What Fruits Can Dogs Eat? (A Look Into 21 Common Fruits)
September 17th, 2020
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Fruits are naturally packed with a ton of nutrients and vitamin C. But are they all safe for dogs to eat?
This is a common question for those looking to feed their dogs different fruits, either as part of a meal or as a treat!
In this article, we’ll go fruit by fruit and discuss which ones are safe for dogs to eat, and which you might want to avoid.
First off, it should be said that most fruits have quite a high natural sugar content. If your dog suffers from diabetes, it’s advisable not to give your dog fruits.
Also, fruits shouldn’t make up a large portion of your dog’s daily diet. We recommend that they really only be used as a treat.
And as always, a responsible dog owner should keep an eye on their furry friend when they try new foods, as some dogs can respond negatively and have stomach upset. Be sure to only give small amounts of a new food to start!
Safe Fruits For Dogs (And Why)
Let’s start our list off with some safe, healthy fruits for dogs.
Apples seem to be the most popular among fruits that dogs can eat. They’re a great source of vitamin C, fiber, phosphorus, and calcium.
It’s also super satisfying to listen to your dog crunch on apple slices!
When feeding your dog apples, make sure you remove the seeds as they contain cyanide, which is not good for anyone, let alone our dogs.
You should also wash the apple or peel it, to get rid of any lingering traces of pesticides.
Then, simply slice and dice it up into appropriate sizes for your dog!
Bananas are another great source of fiber, potassium, vitamins and biotin, despite their high sugar content. Your dog might fall in love with them, but be careful not to overfeed them!
Just as for humans, dogs shouldn’t eat the banana skin. This can cause digestive blockages.
As a general rule of thumb, prefer not to give the skin of many fruits due to possible pesticides.
Blackberries have antioxidants, omega 3s, tannin, fiber, polyphenols, manganese, and folate, all of which are good for your dog.
They’re also high in vitamins A, C, K, and E, so they make for a great treat. Next time, sprinkle a couple fresh blackberries into your dog’s food bowl!
Blueberries are excellent for dogs in moderation. Classified as a “superfood” for humans, they may well be a superfood for dogs well.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, vitamin C, and phytochemicals–compounds produced by plants believed to protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer.
An extra added benefit is that they’re easy to prepare–no slicing necessary. Definitely still ensure that you wash them thoroughly.
Also, for smaller dogs, make sure they don’t choke while eating blueberries.
Cranberries are another great fruit for dogs, as they contain vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. They can also help fight against urinary tract infections.
Doggy reaction to cranberries seem to be pretty mixed–some dogs don’t like their dry texture. You’ll never know until you try!
Even if your dog happens to love cranberries, stick to feeding them in moderation.
Though there is some confusion whether a cucumber is a fruit or a veggie, the truth is that it’s a fruit because it develops from the flower and has seeds.
Anyways, cucumbers are great for dogs because of all the potassium, biotin, magnesium, and vitamins K, C, and B1.
Cucumbers are also around 95 percent water, making this a great low calorie crunchy treat for your dog.
Like all the others, do make sure not to overfeed cucumbers, and slice it up into suitable sized chunks so your dog doesn’t choke on them.
While the citrus-y orange is safe and healthy for dogs to consume, it may be too pungent and even too sour for your dog.
But if your dog enjoys them, you can’t ignore the copious amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber in the fruit.
Make sure you fully remove the peel and any seeds if you want to give your dog pieces of orange.
Mangoes are my personal favorite fruit, and I’m glad to say they’re safe for dogs to eat too!
Along with vitamins A, B6, C, and E, mangoes are high in fiber. They are also quite sweet, so be sure to only feed in moderation.
Don’t let your dog anywhere near a mango pit, due to the same cyanide concerns as with other fruits. Also, while dogs can probably eat the mango skin, it can be quite hard to digest. We suggest peeling it off entirely before feeding it to your dog.
Peaches are another great source of fiber and vitamin A. Like many other fruits, the pit is the only troublesome part–don’t feed it to your dog.
A couple slices of cold (or even frozen) peaches make an excellent snack on a hot day!
As with pears, peaches commonly come in canned varieties, but you should avoid those because of all the extra syrup.
Pears contain loads of fiber, copper, and vitamins A, C, and K. It makes for another healthy, scrumptious treat for dogs.
As with apples, refrain from letting your dog eat the pit and seeds because of cyanide. And be sure to wash thoroughly and cut into small enough pieces.
Also, don’t feed your dog canned pears. Canned fruits in general are swimming in syrup and the extra sugar content isn’t good for them.
Pineapple can be another great summer treat for your dog as long as it’s given in small portions, since they’re quite high in sugar content.
Pineapples contain many nutrients like folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and vitamins C and B6.
