Corgi looking at an apple

What Fruit Can Dogs Eat?
Learn The Yummy, Healthy & Toxic Ones

Juicy, colourful, and oh-so-delicious… fruit is a favourite treat all year round. But what fruits can dogs eat? And can dogs eat fruit at all?

It’s easy to forget not all human treats are a good option for your furry friend. The wrong choice can have nasty consequences for you both!

Save yourself the headache and stick to safe options: our experts have gathered everything you need to know to choose the best fruits for dogs!

Corgi sniffing an apple

Can Dogs Eat Fruit?

It depends on which fruit. Some fruits are a good treat for dogs, but others can even be dangerous to their health! It’s important to remember that dogs process food in a different way than humans. This means some of our favourite treats, like grapes, should be kept far away from your dog’s reach.

However, safe fruits can add even more nutrients to your dog’s balanced diet. In fact, eating fruit in moderation can have many benefits!

Benefits of eating fruits for dogs

  • Boosts micronutrient intake: Ideally, your dog should already be on a well-balanced diet. This means their micronutrient intake is enough for their needs. However, fruits add even more micronutrients and help round up their diet. Of course, the specific vitamins and minerals will depend on the type of fruit they eat. In general, fruits are full of essential vitamins and key minerals to support the normal function of their body.
  • Increase fibre content: Fibre is essential to maintain your dog’s healthy gastrointestinal function. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club [1] are key to dogs’ long-term health. Fruits are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, although the specific quantities will vary depending on the fruit. In general, fibre regulates your dog’s intestinal tract, meaning it’ll help keep them regular. Plus, insoluble fibre, AKA prebiotics, is also the main food source of gut bacteria. And as you know, maintaining a healthy population of gut bacteria leads to positive health consequences all-around.
  • They help maintain a healthy weight: Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is key for their long-term health and life expectancy. In spite of this, we’re facing an obesity epidemic. In fact, according to Australian vets, more than 33% of dogs are considered overweight, and 7.6% are medically obese! [2] Regulating your dog’s caloric intake and providing ample opportunity for gentle exercise is the best way to prevent and revert weight gain. Fruits can be a great ally since most of them have  high water and fibre content, with relatively low levels of sugars and aren’t calorie-dense. Of course, if you think your dog might be overweight, talk to your vet before starting any special diet!
  • Full of antioxidants: This is probably one of the best reasons to give dogs fruits. They are full of healthy antioxidants that help fight off free radicals, slow down the natural ageing process and ensure their bodies stay healthy throughout the years! Even though the top dog foods have proper quantities of antioxidants, these compounds are very hard to preserve. Fresh antioxidants right from the source are the best option to reap the most benefits out of them! To get the most antioxidants from fruit, try to only give them ripe, fresh fruit.

The Best Fruits For Dogs

Considering all these benefits, of course you’d want to give some fruit to your dog! But before heading to the supermarket, you need to consider which are the best fruits for dogs. We’ve followed a simple criterion to make this list: fruits need to be non-toxic for dogs, easy to source for you, and safe to eat.

Here are some options to add fruit to your pup’s diet:

Bananas

Bananas are favourite of doggies all over the world! This sweet, sticky fruit is easy to eat and is great for pups of all ages. In fact, older dogs particularly love it because chewing it won’t harm their sensitive gums. Bananas are very high in potassium and vitamin B6. Potassium in particular is a salt that plays an essential role in regulating blood pressure. This means eating bananas in moderation can help your dog have a healthier heart function, especially if they are getting older!

Related: Can Dogs Eat Banana?

On the other hand, bananas are also rich in magnesium. Paired with potassium, magnesium can slightly lower natural bone calcium loss in dogs [3]. You can give bananas cooked or raw, but raw fruit will always have the most micronutrients.

PRO TIP: Be careful with plantains! While raw bananas are great for dogs, plantains are not the same. Raw plantains will cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhoea. If you want to give plantains to your dog, offer it boiled or steamed (never fried!).

