Fruits are a great low calorie sweet treat for your dog. They can help add some vital vitamins and fiber to your pet’s diet. On top of vitamins and minerals, fruits also contain a lot of water.
The reason why you get all messy when you eat a watermelon is mostly because you’re a slob, but also due to the fact that watermelon is actually 91% water.
Seriously, a watermelon is just 9% watermelon.
So fruits are ideal snacks on those hot summer days. Not only will your dog thank you for the cool, sweet treat, but they’ll also help keep him hydrated.
Many fruits have some type of skin or rind protecting the yummy stuff within. For fruits like apples or pears, the skin is thin enough that your dog will be able to digest it.
Other fruits, like oranges or watermelons, have thick rinds that cannot be broken down effectively by your dog’s digestive system. So remove the thicker skins from fruits.
Also, just as you would for yourself, wash those fruits that have thin skins if you are going to feed them to your dog.
Now let’s take a look at our staple fruit, the apple.
This fruit is a shining star and can be greatly beneficial for your dog. Apple skin contains a type of fiber known as pectin which can help make your pup a bit more regular.
They also contain lots of good antioxidants and high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
You can feed your dog apples to help fight the plaque buildup on their teeth as well. The solid crunchy texture acts as a tasty toothbrush.
However, do not allow your dog to eat the core of the apple, as the seeds within contain cyanide.
Cyanide is a deadly poison when ingested in toxic amounts.
Here’s a fun fact for you:
Hitler’s wife, Eva, killed herself with a cyanide pill.
So if you don’t want Fido to go out like Hitler’s lover, don’t let him eat the core of an apple.
(You’re going to be really fun at parties with all the fun facts I’ve taught you.)
As a general rule, don’t let your dog eat any seeds or pits from fruits.
Most will contain cyanide or other harmful chemicals, and some pits are more dangerous than others. Their sheer size can also be harmful to your dog, as they can become lodged in their intestines.
Pits from avocados, peaches and plums are a huge no-no based on their size alone. They also contain some nasty chemicals.
So play it safe and remove pits and seeds of edible fruits.
At the top of the “never, ever feed your dog these things you fool” list, we have grapes and raisins.
Obviously, raisins are the shriveled up remains of grapes that have cried out all their tears because they realized their dreams were dead.
No one is completely sure what it is within grapes that cause such a high level of toxicity in dogs, but it is well documented that some dogs that ingest them can experience kidney failure and even death.
Yes, death by grape has actually happened.
Here is a comprehensive guide of safe and unsafe fruits for your dog:
What Fruits are Toxic to Dogs?
Never feed your dog these fruits:
- Apple cores. Apple cores contain seeds and those seeds contain cyanide. Cyanide is a deadly toxin that can inhibit individual cells from respiring and even cause death.
- Figs. Do not give your dog figs. Figs contain ficin and psoralen which are harmful to your dog. If these compounds are ingested, they can cause oral irritation, salivation, and vomiting. If they even touch your dog’s skin, they can cause dermatitis.
- Grapefruit. Do not feed your dog grapefruit. Grapefruits and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Grapes and Raisins. Never feed your dog grapes or raisins. Why can’t dogs eat grapes or raisins? No one is sure which compound within grapes/raisins is so deadly to dogs. Whatever is affecting them can cause kidney failure and death.
- Lemons. Do not feed your dog lemons. Lemons and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Limes. Do not feed your dog limes. Limes and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Orange peels. Avoid feeding your dog orange peels. Orange peels can technically be eaten, but why? They are difficult for your dog to digest and could cause gastric upset or intestinal blockage.
- Oranges. Do not feed your dog oranges. Oranges and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Mandarin oranges. Do not feed your dog mandarin oranges. Mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Tangerines. Do not feed your dog tangerines. Tangerines and other citrus fruits are acidic and contain a compound known as psoralen. The high acidity will upset your dog’s stomach, and the psoralen can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. Long term exposure can lead to liver failure and death.
- Watermelon rind. Do not feed your dog the watermelon rind, however the fruit is great for them. Watermelon skin is a thick, dense skin. Your dog is unable to digest such a dense material, and you might risk intestinal blockage if your dog consumes it.
