In small quantities, fruit makes a great treat for dogs. However, not all fruit is safe for dogs to eat. Today, our Island Pet Hospital vets discuss what types of fruit are safe for your pup to eat and which fruits to avoid.
Can my dog eat fruit?
Dogs are omnivores and as such need a mix of veggies and meat in their diets. We're lucky because modern dog food already contains all the nutrients your dog needs to thrive. That being said, fruit is a great treat to offer your dog.
Always keep in mind that treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog's diet, so if you're adding fruit to the mix be sure to cut back on other treats so as not to overfeed your pup.
Introducing New Foods
When introducing new foods to your pup, you should go slowly to ensure your dog tolerates the food and does not experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Introduce one type of fruit at a time with just a piece or two a day to see how your dog reacts.
When feeding a dog any type of fruit you should be sure it is cut into small pieces and that you are removing any seeds, cores, rinds, or pits prior to giving it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs unwell, or in some cases even be deadly.
Fruits That Are Safe For Dogs
The following fruits are great treat options for your pup:
- Apples: Apples are high in fiber and low in fat making them a great option for overweight or senior pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C which help maintain healthy bones and tissue. Feed your pup apples in moderation and be sure to remove the core and seeds first, as they are toxic to dogs.
- Apricots: The fleshy fruit of apricots can make a great treat for dogs. They are potassium-rich and contain beta-carotene, which can help fight against cancer. Be sure to remove the pit, stem, and leaves.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. You can freeze blueberries for a fun summer treat.
- Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe may help alleviate inflammatory issues in pets. Be sure to cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before serving it up to your pup as a treat.
- Mango: Small pieces of mango with the skin and core removed are great, vitamin-packed treats for dogs.
- Pear: Pears have lots of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin. As with apples, be sure to remove the core and seeds before feeding to your pet.
- Pineapple: Pineapple has vitamins and minerals like folate and zinc that can be great for your dog's digestion and immune system. They are high in sugar so shouldn't be fed to your dog all the time and be sure to remove the spiky skin and hard core before giving pineapple as a treat.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are great for the immune system and make a great treat—fresh or frozen—for your dog.
- Watermelon: Watermelons are mostly water, so they're a great option for keeping your pet hydrated during the hotter months. They also have the added benefit of being rich in vitamins.
Fruits That May Be Unsafe For Your Dog
- Avocado: Avocados have an extremely high fat content which can cause some dogs to develop pancreatitis or an upset stomach, so they typically don't make great treats. The pit should never be fed to a dog.
- Banana: Bananas are a good source of potassium but are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Because of this bananas should only be given to dogs sparingly. A small slice is okay for an occasional treat.
- Blackberries & Raspberries: Blackberries and raspberries are low in sugar, contain fiber and vitamin C, and have anti-inflammatory properties that make them great for older pets. However, they should only be given in small quantities as they contain trace amounts of a sweetener called xylitol which can be fatal to dogs in large quantities.
- Tomatoes: While the ripe fruit isn't toxic to dogs it commonly causes stomach upset and should typically be avoided.
Fruits Your Dog Should Never Eat
- Cherries: Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially fatal if consumed in high enough quantities. Cherry pits can also get stuck in a dog's intestinal system and cause blockages.
- Grapes: Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure, which can be fatal.
- Lemons & Limes: While not toxic, lemons and limes can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs and should be avoided
- Wild berries: It is always better to err on the side of caution as many wild berries are poisonous to dogs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.