Can Dogs Eat Fruit?
When considering what foods to feed your dog, it helps to know that a dog is an omnivore. This means that in order for dogs to have a healthy diet, they require both plant and animal material. Since dogs do digest foods differently than humans do, it is important to do your research before giving your pooch a human treat. If you are feeding your dog a high-quality commercial diet, it is not necessary to supplement their diet with fruit, however, it is fun to use fruit as a treat. For example, I use small pieces of fruit for training, as a healthy KONG filler, and when I make frozen pupscicles.
So yes, dogs can definitely have fruit, but be careful which fruits you feed your dog. As stated above, dogs do digest foods differently than humans, so before feeding your dog a delicious morsel of fruit, be sure to familiarize yourself with what fruit is safe for dogs, and more importantly, what fruit is bad for dogs. Also, try to use safe fruits in moderation, as all fruit contains sugar.
What Fruit is Bad for Dogs?
The flesh of the cherry is not toxic to dogs but the seeds, stems, and leaves contain cyanide. Since there is such a small amount of flesh on a cherry fruit, it is best to avoid them altogether. Cherries can cause cyanide poisoning and difficulty breathing.
Just like cherries, the flesh of the plum is not toxic. However, the pit and surrounding flesh do contain cyanide. Since plums have such little flesh and a large pit, why take the chance?
The flesh of a ripe tomato is generally safe, but anything green on a tomato contains solanine, which causes tomatine poisoning. Eating the stems, leaves, or any unripe part of the tomato can cause lethargy, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
Grapefruit contains essential oils and psoralens that are toxic to dogs. If a dog consumes grapefruit it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other issues.
It is imperative that your dog never eats grapes. Grapes (currants and raisins) are extremely toxic to dogs. The result of eating grapes, currants, and/or raisins can be kidney failure. If your dog eats a grape (currant or raisin), call your vet immediately and ask what they recommend you do to help your dog.
Avocados contain a toxin called persin. Although your dog would need to eat a lot of avocados to experience any symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation), why take the risk? As you can imagine, the pit of the avocado can also be a serious choking hazard for dogs and can cause a blockage in the digestive tract.
It’s not a good idea to feed your dog lemons, as too much lemon juice can irritate your dog’s stomach due to the high levels of citric acid. If your dog does eat lemons, it may experience vomiting or diarrhea as a result.
Limes, just like lemons, are very high in citric acid so your dog should not eat them.
What Fruit is Good for Dogs?
Strawberries are safe and are a good source of fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C. In fact, strawberries are good for teeth whitening and can help to strengthen the immune system.
Blueberries are a safe dog treat and are rich in antioxidants, packed with fiber and phytochemicals, and high in vitamin C. Blueberries might help with night vision, ward off cell damage, and even aid in the mental functioning of aging animals.
Bananas are high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. In addition, they are low in cholesterol and sodium. Do feed in moderation, as bananas contain a fair amount of sugar.
Dogs can eat mangoes as long as the pit is removed, as it can be a choking hazard. Also, just like the other pitted fruits on this list, the pit contains some cyanide which is poisonous. It’s best to avoid the tough mango skin as your dog may have trouble digesting it. In addition, mangos are higher in sugar so avoid them if your dog is diabetic or overweight.
As its name implies, watermelon is mostly made up of water. In fact, watermelon is a whopping 92% water! This means it’s great for hydration and is super refreshing on a hot day, especially if frozen first. In addition, watermelon is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, and potassium. Be sure to remove the watermelon rinds and the black and pale coloured seeds, as you want to prevent choking and/or intestinal blockage.
Apples contain vitamins A and C. They are also high in fiber and low in fat. Be sure to cut out the core and seeds, as this part of the apple contains small amounts of cyanide.
Peaches contain vitamins A and C, are high in fiber, and are rich in antioxidants. Like some of the other pitted fruits mentioned, the pit contains cyanide, so it’s important to remove the pit. The pit can also be a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage so be sure to remove it and the flesh around the pit.
Pears are high in Vitamins C and K. As with the other fruits, the core and seeds contain cyanide so be sure to remove them before serving the pear to your dog.
Cantalope contains vitamins A, B, and C. It is also high in fiber. Cantalope is high in sugar, so you may not want to feed it to a diabetic or overweight dog.
Cranberries are high in vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. They are great for urinary tract infections. However, feed in moderation, as they contain a lot of acids and can be hard on a dog’s stomach.
Pumpkin can be served fresh, frozen or out of a can. It is high in vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and iron. Be sure to feed your dog pure pumpkin if using and canned and not the sugary pumpkin pie filling.
Pineapple contains vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Pineapple is also full of minerals, including manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, and small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, and zinc. Pineapple is high in fiber and contains a lot of sugar so only feed in tiny quantities to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea. Also, remove the core and spiky outside to avoid blockages.
Cucumbers are filled with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin. Cucumbers do not contain any carbohydrates, fats, or oils which makes them great if your dog is overweight.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Only feed the juicy flesh to your dog and not the peel or seeds.
How to Prepare Fruit For Your Dog
Always wash fruit prior to feeding it to your dog. Fruit can be served fresh or frozen. Prepare fruits by cutting them into small chunks, mashing, or pureeing. Be sure to monitor your dog while it eats fruit in case of choking. Never give your dog canned fruit in syrup or fruit snacks as these both are very high in sugar. As mentioned, it’s important to remove all seeds, pits, and surrounding cores and flesh. Fruits higher in sugar should be only used in moderation and avoid all fruits on the What Fruit is Bad for Dogs list.
It is not necessary to feed your dog fruit but it does make for a tasty and healthy treat. Keep in mind that treats should only make up 10% of a dog’s diet. It’s important to only feed your dog fruit that is deemed safe and to avoid any fruit that is bad for dogs. Always feed a small amount of new fruit to your dog at first to ensure that it doesn’t cause any digestive issues.
Happy Tail Wags. xo
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