Can my dog eat fruit?
Like humans, dogs are omnivores, which means they can eat both meat and fruit (as well as some vegetables). In fact, a little fruit can make a nice healthy treat for your dog.
Some fruits are better for them than others, and there are even some which, although safe for humans, can be dangerous to dogs.
Here’s a guide to some of the most popular fruits and their benefits for dogs, as well as some to avoid:
Apples are a great fruit to give your dog. They are a source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre, and they are also low in protein and fat, which makes them a good snack for less active or older dogs. Apples will also help to keep your dog’s breath fresher and their teeth clean. You can even try frozen apple slices in hot weather.
You should remove the pips and core of the apple before your dog eats any – the pips do contain a very small amount of cyanide which is released when chewed, and whilst a couple of pips is unlikely to cause a problem, it’s best to make sure they are all removed.
Grapes (and raisins) are to be avoided completely. They are highly toxic, and the reaction they cause can lead to sudden severe kidney damage. If your dog has managed to eat any grapes, watch out for these symptoms and contact your vet for advice:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea within the first couple of hours after eating the grapes/raisins
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness or tiredness
If you notice any of these symptoms or have any worries, contact your vet for advice immediately.
Strawberries are a nice healthy treat for your dog. They contain plenty of fibre, as well as vitamin C, manganese, and potassium, which all help to support your dog’s immune system. They also contain an enzyme that helps with teeth whitening!
Blueberries are another fruit that is good for your dog. Popular as a superfood, these berries are full of fibre, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that help prevent cell damage in dogs and humans.
Dogs can safely eat oranges in moderation, as long as they have been peeled, as the peel can give them an upset stomach. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, fibre, and potassium, which are all great for your dog’s health.
Pears are a healthy snack for dogs, providing a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, and copper. It has been suggested that pears can even help reduce the risk of suffering a stroke. When giving your dog pear as a snack, make sure you remove the seeds – as with apples, these can also contain a very small amount of cyanide.
Pineapple makes a great treat for dogs and is perfectly safe. Containing plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, it also contains an enzyme called bromelain which helps dogs to absorb proteins. When giving your dog pineapple, always ensure its peeled and cored.
Fruit is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, due to the vitamins, minerals and fibre it contains, but it should only make up a small proportion of your dog’s daily food.
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