Which fruit is best for dogs?
Which Fruits Can Dogs Eat?
Dogs are omnivorous, which means that they can digest both animal and plant materials.
They can eat some fruits, but other fruits are toxic to dogs, such as grapes and raisins. Due to the balanced nature of high-quality, nutritionally complete commercial diets, it’s not necessary to supplement your dog’s diet with fruits, but it can be fun to use them as treats.
Check out this list to see which fruits are safe, and be sure to ask your veterinarian before supplementing your pet’s diet. Dogs dealing with obesity, diabetes, bladder stones, and other conditions should not be fed fruit without consulting your veterinarian first.
Here are some dog-friendly fruits and what to watch for, plus some fruits you should never feed your dog.
Most dogs love apples! They are safe and healthy for dogs to eat and contain many nutritional benefits like vitamins A and C, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Apples are also low in calories, and the crunchiness of an apple can help promote dental health.
Be sure to always remove the stem, leaves, core, and seeds, and to cut the apple into small pieces to avoid potential choking or intestinal blockages.
Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs, but it would take a huge number of seeds to cause cyanide poisoning—about 100 apples’ worth for a small dog, 200 for a medium-sized dog, and 300 for a large dog. If your dog eats a small amount of apple seeds, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Although dogs can eat bananas, they should not be given banana peels, as these are difficult to digest and could cause intestinal blockage.
Bananas are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. However, they are also higher in sugar than many other fruits, so they should be given sparingly. They should be cut into small, bite-size pieces.
Blackberries and Raspberries
Berries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are chemical compounds in plants that have been found to help fight cancer in humans. They are also low in sugar and calories.
Blackberries and raspberries, however, also contain small amounts of naturally occurring xylitol. This is a sweetener that is used in a lot of low-sugar foods. It’s very toxic to dogs in large amounts, but your dog would have to eat a lot of berries to cause hypoglycemia, and a huge amount for it to be lethal. A small handful a day should be the limit.
Blueberries are low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Blueberries have been shown to improve night vision, help prevent cell damage, and help with mental function in aging animals.
Cantaloupe is healthy and nutritious for dogs to eat. It’s high in fiber and low in calories. It also contains numerous vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Cantaloupe is also 90% water, so it’s great for hydration.
Just watch out for the high sugar content—especially if your dog struggles with diabetes or obesity. And always remove the rind and seeds before feeding cantaloupe to your dog.
Cranberries are a great snack for dogs. They are not only safe, but they are considered a superfood for both humans and dogs. Cranberries are high in fiber and antioxidants, and they contain vitamins C, E, K, B1, and B2, plus manganese and copper.
If you’re wondering whether cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infections, we don’t have the research yet to back up this claim. In reality, your dog probably won’t consume enough cranberries to see this benefit even if it is proven to be true.
Dried cranberries are a safe treat for pups, too. Just be aware that the amount of sugar per ounce is more concentrated when a fruit is dehydrated. Store-bought dried cranberries often have added sugars, preservatives, or even xylitol—which is toxic to dogs. So it’s best to dry them with a dehydrator at home.
Honeydew is safe and healthy for dogs to eat. It contains vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and it’s low in calories. And much like cantaloupe and watermelon, honeydew contains a high percentage of water—making it great for hydration.
Always remove the rind and seeds before feeding honeydew to your dog to avoid any potential choking hazards or intestinal blockages.
Mangoes are also high in sugar and should only be fed to dogs in moderation. However, they are high in many nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Be sure to remove the mango seed, and cut it into small pieces when feeding it to your dog.
Oranges are a safe and healthy treat for dogs to eat. They are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And while most dogs love the sweet taste, some dogs don’t like the acidity of citrus fruits.
Oranges are not a good choice for dogs who struggle with obesity or diabetes because of the high sugar content. And eating too many oranges can give any dog an upset stomach from the high acidity and sugar levels. So be sure to feed them as a treat in small portions.
Yes, peaches are a great snack for dogs—in moderation. They are filled with great health benefits like high fiber, low calories, and low fat. Plus, peaches contain antioxidants and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
However, peaches also have high sugar content, and you need to remove the stem, leaves, and pit before feeding peach pieces to your dog. The peach pit—or stone—can be a dangerous choking hazard, or even cause an intestinal blockage.
Dogs can safely eat pears. They contain health benefits like fiber, copper, vitamin C, and vitamin K. But before you feed any pears to your pup, remove the stem, leaves, pit, and seeds. Any of these could become choking hazards, and the seeds in pears contain traces of cyanide—just like apple seeds.
