What Fruits Can Dogs Eat? The Best Fruits for Dogs and When to Use Caution
It’s summertime, and that means heaps and heaps of fresh fruit! It’s such a tasty, healthy snack for people – surely we can share fruits with our dogs, right? Some fruits and vegetables for dogs are perfectly safe and healthy snacks, while other fruits fall into the category of foods dogs should not eat. Here’s what you need to know about your dog and summer fruit safety.
What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Let’s start with the good news: there are a variety of awesome, yummy fruits that you can share with Fido:
Pro Tip: All fruits should be given to your dog in moderation because they contain natural fructose that can increase your pet’s blood sugar. Fruity snacks should be just that – little snacks, not a meal!
Can Dogs Eat Oranges?
Yes, you can share an orange slice with your precious pooch! That said, dogs tend to be on the fence about citrus, so you’ll have to test out this bright fruit on your dog to see if they actually enjoy it. They might snub oranges in favor of another fruit, like blueberries.
Oranges are full of vitamin C for an immunity boost, and they also contain a lot of water to keep your dog hydrated. When you give an orange to your dog, make sure it’s only the flesh – no peel and no seeds. Orange peel can irritate their digestive tract, and seeds are a choking hazard.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Yes! Strawberries are vitamins – and a mineral-packed delight that you are welcome to share with your dog. Similar to popping a whole strawberry – leaves and all – into your blender for a smoothie, your dog will probably enjoy the fruit whole as well. Strawberries are also known for containing malic acid, a natural tooth-whitener that is pet safe.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a perfect treat for dogs because they are full of antioxidants and don’t contain any dangerous seeds. Their small size also makes it easy to avoid overfeeding your pet this fruity snack. Some people use them as a training tool to teach their pets to jump and catch snacks!
Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Yes – the flesh of the watermelon contains vitamins A and C for a healthy dog, and it’s also packed with water for hydrating your pet on a hot day. Like with oranges, you need to remove the rind and seeds before feeding this fruit to your dog.
Can Dogs Have Pineapple?
This tropical fruit is great for dogs. It contains a natural enzyme called bromelain which can support your dog’s digestion of meat, and pineapple is also rich in zinc, folate, and vitamins. Of course, peel the pineapple well before feeding it to your canine companion – that tough, pokey skin is not tasty and could even hurt their mouth.
The In-Betweens: Fruits to Be Cautious About
Some fruits fall into an in-between category when it comes to what fruits dogs can eat. These items are not necessarily toxic to your pet but might present another kind of risk. Some fruits you should be careful with around your dog include:
Be Careful With Apples
Apple flesh can be tasty and good for your dog, but the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide that can be poisonous in large quantities. Because the flesh of apples is more crunchy and tough than other fruits on this list, it can be a choking hazard. Don’t let your dog eat the apple seeds, and make sure the pieces are small, and this fruit should be fine for dogs to eat.
Apricots Are Also Risky
Like apples, the pit of apricots has some cyanide. Pits (more so than seeds) are an especially risky choking hazard because they are the perfect size to block your dog’s airway. Apricot flesh contains vitamins and beta carotene, but it’s probably not worth the risk unless you are positive there are no pit fragments.
Many people enjoy dried apricots, but dried fruit generally shouldn’t be given to dogs because of its high sugar content.
Coconut Can Cause Weight Gain
Coconut oil is a popular pet-safe food with plenty of nutritional value – so what about the meat of the coconut fruit? This white flesh also has many benefits for dogs, and it’s safe to feed it to them in careful moderation. Coconut is high in fat and calories, so it can cause weight gain if it becomes too significant a part of your dog’s diet.
Dates Are Sugar Packed
In addition to having pits that present a choking risk, dates have a super high sugar content that really messes with your dog’s digestion and often causes diarrhea in canines. So, dates probably aren’t worth feeding to your dog!
The Peach Pit Hazard
Peaches fall into the same category as apples and apricots: the flesh is relatively safe and tasty for your pooch, but a cyanide-laced pit that can cause bowel obstruction in your dog makes it a less-than-ideal choice for a fruit snack.
Fruits That Dogs Should NEVER Eat
Some fruits pose a significant risk to your dog’s health. Unlike the in-between fruits that you can be careful with, you should never feed these fruits to your dog under any circumstances. The fruits dogs shouldn’t eat include:
Persin in Avocados Is Toxic for Dogs
Persin is in all parts of the avocado, including the buttery flesh. This toxin can make your dog vomit and give him diarrhea. While persin is more concentrated in the skin, pit, and leaves of the avocado, there are still amounts of it in the flesh; therefore, you should never feed avocados to dogs. Keep this fruit to yourself, and if your dog gets his paws on some avocado, contact your veterinarian.
Grapes and Raisins Are Off Limits
Grapes and raisins are some of the most dangerous fruits for dogs of all ages and breeds. They can immediately cause acute kidney failure in our canine companions. Their small size and tendency to be a popular kid’s snack mean it wouldn’t be too hard for your dog to eat a grape or raisin accidentally. Do everything in your power to keep these fruits away from your dog because the consequences could be very serious.
Figs Can Irritate Your Dog
While some experts say it’s okay to feed your dog a couple of figs each week, they are probably best left on the “foods dogs should not eat” list. Figs are super rich in fiber, which is great for humans, but that high fiber content can really disrupt your dog’s healthy digestion and cause diarrhea.
Figs aren’t toxic for dogs, but they contain two components – ficin and fucosin – that might irritate your dog and cause them to drool excessively or vomit.
Stick to the Dog-Safe Fruits
When it comes to the question of “What fruits can dogs eat,” it’s best to stick with the ones we know are totally safe for dogs, like oranges, strawberries, pineapples, blueberries, watermelon, and pineapple. If you really aren't sure if a particular fruit is safe for your dog, consult your veterinarian before sharing your snacks.