergic reaction. If you notice swelling or any other external signs of irritation, stop feeding them immediately and consult your vet.

19. Green Beans

German shepherds can eat green beans no matter how they’re prepared—chopped, steamed, raw, or canned—as long as no seasonings are added. Not only safe, but they are also full of vitamins and minerals, with make them a great addition to any diet.

While your shepherd may not necessarily need extra nutrients from green beans, if they are already eating high-quality food for German shepherds, but it is still nice to know they are crunching on something healthy.

20. Beans

Yes, your German shepherd can eat beans, but they should be fed in moderation due to their high calories. Don’t confuse beans with green beans. Many people assume they’re the same thing, but they are not.

Green beans are a vegetable and not a bean. When given in moderation, beans are a healthy addition to any dog’s diet as they are rich in fiber and contain some proteins.

To safely feed your German shepherd beans, you need to cook them first just as you would for humans. If you don’t, the beans will be almost indigestible and may cause gastrointestinal upset or other complications.

21. Avocado

While avocado may be a healthy snack for you, the exact opposite is true for your German shepherd. Avocado is toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems, and even death.

If you regularly buy and eat avocados, you should keep them away from your German shepherd to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Also, make sure to educate other members of the household so that everyone is aware of the dangers.

Last but not least, you may also want to buy a dog-proof garbage can to avoid your dog from accidentally getting into it even if you are nowhere around.

22. Garlic

According to veterinarians, any other member of the allium family, including garlic and onion are toxic to dogs. Garlic in particular has the potential to cause symptoms of gastrointestinal upset including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

While it may take a lot of garlic to cause these symptoms, you need to take into account that some dogs are more sensitive than others. For these dogs, a small amount of garlic can be enough to cause a problem.

For this reason, it is best to avoid feeding your German shepherd garlic at all.

23. Grain

Unless your shepherd has a grain allergy, grains are fine to feed them. A better question is, are they healthy for your dog? The answer is, not really. You may notice that a lot of dog food brands contain grains in their recipes. Not because it is healthier, but because it is cheaper than main ingredients, such as meats.

Grains provide very little nutritional value and are mainly filler to increase the volume of food without increasing the amount of meat. They also contain a lot of carbohydrates which can cause your dog to gain weight over time.

In addition to that, carbs are very difficult to digest for all dogs not only German shepherds. If your dog already has a sensitive digestive system, then feeding them grains can cause them to experience stomach pain and other problems.

24. Grass

While grass is not typically a problem for dogs to eat, eating grass can cause parasites to enter your dog’s digestive system. These parasites can be easily picked up from other dogs that drop feces on the grass.

It’s also important to note that your dog can get sick from herbicides and pesticides that may have been used on the grass. These chemicals are not good to ingest and even small amounts can be harmful.

On the other side of the coin, the consumption of grass can be a sign that your shepherd is having a problem with its stomach or intestines. So if you notice your shepherd eating grass more often, it is a good idea to talk to your vet and have them check for a possible underlying illness.

25. Guava

A small portion of cut-up fresh guava is safe for your dog to eat. This fruit is a rich source of vitamins and fiber. So, it can be a healthy addition to your shepherd’s diet.

The seed is another story, however, it contains cyanide which can be poisonous for your dog. So you should remove all the seeds first before feeding your shepherd the fruit. Along with the seed, you also want to avoid feeding your shepherd the skin, leaves, and buds.

They are not necessarily toxic, but they may be difficult to digest and cause stomach problems.

26. Ginger

In short, your German shepherd can eat ginger. It is a very healthy and nutritious spice that brings a lot of benefits for both owners and their dogs. The main benefits of ginger do not come from its nutrient content, but rather from its unique compounds that include gingerol, shogaols, zingiberene, and zingerone.

These active compounds can help with digestion issues and nausea and can fight inflammation and pain. Some studies have even shown that ginger may help fight cancer in dogs.

The main problem with ginger is its strong, and spicy taste. Not all dogs can handle that flavor. If this is the first time you are feeding your German shepherd ginger, try giving them just one small piece and see they react.

27. Honeydew

Yes, this refreshing summer fruit is safe to feed your German shepherd. It is packed with vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and dietary fiber. Plus, it comprises a whopping 90% water which makes it great for hydration, especially during the summer months.

To serve, you need to remove the seeds together with the rind and chop the melon into bite-sized pieces that can be easily consumed by your dog. The seeds and rind themselves are not toxic, but they could pose a choking hazard to your dog.

28. Kiwi

Yes, this vitamin C-packed fruit is safe for your German shepherd to eat. In addition to vitamin C, it also has more potassium than a banana, which aids in the functioning of nerves, muscles, and other vital cells.

When serving, the skin must be taken off. Although the skin is safe to eat, they contain high levels of insoluble fiber that can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea when given in large amounts.

29. Kale

Eating kale is a big ‘no’ for German shepherds. This veggie contains several harmful compounds that can cause serious medium problems for your dog.

Two of the main compounds in kale that are toxic for your German shepherd are calcium oxalate and isothiocyanate. Calcium oxalate can lead to the formation of kidney or bladder stones, and isothiocyanate can cause mild to severe irritation to the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and useful as you raise and train your German Shepherd.

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By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.