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Dog Food: Fruits and Vegetables Your Dog Can and Cannot Eat

Written by FOTP Team

Updated

With all the differing information out there, it can be difficult to know what's best to feed your dog. And though fruits and vegetables are foods are broadly considered to be healthy for humans, not all of them are good for dogs. While most dogs love some human foods to snack on, and many can be fun to give them a treat every now and again, it’s important to know what human foods are good and bad for your dog.

It’s important to note that dogs don’t actually require any fruit or vegetables as a part of their diet. While the right kinds of fruit and vegetables can be good snacks for your dog, they shouldn’t make up more than ten percent of your dog’s daily calories. As long as you feed your dog a diet that is well-balanced and nutritious, extra fruit and vegetables are not necessary. Because of this, it’s best to give them as a treat rather than a main part of your dog’s diet.

What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

If you eat fruit as a main part of your diet, then your dog probably sniffs around when you’re eating, wanting a piece. However, it’s important to know which fruits are safe to give to your dog. The following fruits are generally safe for dogs to eat as a snack or treat.

Apples

Dogs can safely eat apples. However the core and seeds of the apple contain small amounts of cyanide, which is why cutting as much of the core out as possible is important. Apples are low in fat and high in vitamins A and C, and are a good source of fibre. 

Blueberries

Your dog can safely eat blueberries as a treat or snack, as they're high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre and are low in calories. You can feed blueberries to your dog either fresh or frozen, but if you have a small dog it’s a good idea to cut larger berries up into smaller pieces. 

Peaches

Peaches are generally a safe fruity snack or treat to give to your dog that's high in fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A. However, the pit can contain cyanide and can be a choking hazard, so it’s important to make sure that it's fully removed and flesh is cut out of the pit area before feeding. Peaches should be cut up into chunks before feeding, and they can also be fed frozen.

Watermelon

Watermelon is another fruit that is safe for your dog to eat. Since it is 92% water, it can be a good way to help your dog to stay hydrated on a hot day. However, before you feed this to your dog, you should remove all the seeds and the rind since ingesting these can lead to intestinal blockage. Along with being a good source of water, watermelon is also high in potassium and vitamins A, C, and B6. 

Pears

Pears can be safe to give to your dog as a treat or snack that's high in copper, fibre, and vitamins C and K. Before feeding, just remove the core and seeds since they can contain small amounts of cyanide like apples and peaches. Cut the pears into bite-size chunks before feeding.

What Type of Fruit Can Dogs Eat in Moderation?

Some fruits are safe for your dog to eat, but only in moderation. This is usually due to high sugar content. You can give these fruits to your dog as an occasional treat. 

Bananas

Bananas can be a great snack or treat for your dog. They are high in fibre, copper, and potassium, but they are also high in sugar so should only be given to your dog as a treat occasionally. Before feeding, peel the banana and cut it into small chunks. 

Cranberries

Cranberries can be a good occasional treat for your dog and can help with urinary tract infections. However, they are very high in acid, so don’t give them to your dog too often as it can lead to stomach upset. Cranberries are high in fibre, manganese, and vitamin C and can be fed to your dog raw, dried, or cooked. 

Cantaloupe

This fruit is high in sugar, so it should be fed in moderation. You should also avoid feeding it to dogs that are overweight or diabetic. Before feeding, it should be cut up into small chunks, and the skin and seeds should be removed. It’s also high in fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C. 

Strawberries

Strawberries can be a healthy and tasty treat to give your dog. However, they are high in sugar, as well as healthier fibre and Vitamin C, so you should avoid giving them to your dog too often.

What Fruits are Toxic to Dogs?

There are some fruits that should be completely avoided as they can be toxic to your dog. Ingesting these fruits can lead to health issues, so it is important to keep them out of your dog’s reach if you have them at home, especially if you have a curious dog who tries to eat anything. 

Cherries

The seeds, stems, and leaves of cherries can be dangerous to your dog since they contain cyanide that can lead to cyanide poisoning and difficulty breathing in dogs. There might not be much cause for concern if your dog eats some of the flesh since it does not contain cyanide, but there isn't enough flesh on a cherry for this small snack to be worth the risk.

Avocados

Avocados contain persin, a toxin that can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting in dogs. While the flesh does not contain as much persin as the pit, skin, and leaves, it is still too much for a dog to ingest. So you should avoid feeding it completely. 

