What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

By: Chewy EditorialUpdated:

What Fruits Can Dogs Eat
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What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

If you’re like a lot of pet parents, you might have wondered at some point about what fruits can dogs eat. Maybe you accidentally dropped a piece of banana on the floor or were snacking on apple slices and felt tempted to give into pleading puppy eyes. Can dogs safety eat fruit? The happy answer is that yes, there are a handful of fruits that are perfectly fine to dish up to your dog in small amounts.

To discover what fruits can dogs eat —as well as a few fruits dogs should not eat—we reached out to two veterinarians. Here is their advice what’s okay, how to prepare these approved fresh fruits and how much of each to give your dog.

Apples

  • High in vitamin A, zero fat, high in fiber
  • Variety of apple doesn’t matter
  • Remove core and stems. It is imperative to remove seeds as they contain a compound that’s toxic to dogs.
  • One or two slices is a serving
  • Sorry, jarred, sugar-added applesauce should be avoided and apple pie or other baked goods with apples are also off the menu

  • Preparation: “Remove the core, seeds, and stem, then feed one or two slices as a reasonable serving size,” say Dr. Erin Katribe, veterinarian and medical director for Best Friends Animal Society. “Dogs can eat the peel, but this is extra fiber. If they have a sensitive intestinal tract, it may be gentler on their system to peel the apples before feeding.”
  • Dog treat portion size: One or two slices is a serving. In addition to feeding your dog apples in small quantities, Dr. Katribe says to only feed your dog fresh apples. Fresh applesauce with no added sugar is OK, but canned applesauce tends to be high in sugar and should be avoided.
  • Benefits: No matter the variety of apple you choose, this crunchy sweet treat has zero fat and is high in fiber and vitamin A.
  • Learn more about feeding apples to dogs here.

Blackberries

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Larger dogs can eat whole berries; mash them for smaller dogs to avoid choking
  • Just a few berries make an appropriate serving size
  • Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred blackberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies made with blackberries or other baked goods are off the menu as are sweetened blackberry jams and spreads.
  • Preparation: Larger dogs can eat whole berries; mash them for smaller dogs to avoid choking. Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred blackberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies made with blackberries or other baked goods are off the menu as are sweetened blackberry jams and spreads.
  • Dog treat portion size: Two or three blackberries as a small treat is great. You can also try Whole Life Living Treats Antioxidant Fruit Blend Dog Treats, which are bite-sized treats made with blackberries and other nutrient-rich superfoods.
  • Benefits: Another great fruit for dogs, blackberries are a great source of antioxidants (anthocyans), polyphenols, tannin, fiber, manganese, folate, and omega-3s. They're also high in lots of different vitamins, including C, K, A, and E.

Blueberries

  • High antioxidant capacity including Flavonoids
  • High in vitamins C and K to support your pup’s immune system
  • High in fiber, nutrient-dense and low in calories
  • 85% water for additional hydration benefits
  • Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred blueberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies and other baked goods made with blueberries are off the menu as are sweetened blueberry jams and spreads.
  • Preparation: Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred blueberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies and other baked goods made with blueberries are off the menu as are sweetened blueberry jams and spreads.
  • Dog treat portion size: Two or three blueberries are a great treat.“Freezing them can make a great warm-weather treat, or you can give them a toss in the air for your pup to catch,” Dr. Katribe suggests. “In general, freezing any type of fruit in bite-size pieces can change the texture and keep things interesting and new for dogs.”
  • Benefits: This vitamin-dense, high-antioxidant, low-calorie snack is rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, says Dr. Katribe. Specifically, they contain vitamins C, K, and manganese, and their antioxidant properties can potentially help bolster your dog’s immune system and brain function. Blueberries are also 85% water for additional hydration benefits.
  • Learn more about feeding blueberries to dogs here.

