Fruit: A Sweet Treat for Your Dog
Our omnivorous pups need a mix of meat and veggies in their diets. Luckily, modern dog food has all the nutrients your dog needs to thrive, so you won't have to be concerned about supplementing their diets. However, it never hurts to remember that fruit is a great treat to offer your dog.
Always remember that a dog's daily diet should include no more than 10% treats, so make sure to cut back on other treats if you want to add fruit to the mix, so as not to overfeed your pooch.
How to Introduce New Foods
Go slowly when introducing any new food to ensure your dog will tolerate the food well and won't experience any allergic reactions or gastrointestinal upset. We recommend introducing one type of fruit at a time, feeding them just a piece or two a day to monitor your dog's reactions.
Make sure to cut any fruit into small pieces and remove pits, seeds or rinds before giving it to your pup, as these parts of the fruit often have toxins in them that can make dogs unwell, or in some cases may even result in a health issue that needs urgent care.
While we are not able to attend to veterinary emergencies, you can contact us and book an appointment so we can assess your pet and provide a diagnosis and treatment. On our urgent care page, we also list two animal hospitals in Clackamas that provide veterinary emergency care.
What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
These fruits are great treat options for your dog:
- Strawberries: We've had a fair number of dog parents ask, 'Can dogs eat strawberries?' These berries are great for the immune system and can make an excellent treat - fresh or frozen - for your dog.
- Blueberries: Pet parents also tend to ask, 'Can dogs eat blueberries?' This fruit is rich in antioxidants and is a good source of Vitamin C and fiber. Blueberries can be frozen for a delicious summer snack.
- Apples: A fiber-rich treat that's low in fat, apples are a great option for senior or overweight pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C which help maintain healthy tissues and bones. Feed your pup apples in moderation and make sure to remove seeds and cores first, since they are toxic for dogs.
- Pineapple: In pineapples, you'll find vitamins and minerals such as zinc and folate, which can aid your dog's immune system and digestion. While this sugar-rich fruit shouldn't be an every day treat for your dog, they are a good occasional treat as long as you remove the spiky skin and hard core before giving pineapple as a treat.
- Watermelon: Since they consist of mostly water, watermelon is a great option to keep your pet hydrated through the hotter months. They also have the added benefit of being vitamin-rich.
- Mango: This vitamin-packed fruit is a great treat for dogs - as long as it's cut into small pieces and the skin and core are removed.
- Pear: Rich in vitamin C and fiber, pears should have their seeds and core removed before they're fed to your dog.
- Cantaloupe: This fruit may help to alleviate any inflammatory issues your dog may be experiencing. Cut the fruit into small, manageable pieces and remove the seeds and skin before serving it to your pup.
- Apricots: With their fleshy fruit, apricots can make a great treat for dogs. They are rich in potassium and contain beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer. Make sure to remove the leaves, stem and pit.
Can Dogs Eat Fruit Snacks?
While fruit snacks can be an occasional yummy treat for our children, dogs should never eat them as they are packed with calories, fats, water, starch and sugar (they are actually generally made of refined sugar), so not safe or healthy for pets. Many also contain synthetic color dyes. They may be cleverly marketed and shaped like fruit, but these sweet, chewy gummy candies are neither fruit nor a healthy snack.
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.