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.