The ultimate guide to safe and nutritious fruits for dogs

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Discover How to Enhance Your Dog’s Diet and Avoid Toxic Fruits

INDEX

1. Introduction
2. Click in the list below to jump to a specific fruit: 

Apples, Apricots, Avocado, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Clementines, Coconut, Cranberries, Currants, Dates, Figs, Grapes, Grapefruit, Kiwis, Kumquats, Mangos, Nectarines, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Watermelon.

3. FAQs

Introduction

Have you ever wondered if dogs can eat fruit, and if so, what fruit can dogs eat safely and what fruits are healthy for dogs?

In this comprehensive list, I cover everything from bananas and apples to grapes, cherries and other fruits. In addition, for those interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the effects of fruit on your body, I’ve included some TCM notes for each fruit as well as some interesting facts.

While certain fruits can provide numerous health benefits to your canine companion, it’s essential to know that some fruits are toxic (poisonous) to dogs. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various fruits, their health benefits, and any potential risks associated with feeding them to your canine friend. By understanding which fruits are safe and beneficial, you can make an informed decision about what to include in your dog’s diet. 

IMPORTANT!

Feed your dog fruit at least 1 hour prior to, or 3-4 hours after a protein meal to avoid the possibility of fermentation.

Let’s dive into the world of fruit and discover the best fruits to feed your dog:

Fruit guide for dogs

Can dogs eat apples?

Apples are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre. A study published in the “Journal of Nutritional Science” found that adding apple pomace to dogs’ diets improved gut health and antioxidant status. 

Be sure to remove the core and seeds before feeding as they can be harmful to dogs. The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide which can be released into the system if broken or chewed. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), apples are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the spleen, stomach, and lungs.

Interesting fact: There are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown around the world.

Can dogs eat apricots?

Apricots are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. Although there are no specific studies on apricots and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it contains cyanide and can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages. If your dog eats an apricot pit and you are concerned about a potential blockage, refer to this blog on what to do if your dog ingests a foreign object.

In TCM, apricots are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Apricots are part of the rose family, along with peaches, plums, and cherries.

Can dogs eat avocado?

The avocado fruit itself appears to be safe for dogs. However, the pit and the avocado peel, which contains persin, can be toxic to dogs. 

In TCM, avocado is considered to be neutral and is believed to help nourish the blood and support the liver.

Interesting fact: Avocados are technically berries and are botanically classified as single-seeded berries.

Can dogs eat bananas?

Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, which support heart and kidney health. According to recent research, bananas have potential prebiotic effects that could benefit gastrointestinal health.

In TCM, bananas are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the spleen and stomach and clear heat.

Interesting fact: Bananas are technically berries, and the plants they grow on are not trees but rather large herbaceous plants.

Can dogs eat blackberries?

Blackberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. While there are no specific studies on blackberries and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

In TCM, blackberries are considered to be neutral and are believed to help support the kidneys, liver, and stomach.

Interesting fact: Blackberries are composed of multiple smaller fruits called drupelets, which are tiny fruits with their own seed.

Can dogs eat blueberries?

Blueberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. A study on rats has revealed that blueberry consumption has beneficial effects on the gut microbiota, reduces body inflammation and improves insulin resistance.

In TCM, blueberries are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the kidneys and liver.

Interesting fact: Blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in colour.

Can dogs eat cantaloupe?

Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins A and C and beta-carotene. While there are no specific studies on cantaloupe and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health and support the immune system.

In TCM, cantaloupe is considered to be cooling and is believed to help support the stomach and spleen.

Interesting fact: Cantaloupe gets its name from Cantalupo, an Italian town where it was first cultivated in Europe in the 1700s.

Can dogs eat cherries?

While cherries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, they also contain cyanide in their pits, stems, and leaves, which can be toxic to dogs. Due to the risk of cyanide poisoning and the choking hazard posed by cherry pits, it is best to avoid feeding cherries to dogs.

Do not panic too much if your dog eats cherry pits, as they will likely pass without issue if the dog hasn’t chewed the pit up.

In TCM, cherries are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the spleen and stomach.

Interesting fact: There are two main types of cherries: sweet cherries and sour cherries, with over 1,000 different varieties worldwide.


Can dogs eat clementines?

Clementines are a type of mandarin orange and are high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system.

While there are no specific studies on clementines and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health. However, like other citrus fruits they contain citric acid, which can cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities. It is best to feed clementines to dogs in moderation.

In TCM, clementines are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Clementines are named after Father Clement Rodier, a French missionary who discovered the fruit in Algeria.

Can dogs eat coconut?

Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may provide health benefits for dogs, including improved cognitive function and skin health. A study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that MCT oil administration improved cognitive function in senior dogs. However, there are no specific studies on coconut flesh or oil for dogs.

In TCM, coconut is considered to be neutral and is believed to help support the spleen, stomach, and lungs.

Interesting fact: Coconuts are not actually nuts; they are drupes, which are a type of fruit that has a hard, stony covering enclosing the seed.

Can dogs eat cranberries?

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and can help prevent urinary tract infections. A study published in the “American Journal of Veterinary Research” found that cranberry extract reduced the occurrence of urinary tract infections in dogs. However, they are also high in acidity and can cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities.

In TCM, cranberries are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the kidneys and bladder.

Interesting fact: Cranberries can bounce when they are fresh, which is a sign of their quality and ripeness.


Can dogs eat currants?

Black and red currants can be toxic to dogs, causing kidney failure. The exact mechanism is unknown, but even small amounts can be dangerous and can cause severe kidney damage.


Can dogs eat dates?

Dates are high in natural sugars, fibre, and various vitamins and minerals. Although there are no specific studies on dates and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health. However, due to their high sugar content, it is best to feed dates to dogs in moderation.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages.

In TCM, dates are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the spleen and stomach.

Interesting fact: Date palms can live for up to 100 years and can produce fruit for 70 to 80 of those years.

Can dogs eat figs?

Figs are high in fibre, potassium, and natural sugars. While there are no specific studies on figs and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health. However, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to figs, resulting in skin irritation or gastrointestinal upset.

In TCM, figs are considered to be neutral and are believed to help support the spleen, stomach, and lungs.

Interesting fact: Figs are not technically a fruit; they are inverted flowers, with the seeds inside being the actual fruit.

Can dogs eat grapes?

Grapes, along with raisins and currants, can be toxic for dogs, causing kidney failure. The exact mechanism is unknown, but even small amounts can be dangerous and can cause severe kidney damage.


Can dogs eat grapefruit?

Grapefruit is high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system. However, the fruit also contains compounds called furanocoumarins, which can be toxic to dogs and cause gastrointestinal upset. It is best to avoid feeding grapefruit to dogs.

Interesting fact: Grapefruit is a hybrid fruit, created by crossing a sweet orange with a pomelo.

Can dogs eat kiwis?

Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. While there are no specific studies on kiwi fruit and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

In TCM, kiwi are considered to be cooling and believed to help support the lungs, stomach, and spleen.

Interesting fact: Kiwi fruit was originally known as the Chinese gooseberry before it was renamed in the 20th century after the kiwi bird, which is native to New Zealand.

Can dogs eat kumquats?

Kumquats are a type of citrus fruit that is high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system. While there are no specific studies on kumquats and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

However, like other citrus fruits, kumquats contain citric acid, which can cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities. It is best to feed kumquats to dogs in moderation.

In TCM, kumquats are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Unlike other citrus fruits, the skin of a kumquat is sweet and edible, while the inside is sour.

Can dogs eat mangos?

Mangos are rich in vitamins A and C, fibre, and antioxidants. While there are no specific studies on mangos and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages. If your dog eats a mango pit and you are concerned about a potential blockage, refer to our blog on what to do if your dog swallowed an indigestible object.

In TCM, mangos are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the stomach, spleen, and lungs.

Interesting fact: Mangos are related to cashews and pistachios and are part of the same plant family.

Can dogs eat nectarines?

Nectarines are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. Although there are no specific studies on nectarines and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it contains cyanide and can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages.

In TCM, nectarines are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Nectarines are actually a genetic variant of peaches, with the main difference being the absence of fuzz on the skin.

Can dogs eat oranges?

Oranges are high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system. While there are no specific studies on oranges and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

However, like other citrus fruits, oranges also contain citric acid, which can cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities. It is best to feed oranges to dogs in moderation.

In TCM, oranges are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: The colour orange is actually named after the fruit, not the other way around.

Can dogs eat papayas?

Papaya is rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. It also contains the enzyme papain, which can aid in digestion. While there are no specific studies on papayas and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

In TCM, papayas are considered to be neutral and are believed to help support the stomach, spleen, and intestines.

Interesting fact: The black seeds inside a papaya are edible and have a peppery taste.

Can dogs eat peaches?

Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. Although there are no specific studies on peaches and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it contains cyanide and can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages. If your dog eats a peach pit and you are concerned about a potential blockage, refer to our blog on what to do if your dog swallowed an indigestible object.

In TCM, peaches are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Peach trees are considered symbols of immortality and longevity in Chinese culture.

Can dogs eat pears?

Pears are high in fibre, potassium, and vitamins C and K. While there are no specific studies on pears and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health. Be sure to remove the seeds, as they contain traces of cyanide.

In TCM, pears are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the lungs and throat.

Interesting fact: Pears ripen from the inside out, so they can be soft on the inside even if the outer skin feels firm.

Can dogs eat pineapple?

Pineapple is rich in vitamins C and B6, fibre, and the enzyme bromelain, which can help with digestion. While there are no specific studies on pineapple and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

In TCM, pineapple is considered to be warming and is believed to help support the spleen and stomach.

Interesting fact: Pineapples are not a single fruit but a group of berries that have fused together around a central core.

Can dogs eat plums?

Plums are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. Although there are no specific studies on plums and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the pit, as it contains cyanide and can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages.

In TCM, plums are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the liver and digestion.

Interesting fact: There are over 2,000 varieties of plums, with varying colours, shapes, and flavours.

Can dogs eat raspberries?

Raspberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. While there are no specific studies on raspberries and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

In TCM, raspberries are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the kidneys, liver, and stomach.

Interesting fact: Raspberries are actually composed of multiple smaller fruits called drupelets, which are tiny fruits with their own seed.

Can dogs eat strawberries?

Strawberries are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. Recent studies have revealed decreased inflammation in the body and improved heart function in humans after short-term strawberry consumption.

In TCM, strawberries are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the spleen, stomach, and lungs.

Interesting fact: Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside, with an average of 200 seeds per berry.

Can dogs eat tangerines?

Tangerines are a type of mandarin orange and are high in vitamin C, which can help support the immune system.

While there are no specific studies on tangerines and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health. However, like other citrus fruits they contain citric acid, which can cause digestive upset if fed in large quantities. It is best to feed tangerines to dogs in moderation.

In TCM, tangerines are considered to be warming and are believed to help support the lungs and digestion.

Interesting fact: Tangerines are named after the Moroccan city of Tangier, where they were first shipped to Europe in the 1800s.

Can dogs eat tomatoes?

Ripe tomatoes are generally safe for dogs to eat and contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene.

However, unripe tomatoes and the green parts of the plant, such as the leaves and stems, contain a toxic substance called solanine, which can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs. It is best not to feed ripe tomatoes to dogs often.

In TCM, tomatoes are considered to be cooling and are believed to help support the liver and stomach.

Interesting fact: Tomatoes were once considered poisonous in Europe due to their association with the toxic nightshade family.

Can dogs eat watermelon?

Watermelon is high in vitamins A and C, potassium, and water content, making it a hydrating treat for dogs. While there are no specific studies on watermelon and dogs, these nutrients can contribute to overall health.

Be sure to remove the seeds, as they can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages.

In TCM, watermelon is considered to be cooling and is believed to help clear heat and support the kidneys, bladder, and heart.

Interesting fact: Every part of the watermelon is edible, including the rind and seeds.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to create a healthy natural diet for your dog, including recipes and preparation tips, check out our free Recipe Maker tool. 

Recipe Maker

 

FAQs 

  • Are bananas safe for dogs to eat?

Yes, bananas are safe for dogs to eat as a treat. Rather than feeding ripe bananas which are high in sugar, feed your dog green bananas – not fully ripened. Green bananas are particularly beneficial for gut health as they contain pectin and prebiotics and help calm digestive upset. They are rich in the minerals potassium and magnesium, as well as folate, a B vitamin. 

Yes, dogs can eat apples and they make a nice treat for your pup. Be sure to remove the core and seeds before feeding as they can be harmful to dogs.  The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide which can be released into the system if broken or chewed. 

  • Are grapes poisonous to dogs?

Yes, grapes are toxic to dogs, consuming even a small amount can cause kidney damage.

  • What fruits should I avoid giving my dog?

Avoid feeding toxic fruits such as grapes/raisins and currants, and remember to feed ripe tomatoes in moderation. Do not worry if your dog consumes cherries, as long as they don’t chew up the pit, which contains cyanide.  

  • How much fruit can I give my dog?

Fruit contains sugars and should generally be fed in moderation compared with leafy greens and high quality proteins.  For more information on each fruit and their properties and benefits refer to the list above. 

  • Can dogs eat fruit as a treat?

Fruit makes a great healthy treat for your dog, just remember to feed at least 1 hour prior or 3-4 hours following feeding your dog any protein.

  • Are citrus fruits safe for dogs to eat?

It is safe to feed your dog citrus fruit, however feed it in moderation as it can cause gastric upset if your dog consumes too much.  It is best to avoid feeding grapefruit to dogs as it contains compounds called furanocoumarins, which can be toxic to dogs and cause gastrointestinal upset. 

  • What are the health benefits of feeding my dog fruit?

Fruits provide various vitamins as well as fibre, and are beneficial for overall health as well as your dog’s digestive health. 


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