Can Dogs Eat Peaches?
Is it the perfect summer treat? 🍑
Peaches are a great summertime snack, and you may be wondering if you can share the juicy treat with your pup.
To find out if dogs can eat peaches, The Dodo spoke with Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a veterinarian with Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in California, who explained why you need to be careful when giving them to your BFF.
Can dogs have peaches?
The answer is yes and no.
The peach flesh is totally fine for your dog to eat, but you do need to be careful about the other parts of the peach — like the fuzz, leaves, stem and especially the pit.
To figure out the safest way to feed your pup peaches, you need to know why certain parts of the fruit are good and why others are bad.
How are peaches good for dogs?
When it comes to the flesh of the peach, it’s actually full of nutrients that are really good for your dog.
“Peaches are rich in vitamins A and C,” Dr. Cruz told The Dodo. “They also contain vitamins E, K, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and copper.”
So, letting your pup snack on some pieces of peach flesh every now and then definitely has its upsides.
How are peaches bad for dogs?
But if you do decide to give your dog peaches, you need to be really careful to avoid serving certain parts of the fruit.
“Some fruit needs to be given with caution, and this includes peaches and cherries, or any fruit that has a hard central stone (pit),” Dr. Cruz said.
Peach pits and dogs
Peach pits can be dangerous since there’s cyanide in them.
“Peaches, cherries, plums, nectarines and mangoes all contain a naturally occurring form of cyanide,” Dr. Cruz said.
That’s so the fruit (and the tree it came from) can have some sort of protection from animals who want to eat it.
“Studies have shown that the pit of a peach contains more of this toxin than cherries,” Dr. Cruz explained. “Chewing the pit releases more of the toxin.”
So, it goes without saying that your dog shouldn’t nibble on a peach that hasn’t been pitted.
Peach stems and leaves also contain cyanide, so you need to avoid those parts, too.
If your dog accidentally eats a peach pit, look out for signs of cyanide poisoning, like:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin irritation
In addition to possible poisoning, peach pits are also a choking hazard and could even result in intestinal blockage.
“Larger pits such as those found in peaches, apricots, nectarines can become stuck in their throat, stomach and intestines,” Dr. Cruz said. “A pit may have been eaten several days before a pet starts to seem ‘off.’”
Keep an eye on your pup’s behavior. Whether you saw him swallow a peach pit or he snuck one behind your back, you’re going to want to reach out to your vet if you notice signs of a gastrointestinal obstruction, which include:
- Lack of appetite
Gastrointestinal obstruction can be super serious, so it’s important to see your vet ASAP.
“A pit can cause an obstruction in the intestines and cause the area to break down, releasing bacteria into the abdominal cavity [and] causing a life threatening infection (septicemia),” Dr. Cruz explained.
What about peach fuzz?
“The fuzz is not problematic, but some dogs may have a mild oral allergic reaction,” Dr. Cruz said.
If your dog ends up snacking on some peach skin, there are certain symptoms to watch out for that could indicate he’s having an allergic reaction.
“The reaction is likely to be mild, but the pet may have excessive salivation, rub at its face, make multiple smacking motions with its mouth or resist eating,” Dr. Cruz explained.
How to safely give your dog peaches
Even though the pits, stems and leaves can be pretty dangerous, you can still give your dog some peach flesh to snack on. You just have to be careful about it.
According to Dr. Cruz, the safest way to feed your pup peaches is to remove the pit and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. (It’s also best to cut off the fuzz, too, in order to avoid a possible allergic reaction.)
“Fruit in general is a refreshing treat, but too much can lead to intestinal upsets,” Dr. Cruz said. “Pet parents need to use good judgement in how much to give.”
If you do decide to give your pup some peaches, make sure you avoid the sugary canned stuff.
“It is better to give fresh fruit rather than canned or preserved,” Dr. Cruz explained. “Canned fruit is much higher in sugar. Care needs to be taken that low-calorie, processed fruit does not contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.”