Some people love to share food with their dog while others go as far as to prepare all the food they serve to their dog. With summer in full swing and lots of fruits available on the market, it begs the question: what fruit can dogs eat, and what is best avoided?
Today we take a closer look at what is safe for your dog to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Fruit?
We sometimes spoil our dogs. It’s pretty common for everyone. But should we be feeding our dogs the same foods we eat? If it’s good enough for a human, it should be good enough for a dog. Right? Wrong.
That’s a common thought, but it’s not always the case. Dogs have evolved from wolves who are exclusively carnivores. This means that they are used to eating meat, bone, and organs. Dry dog food provides your dog with the right nutrition based on their ancestral diet. Those foods are balanced just for your dog and include the crude protein and bone meal your dog needs. Fruits and veggies aren’t really in most commercial dog foods. But does your dog actually need them?
The short answer is no. Your dog doesn’t really need to have fruit in their diet. That doesn’t mean that they can’t though. If you want to give your dog a nice treat to break up their meals, fruit can be a fun way to make that happen. If you make your dog’s food, you can choose to directly add fruit to it. If you buy commercially available food, you can absolutely add some fresh fruit to it or give them fruit as a snack. You just need to be careful about what fruit you give your dog.
What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
There are a lot of different fruits that your dog can safely eat. Take a look at what your dog may enjoy from time to time.
Apples are packed with vitamins A and C. It also gives your dog a good dose of fiber. During hot months, you can try freezing apple pieces and giving it as an icy treat. Chewing on these frozen apple chunks also helps your dog relieve some energy as well. Just make sure that you remove the core of an apple before you give it to your dog. The core contains the seeds which your dog should not be eating. You can either use an apple corer or just cut the apple into smaller pieces.
Bananas are a great low-calorie treat to give your dog. They provide a good boost in potassium and other vitamins. The only downside is that bananas are also high in sugar. If you decide to give bananas to your dog, just make sure it’s done in moderation.
Blueberries are great for people because they are packed full of healthy antioxidants. Those human healthy antioxidants are just as good for your pooch as well. Blueberries are a great replacement for commercially available treats.
Cantaloupe is a tasty treat and it provides a good amount of fiber for your dog’s diet. Just be careful not to overdo it because it is higher in sugar than other fruit. If your dog is overweight or has diabetes, this would be one fruit to avoid.
Feel free to give your dog a few cranberries. You can give your dog fresh cranberries or dried cranberries. Just be sure to read the label. If you give your dog dried cranberries, make sure there is no added sugar. Cranberries are very tart and often have sugar added once dried.
If your dog will eat them, cucumbers are great for them. They provide vitamins K, C, and B1 as well as many other minerals. The subtle flavor and slick texture are sometimes off-putting for some dogs though. Let them give it a try if you like, but don’t force them if they don’t like it
Strawberries contain a healthy dose of fiber and vitamin C. Just be sure not to overdo it with strawberries since they also contain a lot of sugar.
Watermelon is actually a great fruit to give your dog, especially if it is very hot out. Watermelon is mostly water, so it’s a great way to rehydrate your dog. Just make sure you remove the seeds and rinds before giving it to your dog as they can cause intestinal blockages.
What Fruit Should Dogs Not Eat?
While there are many different fruits your dog can safely eat, there are a few that you should avoid feeding to your dog. These would include:
You should not give your dog avocados. The skin, pit and flesh all contain persin. This is a toxin that will cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
As delicious as cherries are, the pits contain a toxin called cyanide. Even small doses can cause your dog big problems. The toxin interferes with the way oxygen is transported through their body. Too many cherries can send your dog on a trip to the hospital. If you suspect your dog has cyanide poisoning, check for dilated pupils, red gums and difficulty breathing. If your dog shows these symptoms after accidentally getting into some cherries, call your vet right away.
Grapes or raisins can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. No matter the size, breed or sex, be sure to keep grapes far away from your dog.
A red tomato is mostly okay for your dog to eat. However, the green parts of this nightshade fruit have a toxin called solanine. This substance can cause your dog to fall ill. It’s probably better to avoid it all together just to stay on the safe side.
Are There Other Foods Dogs Should Avoid?
There are also a few foods in general that you should avoid feeding your dog. Foods that you should never feed to your dog include:
- Anything with the artificial sweetener Xylitol
Some of these foods are extremely toxic if your dog gets their paws on them. Be sure to keep a close eye on what your dog consumes and feel free to treat them with some safe fruit occasionally. Just be sure to keep in mind the sugar content some fruits have.