Tomatoes

If a tomato is ripe, the flesh is generally safe for dogs. However, anything green on a tomato including the leaves and vines contain solanine, which can lead to tomatine poisoning in dogs. This can lead to issues such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, and abdominal pain. 

Grapes

No part of the grape is safe to give to a dog and raisins are also very dangerous for dogs to eat. Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure, and it might only take a small amount for this to happen. A dog that weighs fifty pounds can suffer from kidney failure after eating just 2-3oz of raisins or 15oz of grapes. 

Safe Vegetables

While your dog does not need vegetables as a part of their diet, there are several vegetables that are safe to give to your dog as a treat or snack. You can safely give your dog the following veggies:

Cucumber

Cucumber is an ideal treat for an overweight dog as they are very low in calories and are made up of around 96% water. Cucumber is also low in carbs, fat, and calories and high in magnesium, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin C. Before feeding cucumber, it should be cut up into smaller chunks.

Carrots

Carrots are another vegetable that are safe to give to your dog as a snack or treat. They are also very low in calories and high in fibre, Vitamin A, and beta-carotene, and since they are crunchy, they can be good for your dog’s teeth. Cut carrots up into smaller, bite-size pieces before feeding them to your dog. 

Green Beans

Green beans are safe for dogs and they're low in calories, high in protein, and high in fibre. Green beans can be fed either fresh, frozen, or canned as long as they do not contain any salt. Cut them into small pieces before you feed them.

Celery

Celery is a good treat to feed if you are worried about doggy breath – it's also high in antioxidants, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B. However, before feeding it to your dog, you will need to cut it up into small pieces. This is because the strings in the celery can be a choking hazard for smaller dogs.

Vegetables Dogs Can Eat in Moderation

Along with some fruits, there are also vegetables that are safe for dogs but should also be given in moderation. These include:

Brussel sprouts

Sprouts can be a safe treat or snack for dogs as long as they are fed in moderation, as eating too many can lead to a lot of gas. Before feeding, cook the sprouts until they are soft and cut them into small pieces. You should make sure that they are small enough to not pose a risk of choking. Sprouts are high in antioxidants, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. 

Broccoli

Broccoli is a healthy treat or snack for dogs. It is high in fibre and Vitamin C, but bear in mind that eating too much of it can pose a choking hazard or lead to gastric irritation. You can feed broccoli florets to your dog either raw or cooked. 

Peas

Peas are high in fibre, potassium, and vitamin B and can be fed to your dog either fresh, steamed, frozen or mashed. However, it’s important to avoid giving your dog canned peas. Only give your dog peas in the pod if they are also safe for you to eat. Feed in moderation as too much can lead to gas and stomach upset. 

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and fibre. However, they are also high in carbohydrates, so they should be fed to your dog sparingly, especially if your dog is diabetic or overweight. Before feeding, remove the skin, cook the potatoes, and cut them into small pieces or mash them. 

Pumpkin

Pumpkin can be an excellent treat for helping a dog’s digestive system. It is high in several vitamins including vitamins A, C, and E along with being rich in iron and fibre. However, it should always be fed in moderation as it is high in calories. Before feeding, remove the shell and seeds and feed it either cooked or canned to your dog.

Veggies That are Toxic

Like fruits, there are also some vegetables that are toxic for your dog and should be avoided. If you want to give your dog a healthy snack or treat, it’s important to know which vegetables are not good for them. Vegetables to avoid feeding your dog include:

Onions

All onions including leeks, chives, and shallots are poisonous to dogs. Eating onions can cause a rupture of the red blood cells, leading to anaemia and causing vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhoea. 

Mushrooms

While not all mushrooms are toxic to dogs, it is best to avoid feeding them altogether. When out on a walk, it’s important to keep your eye out for wild mushrooms and prevent your dog from eating any. Eating mushrooms can cause a range of symptoms in dogs including vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases it can even lead to death. 

Rhubarb

Rhubarb stalks are generally not unsafe for your dog to eat and might cause a small amount of upset stomach. However, the leaves are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause tremors or even put a dog in a coma. Some symptoms that might be caused by a dog eating rhubarb stalks include mouth irritation, diarrhoea, vomiting, and kidney failure. 

