Since we had that sultanas episode where Bowie accidentally ingested almost half a kilo of sultanas and went to have symptoms of kidney failure, I became aware of other (human) foods that dogs can and cannot have.
I’ve compiled a comprehensive A to Z Guide to Fruits that Dogs Can and Can’t Have (and everything in between) from my research, vet advice and my own experiences with my Labrador, Bowie. There are certain fruits that are definitely a YES and a NO, NO!, but there are others that will not show symptoms straight away or can be given to dogs in moderation.
Fruits like raisins and sultanas can have hidden poisons and are classified as idiosyncratic which means that only some animals are affected and there’s no way of knowing which dog will be. In this case you don’t know and the damage may show up weeks later – this is why diuresis is suggested for all dogs as soon as possible.
Different dog breeds, sizes, weights, ages and diets may react differently to the same fruits, and it also depends on how much you feed your dog. Anything that’s too much can be not good (it’s the same principle really with dogs as humans). If you’d like to introduce a new fruit, start small and see how your dog reacts. If you’re not sure, it’s best to consult with your vet or nutritionist.
This guide has been reviewed and approved by qualified and trusted veterinarian
|As the old saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, as long as you remove the seeds and the core. Apple slices are good low protein, high fibre, antioxidant snacks for our fur mates.
|Apricots are safe for dogs, but make sure they don’t eat the seed, leaves, pit and stems as they contain cyanide which is a highly toxic substance. Dried pitted apricots can be given to dogs in moderation.
|Bananas are a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fibre, biotin and copper. They are low in sodium and cholesterol, but due to the sugar content in bananas, dogs should only eat them as a treat, and not as a regular part of their diets.
|Most berries are safe for dogs and they’re chock full of antioxidant, fibre and vitamin C. However give them in moderation, as too much may cause gastric upset and diarrhea. Give them fresh or frozen as treat especially in summer – your dog will love it! Safe berries for your dog: Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries.
|Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are tasty and water-rich treats for your pups, but be sure to remove the rind and the seeds.
|It’s not recommended to feed your dog cherries as the pits, stems and leaves contain cyanide, which is poisonous and potentially lethal for your dog. Cherry pits can also get lodged in dog’s digestive tract and cause intestinal blockages. What about maraschino cherries? They may be pit-free, but maraschinos are not a good dog treat because they have been sweetened with tons of sugar.
|Coconut meat and oil have plenty of health benefits for dogs, including helping reduce inflammation, boosting their immune and digestive system, improving skin and coat conditions, and oral health. Coconut is non-toxic to dogs, but it does contain medium chain triglycerides, which may cause some gastrointestinal upset and bloating. Check with your vet or nutritionist if you’re unsure.
|Dogs can eat figs, but these fruits can also cause allergies to some dogs. Dried figs are not recommended to give to dogs.
|Grapefruits are toxic to dogs because they contain essential oils and psoralens which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, photo-sensitivity, depression and behavioural changes.
|Grapes in any shape or form (including currants, raisins and sultanas) are toxic to dogs. They can cause severe kidney damage leading to acute kidney failure. They are classified as idiosyncratic which means that only some animals are affected and there’s no way of knowing which dog will be. In this case you don’t know and the damage may show up weeks later – this is why diuresis is suggested for all dogs as soon as possible.
|If your dog’s stomach is ok, you can give kiwifruit as an occasional treat. Kiwifruits are high in fibre so it’s recommended to limit the quantity as they may cause upset stomach and diarrhea. Remove the skin before feeding it to your dog.
|Lemon & Lime
|Both lemon and lime contain psoralens as well as linalool and limonene. Although safe for humans, these substances are toxic to canines.
|Mango is high in fibre, as well as vitamin A, B6, C, and E, making it quite nutritious for dogs. Before feeding your dog mango, peel and remove the pit. Frozen mango is also a fun and tasty treat for your pooch, especially during summer.
|Nectarine & Peach
|These yummy and nutrient-packed fruits are safe to give to dogs, as long as you remove the pits.
|Orange & Mandarin
|Oranges and mandarins are full of nutrients, potassium, fibre, vitamin C, and they’re low in sodium, which makes them a healthy snack if given in limited amounts. Remove the skin and seeds before feeding it to your dog.
|Papaya is rich in fibre, healthy enzymes, vitamin A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, potassium, and calcium, which can help heart health, digestive and immune system. Feed small amounts and remove the skin and seeds before giving it to your pooch.
|There’s limited and conflicting information on the safety of this fruit, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, plus there are plenty other fruits that you can give to your dog.
|Pears are safe for dogs, in moderation. Make sure to remove any seeds, stem, pits or core before your dog eats it. Canned pears are not recommended for dogs due to its high content of sugar.
|Fresh and frozen pineapple pieces are an excellent and delicious snack for dogs especially in summer. They’re rich in vitamin C and also full of minerals. Remove the skin and the tough central core, and feed them in moderation. Pineapple seeds can be fed as a way of decreasing coprophagy (poop eating in dogs).
|Plum flesh is safe for dogs, but NOT the pit. Plum has high sugar content which means your dog should not have too often or too much of it.
|Like raisins and sultanas, pomegranate is another idiosyncratic fruit with unknown toxin and effects to dogs. Some dogs are affected and there’s no way of knowing which dog will be. The damage may show up weeks later. It’s another fruit that’s better not shared with your fur mate.
|Watermelon is a health-food powerhouse, low in calories and packed with vitamin A, B6, and C, and potassium. It’s a great snack for hydration on a hot day. Remove the seeds and the rind before giving it to fido.
This guide has been reviewed and approved by a highly regarded veterinarian, Dr Malcolm Ware BVSc CCRT VOSMA from The Vet Practice.