Our dogs love to eat human food as often as we’ll let them. While hearty proteins like steak, chicken, and even fish are no surprise to us, we would never think that fruits and vegetables would earn a position on Fido’s list of favorite things to eat. Yet dogs do love fruit, and many fruits provide tremendous health benefits for our dogs when fed in moderation and in combination with a balanced, nutritious diet.
Still, there are some fruits and vegetables which are toxic to dogs that must be avoided entirely. This fact can leave dog owners nervous about which fruits are safe for canine consumption and which are forbidden. After all, with a poisonous food, there are far more serious consequences at stake than just an upset tummy.
The Top Ten Fruit Choices for Dogs
With this in mind, we have formulated a list of the top ten fruits that are safe, healthy, and enjoyable for our dogs.
Oranges, and their citrus variants known as clementines and tangerines, are safe for dog consumption. However, many dogs are not fond of the taste of citrus fruits and tend to shy away from them. If Fido drools the minute you grab an orange from the counter, you can rest assured that sharing a bit of your snack with him will not harm him. However, it is important to limit the frequency with which you feed your dog oranges as they possess high amounts of naturally occurring sugars which can lead to gastrointestinal distress.
When it comes to dog friendly fruits, pears earn high marks from Fido and his friends. Pears are one of the most preferred fruits our dogs love to enjoy. Thankfully, pears are a fruit that are perfectly safe for Fido to consume in moderate amounts. They contain helpful Vitamin A and C and can even assist with digestion due to their high fibrous content. For the utmost in safety precautions, opt to feed fresh pears rather than canned ones which are higher in sugar.
Peaches pack a powerhouse nutritional punch for our dogs. Rich in Vitamin A as well as an excellent source of fiber, peaches not only taste good, but they also assist with strengthening your dog’s immune and digestive systems. Preserved or canned peaches are best avoided due to their excess sugar content. Because peach pits contain a substance called amygdalin which is similar to cyanide and can cause toxicity in dogs, it is best to always remove the pit before giving your dog the peach flesh to enjoy.
While watermelon is a safe food for your dog to eat, a few precautionary measures must be observed. Prior to feeding watermelon to your dog, take the time to remove the seeds from the flesh. Seeds consumed by your dog do not break down easily in the digestive tract and can lead to painful obstructions. The rind should also be removed to prevent any accidental gastrointestinal unpleasantness… more
Both dried and fresh cranberries are safe fruit options to feed your dogs. However, many dogs are not fans of the tart nature of this fruit. When fed in moderation, cranberries provide many health benefits for Fido; however, excess consumption can result in bladder stones and upset stomachs.
Apples are not only a nutritious food choice for your dog, they also help fight plaque and can improve your dog’s breath. Rich in Vitamins A and C and also chock full of fiber, apples enrich digestion and promote overall good health. Apple seeds are toxic when chewed and must be removed prior to feeding apple slices to your dog… more
Pineapple is a delectable, healthy treat that many dogs enjoy. As with most fruits, fresh is far preferable to its canned cousin due to the latter’s much higher sugar content. Pineapple is high in fiber which assists with your dog’s digestion; however, its high sugar content can lead to upset stomachs and diarrhea if consumed in excess.
Everyone loves strawberries including your dog! Strawberries are packed with vitamins and nutrients which provide valuable support for your dog’s immune system and overall health. For best results, feed only fresh strawberries to your dog.
While mango is a safe and healthy treat for your dog to enjoy, not all parts of this decadent fruit are edible. Much like peaches, the mango pit itself is toxic and should be removed prior to feeding the mango flesh to your dog. In addition to this, the skin or rind of the mango is unpalatable. Mangos should be peeled then sliced or portioned for canine consumption. This fruit is rich in vitamins and is high in fiber, but it is also much higher in sugar content than some other fruits. For this reason, moderation is key.
Raspberries are a natural detoxifier. They help with reducing swelling and are an excellent immunity booster. Packed with helpful vitamins, raspberries have many benefits to offer your dog. However, raspberries do contain low levels of the toxic substance Xylitol naturally present in the berry itself. While obtaining dangerous levels of Xylitol from raspberry consumption is unlikely, it is best to limit this berry to an occasional treat.
Feeding your dog fruit that is safe for his consumption is a great way to add variety to his diet. Many dogs enjoy having a little piece of pear or apple as a snack, and others consider it a high reward treat, making it suitable for training exercises.
As with all things, there are some factors you should bear in mind when feeding fruit to your dog. Since most fruits are generally high in sugars, it is best to feed them on an occasional basis only. This will help prevent unpleasant side effects such as upset stomachs, diarrhea, or even simply painful gas.
Always ensure that fruits are added to a healthy and balanced diet. They should never replace it. Dogs are largely carnivores and require meat to survive. Fido cannot live on fruit alone. Use it to supplement an already great diet not in place of one.
Prior to feeding any fruit to your dog, you should always thoroughly wash it. Since many fruits are grown in environments which make use of pesticides, it is critical that you bathe the fruit to remove any particles or remaining pest repelling agents which may be harmful for your dog if consumed.
Thinking of adding a little fruit to Fido’s diet? Choose from one of our top ten best fruits for canine consumption. Your dog will thank you for it!