Summer is here, which means fresh fruit is everywhere. While fruit is a great and (relatively) healthy sweet snack for people, not all fruit is safe for dogs. To learn more about what kinds of fruit is okay to share with your dog and which fruits you should not allow your dog to eat, we connected with Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).
What Fruits Are Good for Dogs?
The fruits safest to share with your dogs are: apples, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and bananas, as Dr. Wismer advises.
Dogs are individuals with different preferences when it comes to treats, so you might need to try a few of these fruits to find one that your dog is interested in eating. Dr. Wismer cautions, “Some dogs love all kinds of fruit; others are not impressed.”
Unfortunately, no fruit is good for dogs to eat because of how high in sugar most varieties are, as Dr. Wismer explains. While fruits like pears and pineapple do provide nutrients to dogs, Dr. Wismer advises that fruit should only be given to your dog as an occasional treat. In other words, it should not make up a significant part of your dog’s diet.
What Fruits Are Dangerous to Dogs?
Dr. Wismer explained that you should always avoid giving your dog grapes and raisins (the dried form of grapes) because they can cause kidney damage. The reason grapes are so toxic to dogsis not entirely known, but they can destroy kidney cells and result in kidney failure.
Some people believe that peaches, nectarines and apricots (stone fruits), as well as apples, are dangerous to dogs due to the presence of cyanide. However, Dr. Wismer’s perspective was that although these fruits do contain very small amounts of cyanide in their seeds and pits, they shouldn’t be a cause for concern. She says dog parents shouldn’t panic if their dog, for example, eats an apple core. Just like for humans who swallow apple seeds, there is no risk of a dog who ate seeds or pit developing cyanide poisoning. Though, to be extra safe it’s a good idea to remove the core/pits before offering fruit to your dog because choking is always a potential concern.
How Much Fruit Should Dogs Eat?
As Dr. Wismer explains, even fruit that is nontoxic to dogs isn’t really healthy for them because of its sugar levels, and should be given in very limited quantities. She recommends feeding your dog pieces of fruit only as treats, and even then, she adds that, “calories from treats should not make up more than 10% of a dog’s diet”.
Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author. Her novels have been honored by organizations ranging from the Lambda Literary Foundation to the American Library Association. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor who lives and writes in Brooklyn with her partner, a senior Chihuahua mix, a rescued Shepherd mix and a Newfoundland puppy, along with two bossy cats and a semi-feral kitten. Learn more at www.SassafrasLowrey.com.