What Fruits Can Dogs Eat? Here’s What’s OK and What to Avoid at All Costs
Similar to vegetables and nuts, dogs can eat fruits as a way to add healthy nutrients to their protein-rich diets. But dogs definitely shouldn’t consume any fruits—or fruit parts—that are toxic or known to cause diarrhea, vomiting or kidney failure. Don’t worry about doing the guesswork; a complete list of fruits that are safe for dogs is below!
Why feed fruit to your dog?
Canines are carnivores and need to eat plenty of protein for optimal health. Sure, all dogs are different, and some may require more specialized diets, but generally speaking, protein should make up between 40 and 70 percent of a dog’s diet. This number comes from Bridget Meadows, the Head of Food at Ollie, who says proteins from meats, legumes and eggs are ideal for a dog’s diet. Ollie’s human-grade dog food formulas include fruits like blueberries and cranberries for a well-balanced doggy diet. Activity level, breed, age and existing health concerns will determine the exact amount of protein your dog needs. (Your vet is the expert—consult them if you aren’t sure!)
Adding vegetables and fruits to your dog’s meals or as snacks throughout the day is a simple way to boost their fiber intake or correct a vitamin deficiency. Fruits provide canines and humans with natural minerals and antioxidants in an unprocessed format. They’re also incredibly hydrating, which is great news for anyone who enjoys taking their dogs on hikes or walks on hot days and wants a healthy snack to bring along.
Fruits have also been known to improve canine cognitive function and reduce inflammation. This is good news for aging dogs who are young at heart and want to continue playing games and jumping up on the couch with you well into their senior years.
Plus, fruit tastes good! Getting your pup to chow down on a few blueberries each day might be easier than forcing her to swallow a bland fiber “treat.” Fruits and vegetables can also serve as high-reward treats during training sessions.
How to feed fruit to your dog
There are some major disclaimers that come with many of the fruits on our list. Basically, if it has seeds, a pit, a rind or a stem, remove those parts before feeding the fruit to your dog. It’s also advised to chop up any human-grade food into digestible, chewable pieces to prevent dogs from choking.
Fruit is already a sweet treat; don’t add extra sugar or fats! Do not serve your dog any fruit slathered in oils, butter, spices or dressings (including canned fruits that come soaked in syrups!). Many dried fruits also contain way more sugar than their raw versions. Think: Craisins, coconut flakes, dried apricots. Stick to plain, natural fruits.
Another word of warning: If your dog is diabetic or overweight, talk to your vet about which fruits—if any—your dog can ingest safely. Fruit is high in sugar and too much of a good thing can throw your dog’s system out of whack, especially if she already has diabetes.
Finally, The Farmer’s Dog, a company dedicated to building a menu specifically for your dog and her health goals, recommends dedicating no more than 10 percent of your pup’s diet to extra fruits and vegetables. All things in moderation, folks.
19 fruits dogs can eat
Apples are high in fiber and Vitamins A and C, which makes them a great snack for dogs. Be sure to remove any and all seeds and stems (probably wise to chop up the apple after slicing the fruit away from the core, like you would for a fruit salad). Apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide and can be a choking hazard.
The pit of an apricot also contains cyanide and can get lodged in your dog’s throat. However, the flesh part of the fruit is fine for them to eat! They contain beta carotene which helps improve vision.
Bananas are ideal high-reward treats for dogs because of their high sugar content. Yes, they are super sweet, but they deliver copper, potassium, magnesium, biotin and fiber, too.
As mentioned before, Ollie uses blueberries in several of their recipes. These tiny powerhouses are full of antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals. The American Kennel Club recommends using blueberries to teach dogs to catch things in their mouths.
Another high fiber but high sugar food! Cantaloupe is safe and hydrating for dogs to eat but shouldn’t be given to diabetic or overweight pups. Be sure to remove all of the rind before serving!