It’s best to stick with fresh pears and avoid canned pears because they contain so much more sugar.
Pineapples are good for hydration, antioxidants, and numerous vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, manganese, copper, and vitamin B6. This fruit is great for supporting your dog’s immune and digestive systems. Some dogs may not like pineapples because of the strong acidity.
Keep in mind that the high sugar content and acidity in large amounts can upset your dog’s stomach. Plus, large amounts of sugar over time can lead to health issues like obesity or diabetes in dogs.
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Strawberries can also help strengthen the immune system. They should be cut into small pieces to avoid choking, and they can be mashed or pureed for smaller dogs.
Yes, dogs can eat watermelon, but the watermelon rinds and seeds (even the pale seeds in seedless watermelons) should be removed before giving the fruit to your dog, as they can cause choking or intestinal blockage.
Watermelon is 92% water, so it’s a great treat for hot days. It can help keep your dog hydrated and is refreshing when frozen. Watermelon is also a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium.
Fruits That You Should Be Careful About Feeding to Dogs
These fruits fall into a gray area, and it might be best to avoid giving them to your dog.
- Avocado: Although the actual pulp is not toxic to dogs, the pit can cause intestinal blockage, and the high fat content can cause some dogs to have pancreatitis or stomach upset, even from just a small amount.
- Tomatoes: The ripe fruit is not toxic to dogs, but eating too much can cause stomach upset. Eating parts of a tomato plant itself can also cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset.
Fruits That Are Toxic to Dogs
These fruits are toxic to dogs and should never be offered to them as a snack.
- Grapes/raisins: Never feed grapes or raisins to your dog, just to be on the safe side. They may be toxic to some dogs, even in small amounts. But there is no way of knowing how your dog will react. If your dog has eaten any grapes or raisins, contact your veterinarian immediately and take them to the vet’s office or an emergency vet. Time is of the essence when it comes to treatment for grape toxicity.
- Wild berries: Never feed your dog wild berries, as they can be easily misidentified, and many are toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Fruit Snacks?
No, dogs should not eat fruit snacks. While fruit snacks are not considered toxic to dogs, they are very high in sugar, so they should be avoided.
How to Add Fruit to Your Dog’s Diet
Here are some tips for adding a little dog-safe fruit to your dog’s diet.
How Much Fruit Can a Dog Have?
Treats should take up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet. This also applies to fruit. If you are giving your dog fruit in addition to other dog treats, make sure that you adjust the amount of treats given so that you do not exceed this 10% recommendation.
Even if a fruit isn’t toxic to dogs, too much of anything can give them an upset stomach. Keep an eye out for the typical symptoms of an upset stomach:
- Decreased appetite or loss of appetite
- Acting depressed
- Looking uncomfortable
- Gulping or licking their lips, the air, or objects
How to Safely Prepare Fruit for Your Dog
Fruit should be washed thoroughly before being fed to your dog. Remove any leaves, stems, seeds, pits, or rinds. Cut the fruit into small pieces and give them a small amount. Canned fruit in syrup should never be given due to the high sugar content.
Pieces of fruit can be given as individual treats or mashed up and added to your dog’s meals. Fruit can cause a choking hazard for small dogs, so always monitor your dog while they are eating.
Watch for Gas, Vomiting, or Diarrhea
Some dogs are more sensitive than others and may have flatulence (gas), vomiting, and/or diarrhea if given fruit. Even dogs with strong stomachs can end up with GI upset like vomiting and diarrhea if given too much fruit, due to its high fiber content.
If you want to safely give your dog fruit as a snack, start slowly and watch for any signs of GI upset before making it a regular treat.
If you do notice any of the signs of GI upset, stop feeding your dog any fruit and call your veterinarian.
Which Other Foods Are Safe for Dogs?
Your dog can also safely enjoy these foods:
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Peanut butter (give sparingly and avoid peanut butter with xylitol, which is toxic to dogs; usually found in “no sugar” or “low sugar” peanut butter)
- Pumpkin (canned plain pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix)
- Plain rice
- Sweet potatoes
Which Foods Are Not Safe for Dogs?
Do not give your dog these foods:
- Bread dough
- Citrus peels/oil
- Macadamia nuts
- Raw/undercooked meat, eggs, and bones
- Salty food
- Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
Featured Image: iStock.com/Bratislav Stefanovic
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10 Fruits Dogs Can and Can’t Eat
Wondering which fruits are good for dogs? Let’s explore a few options for the best fruits for dogs and also find out their benefits. Having mentioned that, it is also important to understand that not all fruits are good for dogs. Some fruits are a strict NO and a pet parent should ensure that their dog avoids these fruits at all times.
Here is a list of fruits for dogs, the ones they can and can’t eat and the reasons why!
What fruits can dogs eat?
1) Apple: Apple is among the best fruits for dogs as they are rich in vitamins and soluble dietary fibre. Adding this fruit to your dog’s diet will be an excellent way to keep their teeth and breath clean. And since they are crunchy, many dogs may take a liking to it. However, if your dog seems to be a fussy fruit eater, you can always buy organic freeze-dried fruit treats that are a great source of all the nutrients mentioned above. Organic fruit treats are also a good alternative as they do not contain any preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
2) Banana: When you are searching for fruits for puppies, bananas can be a great option. Potassium in bananas helps strengthen the bones and aids in better calcium absorption. It is also rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C which are essential nutrients for general health and vitality. Since bananas contain high amounts of natural sugars, you might want to limit your dog’s consumption of this fruit. Half a banana once in a while is a good portion for adult dogs. Smaller dogs can be given even smaller portions. There are training treats made of bananas which can also be an option apart from the fruit. Some dogs may prefer a crunchier version and these treats can be more appealing to them.
3) Blueberries: As we all know, they are very rich in antioxidants and also prevent damage or degeneration to the cells. You can use frozen or the real fruit as treats during training sessions too. Blueberries are a great option but should again be fed in moderation. Fruits should only be a part of 10% of your dog’s daily diet. Dogs need more protein and fat, especially during the growing years and less fruits and vegetables in their daily diet.
4) Mango: Mango is a good fruit for dogs but the moderation rule applies to this fruit too. Mangoes contain Vitamin A, C, E and B6 and are rich in dietary fibre, potassium and beta-carotene. Mangoes are also known to decrease inflammation and improve gut health. The mango should be peeled and deseeded before you serve it to your pet pooch. You can feed mangoes in moderation to puppies too.
5) Pear: Pears are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, copper (helps body absorb iron aiding in red blood cell function. The high amount of dietary fibre enables the digestive system to function properly. However, you should avoid canned pears in sugar syrup due to the high amount of sugar they contain.
6) Watermelon: Another great fruit for the summer, watermelon is rich in fibre, vitamins and has a good amount of water which will keep your pooch hydrated. When given in moderation, it can be a good summer treat. Make sure to separate the seeds as watermelon seeds are known to cause intestinal blockage.
Can dogs eat dried fruits?
Though dried and frozen fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, it should still be served in moderation. Some store bought dried fruits may contain artificial sweeteners which should be avoided at all costs. Try organic dried fruit treats which can be a great option especially as a reward during training sessions. These organic freeze-dried fruits are made of just a single fruit ingredient without any other additives. It’s the safest option for fresh fruits, not just for our canine companions but us too.
What fruits can’t dogs eat?
1) Grapes: Grapes are a definite NO when it comes to fruits for dogs! Even raisins are hazardous to a dog’s health. This fruit is known to cause kidney failure in dogs, hence it can be fatal. If a situation arises where your dog has eaten grapes and is having trouble breathing, you should immediately take them to the nearest vet.
2) Avocado: When it comes to fruits for puppies, avocados can cause diarrhea and vomiting and can also be toxic. It contains a toxin called persin which is a fatty acid and which is believed to be poisonous to birds and large animals. Though it is generally not harmful to dogs and cats when served in very small quantities, it still is not advisable.
3) Tomato: Though ripe tomatoes are eaten by pets, it is advisable to avoid the greener and unripe tomatoes as they contain a substance called Solanine. The leaves and stems of a tomato plant contain this toxic substance and the young green tomatoes contain them too. Therefore, try to avoid tomatoes to be on the safer side.
4) Cherries: Did you know that the stems, leaves and the pits of the cherry plant contain cyanide, a highly toxic and dangerous substance. Though one or two cherries is known to cause no harm to animals , it should still be avoided as the more cherries dogs eat, the higher the risk of poisoning. Cherries can also be potential choking hazards or can also be lodged in the intestine.
These were some fruits for dogs that can either be beneficial or potentially harmful to your pet pooches. If you are unsure of feeding fruits to dogs or find it just too messy, you can use fruit treats and other freeze-dried dog treats ( learn about their benefits here ). Choose a brand that is trustworthy and that doesn’t use too many chemicals and preservatives in these treats. The idea is to find the best source of vitamins and antioxidants to keep our furry babies healthy.