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Is it safe for my dog to eat fruit?

Is it safe for my dog to eat fruit?

Many dogs enjoy eating fruit, but not all fruits are suitable for your pooch to eat. In today's post, our Berkeley veterinary team shares more about which fruits are safe to feed your four-legged friend.

A Sweet Treat For Pups 

Dogs are omnivores which means that to stay healthy they require a mix of veggies and meat in their diets. Fortunately, modern dog foods contain all the nutrients your pooch needs to thrive so you generally don't need to worry about supplementing their diets. Nonetheless, many dogs enjoy fruit as a special (occasional) treat or reward. 

How to Introduce New Foods To Your Pup

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 introducing fruit to your dog, cut it into small pieces and remove any seeds, rinds, or pits prior to giving it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs unwell, or in some cases even be deadly. 

Fruits That Are Safe For Dogs

The following fruits are generally considered to be great treat options for dogs:

  • Apples: Apples are high in fiber and low in fat making them a great option for overweight or senior pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C which help maintain healthy bones and tissue. Feed your pup apples in moderation and be sure to remove the core and seeds 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 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 You May Want To Avoid Feeding 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. Never feed the pits to dogs, or allow your dog to chew on avocado pits. 
  • 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 xylitol which can be fatal to dogs in large quantities. 
  • Tomatoes: Although ripe tomatoes aren't toxic to dogs they can cause 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.

Want to learn more about how to optimize your dog's diet? Give us a call to book an appointment with our Berkeley vets.

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