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Fruits & Veggies Dogs Can & Can't Eat

While fruits and vegetables can be a healthy dog treat, not all are safe for your canine companion. In this post, our South Florida vets explain which fruits are okay for your dog to eat.

Is Fruit Good for Dogs? 

Since dogs are omnivores, they eat both plants and meat. Modern dog food has all the nutrients your canine friend needs to live a healthy life, so you don't need to worry about adding extra ingredients to their diet. 

However, you might want to give your dog fruit as a special treat sometimes. Keep in mind that treats should only make up about 10% of your dog's diet. If you'd like to give your pup fruit, reduce the amount of other treats you dole out so they aren't eating too much. 

Introducing New Foods 

When experimenting with giving your dog new foods, take it slow to make sure their system will handle it well and that they won't have allergies or tummy issues. You can start by giving them one small bite-size piece of fruit at a time (think a piece or two per day) to test their reaction. 

Remember to cut the fruit into small pieces if you give it to your dog. Remove any pits, skins, or seeds before allowing your dog to taste it, as these parts can contain harmful substances that may make your dog sick, or get stuck in their gastrointestinal system. 

Below, you'll find a list of safe fruits and vegetables for dogs. 

What Fruit is Good for Dogs?

These fruits make excellent treats for dogs: 

  • Apples: High in fiber and low in fat, apples are a great option for senior or overweight pets with slower metabolisms, they contain vitamins A and C, which help maintain healthy bones and tissue. Feed your dog slices of apple in moderation. Make sure you remove the core and seeds first, since these are toxic to dogs. 
  • Apricots: The fleshy fruit of apricot can be a tasty occasional treat for dogs. Potassium-rich apricots contain beta-carotene, which can help fight cancer. Check that you've removed the pit, stem, and leaves. 
  • Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants, blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. You might consider freezing a few blueberries to make a delicious summer treat for your pup. 
  • Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe may help alleviate inflammatory issues in dogs. Cut the fruit into manageable pieces and remove the skin and seeds before serving it to your dog as a snack. 
  • Mango: Small pieces of mango with the skin and core removed are savoury treats. Mango is also packed with vitamins. 
  • Pear: High in fiber, vitamin C and B6, pears make a fantastic snack. Similar to apples, you'll need to remove the core and seeds. 
  • Pineapple: This colorful fruit contains minerals and vitamins like folate and zinc, which can benefit your dog's immune and digestive system. However, remember that pineapple is sugar-rich and you should not feed this fruit to your dog regularly. Remove the spiky skin and core before giving your pup pineapple as a treat. 
  • Strawberries: Great for the immune system, strawberries make a nice snack for your dog, whether fresh or frozen. 
  • Watermelon: This fruit is mostly made of water, so it's a great option to help your dog stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Watermelon also has the added benefit of being vitamin-rich. 

Fruits That May Be Unsafe for Your Dog

  • Avocado: Because they have extremely high fat content, eating this fruit can trigger an upset stomach or pancreatitis in some dogs, so avocado won't make a good treat for your pup. Never feed the pit to your dog. 
  • Bananas: While bananas are a good source of potassium, they are high in carbohydrates and sugar, so they should only be given to your pup sparingly. A small, occasional slice is okay. 
  • Blackberries & Raspberries: Both of these types of berries have anti-inflammatory properties and contain fiber and vitamin C, which make them great for older dogs. However, your four-legged friend should only have blackberries and raspberries in small quantities since they contain xylitol, a sweetener that can be fatal to dogs when consumed in large quantities. 
  • Tomatoes: While ripe tomatoes aren't toxic to dogs, tomatoes often cause stomach upset and should typically be avoided. 

What Fruit is Bad for Dogs?

  • Cherries: The pits, stems, and leaves in cherries contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially fatal if consumed in high enough quantities. Cherry pits may also become stuck in a dog's intestinal system and cause obstructions. 
  • Grapes: Grapes are highly toxic to dogs and can cause serious damage to kidneys. This can lead to acute (sudden) kidney failure that may 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: Sweet potatoes are great for digestive health because they're high in fiber. They contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese, plus they are rich in 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.

Note that some fruits like blueberries and vegetables, such as kale, carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, can help support your dog's eye health, as they contain key vitamins, minerals and nutrients. These may help your dog maintain excellent eyesight as they age. 

What Veggies Are Bad For Dogs?

These vegetables are not safe 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: Store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat, but wild mushrooms should be avoided because they may be toxic. If your dog consumes a toxic mushroom, he or she may develop symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in the heartbeat. Toxic mushrooms can cause organ failure, seizures, and comas in dogs at their most severe.

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 wondering which foods can support your dog's eye health? Contact our South Florida veterinary ophthalmologists today to book a consultation. We also accept referrals from primary vets.

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