6. Coconut and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is used in some human-grade dog food recipes, though some dogs have adverse reactions to it (aka, diarrhea). Small bites of coconut fruit flesh are OK to give to your dog. The Farmer’s Dog Digest says coconut is “rich in lauric acid, which has many potential benefits, including as an antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.” Avoid coconut water and dried coconut.
Cranberries are excellent sources of Vitamins C and E. However, your dog might turn her nose up at them because they are fairly tart for a fruit.
Dates are safe for dogs and contain Vitamins A, C and B. But they’re incredibly high in sugar and should only be given sparingly. It might be smart to save these for special occasions. Be sure to remove pits!
Honeydew melon is a sweet treat that can be fed to dogs every once in a while. Be sure to offer up ripe melon that is soft and easy to chew and remove all traces of the rind and seeds.
Kiwis actually contain more Vitamin C than oranges and more potassium than bananas! The AKC does warn that the skin on a kiwi can make eating it more difficult for dogs and you should never just toss a kiwi (or any kiwi-sized fruit) to your dog for nibbling. They could choke.
Mangoes contain Vitamin A, C, B6 and E—not to mention tons of antioxidants. Toss your dog a small piece with no skin or pit for a delicious, nutritious treat.
If you ask the ASPCA, they’ll tell you all citrus is toxic to dogs. While it is true that ingesting the skins, stems, seeds and leaves of an orange can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even depression, canines can eat the fleshy part of the fruit in small quantities. Oranges should be a once-in-a-while treat.
In small amounts, papayas are great dog treats. Avoid letting your dog ingest any rinds or seeds.
Like apricots and dates, peach pits should be removed and tossed where your dog can’t get them. Peaches are juicy snacks full of Vitamins A and C (and fiber).
Pears are great examples of fruits that may be sold in sugary syrup if canned. Stick to fresh pears free of stems, skins and pits. Your dog will thank you for the Vitamin C, Vitamin K and copper.
The same goes for pineapple when it comes to buying this fruit! Avoid canned versions and stick to fresh pineapple. Do not let your dog gnaw or eat the spiky skin!
Raspberries are full of antioxidants, manganese and fiber. They are also low in sugar, which is great! However, they contain small, trace amounts of xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. A few berries at a time is all your dog needs.
Talk about a power berry! Strawberries are hydrating fruits with lots of Vitamin C. Frozen strawberries in summertime is a nice, cooling snack.
Watermelon without rinds and seeds is a delicious—and incredibly hydrating—canine treat. Avoid the urge to let your dog chew on the rind after slicing! Their teeth will cut right through it, and it can become a choking and digestive hazard.
9 fruits dogs cannot eat
Unfortunately, dogs cannot eat avocados. According to the ASPCA, the fruit, pit and skin all contain a toxin called persin. This can cause upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
If you’re lucky enough to have some boysenberries, don’t share with your pup. Eating them usually results in diarrhea.
Because of their tiny size, lengthy stems and embedded pits, cherries aren’t worth the risk when it comes to feeding them to your dog. The actual fruit isn’t toxic, but everything surrounding it is.
Grapes are poisonous to dogs and should never be offered as a snack or treat! Eating grapes could result in kidney failure, so make sure your dog doesn’t sneak one when you’re not looking.
Again, citrus is incredibly acidic and doesn’t work well with a dog’s digestive system. If you want that extra vitamin C boost, stick with small pieces of orange or kiwi.
The acidity of lemon juice is too much for your dog’s stomach to handle. Plus, the rind and seeds are toxic. Chances are she won’t like the taste anyway!
Similar to lemons, limes are too acidic to make incorporating them into your dog’s diet worth the extra Vitamin C. Ingesting them can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and occasionally dermatitis.
Plums fall into that strange in-between zone, like citrus. If we had to pick a side, we’d say avoid feeding plums to your dog. The pit is especially dangerous for them to ingest. If they happen to nibble the fruit, just monitor them for any sign of an upset stomach.
See grapes above! And know that if you suspect your dog has eaten grapes or raisins, watch for signs of lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling.