As most dog parents already know, it’s not uncommon to want to spoil your pooch by sharing table scraps or your favorite snack here and there. And what better treat than fruit? Fruit for instance, is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, and is good for us. So it only makes sense that they would be great for dogs to eat, right? Not necessarily. While many fruits are perfectly safe for dogs, some are very unhealthy and can even be life-threatening. So it is critical for you to learn which fruits dogs can eat. Dogs digest foods differently than us humans and eating the wrong foods can be downright dangerous. As omnivores, canines have no real need for fruits and vegetables as a key part of their diet but the occasional fruit as treat is A-OK.
Why Feed Fruit to Dogs?
There are many fruits safe for dogs to eat and some fruits are superfoods and help fight cancer, while some fruits are toxic for dogs to eat. For example, dogs cannot eat avocados, grapes, or the pits in cherries and plums.
When fed properly, there are plenty of fruits safe for dogs that can help strengthen their immune system, improve skin & coat health, reduce inflammation, and help aid in digestion. Plus, many fruits have high water content, making them an extra refreshing treat that helps keep your dog hydrated during the summer.
With this in mind, we’ve picked out 7 of the best fruits you can feed your dog to ensure they have plenty of energy to power through playtime this summer!
As always, speak with your trusted veterinarian before feeding any new treats, including any fruits on this list. As a rule of thumb, treats should not make up more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.
7 Summer Fruits Safe for Dogs
This delicious summer treat is 92% water, so it’s a great way to help keep your dog hydrated on hot summer days! It’s important to remove the rind and seeds first, these can cause intestinal blockage. Watermelon flesh is safe for dogs. Watermelon is full of vitamin A, B-6 and C, as well as potassium. All of which promote healthy nerve function and strong muscles.
In moderation, bananas are a great low-cal treat for dogs. They are packed with potassium which is essential for a strong heart. Plus, they have vitamins, biotin, fiber and copper. Be aware that bananas are high in sugar… so if your dog gains weight easily then give bananas only as an occasional treat.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber but many dogs might not be fans of this strong-smelling citrus. Peel your pup an orange to help boost their skin and coat health, and flush toxin from the body for a natural detox! However, avoid feeding orange skin, the pith and seeds to your dog. These parts of an orange contain an oil that may irritate dogs.
This exotic fruit is another healthy treat for dogs! Like similar fruits, the seeds should not be ingested. Papaya seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide and can cause intestinal blockage. The rest of the papaya is an excellent source of fiber and healthy enzymes that can help improve digestive health. It also contains vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as folate, potassium and calcium, which helps with heart and immune system health.
As they say, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!” Apples are a great source of vitamins A and C, and fiber for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect treat for senior dogs. Remember to remove the seeds and core first. Be sure to try them frozen for an icy warm weather snack!
This tropical treat is packed with four different vitamins: A, B6, C and E. They also have potassium, fiber and both beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. This superfood is good for the eyes, skin and immune system. Mangoes also help with energy production, brain function and they’re high in antioxidants to help defend against cancer!
Blueberries are low in fat and calories but high in fiber! They are also a natural source of the vitamins A, C, E and K, and contain phytochemicals, which are a naturally occurring nutrient in plants linked to fighting cancer. Studies show that blueberries can help reduce the effects of brain aging for dogs. This makes blueberries a true superfood, especially for senior dogs!
Unsafe Fruits for Dogs
Remember earlier how we mentioned that there are some fruits that can be harmful to your dog’s health? Well here are some summer fruits that are toxic and can be deadly for dogs.
Cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide will disrupt the cellular transport of oxygen. This means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums. These may all be signs of cyanide poisoning.
While avocado is a healthy snack for humans, it should not be given to dogs, ever. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocadoes contains persin. Persin is a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins (dried grapes) are very toxic for dogs. Grapes are so toxic that they can lead to irreversible acute kidney failure.
The process of drying fruits like dates, figs and apricots concentrates the sugars, making them entirely too sweet for dogs. Go for a healthier option, like fresh blueberries instead!
Lemons & Limes
While oranges are not toxic to dogs, their citrus cousins: lemons and limes, are very acidic and can cause severe digestive upset if fed in large amounts. Lemons and limes are usually so sour that most dogs won’t want to eat them anyway.
Apricots, Peaches and Plums
Much like cherries: the seeds, leaves and stems of apricot plants are toxic to dogs. These plants also contain cyanide which can lead to respiratory failure and even death.
While you might have already been familiar with grapes and raisins being toxic to dogs, currants may catch you by surprise! But as it turns out, currants carry the same level of toxicity that grapes and raisins do. Currants can cause severe renal failure so even if you don’t notice symptoms right away, you should still take your dog to the veterinarian if they consume any amount of currants.
Tips for Feeding Your Dog Fruit
1. Wash and clean all fruits
Before feeding any fruits (and veggies) to your dog, be sure to wash them. Washing fruit will help rinse away any dirt and leftover chemicals.
2. Cut into small bites
Always take the time to cut the fruit into small bites, puree, or mash them into a paste to be sure that your dog can consume the fruit safely. For larger dogs, it might be okay to serve by the slice or whole berry.
3. Start out slowly
Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice: stomach upset, digestive issues, intense scratching, or an increase in water consumption. These could all be signs of a reaction.
4. Supervise your dog
As with nearly all foods and treats, there is a risk that your dog could be allergic. Before trying any of the fruits on this list, check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog can have them. If you see signs of an allergic reaction, including: difficulty breathing, sneezing, coughing, swelling, hives or other unusual symptoms, you should stop feeding your dog the fruit right away and contact your veterinarian immediately.
Feeding Fruit Daily
Can fruit be part of a dog’s daily diet?
As you can see, there are many fruits safe for dogs but like any treat you should feed these in moderation. We would suggest that you limit fruit to a few times a week since they can be high in sugar.
But there are other dog treats your pup may enjoy and suitable for every day! One example would be Prancy Pet’s Advanced Mobility Chews in Bacon Flavor. These treats are loaded with delicious ingredients and loaded with vitamins, minerals!