Bananas

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Naturally sweet which dogs tend to love so limit serving size
  • Peels should not be served to dogs (compost them!)
  • Larger dogs can eat chunks of banana; mash them for smaller dogs to avoid choking

  • Preparation: Larger dogs can eat chunks of banana; mash them for smaller dogs to avoid choking. “I recommend peeling and slicing thinly,” says Dr. Katribe. “The peel isn’t toxic and doesn’t have the blockage/obstruction risk that some other peels or rinds do, but the peel can definitely lead to some intestinal upset, such as diarrhea and vomiting.”
  • Dog treat portion size: Large dogs should have no more than half a banana. Small dogs should only have a couple of small slices.
  • Benefits: This cheerful fruit is available year-round and chock-full of nutritional goodness for your pup. Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, notes Dr. Katribe. That said, they do tend to be higher in sugar, so one or two thin slices at a time is plenty.
  • Learn more about feeding bananas to dogs here.

Cantaloupe

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Do not serve rind (the outer skin)
  • Chop into small pieces to avoid choking hazard
  • Preparation: Chop into small pieces to avoid choking hazard. Do not serve rind (the outer skin). Make sure to peel away the entire rind, and serve in a small, thin wedge.
  • Dog treat portion size: A few small bites are an appropriate treat.
  • Benefits: Fresh cantaloupe is a great way to give them an extra source of vitamins A, B, and C. Plus, this juicy, hydrating fruit is high in fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid (wow, what a powerhouse!).

Cranberries

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Can help fight UTIs
  • Serve cooked rather than raw makes digestion easier
  • Avoid canned cranberry products such as cranberry sauce or frozen sweetened cranberries as these may contain added sugar or may be sweetened with xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
  • Preparation: Serve cooked rather than raw makes digestion easier. We recommend stewing cranberries so they’re soft and mushy, straining, then adding to your dog’s food as a topper. To stew cranberries, put them in a saucepan with water, cover and cook until tender (about 30 minutes). Avoid canned cranberry products such as cranberry sauce or frozen sweetened cranberries as these may contain added sugar or may be sweetened with xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
  • Dog treat portion size: One to two tablespoons. For a dog treat that contains cranberries, try Hill's Natural Fruity Snacks with Cranberries & Oatmeal Crunchy Dog Treats, an all-natural and crunchy bite that provide the benefits of cranberries without the prep.
  • Benefits: Tangy cranberries offer your pup a source of vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. They can also help fight against urinary tract infections (UTIs) and help balance acid-base in dog’s body.
  • Learn more about feeding cranberries to dogs here.

Kiwis

  • High in several beneficial vitamins and loaded with fiber
  • Do not serve whole as may present choking hazard
  • Always remove peels and seeds
  • Choose a ripe fruit (firm, brown and fuzzy)

  • Preparation: Remove the skin and seeds and cut the fruit into small pieces before feeding to your dog.
  • Dog treat portion size: A half a slice or one slice of kiwi is a good size treat.
  • Benefits: Kiwis are a source of fiber, potassium and are high in vitamin C.

Oranges

  • Loaded with beneficial vitamins and fiber
  • Dogs that are overweight or suffer from diabetes should not be fed this sugary treat
  • Always remove peel and seeds before serving to dogs
  • While orange juice  is safe for dogs, it is high in sugar and should be avoided

  • Preparation: Remove the rind and any seeds before feeding your dog an orange slice. Do not feed your dog any part of the orange tree.
  • Dog treat portion size: Half of a segment is a good size treat. Limit your dog's orange intake to avoid stomach upset.
  • Benefits: Oranges provide dogs with fiber, potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, flavonoids, phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, B1 and B6.

