Fruits for Dogs
Discover what fruit dogs can and cannot eat for a healthy treat.
By Kristina Lotz and Melissa Kauffman
Humans love fruit and we know bananas and strawberries are good for us, but did you know they are good for your dogs too? Not only will your dog love that he is getting “human food,” but you will love that the same benefits fruits provide us – aids in digestion, antioxidants, immunity boosts, better eye sight, healthier skin and hair – they also provide for your dog.
Feed fruits to your dog as a small training treat or stuff your dog’s favorite treat stuffer toy with some peanut butter and fruit for a great and healthy occupier.
Tips for Feeding Fruit to Dogs
- Always talk to your veterinarian about any treats you feed your dog, including fruit.
- Give your dog small portions of fruit only, especially the first time feeding them to your dog. Even though fruit is good for him, fruit is not calorie free. Also, you don’t know if your dog will have an allergic or other adverse reaction, such as gas or an upset stomach.
- Clean fruit thoroughly before offering it to your dog.
- If you can, introduce small portions of fruit to your dog when he is young. He may be more likely to try it and like it.
- Some dogs don’t like raw fruit. Try mashing it into their food or adding it as an ingredient when you make homemade dog treats. You can also use fruit juice, but make sure it is 100 percent fruit juice and not added sugars.
- Avoid feeding your dog any type of seeds or pits. Although not all seeds are known to cause problems, it is better to be safe than sorry. What is known to be problematic or toxic are apple seeds, apricot pits, nectarine pits, plum pits, cherry pits and peach pits.
Check out this list of 13 fruits (and melons) for dogs and their benefits to get you started.
- Apples: Source for potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, flavonoids, vitamin C. Note: Do not give dogs the core or the seeds, which contain arsenic. (Half of an apple slice is a good size treat.)
- Bananas:Source of potassium and carbohydrates. (1 inch is a good size treat.)Smiling Dog Bakery Treats
- Blackberries: Source of antioxidants (anthocyanins), polyphenols, tannin, fiber, manganese, folate, omega-3. High in vitamins C, K, A and E. (2 or 3 blackberries is a good size treat.)
- Blueberries: Source of antioxidants, selenium, zinc and iron. High in vitamins C, E, A and B complex. (2 or 3 blueberries is a good size treat.)
- Cantaloupe: Source for vitamins A, B complex, C, plus fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. (1 inch of cantaloupe wedge is a good size treat.)
- Cranberries: Source for vitamin C, fiber and manganese. Helps fight against urinary tract infections, plus balances acid-base in dog’s body. (2 tablespoons of stewed cranberries added to dog’s food is good size portion. Note: To stew cranberries, put them in a saucepan with water, cover and cook until tender. Put them through a sieve and add to dog food.)
- Kiwis: Source of fiber, potassium and high in vitamin C. (A half a slice or one slice of kiwi is a good size treat.)
- Oranges: Source for fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, flavonoids, phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6. (Half of a segment is a good size treat. Remove any seeds.)
- Pears: Source for fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2. (1 or 2 pear cubes is a good size treat.)
- Pumpkin: Source for fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zinc, iron, potassium and Vitamin A. Note: Although you can feed your dog pumpkin seeds, most recommend feeding them to dogs unsalted, roasted and then grounded. Do not feed your dog any other part of the pumpkin due to the small, sharp hairs on the pumpkin stem and leaves. (1 to 3 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix] is a good size treat.)
- Raspberries: Source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium. Rich in vitamin C, K and B-complex. (2 or 3 raspberries is a good size treat.)
- Strawberries: Source for fiber, potassium, magnesium, iodine, folic acid, omega-3 fats, vitamins C, K, B1 and B6. (A half or 1 strawberryis a good size treat.)
- Watermelon: Source of vitamins C and A, potassium, magnesium and water. Do not feed your dog the seeds or rind. (1 to 3 pieces of 1-inch watermelon wedge is a good size treat.)
Fruit Bad for Dogs
Although some fruits in small portions can be good for your dog (unless your dog is allergic), never offer your dog the following. If your dog accidentally eats the below fruit, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Grapes or Raisins: They have caused many cases of poisoning when ingested by dogs.
- Avocados: They could cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Figs: Figs have caused allergic reactions in some dogs. Also, the fig is grown on the Ficus tree (Ficus benjamina), which causes skin inflammation if your dog comes into contact with it. Ficus plants or trees also cause diarrhea and vomiting if your dog ingests them.
Thanks to Frank Tebeau of Smiling Dog Bakery for this very informative article!
Want to learn more about healthy foods for your dog? Check out this book: