Most dogs really love food. We train them using food, we shoo them away when they beg for food, and they eat all sorts of things that aren’t great for them. But what about when your dog is begging for you to share a bit of fruit? Is it ok to share a banana, strawberry, apple, or grape with your pet?
Of course, dogs are carnivores. They have teeth that are made for eating meat. But that doesn’t mean that dogs can’t and won’t eat other stuff! Commercial dog foods are made with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains, and people who feed their dogs homemade food must provide some non-meat foods in order to meet nutritional needs.
Let’s look at some common fruits and whether or not they’re safe for your pup to eat. Keep in mind that any new food can cause stomach upset, and it’s important to get the vet’s go-ahead before changing your dog’s diet.
Finally, there’s not as much research out there on dogs and nutrition as there is for people. Your dog might not get the same benefits from these fruits as you do, though, because their digestive tract is shorter than yours and less able to absorb nutrients. In other words, your dog might not get all those great antioxidants and vitamins, because his digestive tract isn’t made for raw fruits.
Can Dogs Eat Bananas?
Yes! Bananas are a great, low-calorie treat for dogs. My own dog loves eating bananas. They’re also great as Kong fillings, especially if mashed up with peanut butter. Bananas are high in potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. That said, bananas shouldn’t be your dog’s main diet. They’re just a bit too sugary for your canine’s health. They’re great as a snack, treat, or part of a balanced homecooked diet, but they shouldn’t be a large part of your dog’s calorie intake.
Your dog should not eat banana peels.
Can Dogs Eat Apples?
Yes! Like bananas, apples are a good, low-calorie snack option for dogs. The seeds and stems aren’t good for dogs (or you), but the flesh of apples is a great treat! Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide and are dangerous for dogs. Your dog will probably be fine with a seed or two on accident occasionally, but the negative effects can add up over time with repeated seed-eating!
Apples are a great source of Vitamin A and C, and can help freshen your dog’s breath. Like bananas, apples are a great snack, treat, Kong filler, or small component of dinner – but they shouldn’t be the backbone of your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Eat Grapes?
No – grapes are toxic to dogs. Grapes and raisins, even in small quantities, can kill dogs of any age, breed, or sex. In fact, no one knows why grapes and raisins are so dangerous for dogs. There’s no compound in grapes that scientists can point to, to explain why grapes are toxic. They just are! As such, any human food with grapes or raisins inside is dangerous to your pet.
Can Dogs Eat Strawberries?
Fresh strawberries are a great snack for your dog. Canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup are far too sugary, however, and should be avoided. Strawberries are a great alternative to fatty or salty treats, which can contribute to your dog’s bad breath.
Can Dogs Eat Blueberries?
Yes! Blueberries are high in antioxidants and can be a delicious, sweet addition to your dog’s diet. My own dog gets a few blueberries with some of his meals, especially in the summer. Candied, canned, or syrupy blueberries are too sugary and should be avoided. Frozen blueberries are a great, low-calorie treat for your dog in the summer.
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries and Raspberries?
Yes! Blackberries and raspberries are excellent treats for dogs. They’re high in antioxidants and are lower in sugar than many other fruits.
Can Dogs Eat Peaches, Nectarines and Other Stone Fruits?
Peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, and other stone fruits are generally safe for dogs in small quantities. The pits, however, are toxic. You can cut off a small slice of these fruits, but don’t let your dog eat an entire dropped stone fruit!
Can Dogs Eat Cherries?
Cherries are generally a no-no for dogs. dropped cherry without too many problems, cherries are potentially dangerous to dogs. The pits, stems, and leaves of cherries all contain cyanide. While stem-free and pitless cherries might not be a problem for your pup, it’s probably easier to feed your dog other fruits that don’t require careful de-pitting.
Can Dogs Eat Melons?
Watermelons, honeydew melons, and other melons are OK as occasional treats for healthy dogs. That said, melons are often really high in sugar and fiber. Too much of either is not good for dogs. Melons are particularly questionable as treats for diabetic dogs or dogs with GI issues. That said, a bit of shared melon at a picnic every once in a while is probably just fine.
Be sure to remove seeds and the rind before feeding melon to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Oranges, Grapefruits, and Other Citrus Fruits?
Most dogs don’t really like the acidic taste of citrus fruits. While grapefruit, oranges, and other citrus fruits are generally safe for dogs, your dog probably would rather not eat them. The high levels of citric acid in grapefruits just aren’t good for your dog anyway. Tangerines, mandarin oranges, and oranges are less acidic if your dog is really interested in citrus fruits.
Be sure to remove the seeds and peel if you do feed citrus fruits to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Papayas, Pineapples, and Mangos?
Papaya is a tasty treat for many dogs. The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, though, so it’s important to carefully remove the seeds before offering papaya to your dog.
Pineapple is also quite acidic, meaning it can be distasteful to some dogs. Other dogs get an upset stomach from pineapple. Other dogs enjoy the taste of pineapple and are able to digest small amounts without a problem. Pineapple shouldn’t be a go-to treat for your dog, but it can be fine for some dogs. It’s quite sugary, but also has lots of vitamins. Pineapple is a maybe, in short.
Mango is also a delicious snack that many dogs (including my own) really enjoy. That said, the skin and pit of mangos should be removed for your pup. Mangos are also quite sugary, so they shouldn’t be the main component of your dog’s diet.
Most fruits are safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. If your dog likes the fruit and you’re not feeding too much, some fruit treats are a great way to pamper your dog without too many calories!