Pears

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Contain beneficial probiotics
  • Can be served raw or cooked and mashed
  • Frozen pears are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred pears (such as some baby foods) as these may contain added sugar or may be sweetened with xylitol which is toxic to dogs
  • Preparation: Feed raw, or mash or puree some pear to put on top of your dog’s food. Frozen pears are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred pears (such as some baby foods) as these may contain added sugar or may be sweetened with xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
  • Dog treat portion size: One or two bite-sized pieces is plenty, or one tablespoon if added to dog food. For an easy way to incorporate pear into your dog’s diet, feed them Nulo Freestyle Duck Recipe With Pears Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food. This nutrient-dense food is packed with naturally occurring probiotics that support healthy digestion and a strong immune system.
  • Benefits: This fruit, available nearly year-round, is an excellent source of fiber, folic acid, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, copper, pectin and vitamins A, C, E, B1 and B2

Pumpkin

  • High in lots of beneficial vitamins
  • Promotes a healthy gut; but do not overserve which can cause tummy upset
  • Canned unsweetened pumpkin is okay but sorry, pumpkin pie filling is off the menu
  • And, that also goes for pumpkin pie.
  • Preparation: When giving pumpkin to your dog remove seeds and roast the pumpkin before creating a mash or puree. No need to add any sugar or salt (keep it simple!). Canned unsweetened pumpkin is okay but sorry, pumpkin pie filling is off the menu—and that also goes for pumpkin pie.
  • Dog treat portion size: 1/2 teaspoon for small dogs. One to four tablespoons for large dogs. As an alternative to fresh pumpkin, the Weruva Pumpkin Patch Up! dog and cat food supplement pouches come in single-serve pouches for a quick and easy way to include pumpkin in your dog's food daily. You can also try making DIY pumpkin treats, like these pumpkin pie dog treats.
  • Benefits: Pumpkin is a favorite fruit for dogs that tastes good, is easy on their tummy, and delivers lots of nutrients to their diet. This fall favorite is a source of fiber, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, zinc, iron, potassium, and Vitamin A. Pumpkin is also a popular supplement for dogs as it packs his diet with fiber that aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
  • Learn more about feeding pumpkin to dogs here.

Raspberries

  • Rich in nutrients and powerful antioxidants that can reduce the possibility of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis
  • Fairly low in calories and high in fiber
  • Raspberries contain a high level of natural xylitol, an all-natural sweetener that can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. Serve raspberries in moderation.

  • Preparation: Larger dogs can eat whole berries, while you should mash the berries for smaller dogs so they're not a choking hazard. Stick to fresh or frozen (plain) raspberries. Steer clear of canned or jarred raspberries, which likely contain added sugar.
  • Dog treat portion size: Two or three raspberries are a good size treat.
  • Benefits: These berries are a compact source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium. Not only that, but they are also rich in vitamin C, K and B-complex.

Strawberries

  • High in immune system boosting vitamins C, B1, B6, and K
  • High in minerals including potassium, iodine, magnesium, and folic acid
  • Loaded with fiber to aid in digestion
  • Contain Omega-3 for skin and coat health.
  • Contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth
  • Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred strawberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies and other baked goods made with strawberries are off the menu, as are sweetened strawberry jams and spreads.

  • Preparation: A fruit dogs can eat that’s already available in bite-sized pieces? Perfect! Frozen berries are fine as long as they are not sugared. Avoid canned or jarred strawberries as these are likely to contain added sugar. Pies and other baked goods made with strawberries are off the menu, as are sweetened strawberry jams and spreads.
  • Dog treat portion size: We recommend giving one full strawberry (or a half of one if it’s an oversized piece) for a tasty, low-calorie treat. If you’re seeking a prepared product, try Fruitables Greek Strawberry Yogurt Flavor crunchy dog treats. They contain limited ingredients that are all-natural.
  • Benefits: This bright red fruit is a yummy favorite for dogs. It’s rich in fiber (to aid in digestion), potassium, magnesium, iodine, folic acid, and omega-3 fats (for skin and coat health). Not to mention, it contains immune-boosting vitamins C, K, B1 and B6. It also contains an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth.
  • Learn more about feeding strawberries to dogs here.