Fruits to Avoid for Dogs
It’s ok to feed your dog these fruits in a pinch, but don’t make a habit out of it.
- Cherries. Dogs can eat cherries in moderation and without the stem, leaves, and pit. Your dog can technically eat cherries when prepared properly, but practice moderation. A moderate amount of cherries contain Vitamin A and antioxidants. They’ve been shown to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, reduce arthritis pain, and help prevent cancer. Any stems, leaves, and pits need to be removed before giving your dog a cherry. Cherry pits contain cyanide. However, they are not an ideal choice for your pet and require a lot of unnecessary preparation. You’d be better off feeding your dog blueberries.
- Cranberries. Dried cranberries. Dogs can eat dried cranberries, they are not toxic, but may cause some gastric upset. Dried cranberries can be eaten, but you risk your dog consuming added preservatives if they are commercially prepared. Dogs have trouble digesting raw cranberries, and they really have no nutritional need for them. If you’re thinking of giving your dog cranberries for a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’re better off giving them cranberry juice. If you have the choice, don’t feed your dog cranberries.
- Prunes. Can dogs eat prunes for constipation? No – it’s not recommended to feed dogs prunes as a cure for constipation, but dogs can consume prunes (without the pit). Prunes contain a lot of fiber and are often used by humans to aid with constipation. In dogs, however, eating prunes may cause diarrhea due to the high amount of fiber. If your dog is constipated, be patient. If they remain constipated for a long time or behave in a manner different from normal, it would be best to call your vet.
Safe Fruits for Dogs
- Apples. You can feed your dog apples, but not the seeds. Apples are a great treat because they contain calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and pectin. These vitamins and minerals may help dogs with hip dysplasia or those with heart problems. Apples can improve coat and skin condition, leaving your pup with a glossy finish. Apples also help remove the plaque from your dog’s teeth. We highly recommend feeding your dog apples as an occasional treat. However, never allow your dog to eat the seeds, as they contain cyanide. Because you asked: Your dog can eat green apples. Dogs can eat red apples. Dogs can eat yellow apples. Your dog can eat pink apples…
- Apple skin. Dogs can consume apple skin. Because it is so thin, it can easily be digested by your dog. If you plan on feeding your dog an apple with the skin, make sure you wash it first to remove any excess dirt and/or chemicals.
- Apricots. Dried apricots. Dogs can consume apricots and dried apricots as an occasional treat. They should never consume the pit. Apricots contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that make them a healthy treat for your dog. Apricot pits contain cyanide and are large enough to get lodged in your pet’s intestines. Dried apricots contain potassium and beta carotene, among other nutrients. These nutrients can help fight against cancer, and the fiber in apricots may help digestion. Don’t feed your dog any dried fruit that has added sugar.
- Bananas. You can feed dogs bananas as an occasional treat. Bananas contain fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and potassium. Combined with antioxidants, the vitamins and minerals can lead to healthy skin and a healthy coat. They also help your dog’s immune system and can provide a swift increase in energy levels. Bananas can even help dogs with bowel problems. Too much potassium, however, could lead to heart problems, so practice banana moderation. Also, this 🙂
- Blueberries. Blueberries are a great treat for your dog. Blueberries can help fight cancer and other canine chronic diseases, as well as preserve your dog’s cognitive function as they age. Research suggests blueberries help keep your dog’s blood sugar regulated which helps their heart. We highly recommend feeding your dog blueberries as an occasional treat, but too many blueberries can cause diarrhea.
- Coconut. Coconut in almost all shapes and forms is good for your dog. Coconut water is a great source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, B vitamins, and Vitamin C. It can be used to help stave off diarrhea. Coconut meat contains a lot of fat, so don’t feed your dog too much. Dogs can eat coconut as an occasional treat but not too much. Coconut used for baking is usually sweet, so it would be inadvisable to feed your dog this form of coconut.
- Dates. Dogs can consume dates, but the pits must be removed and they should not eat too much. Dates are high in fiber, iron, and magnesium. But dates are also extremely high in sugar. The high amounts of sugar can cause your dog some gastric upset if they have too many.