In addition, you should only give the fleshy part of the fruit, not the crown or outside peel as these can lead to digestive issues or blockages.
Pumpkin is often a key ingredient in many dog treats, and for good reason! It’s a great source of potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, iron, zinc, and vitamin A.
Unlike for many other fruits, dogs can actually eat pumpkin seeds. They can act as a natural de-wormer of intestinal parasites!
Roast or toast them for a unique source of fiber and protein, great for dogs.
Often seen growing in the same garden as blueberries are raspberries. These plump red berries are also very high in antioxidants.
Raspberries are also great because they have a lower sugar content. At the same time, they’re high on all the good stuff like fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, copper, iron, and magnesium.
However, raspberries contain trace amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that’s considered toxic for dogs. Those with raspberry bushes in their backyards, take note!
Still, your dog would have to eat a huge amount of raspberry for the xylitol to be considered fatal. Just feed your dog raspberries in moderation, and they’ll be just fine.
Strawberries are yet another awesome fruit for your dog because they’re packed with fiber, vitamin C, and lots of antioxidants.
Many say that strawberries can give your dog a number of “superpowers,” like strengthening the immune system, slowing their aging process, and even whitening their teeth.
Strawberries are one of the larger berries, so for smaller dogs, be sure to dice them up. You could also mash them into a puree.
Tomatoes are a bit controversial. A bit of tomato won’t hurt your dog, but giving them in large quantities can expose them to solanine, which is toxic for dogs.
Still, fresh ripe tomatoes contain many nutrients like lycopene, which can lower the risk of heart disease.
Just be sure to keep feed tomatoes very sparingly to your dog.
Who doesn’t love watching a dog eat a watermelon slice? This tasty fruit is 92% water and full of potassium and vitamins C, B6, and A.
As with most fruits, you need to remove the seeds. Only feed the fleshy inside part and not the outer rind.
On a hot summer day your dog will likely fall in love with watermelon. Like all the other fruits, make sure you feed in moderation!
Possibly Unsafe Fruits For Dogs (And Why)
Now let’s look at some fruits you should consider to avoid feeding your dog. Not all of these are fatal, so read through all the fine print.
A little bit of avocado is probably harmless for dogs. However, there is a fungicidal toxin called persin, which mainly resides in the seed but also seeps into part of the flesh.
Persin is quite harmful to pets, especially dogs. Again, a tiny serving of avocado is unlikely to cause much harm, but it may be safer to avoid altogether.
Another reason to stay away is the high fat content in avocados, which can trigger conditions like pancreatitis.
While coconuts aren’t toxic for dogs, they contain triglycerides which can cause bloating and discomfort.
Some dogs may not be able to digest coconut meat properly, so try very small pieces first.
For a safer alternative, try coconut oil, which has been touted by many dog owners recently. They cite its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, which can help boost the immune system and digestive system.
Stay away from cherries, since their pits, stems, and leaves are full of cyanide. Technically, if you remove the pit then they are safe for dogs, but even then only feed in very small quantities.
A note on maraschino cherries: even though they have the pits already removed, they contain lots of extra sugar and are thus unhealthy for dogs.
While figs are technically safe, they’re known to cause allergic reactions in many dogs, so you might choose not to take your chances with them.
Also, figs are extremely high in fiber, which can sound like a good thing, but can cause diarrhea and vomiting even in small quantities.
Figs also contain fucosin and ficin, which are irritants to some dogs.
Grapes look harmless enough, but they contain an unknown toxic substance that can make a dog seriously ill. Even a small to moderate amount of grapes or raisins can cause acute kidney failure.
Be wary of various fruit or berry mixes that you pick up at the store, and make sure your dogs don’t get close to the grapes. Avoid this one completely.
Seeds & Pits
We’ve belabored this point multiple times throughout the article, but a final word on seeds and pits–as a general rule, do not feed them to your dogs!
Large pits can cause choking hazards and are usually full of cyanide, a toxic substance for dogs.
Even if seeds seem relatively small and harmless (like apple seeds), even those can contain a significant amount of cyanide, so keep your dogs away from them.
In this article, we’ve covered a list of the most common fruits and dissected whether they’re safe or possibly unsafe for your dog to eat.
If you’re not sure about a fruit, better be safe and sorry and consult this list or multiple others online to educate yourself first!
Remember: in general, always start with small quantities first whenever you introduce a new food to your dog, whether they be fruits, vegetables, meats, or dog food.
Should you notice your dog acting all out of sorts after trying a new food, give your vet a call ASAP.
And the other key thing is moderation, moderation, moderation. This will let your dog reap all the benefits without getting too much of the negatives, such as the high sugar content levels of most fruits.
Have we missed your favorite fruit from the list? Let us know and we’ll update this article!