While dogs may find fruit delicious, not all fruits are safe for dogs to eat. In this post, our vets at Browns Bridge Animal Hospital in Gainesville explain which fruits you can safely feed your dog.
Offering Dogs Fruit as Treats
Because dogs are omnivores they require a combination of meats and vegetables in their diets. Thankfully, dog food today contains all the nutrients your pup needs to thrive, so you don't have to worry about supplementing their diets. In addition to this, fruits may also be a great treat to offer your dog.
However, it's important to remember that treats should make up no more than approximately 10% of your dog's diet, therefore if you are giving your dog fruit, you need to cut back on other treats so you don't overfeed your pooch.
Giving Your Dog New Foods
When you are introducing your dog to any new foods, it's best to do it slowly, to make sure your dog is able to tolerate the food and that they don't experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Introduce one type of fruit at a time (only a piece or two a day) to see how your dog reacts.
When feeding a dog any type of fruit you need to cut it into small pieces and remove any seeds, rinds, or pits before giving it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs unwell, or can even be deadly.
Safe Fruits For Dogs To Eat
Here are some fruit options that can make great treats for your pup:
- Watermelon: Watermelons are mostly water, so they're a great option for keeping your pet hydrated during the warmer months. They also have the added benefit of being rich in vitamins.
- Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe could help alleviate inflammatory problems in dogs. But you need to cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before serving it up to your pooch as a treat.
- Pineapple: Pineapple has vitamins and minerals such as folate and zinc that can be great for your dog's digestion and immune system. But, they are high in sugar, so you shouldn't feed them to your dog all the time, and you must remove the spiky skin and core first.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pear: Pears have lots of fiber and vitamin C. As with apples, be sure to remove the core and seeds before feeding them to your pet.
- Mango: Small pieces of mango with the skin and core removed are great, vitamin-packed treats for dogs.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are excellent for the immune system and make a great treat—fresh or frozen—for your dog.
- Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. You can freeze blueberries for a fun summer treat.
Fruits That Could Be Unsafe For Dogs
- Tomatoes: While the ripe fruit isn't toxic to dogs, it often causes stomach upset and should generally be avoided.
- 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.
- Avocado: Avocados have an extremely high-fat content that can cause an upset stomach and pancreatitis in some dogs, therefore they typically don't make good treats. In addition to this, you should never feed the pit to a dog.
- Banana: Bananas are a good source of potassium, but they 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.
Never Feed Your Dog These Fruits
- Grapes: Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause serious kidney damage, which could result in 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.
- 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.
- 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.