Did you know that fruit can be a great treat for your dog? However, not all fruit is safe or suitable for them to eat. Here, our vets in Everett discuss which types of fruit you can safely feed your pup.
Fruit: A Sweet Treat
Since they are omnivores, dogs require a combination of meats and veggies in their diets. Fortunately, modern dog food has all the nutrients your pooch needs to thrive, so you won't typically have to be concerned about supplementing their diets.
That said, fruit is a fantastic treat to offer your dog. Always remember that only about 10% of your dog's diet should consist of treats, so if fruit will be on the menu make sure to cut back on other treats so your dog isn't overfed.
Introducing New Foods
When you're introducing any new food, always move slowly to check that your dog will tolerate the new item and will not experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Introduce one type of fruit at a time with just one or two pieces a day and monitor how your dog reacts.
Also, we recommend cutting the fruit into small pieces and removing any rinds, seeds or pits before giving it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs unwell and cause veterinary emergencies, or in some cases even be deadly.
Fruits That Are Safe for Dogs
These fruits are excellent options for your four-legged friend:
- Apricots: This fleshy, potassium-rich fruit can be a great treat for dogs. It contains beta-carotene that can help fight against cancer. < make sure to remove the leaves, stem and pit.
- Apples: High in fiber and low in fat, apples are a great fruit for senior or overweight pets with lower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C to help maintain healthy tissue and bones. Feed your pup apples in moderation and make sure to remove the core and seeds before giving them to your pooch, as they are toxic to dogs.
- Cantaloupe: This fruit may help to alleviate inflammatory issues in pets. Make sure to cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before giving it to your dog as a treat.
- Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants, blueberries are a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. Blueberries can be frozen for a fun summer 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 To Never Feed Your Dog
- 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.