Fruit can be a tasty treat for your dog, but not all fruits are safe for them to consume. Today, our South Salem veterinarians discuss which fruits are safe to feed your dog.
Fruit: A Sweet Treat
Dogs are omnivores, so their diets must include both vegetables and meat. Fortunately, modern dog food contains all of the nutrients your pup requires to thrive, so you won't need to supplement their diets. Fruit, on the other hand, is an excellent treat to give 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 pooch.
Introducing New Foods
With any new food introduction, 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, make sure it is cut into small pieces and that any seeds, rinds, or pits are removed before giving it to your dog because these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs sick or even kill them.
Fruits That Are Safe For Dogs
You may be wondering if dogs can eat fruit as a snack. Can dogs eat strawberries? Can dogs eat blueberries? The following fruits should be safe for your dog to eat:
- Apples: Apples are high in fiber and low in fat, so they're a good choice for overweight or senior pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C, which support bone and tissue health. Apples should be fed to your dog in moderation, with the core and seeds removed 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 is high in vitamins and minerals such as folate and zinc, which are beneficial to your dog's digestion and immune system. They are high in sugar and should not be fed to your dog on a regular basis. Before giving pineapple as a treat, remove the spiky skin and hard core.
- 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 a high fat content, which can cause pancreatitis or upset stomach in some dogs, so they aren't usually recommended as treats. A dog should never be fed the pit.
- 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, high in fiber and vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory, making them ideal for senior pets. They should, however, only be given in small amounts because they contain trace amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that can be fatal to dogs in large amounts.
- Tomatoes: While the ripe fruit isn't toxic to dogs it commonly causes stomach upset and should typically be avoided.
Fruits To Never Feed Your Dog
- Cherries: The cyanide found in cherry pits, stems, and leaves is poisonous and can be fatal if consumed in large amounts. Cherry pits can also become lodged in a dog's intestines, causing 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.