Which Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

June 30, 2020
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Dogs are omnivorous, which means that they require a combination of animal and plant material to have a healthy, balanced diet.

Dogs 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.

Before feeding your dog any fruit, check out this list to see which fruits are safe, and be sure to ask your veterinarian if your pet has any pre-existing conditions. Dogs dealing with obesity, diabetes, bladder stones, and other conditions should not be fed fruit without consulting your veterinarian first.

So, if there are no pre-existing conditions, can dogs eat blueberries or strawberries? Can dogs eat watermelon? Are bananas poisonous for dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?

Yes, dogs can eat blueberries.

Blueberries are low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (chemical compounds in plants that have been found to help fight cancer in humans). Blueberries have been shown to improve night vision, help prevent cell damage, and help with mental function in aging animals.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?

Yes, dogs can eat strawberries.

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 can be mashed or pureed for smaller dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

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.

Are Bananas Poisonous for Dogs?

No, bananas are not poisonous for dogs. 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.

Can Dogs Eat Other Berries?

Yes, dogs can eat raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries, in moderation.

Berries are packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals while low in sugar and calories.

Blackberries and raspberries do contain small amounts of naturally occurring xylitol. This is a sweetener that is used in a lot of low-sugar foods and is very toxic to dogs in large-enough amounts. For this reason, blackberries, and especially raspberries, should only be given in small amounts.

Never feed your dog wild berries, as they can be easily misidentified, and many are toxic to dogs.

Other Fruits That Are Safe for Dogs

These fruits are okay for your dog to eat, in moderation, as long as you remove any seeds, pits, or cores.

  • Apples (remove seeds and core)

  • Cucumbers

  • Oranges (can cause some gastrointestinal upset if too much is eaten)

  • Mango (remove skin and pit)

  • Peaches (avoid the pits)

  • Pears

  • Pineapple

Fruits That Can Be Unsafe for 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 dogs gastrointestinal (GI) upset.

Fruits That Are Not Safe for Dogs

Avoid giving your dog these fruits, which are toxic for dogs.

  • Cherries

  • Grapes/raisins/currants

  • Wild berries

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.

How to Safely Prepare Fruit for Your Dog

As with all produce, fruit should be washed thoroughly before being fed to your dog. All of the fruits listed as safe can be given fresh or frozen. Canned fruit in syrup should never be given due to the high sugar content.

Pieces of fruit can be given as individual treats or added to your dog’s meals. As with any treat, fruit can cause a choking hazard for small dogs, so please 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 “stomachs of steel” 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 out slow 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 listed above, stop feeding your dog any fruit and call your veterinarian.

Which Other Foods Are Safe for Dogs?

Your dog can also enjoy these foods safely:

  • Asparagus

  • Bell peppers

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cantaloupe

  • Carrots

  • Celery

  • 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)

  • Peas

  • Pumpkin (canned plain pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix)

  • Rice (plain rice)

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Zucchini

Which Foods Are Not Safe for Dogs?

Do not give your dog these foods:

Resources:

  1. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/fruits-vegetables-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/

  2. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/

  3. https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=6137821

  4. https://trupanion.com/pet-care/fruits-and-veggies-for-pets

  5. https://www.hillspet.com/pet-care/nutrition-feeding/can-dogs-and-cats-eat-fruit

  6. https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/12/does-an-apple-a-day-keep-the-vet-away-harmful-vs-healthy-foods-for-pets/

  7. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/people-foods-avoid-feeding-your-pets

Featured Image: iStock.com/Bratislav Stefanovic