What are safe and dangerous fruits and vegetables for dogs?

Fruits and veggies can be a great treat for your dog, but not all fruit is suitable for them to eat. Today, our Ruckersville vets from Ruckersville Animal Hospital talk about which types of fruit you can safely feed your pup. 

Is fruit good for dogs?

Dogs are omnivores and require a variety of vegetables and meat in their diets. Fortunately, modern dog food contains all of the nutrients your pup requires to thrive, so you won't need to supplement their diets. Having said that, fruit is a great treat to give your dog.

Always keep in mind that treats should make up no more than about 10% of your dog's diet, so if you're adding fruit to the mix be sure to cut back on other treats so as not to overfeed your pooch. 

Introducing New Foods

With any new food introduction, you should go slowly to ensure your dog tolerates the food and does not experience any gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. Introduce one type of fruit at a time with just a piece or two a day to see how your dog reacts. 

When feeding a dog any type of fruit, make sure it is cut into small pieces and that any seeds, rinds, or pits are removed before feeding it to your dog—these parts of the fruit often contain toxins that can make dogs ill, or in some cases be fatal.

What fruit is good for dogs?

The following fruits make excellent dog treats:

  • Apples: Because apples are high in fiber and low in fat, they are an excellent choice for overweight or senior pets with slower metabolisms. They also contain vitamins A and C, which aid in the maintenance of healthy bones and tissue. Apples are toxic to dogs, so feed them in moderation and remove the core and seeds first.  
  • Apricots: Apricots' fleshy fruit can be a tasty treat for dogs. They are high in potassium and contain beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer. Make certain that the pit, stem, and leaves are all removed.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and a good source of fiber and Vitamin C. You can freeze blueberries for a fun summer treat. 
  • Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe may help alleviate inflammatory issues in pets. Be sure to cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before serving it up to your pup as a treat.
  • Mango: Small pieces of mango with the skin and core removed are great, vitamin-packed treats for dogs.
  • Pear: Pears are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. As with apples, before feeding to your pet, remove the core and seeds.
  • Pineapple: Pineapple contains vitamins and minerals such as folate and zinc, which can benefit your dog's digestion and immune system. They are high in sugar and should not be fed to your dog on a regular basis. Before giving pineapple as a treat, make sure to remove the spiky skin and core.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are great for the immune system and make a great treat—fresh or frozen—for your dog.
  • Watermelon: Watermelons are mostly water, so they're a great option for keeping your pet hydrated during the hotter months. They also have the added benefit of being rich in vitamins. 

Fruits That May Be Unsafe For Your Dog

  • Avocado: Avocados have an extremely high-fat content, which can cause pancreatitis or upset stomach in some dogs, so they don't make good treats. Never feed the pit to your dog.
  • Bananas: Bananas are a good source of potassium but are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Because of this bananas should only be given to dogs sparingly. A small slice is okay for an occasional treat. 
  • Blackberries & Raspberries: Blackberries and raspberries are low in sugar, high in fiber and vitamin C, and have anti-inflammatory properties, making them ideal for senior animals. However, they should only be given in small amounts because they contain trace amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that can be fatal to dogs in large quantities.
  • Tomatoes: While the ripe fruit isn't toxic to dogs it commonly causes stomach upset and should typically be avoided. 

What fruit is bad for dogs?

  • Cherries: Cherry pits, stems, and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous and can be fatal if consumed in large amounts. Cherry pits can also become lodged in a dog's digestive system and cause blockages.
  • Grapes: Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause serious kidney damage that can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure, which can be fatal.
  • Lemons & Limes: While not toxic, lemons and limes can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs and should be avoided
  • Wild berries: It is always better to err on the side of caution as many wild berries are poisonous to dogs. 

What veggies can dogs eat?

The following list of veggies should be good for dogs:

  • Kale: Key vitamins in kale, such as K, A, and Iron, support bone health, proper vision, and immune function, fetal development, and energy metabolism.
  • Carrots: Carrots are high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin B6.
  • Green Beans: Green beans are high in vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, A, C, and K. Green beans are also low in calories and high in fiber, which can make dogs feel satisfied.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli contains a wide range of vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, which help dogs with bone density, disease prevention, and heart health.
  • Beets: Vitamin C, fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium are all found in beets. These nutrients benefit your dog's digestion and immune system, as well as his skin and coat.
  • Yams & Sweet Potatoes: Because they are high in fiber, sweet potatoes are beneficial to digestive health. They are high in vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese, as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is high in vitamins and minerals such as A, C, B6, and others that support your dog's immune system, vision, and cardiovascular function.

What veggies are bad for dogs?

The following veggies are considered unsafe for dogs:

Garlic, Onions, Shallots, & Chives: Garlic, onions, shallots, and chives are toxic to dogs, whether raw or cooked. They have substances that may cause anemia and damage red blood cells. Signs of illness may take several days to manifest.

Mushrooms: Dogs can eat store-bought mushrooms, but wild mushrooms should be avoided because they may be toxic. If your dog eats a toxic mushroom, he or she may experience symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and heartbeat changes. In the most severe cases, toxic mushrooms can cause organ failure, seizures, and comas in dogs.

Rhubarb: Rhubarb also contains oxalates, which can cause problems with your pet's nervous system, digestive tract, and kidneys. Rhubarb can also lower calcium levels in your dog, causing renal failure and other health problems.

If your dog consumes any of these foods, take them to the vet or an emergency clinic right away.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you looking for more information about safe foods for dogs? Contact our Ruckersville animal hospital.