Can I Give My Dog Fruit?

Can I Give My Dog Fruit?Obviously eating fruit is healthy, but should this type of food be part of your dog’s diet as well? Lots of owners share certain varieties with their pets. But there are some important pitfalls, precautions and preparations to carefully consider.

This is a broad topic since there are many types of fruits. Most aren’t harmful to dogs but they should, at the very least, be fed in moderation. Let’s cover, in more detail, the pros and cons to feeding sweet-tasting plant parts to pets.

First things first, dogs do not require fruits in their diet and this is especially true on any kind of regular basis. In fact, the carnivorous canine digestive system typically cannot handle such consumption.

Can I Give My Dog Fruit? Answer: Yes, but not regularly

They may provide some health benefits, but don’t deviate too much from a high-protein diet based on meat.

Sure, you can feed your pet dog some fruit on occasion. But keep it secondary to meats for the strength and energy they need to thrive. Remember that fruits are mostly water and sugar with some nutrients but they lack protein. Further, if your dog is fed too much, their stomach pH levels may be altered which could cause a stomachache or other digestive issues.

Always be sure to remove seeds or pits prior to serving any fruit to Fido.

Moderation Makes Sense

No doubt that feeding your dog fruits can be a good source of certain nutrients. A healthier immune system and some protection against degenerative diseases are also great bonuses. The key is limiting their portions and being selective. In any case, never switch your dog to an all fruit diet. Get them outdoors and more active if they need to lose weight.

Some Specific Fruits For Fido

Dogs can eat raspberries, blueberries, bananas, watermelon, pears, cantaloupes, mangoes, pineapples, apricots, peaches and strawberries to name a few. Search this site, using a keyword, since we cover many kinds.

Citrus fruits, however, can be harmful. Dogs aren’t that good at breaking down acids found in, for example, oranges and grapefruits. Know that grapes and raisins are very toxic, potentially causing renal failure and other major health problems.

Fruit is Not Always Fantastic

Fruits are basically soluble carbohydrates or simple sugar that are later broken down into energy. Your dog will also receive some fiber, vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants. This doesn’t outweigh the downsides of an all fruit diet. A lack of protein makes such a feeding strategy inappropriate for dogs. So fruits can never be a replacement for a meat-based diet.

Most raw fruits contain two nutrients, the most prominent being vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins can play an important role in your dog’s life. They can help to fight off sickness and boost energy. But fruit isn’t essential because those valuable nutrients are found in other, more suitable sources.

The Potential Health Benefits

Whole apples, with the skin on them, are a good source of vitamins including beta-carotene and pectin. Pectin binds and eliminates toxins as well as helps move waste through the body. Whole pears also contain pectin, along with potassium, which is necessary for muscle contraction, a healthy heartbeat and metabolism. Again, does this apply to dogs? Probably not to the same degree.

There are Downsides for Dogs

Consider that oranges and grapefruit may disrupt your dog’s stomach due to the acids. They do, however, contain lots of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium which support the immune system and fight off sickness as well as diseases. Does this outweigh the downsides? Unlikely and consider that dogs produce their own vitamin C.

Conclusion on Fruits

Fruits can be a good source of vitamins and other nutrients for dogs. There are many beneficial aspects but ultimately your dog is a carnivorous meat eater. Canines, above all else, require protein derived from meats. Feeding your dog mostly fruits is not an appropriate diet. So limit Fido’s fruit consumption to treat status which means they should be given only occasionally and in moderation.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie March, 2015

What fruit is safe to give my Terrier-cross? She seems to like most fruits. Thanks


R February, 2016

Hi Julie. I am involved with fostering and rescuing Cairn Terriers. My family includes a Cairn Terrier, a Cairn/Maltese and a Cairn/Jack Russell. The Cairn and Cairn/J.R. love fruit, especially apples and mangoes. Go light on mangoes as they can cause diarrhea and never let them have the seeds as they are poisonous.

My Cairn/Maltese will only eat apples if I put a bit of peanut butter on the pieces. They also love carrots and green beans. In the summer, they love watermelon and I sometimes freeze pieces and put it in their wading pool. They love trying to get their treat!


Ash March, 2015

My puppy loves mashed bananas with yogurt and water. He gets it as a treat once a week. He also loves boiled chicken, carrots, beans and potatoes. His stools are generally okay and in varied colors. He seems to be fine. I guess each dog has a unique taste!


Carolyn November, 2014

We are a proud dog-rescue family and tend to adopt the senior Lab mixes. I have onion and garlic allergies myself, so all of my homemade treats are typically safe foods. One of my dogs is a bit overweight. Yes, my fault. So, I supplement their kibble with frozen green beans, blueberries, apples and ground flax.

Summertime sales on watermelons gave me another idea! I freeze large chunks and keep them in freezer bags for year-round, low-calorie treats. If I know I need to leave on a business trip, I place the frozen treats in their toys and away they go! Fun and delicious.

Another favorite ritual is when I return from a long day, both dogs dance around when I ask if they want Cheerios. I toss the equivalent of 1/4 cup so they can can search for the scattered, tiny treats. They love the entire game.


Ella November, 2014

My dog used to be a spoiled puppy and got fruit everyday until my 6 year old son gave her grapes. She passed away about a month ago. Never feed your dog grapes!


Harriet September, 2014

My Springer Spaniel loves his fruits and vegetables. He gets a good quality, dry food twice a day but we live on a farm so he’ll forage apples, raspberries, blackberries, damsons, cabbage stalks, carrots, all raw. Very occasionally he’ll take a whole wild rabbit.

His stools are firm and regular and he’s ideal weight for his build and very active, so I let him get on with it. In fact, when he was on dry food only he struggled with constipation, so he must need the fiber. I guess different diets suit different dogs.


Sharon May, 2014

I cook all my dog’s food. He loves blueberries, strawberries and apples. Today he’s having ground pork (drained of fat) with diced sweet potatoes and chopped kale.


Beverley May, 2014

I live in Jamaica. I have quite a few dogs, all mutts. I noticed about a year ago that one of my dogs, Spotsie, would always go out when I’m driving out in the morning and get a mango from underneath any of the trees on our avenue. She is very diligent and eats the skin and all and licks the seed white. None of the others can go near her.

I have wondered for some time if it’s okay for her to have it but she enjoys it a lot and hasn’t keeled over yet. A few of the others have taken up her habit especially since it’s now mango season and my own tree is bearing fruit. It’s good to know that she’s okay.


Clare April, 2014

Our 9 week old Jack Russell Terriers enjoy a very small amount of pear. I try not to give them too many human foods as they need their natural diet to get strong and healthy.


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