So many dog owners wonder, Can dogs eat fruits? and What fruit cannot be eaten by dogs? Continue reading to learn which fruits you can feed your dog in moderation and which you should avoid.
Dogs are omnivorous, which means that they require a combination of animal and plant material to have a healthy, balanced diet.
Unlike many processed treats, fruits come with benefits. They are full of antioxidant compounds, including vitamins A and C, all of which are beneficial to your dog’s health and longevity. However, not all fruits are safe for dogs to eat unfortunately.
Many different fruits are safe for your pets to eat. However, dogs digest food differently than humans, and consuming the incorrect foods can lead to long-term health issues and, in the worst-case scenario, death.
What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Before we start the list, just be aware that not all dogs like fruits, so don’t be surprised if your four-legged friend isn’t interested.
Bananas are safe for dogs to consume. They provide large doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals that are beneficial in protecting your dog’s body and maintaining good health. They are a great healthy snack for dogs when used in moderation.
Bananas are low in cholesterol and high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. Keep in mind to avoid the banana peel as it’s harder for dogs’ stomachs to digest and can cause painful blockages in the gastrointestinal tract.
Like other fruits, bananas contain natural sugar. Too much of any type of sugar can cause weight gain, which can lead to other health issues.
Apples are safe for dogs to consume. They are a great source for vitamins A and C, as well as fiber, and are good for your dog. This snack won’t cause obesity and will leave your pup feeling full and satisfied. It’s best to cut an apple into bite-sized chunks before serving.
However, make sure to remove the core and seeds before you give them to your dog. Apple seeds contain a trace amount of toxic cyanide which can cause cyanide poisoning. Of course, just swallowing a few apple seeds is unlikely to cause your dog any harm, but it’s best to remove them and avoid the risk.
Apple’s core is firm and difficult for most dogs to chew and if swallowed, may cause gastrointestinal blockage.
Blueberries are one of the most popular fruits eaten in the United States and one of the best fruits that dogs can eat. This superfruit contain antioxidants, fiber and vitamins C and K. These nutrients support the immune system and contribute to overall health.
Blueberries help keep your dog hydrated, reduce the risks associated with several diseases and cancers. With only 84 calories per cup of fruit, they are also a safe treat for diabetic dogs, but you’ll want to check with your vet before offering them.
Too many blueberries can potentially cause stomach upset, so start with a few berries and see how your pup takes to them. Generally, 4-8 blueberries per day will be enough depending on your pet’s size.
Blackberries offer a wonderful bounty of health benefits for your dog. They are a great source of vitamin C, which is well known for its ability to boost the immune system. Nutritionists consider it a superfood because of the antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and Omega 3s it contains.
They are also a great low-calorie snack. Blackberries are one of the few fruits with a sugar content low enough to make them a healthy snack choice.
Although blackberries pack a powerful nutritional punch, they should be enjoyed by your dog in moderation. Too many blackberries can cause stomach issues and diarrhea.
While some dogs may not enjoy the acidic taste of this citrus fruit, the fruit of oranges is safe and full of vitamin C, while also packing a punch of potassium and fiber.
On the other hand, the oranges should be avoided in dogs with some health conditions. For example, dogs that are overweight or suffer from diabetes should not be fed oranges.
The orange peel and seeds should always be removed before feeding your dog orange slices. They are not toxic to dogs, but they are difficult to digest and can cause uncomfortable digestive upset.
Kiwi is a nutritious fruit for dogs since it provides fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. It also includes antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids. A few pieces of kiwi are safe for dogs to eat. It can be given to dogs as a rare treat, provided that the skin and seeds are removed.
Believe it or not, kiwi skin is technically edible and both you and your dog can eat it. The skin is full of insoluble fibre, vitamin E, and folate and eating the skin will boost these nutrients by about 30-50% compared to eating the fruit’s flesh alone.
As with the other fruits on this list, make sure to feed them in moderate quantities because too many could cause stomach upset.
Pears are perfectly healthy for dogs, and many dogs love them. They are rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A, all important nutrients in a dog’s diet.
If you do decide to feed them to your dog, it is best to chop them into bite-sized pieces, suitable for the size of your individual dog’s mouth.
While they do contain sugar, this sugar is naturally occurring in the fruit and slow to release into the bloodstream, so it doesn’t cause a huge rise in blood sugar. However, too much sugar can still cause an upset stomach.
