Can Dogs Eat Fruits and Berries?
It’s only natural to think our dogs would enjoy the foods we do — especially during summer when nature offers an abundance of delicious summer fruits. Learn which fruits and berries are healthy and safe treats for your dog, as well as how to serve them.
First, the 90/10 rule for treats
Feed fruit to your dog like you would any other snack. Keep the portion size small. “Treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of his total calories for the day,” Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey says. The other 90 percent should come from a dog food that’s complete and balanced. That said, let’s talk fruit.
Can my dog eat strawberries?
Most definitely! Dogs can eat strawberries. In fact, strawberries have some characteristics and nutrients that may be good for your dog, including:
High water content
“Strawberries (and some other berries) are known to contain natural compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Research shows they are good for humans and some other animals, but whether or not there are benefits for your dog is yet to bet tested,” explains Dempsey.
Can my dog eat blueberries and other berries?
Yes! Even though blueberries are probably better for us than for our dogs, you can treat your dog with these tiny, delectable summer berries. They’re also low in calories and sugar, so they’re a feel-good treat.
“Raspberries, blackberries and cranberries are also safe options for dogs. Although cranberries can be bitter and in general dogs do not like bitter taste,” Dempsey says. Not all berries are safe for your dog. Some berries with pits can be dangerous for dogs to eat. Always be careful and research any new food before feeding.
Can my dogs eat cherries?
It’s best to stay away from cherries. Cherries have pits, and they’re just the right size to cause problems for dogs. In addition, pretty much every part of the cherry – the stem, the leaves, the tree, the shrub – contain cyanide and is toxic to dogs.
If you want to remove a little bit of the ripe cherry flesh and give it to your dog, that’s okay. But, it can seem like a lot of trouble for a very tiny treat.
Can my dog eat peaches?
Yes, your dog can have peaches. Just be sure to thoroughly remove the pit. The pit contains cyanide, which is harmful to your dog.
Peaches do contain Vitamin A, which is good for eyes, skin and immune health. Just remember that if you do decide to treat your dog to a peach, be sure to serve it one slice at a time and in moderation.
Can my dog eat mangoes?
Only if you pit the mango to avoid choking and any harm to your dog’s digestive tract. Once you do that, a mango can be a wonderful summertime snack. Mangoes are packed with Vitamin A, which is good for eyes, skin and the immune system. They also contain B6, which helps with energy and brain function, and Vitamins C and E, which have great antioxidant properties. If you’re peeling and cutting up mango for yourself, feel free to give a slice to your dog. However, like any other fruit, mangoes should be served as a treat, under supervision.
Can dogs eat grapes and raisins?
Absolutely not! While they may seem harmless, grapes and raisins are a huge no-no for dogs. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and should be avoided as a treat for your dog. Be sure to check ingredient labels for raisins in baked goods as well like biscuits or cookies.
Fruits in general
Fruits and berries contain vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and tend to be low in sugar, so when fed properly, they’re healthy for dogs in the same ways they’re healthy for humans. They’re also comprised largely of water, which makes them refreshing. Nevertheless, you should always keep a plentiful supply of clean, fresh water available, especially during warm summer months.
3 Tips for serving fruits to dogs
“Wash and clean fruit for your dog just like you would for your family,” Dempsey says. Washing helps rinse away dirt and residual chemicals.
Make fruit even easier to eat. Cut into small bits or puree – mashing works well, too. For larger dogs, serve by the slice or whole berry.
“Some dogs might not know what to do with the new texture of fruit. So, you can try feeding them as frozen treats,” says Dempsey. Whatever way you serve them, start out slowly. Call your veterinarian if you notice stomach upset, digestive issues, intense scratching or an increase in thirst.
Can fruit be part of a dog's daily diet?
If your dog loves fruit, you don’t have to only feed it as a treat a few times a week. There are complete and balanced foods your dog may enjoy as a full meal every day. One to try would be Beneful Grain Free with Real Chicken Dog Food, which has accents of blueberries, pumpkin, and spinach. Every ingredient in your dog’s diet should have a purpose.