Apples

These are a classic fruit for dogs. Apples are juicy, sweet and full of micronutrients! Apples of all kinds (red, yellow and green) are very high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A is a key nutrient to maintain your dog’s brain and eye health in the long term, and lack of it in their diet can lead to deteriorating vision.

On the other hand, vitamin C is essential to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy, as well as boosting their immune system to keep them protected from disease. Apples are also rich in dietary fibre to improve their digestion.

PRO TIP: Always take out the apple core and seeds. According to Britannica [4], apple seeds contain a small but relevant amount of cyanide. This means that in very large quantities they can cause poisoning! Of course, for apple seeds to be toxic you’d need to give lots of them to your dog, and they would have to chew them instead of swallowing them whole. Either way, it’s best to avoid risk. Just core your apples before offering a piece to your pup!

Berries

Many berries are safe for dogs to eat! This includes strawberries, blueberries, mulberries and blackberries.

Human-grade berries (the ones you can get at a market) are generally safe to eat as a treat and in small quantities. Berries have very high amounts of antioxidants, and they are particularly rich in vitamin C. This means eating berry snacks can help your dog have healthy skin and coat, as well as improve their long-term health. Vitamin C is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, so berries are especially useful if your pup suffers from arthritis.

Of course, not all berries are safe for dogs. Avoid juniper berries, pokeberries, mistletoe berries and in general, most wild berries.

On the other hand, you should always take the seeds and pit out if possible (like with cherries), and thoroughly rinse the berries before offering them to your dog.

PRO TIP: Stick to berries that are safe for humans to eat and keep your dog from grazing on wild berries on your nature walks. While many plants produce berries, not all of them are safe for dogs. In fact, many birds can eat berries that would be dangerous for your pup, so don’t let them eat anything you wouldn’t eat yourself! If your dog got into a wild berry bush, keep an eye on them and take a sample in case they start feeling bad. Your veterinarian will probably have a better idea of what to do and figure out if your dog is at risk of poisoning.

Peaches

Soft and juicy, most dogs love a small peach treat every once in a while! Peaches have a very high water and fibre content and are full of vitamins. This fruit is packed with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and fights natural ageing.

Yellow peaches are also rich in beta-carotene (the same compound that gives carrots their colour), which is used by the body to create vitamin A [5]. As we already mentioned, this vitamin is essential for your dog’s eye health and keeps their immune system working as it should.

Of course, stick to natural peaches, preferably raw. Canned peaches are usually stored in a syrup that makes them too sweet for dogs. If your dog ate canned peaches, they could have a spike in blood sugar levels and cause an insulin crisis.

PRO TIP: Never give whole peaches to your dog, even if they are a large breed. The peach pit is large enough to cause choking and intestinal blockage, so always remove it before offering this fruit to your dog.

Pineapple

This tropical treat can also be a great option for dogs. Of course, parts of the pineapple can cause irritation and choking, so prepare it accordingly.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Pineapple?

Before giving it to your dog, carefully take the crown out and peel it. Make sure to take out any pineapple eyes after you’re peeled it, and then take out the core. While the core works great in smoothies and juices, it’s very high in bromelain. This is an enzyme that can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth. Once this is done, only give small chunks of the fleshy part to your dog.

Pineapple can help digestion and is a fruit rich in antioxidants to help keep your dog young.

PRO TIP: Skip canned pineapple. Just like peaches, canned pineapples are stored in a high-sugar syrup that isn’t healthy for your dog.

Pears

Like apples, pears are another great seasonal treat for your pup. These have important amounts of vitamin C, fibre and copper. They are also rich in vitamin K. According to vets, vitamin K (also found in kale and spinach) is essential for the body to make proteins that help blood clotting and strengthen your bones [6]. This means pears might be a great fruit for growing puppies!

Always take the core and seeds out of pears. You can skip peeling them, since the skin has a lot of fibre and many essential vitamins!


What Fruits Can Puppies Eat?