Just like apples, it is sensible to make sure you remove the seeds and core before giving pear to your dog, just to be safe.
Most dogs like the taste of plain pumpkin, and will happily eat it alone or mixed into their regular food. Pumpkin is also full of fiber, which can help dogs feel fuller faster without necessarily taking in too many calories. This makes pumpkin an excellent diet choice for dogs who need to lose a little excess weight.
In addition, pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid cucurbitin, which works to paralyze and eliminate parasites from your dog’s digestive tract. Feed the seeds whole, or grind and add to food.
Be aware that pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotone, which dogs’ bodies convert into vitamin A. Too much vitamin A is highly toxic to dogs.
Watermelon is rich in potassium and vitamin C, and it’s also a great source of vitamins A and B6. This fruit contains no cholesterol and almost no sodium or fat. Because it’s 92% water, it makes it both a sweet treat and a creative way to help your dog stay cool and hydrated during the summer.
Seedless watermelon is the best choice for your dog. The hard seeds may not slide through the dog’s digestive system causing an intestinal blockage.
While a seed or two is unlikely to cause health problems for large dogs, it doesn’t take many of them to cause a blockage in small dogs.
Fresh cantaloupe is a great way to give a dog an extra source of vitamins A, B, and C. Plus, this juicy, hydrating fruit is high in fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid.
In addition, cantaloupe for dogs will help with your canine’s eyesight.
Just avoid feeding your dog the rind of the cantaloupe, as it can cause intestinal damage. Chop into small pieces to avoid choking hazard. A few small bites are an appropriate treat.
What Fruit Is Bad for Dogs?
There are many common fruit which are toxic to dogs and if you don’t know what they are, you might accidentally be giving your dog a treat which is in fact causing him or her harm.
Grapes and Raisins
The first on our list has to be grapes and raisins. Grape and raisin toxicity is a somewhat strange phenomenon that many dog owners are not yet aware of.
All colors of grapes, such as red, green, and purple, as well as all types, including those with seeds and seedless varieties, should be avoided when it comes to dogs or any pet. Raisins are just dehydrated grapes, so they are just as toxic.
Grape toxicity in dogs can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute kidney failure, which can be fatal. Currently, it is not known why these fruits are toxic. So while we don’t know for sure why dogs develop a toxic reaction from grapes, we know it comes from something in the skin or the fruit’s meat.
If your dog eats grapes or raisins, treat it as an emergency situation. Take your dog to your local veterinarian or pet emergency clinic for assistance.
All cherries contain vitamins A and C, fiber, melatonin, and some powerful antioxidants. However, the pits, stems, and leaves of cherries all contain cyanide, which is toxic and can cause poisoning in dogs if consumed in large quantities.
Although the amount of cyanide in one or two cherries probably won’t cause a life-threatening situation, the risks outweigh the benefits. In other words, the risk of cyanide toxicity is too great to take that gamble.
It’s important to note that cherries also contain a lot of sugar. One cup carries 22g. of carbohydrates – most of them being glucose or natural sugars. That is too much for dogs and can lead to complicate diabetes.
Last but not least, when cherry pits and stems go through a dog’s digestive system whole, they can cause blockage if they build up.
Avocado frequently appears on lists of toxic foods for dogs, and is considered by some veterinarians and animal-care professionals to be a bad choice for your canine friend.
The benefits of avocados for dogs include healthy fats and fatty acids, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties, among others.
Avocado trees contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. This toxin is more concentrated in the leaves, pit and skin of an avocado, but there are low levels contained in the flesh as well.
Since avocado flesh is mildly toxic to dogs, a slice of peeled avocado is unlikely to make your dog sick, but consumed in larger quantities or avocados eaten whole can be a concern.
If you dog does eat avocado in any amount, keep an eye on them for 24-48 hours after eating avocado flesh, and report any vomiting, diarrhea or decreased appetite to your vet.
Dogs do not require fruits or vegetables as part of their diet because they are omnivores, but a treat of a fruit, with permission and instructions from your vet, can provide them with an added boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as some always-welcome extra hydration.
When introducing a new fruit to your pet’s diet, it is best to start off slow and only add one fruit at a time to make sure that your pet’s body can handle that fruit due to allergies or other reactions.