Pug Dog staring at two pears.

Can Dogs Eat Pear? Fact Checked By Our Vet

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 18th January 2024

Alongside apples, pears are one of the most popular fruits. Juicy, sweet, and delicious, we love them around here. But are pears safe for dogs? Can dogs eat pears? Our experts dive deep to answer all your questions.


Can Dogs Eat Pears?

Yes! Pears don’t have any toxic compounds for dogs, and in fact, research shows there might be some benefits.

Related: What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?

So, whether your dog stole a few bites from your snack or you’re wondering if it’s a safe food, there’s no need to worry. Eaten in moderation, pears can be a nice treat for your dog.


Benefits of Giving Pears To Your Pup: Are Pears Good For Dogs?

While pears are not dangerous to your pup, you might be wondering if they could be a nice addition to their diet. Although research on the specific benefits of pears for dogs is minimal, some of the key features of this fruit have been the focus of different studies. Here are some possible benefits of dogs eating pears:

  • Pears add dietary fibre to your dog’s diet: Constipation in dogs is a very common issue, especially among pups fed exclusively with traditional kibble. Old-fashioned kibble tends to be quite low in fibre due to its very nature: there needs to be a high starch content in the batter to go through the extrusion process. Unfortunately, high starch content usually means minimal dietary fibre. A medium-sized pear has around 6 grams of fibre, so it can help with constipation and bloating, helping keep your dog “regular”.
  • Rich in prebiotics: Going back to the fibre content in pears, they are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is also called prebiotic, because it serves as food for the good bacteria in your dog’s gut [1]. A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to a lowered risk of chronic diseases (like cancer), diabetes and obesity. Soluble fibre can also help control blood pressure, making pear a great treat for dogs of all ages.
  • Full of potassium: Do you have an active dog? If you own a working pup, or you go on long walks, pears are a great option. This fruit is a great source of potassium and magnesium, essential for the healthy functioning of muscle cells. Both of these minerals have key roles in salt balance and ensure proper muscle and heart function. In the long run, researchers hypothesise that an adequate potassium and magnesium intake can help prevent heart disease [2].
  • Could help strengthen your puppy’s bones: Pears are also rich in Vitamin K. IN fact, one medium pear packs about 10% of the daily recommended value for dogs [3]. This vitamin intervenes in calcium absorption among dogs of all ages, but it’s especially important for puppies and seniors.
  • Pears are rich in antioxidants: As other fruits, pears have polyphenols. These are a specific antioxidant type that neutralise free radicals, the unstable atoms that multiply with age and pollution. While having an antioxidant-rich diet won’t prevent ageing, researchers have found many benefits to it. For example, a consistent antioxidant intake is anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and anti-microbial [4]. Eaten in moderation, pears can help strengthen your dog’s body so it can better fight off disease.

Can Puppies Eat Pear?

Yes, but with a few caveats:

Puppies should not eat any solid foods until they have been completely weaned from their mother’s milk. This is at least at 7 weeks old, but sometimes they can nurse for a bit longer.

Pears can be fed to puppies as a treat, on top of their regular, balanced diet. Eating too much pear can cause diarrhoea, so only offer one or two bites once a week at most. It’s best to start small!

If your dog seems to like it, you might be able to feed a few bites of pear up to two times a week on top of their regular food.

PRO TIP: If your dog has sudden diarrhoea and you know it’s because of excessive fibre consumption, take the fibre-rich food away and wait. Usually they’ll get better in a couple of hours. Call your vet if the diarrhoea stays for more than 6 hours, if they are lethargic, or seem to want to vomit but can’t.


Can Dogs Eat Nashi Pears?

Just like European pears, dogs can eat nashi pears as well.

Despite having very different origins, taste and shape, both types of pears are a safe addition to your dog’s diet.

If you prefer nashi pears, you’ll probably know this specific kind is pretty unique. Nashi or “Asian pears” are almost round and tend to be crispier than a typical European pear.

Nevertheless, be careful: the extra sweetness can cause issues. If your dog is diabetic or overweight, nashi pears should be kept to a minimum. These are higher in sugar so we recommend only feeding once a week at most, and only 1-2 pieces at a time.


When Are Pears Bad For Dogs?

Yes, pears can have many health benefits and even be a great occasional treat for your pooch. But it doesn’t mean they are harmless. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never give your dog whole pears: Whole pears can be a choking risk and be quite dangerous for your dog. Dogs tend to chew minimally, and big pear chunks or the core can get lodged in their throat and be life-threatening. Pear seeds are also indigestible and have a small cyanide percentage that, if eaten too frequently, can lead to health problems. Always core pears and cut them into bite-sized chunks before offering a bite to your dog.
  • Excess pear intake can cause digestive trouble: The benefits of fibre can backfire: too much and all at once, excess fibre intake can cause diarrhoea. Never give a full pear to your dog: offering 1 to 2 chunks depending on their size should be enough of a fibre boost without the risks.
  • Stick to once or twice a week: Pears are relatively high in sugar. So, if you have a dog with previous health issues (like diabetes) or your pup is overweight, pears should be treated as very occasional treats.

PRO TIP: Always consult with your veterinarian before giving new fruits to your dog, especially if they have other health conditions.


Final Thoughts

Have you ever given pears to your dog? Do they prefer nashi pears or not? If you’re wondering if other common fruits are safe for dogs, take a look at our other food safety guides.

Are you wondering if your dog can eat other common foods? Check out our full list below:

References

  1. Tufts Veterinary college. The right amount of fiber in your dog’s diet. https://www.tuftsyourdog.com/dogfoodandnutrition/the-right-amount-of-fiber-in-your-dogs-diet/
  2. Li X, et al. "Nutritional Composition of Pear Cultivars (Pyrus spp.)." (2016). https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tingting-Wang-50/publication/317602573_Nutritional_Composition_of_Pear_Cultivars_Pyrus_spp/links/5942a97e45851525f88d647f/Nutritional-Composition-of-Pear-Cultivars-Pyrus-spp.pdf
  3. Wojdyło A, et al. "Comparison of bioactive compounds and health promoting properties of fruits and leaves of apple, pear and quince." Scientific Reports 11.1 (2021): 1-17. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-99293-x
  4. Hu, Z et al. “Ursolic acid improves survival […].” The Journal of surgical research vol. 194,2 (2015): 528-536. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25454976/

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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