So if adult dogs can eat fruit, should you give fruits to puppies? It depends on your puppy’s age. In general, younger puppies need less food variety to lower the likelihood of getting food allergies.

Puppies 0 to 3 weeks old should be breastfed exclusively. If the mother isn’t available or cannot feed the puppies for any reason, you should bottle feed with puppy formula to provide the essential nutrients they need.

Starting from 3 to 4 and a half weeks old, puppies can start eating solid foods but this should always be properly formulated dog food. Never give fruit to puppies at this stage.

Once puppies are weaned and eat solid food on a daily basis at 10 to 12 weeks old, you can offer some fruits. Don’t give them harsh flavours, chunks that are difficult to eat or a lot at once. Start with a very small piece and if in a couple of days they are still feeling good, repeat.

Remember to keep the fruits simple and the quantities small! If you want to give fruit to your puppy, here are ones to try:

  • Banana puree
  • Apple pieces
  • Watermelon balls (without the seeds!)
  • Pear chunks
  • Peaches (without the pit)

While you can leave the skin on some fruits, remove it if you wouldn’t eat it yourself (like with watermelon!). On the other hand, always remove the seeds, pits and more tough parts of the fruit. Puppies should only eat the fleshy parts!


Toxic Fruits For Dogs

Of course, while some fruits are good for dogs, not all of them are! In fact, some that we eat all the time can be unhealthy and downright dangerous to your pup!

Before reaching to the fruit bowl to give your pup a little snack, make sure they stay away from these toxic fruits for dogs:

  • Grapes: Researchers and vets aren’t sure why, but grapes can be highly toxic for some dogs. What they do know is that poisoning signs appear quickly and serious symptoms (like coma, seizures and even death) can start within hours of ingestion. Since there’s no way to know if your dog is sensitive to grapes, just skip them altogether.
  • Avocado: Avocado another toxic fruit for dogs, even if we consider it a veggie. Avocado is rich in persin. According to the ASPCA, it can cause distress, seizures and coma when eaten in large quantities.
  • Some nuts: While most nuts are generally safe for dogs, some of them are not. We have a whole article dedicated to nuts that are safe for dogs if you want to check it out.
  • Some mushrooms: Commercially available mushrooms (the ones you buy at the supermarket) are safe for dogs to eat raw. Of course, take care not to give them fried or seasoned mushrooms! On the flip side, eating wild mushrooms is considered a veterinarian emergency. Never give wild mushrooms to dogs, and keep an eye on them while going on nature walks. We focused on mushroom toxicity for dogs in a previous article as well.
  • Tomatoes: These are technically a fruit, so we had to add them here. So can dogs eat tomatoes? Ripe, red tomatoes are generally safe for dogs, but the other parts of the plant are highly toxic. On top of it, unripe tomatoes are also rich in the same toxic compound from the rest of the plant. In general, keep your dog away from tomato plants if they like munching on your garden crops!

Related: What Food Can't Dogs Eat?


Final Thoughts

As you can see, dogs can eat many fruits …. But others should be kept at arm’s length! In general, you can follow our suggestions here and you shouldn’t have any issues. Of course, when in doubt, ask your vet! They will be able to give you individualised advice that takes into account your dog’s health history and their current state.

Does your pup love to eat fruit? Mine love bananas! Let us know your dog’s favourite fruit in the comments below!

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References

  1. American Kennel Club. Benefits of high-fibre dog foods. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/benefits-high-fiber-dog-foods/  
  2. PFIAA. Obesity in dogs and cats. https://pfiaa.com.au/incidence-risk-factors-and-managing-obesity-in-dogs-and-cats/
  3. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Can dogs eat banana? https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/can-dogs-eat-bananas-get-the-facts/
  4. Petruzzello, Melissa. Can apple seeds kill you? Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/story/can-apple-seeds-kill-you
  5. WebMD. The health benefits of peaches. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-peaches-health-benefits
  6. Harvard School of Public Health. Vitamin K. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-k/
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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