Fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants; they are great sources of hydration, and they taste great! It’s no surprise that some pups seem to naturally gravitate to fruits. But are fruits safe and beneficial for dogs? Well, that depends.
As omnivores, dogs can eat both meat-based and plant-based nutritional sources. So yes, some fruits are perfectly fine for them to have in moderation. However, some fruits are just downright toxic. As an example, grapes and raisins are HIGHLY TOXIC to dogs.
If you’d like to remove the guesswork regarding fruits dogs can eat, the following guide is for you! We’ve listed the safest AND healthiest fruits dogs can eat. We also laid out the nutrients and benefits provided by each.
What’s in This Guide?
- Reminders & Tips Before Giving Fruits to Dogs
- Apples for Dogs
- Blueberries for Dogs
- Strawberries for Dogs
- Watermelon for Dogs
- Bananas for Dogs
- How to Jazz Up These Fruits Dogs Can Eat
Reminders & Tips Before Giving Fruits to Dogs
Before we go into the healthiest fruits dogs can eat, here are a few general reminders and tips when giving fruits to dogs:
- Fruits are meant to be given to dogs in moderation due to their sugar content. Even if fruits carry the natural sugar ‘fructose’, this can still cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs when given in high amounts.
- Make sure to remove choking hazards from fruity treats (e.g. pits, core, stems, seeds, peel, rind). It would be best to give fruits in sliced form.
- If your dog suffers from diabetes or is overweight, it would be best to avoid fruits that are higher in sugar content. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
- Even if fruits can offer nutritional benefits, your dog’s daily required nutrients should already be covered by their regular meals. At the end of the day, healthy fruits are just treats — not a part of a dog’s core diet.
- In addition, it’s important to note that each dog can have individual reactions to fruits. As further explained by Dr. Allison Kihn, Sploot’s veterinarian, “Even though a fruit is generally deemed safe to eat and non-toxic to dogs, that doesn't mean that a dog couldn't get gastric issues from it. [...] Some dogs with sensitive stomachs may still get an upset stomach.” This is why pet parents need to introduce fruity treats gradually and observe how their pup reacts.
Apples for Dogs
Among the fruits dogs can eat, apples are a crowd favorite. Dogs love the flavor and the texture of this fruit. The good news is that apples are also packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamins A & C, potassium, fiber, & antioxidants. All in all, apples help prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and support eye health. Malic acid found in apples (along with the apple’s texture) also helps clean your dog’s teeth.
Note: When serving apples, always remove the stem, core, and seeds. One to three apple slices are a healthy treat portion for your pup!
Blueberries for Dogs
Blueberries pack a powerful punch in terms of flavor and nutrition, making them a fantastic choice among the fruits dogs can eat. Blueberries are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins C and K, & fiber. Being so rich in antioxidants, blueberries aid in brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline associated with aging. Blueberries also help support overall health.
Strawberries for Dogs
Next on our list of the healthiest fruits dogs can eat are strawberries. Strawberries are delicious and packed with vitamins C, vitamin B9, and manganese. These fruits help boost the immune system, as well as promote healthy skin and joints. Strawberries also possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Watermelon for Dogs
On this list of the fruits dogs can eat, watermelon is the only one with 90 percent water content. As such, watermelon can be a hydrating treat for dogs, particularly during the hot summer months! Watermelon is also rich in vitamins A, C, and B6 — as well as lycopene, potassium, and fiber. Watermelon has nutrients that help reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and promote healthy skin.
Note: When serving watermelon, make sure to remove all the seeds or choose a seedless variety. Slice up the watermelon into small cubes and leave out the rind as it can cause gastrointestinal problems when ingested. Around two to five small slices are a healthy portion for most dogs. Meanwhile, larger dogs may have a handful of small slices.
Bananas for Dogs
Bananas are another crowd favorite on this list of fruits dogs can eat. Bananas are packed with potassium, vitamins C and B6, biotin, and fiber. The nutrients in banana help to boost the immune system, as well as support nerve and muscle functions.
Note: The best way to serve bananas as dog treats is to cut the fruit up into bite-sized pieces. Make sure that the dog does not eat the peel The peel is not toxic — but the fibers making up the peel are not easy to digest for dogs. Ingestion can possibly result in an obstruction. It is also important to note that bananas are high in sugar. Thus, a moderate portion of two to three slices is enough for most dogs. Larger dogs may have up to half a banana.
How to Jazz Up These Fruits Dogs Can Eat
Fruits are delicious snacks. However, plain sliced fruit may eventually get old for some pups. Here are tips on how to prepare old favorites in a new way:
- Freeze the fruit slices - This gives the fruit a new texture for Fido to enjoy.
- Place the fruit inside a Kong toy - Best done with frozen fruit, this adds an element of fun to any treat.
- Incorporate the fruit slices into a lick bowl - This keeps a pup busy and calm for a long time! Check out our lick bowl recipe here.
Final Thoughts About Healthiest Fruits Dogs Can Eat
We hope you enjoyed this guide on the safest & healthiest fruits dogs can eat. If you’d like more vital tips for preparing homemade dog treats, here is an article you can check out: How to Make Homemade Dog Treats for Your Furry Friend
As a final note, fruits are only meant to complement a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, if your dog has any underlying health conditions, it would be best to consult your veterinarian before introducing a new set of treats to your pup. When in doubt, always consult your veterinarian.
As for pet parents in Denver, we’re here for you! Sploot Veterinary Care is a primary & urgent care veterinary clinic, open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. We have multiple convenient locations you can visit. Our veterinarians will be happy to answer any questions you may have about fruits dogs can eat and other dietary concerns. Schedule an appointment today or come on in for a walk-in visit!
Till next time, we’re with you every pounce of the way!