Can Dogs eat fruit? It’s normal to want to spoil your dog by sharing some human table scraps or your favorite fruit snack. In the summertime when fruits are ripe they can often be in abundance and seem like a healthy snack. If it is safe for you to eat, it must be OK for dogs to eat, right? Not necessarily. While many fruit varieties are safe for dogs, some are very unhealthy and even highly toxic. Therefore, it’s critical to learn which fruits dogs can eat before tossing your pet a fruit treat.
Dogs digest differently than we do. Eating the wrong foods can lead to health and bowel problems and, in some extreme cases, even death. Dogs are carnivores and have no real need for fruits or vegetables in their diet, but an occasional piece of fruit treat is okay. Read on to find out which fruits are okay for sharing on occasion and which fruits are toxic to dogs.
Fruits That Are Okay For Dogs
Apples – Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for senior dogs. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core first. Try them frozen for an icy warm weather snack.
Bananas – In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as an occasional treat. They should not be a part of your dog’s main diet.
Blueberries – Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They’re packed with fiber and phytochemicals as well. Try a couple of blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats.
Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe is packed with nutrients. It is low in calories and a good source of water and fiber. It is, however, high in sugar, so should be shared in moderation. Give sparingly to dogs who are overweight or have diabetes.
Cranberries – Both cranberries and dried cranberries are safe to feed to dogs in small quantities. Whether or not your dog will like this tart treat is another question. Moderation is important when feeding cranberries to dogs. As with most treats, too many cranberries may lead to an upset stomach.
Cucumbers – Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs. They hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. Cucumbers are loaded with vitamins B1, C and K. Also, they contain the nutrients potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.
Mango – This sweet summer treat is packed with vitamins. Vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Mangoes also have potassium and both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. Remember, as with most fruits, remove the hard pit first. Mango pits contain small amounts of cyanide and can also become a choking hazard. Mango too is high in sugar content, so use it as an occasional treat.
Oranges – Oranges are fine for dogs to eat, according to veterinarians. However, your pet may not be a fan of any strong-smelling citrus. Oranges contain vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And, in small quantities, the juicy flesh of an orange may be a tasty treat for your dog. Only offer your dog some flesh of the orange and not the peel or any seeds. Orange peel is rough on their digestive systems, and the citrus oils may be too strong for your dog’s sensitive nose.
Peaches – Small amounts of cut-up fresh or frozen peaches are a good source of fiber and vitamin A. Peaches can even help fight infections, but just like cherries, the pit contains cyanide. As long as you completely cut around the pit first, fresh peaches can be an occasional summer treat. Canned peaches, however, usually contain high amounts of sugary syrups and should not be offered to your pet.
Pears – Pears are a great snack because they’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. It’s been suggested that eating pears often may reduce the risk of having a stroke by half. Be sure to cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds also contain traces of cyanide. And, avoid canned pears with sugary syrups.
Pineapple – Raw pineapple, in small amounts, is an excellent snack for dogs. Canned pineapple, on the other hand, should be avoided. The syrup in canned fruits contains too much sugar for most dogs’ digestive tracts to handle. A few chunks of raw pineapple are usually enough for most dogs. Remember to cut away the prickly outside peel and crown first. This tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains bromelain (an ingredient in Flexpet), which is an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins and is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Raspberries – Raspberries are okay in moderation. They contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help their aging joints. However, they do contain small amounts of xylitol, so limit your dog to a few raspberries at a time.
Strawberries – Strawberries are full of fiber and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them. They do contain a high sugar content, so be sure to give them in moderation.
Watermelon – It’s important to remove the rind and seeds first, as they can cause intestinal blockage, but watermelon flesh is otherwise safe for dogs. It’s full of vitamins A, B-6, and C, as well as potassium. Watermelon is 92 percent water, so it’s a great way to help keep your dog hydrated on a hot summer day.
Fruits That Are Not Okay For Dogs
Avocado – While avocado may be a healthy snack for dog owners, it should not be given to dogs at all. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much persin as the rest of the plant. However, it is still too much for dogs’ stomachs to handle.
Cherries – With the exception of the fleshy part around the seed, cherry plants contain cyanide and are highly toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts cellular oxygen transport, which means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning.
Grapes – Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) have proven to be very toxic for dogs no matter the dog’s breed, or age. In fact, grapes are so toxic that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure and death. Always be mindful of this dangerous fruit for dogs.
Tomatoes – While the ripened fruit of the tomato plant is generally considered safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine. While a dog would need to eat a large amount of the tomato plant to make him or her sick, it’s better to skip tomatoes all together just to be safe.
If your dog eats any of these toxic fruits contact your veterinarian right away or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
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