What kinds of fruit are safe for my dog to eat? - BC SPCA
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What kinds of fruit are safe for my dog to eat?

March 5, 2024

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Humans are familiar with this adage, but did you know an apple a day for a dog doesn’t necessarily pave the way for good health?

White Labrador retriever dog eating a strawberry from owners hand

While fruits are considered a healthy choice for humans, that’s not the case for our canine friends, who have different dietary needs. Aside from the relatively high sugar content, there are some fruits that might cause your dog to become sick.

Some fruits may cause an allergic reaction, vomiting, or even organ failure. If you’re considering feeding your dog fruit, we strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian first.

If your vet gives you the green light, pet guardians should ensure that fruit is fed in miniscule amounts. While there are certain kinds of fruit that are okay for a pet to eat, it’s best to give fruit as a treat.

Fruit for your pet should be prepared properly: as some places may use pesticides, ensure the fruit they’re about to eat is thoroughly washed. Make sure stems, seeds, pits, peels and rinds are removed, and that pieces are bite-sized and easy to chew. Fruit should always be fresh (some fruits can be frozen as a treat to help cool your doggo down), and never canned in syrup.

Lastly, be sure to monitor your dog for any adverse effects. Some dogs may be completely fine consuming fruit, but others may end up with an upset stomach or diarrhea. It’s best to keep an eye on them just to make sure what they’re eating isn’t making them ill.

Fruits your dog can enjoy in very small amounts:

  • Bananas – these are rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Make sure you’ve completely removed the peel as it is difficult for your dog to digest and, in turn may cause a blockage – depending on your dog’s size, and the amount they have consumed.
  • Blueberries – blueberries are high in antioxidants and low in calories.
  • Kiwi – like bananas, kiwi fruit is a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
  • Strawberries – strawberries offer great benefits, like fiber and have a high-water content – just make sure you remove the stems before giving them to your dog.
  • Raspberries – contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries contain small amounts of xylitol however, so keep snacking to just a few per day.

Your canine companion can consume these fruits with caution:

  • Apples – never give your dog an apple unless the seeds and the core have been removed. Make sure the pieces they are receiving are chewable.
  • Oranges – oranges are quite high in natural sugars, so feed this to your dog in moderation. Watch for any seeds that may be present in the fruit; make sure they are removed before treating your pup to a piece.
  • Peaches – peach pits can cause intestinal blockages, so make sure they’re fully removed before giving them to your dog. Don’t share canned or preserved peaches with your dog as they contain high amounts of sugar. They may have also been treated with artificial sweeteners – like Xylitol – that are not good for dogs.
  • Pineapple – fresh pineapple is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense treat for your furry friend, however, caregivers should note that there is a high sugar content to pineapple. Canned and dried pineapple should be avoided as there may be added sugar. Never feed the outer skin or the tough central core of the pineapple to your dog, as both can cause intestinal blockages. The high acid content in pineapple may also wear down a dog’s tooth enamel and speed up tooth decay.
  • Watermelon – mostly made of water, the pink fruit of watermelon is also filled with fiber and healthy nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, A and B6, but eating too much may cause an upset stomach. Be sure to remove any seeds before feeding watermelon to your pupper as seeds could cause an intestinal blockage. Never let your dog eat the rind (the outer skin) as it can cause gastrointestinal issues and trigger vomiting or diarrhea.

Dogs should steer clear of:

  • Lemons – dogs don’t like sour or bitter tastes, so it’s best to refrain from giving this fruit to them.
  • Avocados – the presence of persin, a toxin in avocados, can cause stomach upset in some dogs. An avocado pit can also cause an obstruction, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
  • Cherries – the pits, stems and leaves of cherries all contain cyanide, which is toxic and can cause poisoning in dogs if consumed in large quantities. Even if you’ve removed the pit, cherries can lead to gastrointestinal upset in dogs. And maraschino cherries are also a big no, as they have been sweetened with tons of sugar.
  • Grapes and raisins – dogs should avoid eating grapes and raisins as they contain an unidentified toxin which is dangerous to dogs; the unidentified toxin can cause kidney failure.

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