- Honeydew Melon. Dogs can eat honeydew. Honeydew contains high levels of potassium and essential vitamins, which can help dogs with bowel problems. Remove the seeds and rind before feeding honeydew to your dog and only feed as an occasional treat. Too much honeydew can cause diarrhea.
- Kiwi (but not the skin). Kiwis are good for your pet’s eyes, heart, and skin. Kiwis contain lots of antioxidants and Vitamin C which can help prevent respiratory diseases. They also contain anti-cancer compounds known as flavonoids and carotenoids. You can feed your dog kiwi but only as an occasional treat. Of course, make sure you remove the skin first before feeding it to your dog.
- Kumquats. Dogs can eat kumquats, but not the skin. Practice moderation. Kumquats contain a lot of magnesium that may cause your dog some gastric upset, but can be eaten. Don’t allow your dog to eat the skin, as the oils within can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach.
- Mango. Dried Mango. In moderation. Do not feed your dog the skin or the seed. Mangoes are good sources of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and pectin (fiber). Some research suggests mangoes can help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol. They can also help overall eye health. You can feed your dog mangoes as an occasional treat. Do not feed your dog the skin or the seed. The skin will be difficult to digest and the seed contains cyanide. The seed is also large enough to cause a blockage in the intestines. Dogs can eat dried mangoes, but be sure there’s no excess sugar. A lot of commercially produced mangoes contain excess sugar. It would be best if you dehydrated them yourself!
- Melon. You can feed your dog melon. Melons are a great source of vitamins and mineral and also contain lots of water. We highly recommend feeding your dog melon, but only as an occasional treat. Also, be sure to remove any seeds or rinds, as they can cause intestinal blockages. Too much melon can give your dog loose stools as well.
- Nectarines. You can feed your dog nectarines, but never with the pit. Nectarines contain high levels of fiber and Vitamin A, which can not only help with bowel movements, but possibly even help them fight infections and cancer. The nectarine pit contains cyanide and must not be consumed. The pit is also large enough for some dogs to experience an intestinal blockage from it.
- Pears. Your dog can most certainly eat pears, but not the seeds or core (unless you remove the seeds). Pears contain fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. They also contain antioxidants, which can help prevent some diseases and cancer. The fiber within can even help lower cholesterol. The seeds contain cyanide and cannot be consumed by your dog.
- Peaches. You can feed your dog peaches, but never with the pit. Peaches contain high levels of fiber and Vitamin A, which can not only help with bowel movements, but possibly even help them fight infections and cancer. However, the pit contains cyanide and must not be consumed. The pit is also large enough for some dogs to experience an intestinal blockage from it.
- Pineapple. Pineapples contain a lot of fiber and are high in vitamins and minerals. Feeding your dog pineapple could help boost their immune system and improve digestion. They also contain bromelain which dogs use to absorb protein. Some vets recommend pineapple to dogs who eat their own poo. Because of the high sugar content, we recommend only feeding your dog pineapple as an occasional treat, or if it’s suggested by your veterinarian.
- Pumpkin. Dogs most certainly can eat pumpkin. However, be careful if you’re feeding your dog canned pumpkin and be sure to avoid added sugars. Pumpkin contains high amounts of fiber and water which helps constipated dogs obtain some relief and also helps regulate diarrhea. The oil in pumpkins help support urinary health and the seeds are packed with antioxidants. They are a good source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron. The nutrients within pumpkin can help prevent cancer.
- Strawberries. You can feed your dog strawberries as an occasional treat. Strawberries contain high amounts of antioxidants which aid in the prevention of cancer and certain infectious diseases. The fiber content in strawberries aids in digestion. There are anti-inflammatory compounds within the fruit that can also help dogs with arthritis. Strawberries contain an enzyme that actually whitens your dog’s teeth and the high level of Vitamin C boosts your dog’s immune system.
- Watermelon. Dogs can eat watermelon, but not the rind (skin), and limit the seeds. Watermelon contains Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and lots of water. They help boost your dog’s immune system and also help to keep them hydrated. We highly recommend you feed your dog watermelon as an occasional treat because too much watermelon can cause diarrhea. Also, remove the seed and rind before feeding watermelon to your dog.