Watermelon

  • High in vitamins A, B1,B5, B6, and C
  • High in minerals including potassium and magnesium
  • High in anti-oxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene
  • Low in calories
  • High in water content for helpful hydration
  • And, it’s fun to eat!
  • Remove rind and seeds

  • Preparation: “When feeding watermelon to your dog, remove the skin, rind, and the seeds. The skin is difficult to digest, and the rind can cause intestinal obstruction,” says Dr. Katribe.
  • Dog treat portion size: “As with any new or different food, feed in small amounts to avoid any potential stomach or intestinal upset,” says Dr. Katribe.
  • Benefits: A classic summer staple, watermelon is a refreshing low-calorie treat that tastes good and helps keep your dog hydrated. It also contains a large amount of vitamins A, B1,B5, B6 and C. Additional, watermelon boasts potassium, magnesium and antioxidant carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene.
  • Learn more about feeding watermelon to dogs here.

Tips for Feeding Fruit to Dogs

Now that you know what fruits dogs can eat, read these tips to ensure optimum safety while feeding:

  • Always talk to your veterinarian about any treats you feed your dog, including fruit.
  • Give your dog small portions of fruit only, especially the first time feeding them to your dog. Even though fruit is good for them, fruit is not calorie-free. Also, you don’t know if your dog will have an allergic or other adverse reaction, such as gas or an upset stomach.
  • Purchase organic fruits when possible.
  • Clean fruit thoroughly before offering it to your dog.
  • If you can, introduce small portions of fruit to your dog when he is young. He may be more likely to try it and like it.
  • Some dogs don’t like raw fruit. Try mashing it into their food or adding it as an ingredient when you make homemade dog treats. You can also use fruit juice, but make sure it is 100% fruit juice and does not contain added sugars.
  • Feed fruits to your dog as a small training treat or stuff their favorite dog toys with some peanut butter and fruit for a great and healthy occupier.
  • Avoid feeding your dog any type of seeds or pits. Although not all seeds are known to cause problems, it is better to be safe than sorry. What is known to be problematic or toxic are apple seeds, apricot pits, nectarine pits, plum pits, cherry pits and peach pits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you feed fruit to dogs?

A: How you feed fruit to dogs depends on the fruit itself. Generally speaking, pieces should be small and easy for your pet to chew and swallow. Some fruits can be cut into bite-sized pieces (like apples or pears) while others are better mashed or pureed (like cranberries or pumpkins). For non-berry fruits, always remove stems, peels, rinds, seeds, and anything that’s not the fruit itself.

Q: How much fruit can I feed my dog?

A: Fresh fruit should be a very small portion of what your dog eats. As a rule of thumb, fresh fruit or vegetables shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your dog’s total diet.

“Variety certainly keeps things interesting for dogs, but we have to balance that with their digestive tracts that become very accustomed to eating just one consistent thing. In this case, that would be a balanced, specifically formulated canine diet,” says Dr. Katribe. “Noting that, anything new or different should be fed in moderation, as any dog can have a sensitivity to specific items or to new things.”

Q: Can dogs eat fruit seeds and pits?

A: No, you shouldn’t give your pet any sort of fruit seeds (with the exception of fresh berries) or pits. Not only are these potential choking hazards, but they can also contain toxins that can lead to internal issues. In addition, it’s best to avoid peels and rinds, as these are more difficult for your dog to process. Stick to the fleshy parts instead.

Q: What fruits can dogs not eat?

A: While lots of fresh produce is a yummy snack for your pup, there are some fruits dogs should avoid. Fruits dogs cannot eat include:

  • Grapes (including raisins): Even small amounts of this fruit can be toxic to some dogs, resulting in lethargy, diarrhea, abdominal pain, kidney failure, or even death.
  • Avocado: Another fruit dogs should avoid, avocados contain a toxin called persin that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. All parts of the avocado contain this toxin, though it’s higher in the pit and peel.
  • Tomatoes: While the ripe red part is probably OK, any green portions contain a toxin called solanine that can cause some GI upset.

As you can see, incorporating fresh fruits into your dog’s diet is a great way to add some excitement and novelty into their world. When wondering what fruits can you give your dog, stick to the ones we listed above, only feed them the fleshy parts, and aim for small quantities.

There are no “stupid” questions when it comes to your pet’s health. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)

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By: Chewy EditorialUpdated:

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