Detecting an Allergy

Your dog might be allergic to fruits and vegetables that are generally considered safe for dogs to eat. If this is the case, the allergy will present itself as most food allergies do in dogs. Unlike humans who tend to suffer stomach upset, you might notice symptoms with your dog’s ears and skin. Some common signs that your dog might be suffering from a food-related allergy include frequent ear infections, constant skin scratching, and lesions on the skin that are caused by the dog constantly scratching.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Something Toxic

If you suspect that your dog might have eaten something toxic, but they are not showing any symptoms, then the best course of action is to call your vet. If you are in the UK, you can also call the PSDA Animal Poison Line. In the US, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, and you can also call the Pet Poison Helpline in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. 

If your dog has eaten something toxic or you suspect that they have and they begin to exhibit concerning symptoms, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Make sure that you remove any food so that your dog does not eat any more and note what your dog has eaten and how much if you can. This will help the vet determine the best treatment for the issue.

Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Something Toxic

If you have a dog, it’s important to know what the symptoms of poisoning are so that you can tell if your dog has eaten something toxic. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help you get your dog the medical attention that they need. If your dog suddenly starts acting strange or being sick, it can be scary if you are not sure why or what is behind it. 

The symptoms of poisoning in dogs can be different depending on the type of substance that your dog has eaten. Weakness and seizures might be common symptoms if your dog has eaten a toxic fruit or vegetable. Some typical signs to look out for that might indicate your dog has eaten something toxic include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite/avoiding food
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Drooling
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irritation to the skin or mouth
  • Lack of coordination

If your dog eats something toxic, the symptoms and signs of poisoning might take a few hours to show. Sometimes they can take longer to appear, depending on what your dog has eaten. If you know or suspect that your dog has ingested something that could poison them, then you should take your dog to see a vet as soon as possible, even if they are not showing any symptoms yet.

How Poisoning is Treated in Dogs

The treatment that your dog receives if they eat something toxic will depend on several factors including what they have eaten, which is why it is crucial to provide your vet with as much information as possible. The substance that your dog ate, how much of it they ate, how long it has been since your dog ate it and if your dog has any other illnesses and conditions will all be taken into consideration when determining the right treatment. 

Some issues can easily be fixed; however, others require more intensive care for your dog to recover. Some possible treatments that your dog might have if he or she has eaten something toxic include IV fluids that will flush the toxin out of your dog’s system, induced vomiting, or laxatives.

Some dogs might require a stomach tube to remove the toxic substance and activated charcoal might be given to prevent the dog from absorbing the toxin. In severe cases, surgery might be required. Dogs that have eaten something toxic and been poisoned as a result might require additional supportive treatment to control issues like heart rate, pain, and seizures.

What Else is Toxic Aside from What Fruits Can Dogs Not Eat?

Aside from the fruits and vegetables that are listed above, there are other foods and substances that can be toxic to your dog. Chocolate, alcohol, sugar-free chewing gum, high-fat foods, caffeine, macadamia nuts, and meat, fish, or eggs that are undercooked can all be poisonous. There are also several plants and flowers that can also cause poisoning in your dog, including foxgloves, cyclamen, azaleas, tiger lilies, Easter lilies, daffodils, stargazer lilies, and oleanders. 

Plants that are toxic to dogs include ivy, aloe, marijuana plants, hydrangeas, poinsettias, sago palms, snake plants, and tomato plants. 

Along with certain foods and plants, there are also everyday household products that can be very toxic to your dog. These include substances such as fabric softener, antifreeze, lawn fertilizers, rat poison, bleach, paint, human medications, moth balls, weed killers and pesticides. Most of these items are also harmful to humans if ingested, so it’s important to keep them locked away where your dog cannot get hold of them. 

If you think that your dog has eaten any of these things or suspect that they might have, you should contact your vet immediately for advice, even if your dog does not show any symptoms. In some cases, symptoms of poisoning do not show up right away. 

For the most part, dogs don’t need fruit and vegetables to have a healthy diet. However, there can be some advantages of giving safe fruits and vegetables to your dog as a snack or treat. Bear in mind that even safe fruits and vegetables should always be given to your dog in moderation. 

It’s important to avoid giving your dog any canned fruit, especially if it is in syrup. Before feeding fruits or vegetables that are not fresh to your dog, check for any additional preservatives, salt, or sugar. 

Giving your dog the occasional piece of fruit or vegetables as a snack or treat will usually be fine. However, if you want to add any fruits or vegetables to your dog’s regular diet, you should talk to your vet for advice first.