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Dogs will eat pretty much anything that falls in front of them. For pet owners, that can be a scary reality.
But what about fruit? We’ve all dropped a slice of apple or banana on the floor and seen our pup gobble them up before we could grab them. That leads us inevitably to wonder if they’ll be OK after sneaking that snack.
We reached out to a pair of experts from two of the nation’s top veterinary medicine schools — Dr. Sherry Sanderson of the University of Georgia and Dr. Edward Cooper of the Ohio State University — to find out which common fruits are safe for dogs to eat and which ones they should avoid.
Sanderson was quick to point out that most commonly eaten fruits are fine for dogs to eat sparingly.
“Where I have concerns is if pet owners want to give large quantities of these fruits to their dogs,” she said. “If they get carried away with doing that, they could disrupt the nutrient balance of a complete and balanced commercial diet.”
Sanderson recommended that pet owners limit fruit intake to less than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake.
Both of the doctors agreed on which fruits were most dangerous for dogs — noting that grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure — as well as the ones that are safe for consumption.
Avocados are also off-limits, as they can cause vomiting.
Nobody wants that.
Their only major difference came in discussing lemons.
While both experts we interviewed agreed that lemons are generally safe for dogs to eat, Sanderson said she would avoid giving them to a pet “out of kindness.” Meanwhile, Cooper joked that it “can be fun to watch their reaction to the bitterness.”
Below is the full list of fruits we asked the doctors about, which includes apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries, cherries, grapes, kiwis, lemons, oranges, peaches, pineapples, raisins, strawberries and watermelon.
It’s important to keep this list in mind when sharing food with your furry friends!
Other Foods To Steer Clear Of
There are some other foods that your four-legged friends just can’t process, either.
What may seem like a normal snack to us can be severely damaging to your pet. Keep your pooch happy and healthy by knowing what food should and shouldn’t be a part of their diet. It may sound simple, but it is vital when you own an animal.
Most vets recommend keeping human food away from your pets. Our bodies just aren’t built the same. For example, human bodies have adjusted over time to process preservatives and other chemicals found in our food. Dogs haven’t adjusted to these chemicals as they aren’t found in most dog food.
Just like humans, dogs can also have allergic reactions. It only takes one table scrap to learn if your pet has one. Avoid giving your pet any leftovers of your food when you’re eating. By establishing this rule in your household, you can eliminate any unknown risk to your pet. Now, that makes for a happy family.
Here are a few other foods that your dog should never eat.
1. Chewing Gum
Several types of chewing gum contain an artificial sweetener called xylitol. This chemical allows for insulin to be released into the bloodstream, which isn’t good for most dogs. Too much insulin can cause blood sugar levels to severely drop, which can lead to seizures, vomiting and even liver failure.
Coffee, as well as coffee-based products, contain a chemical called methylxanthines. When ingested by your canine, it can cause dehydration, vomiting and, if eaten in excess, death. Coffee products are a definite no-no for your pet.
3. Chicken Bones
Although it seems like a classic treat to give your pooch, don’t give your dog a chicken bone. Raw bones are known to splinter, which can cause a blockage in your dog’s throat and stomach. Ouch! Keep your dog pain-free by throwing away any bones.
4. Macadamia Nuts
Foods with macadamia nuts can lead to a lot of nasty problems for your pup, such a muscle weakness and vomiting. The signs usually show up in about 12 hours and can worsen as time goes on.
Eating onions in any form can lead to onion poisoning in your pet. Onion poisoning causes the breakdown of red blood cells, weight loss and depression.
6. Raw Meat
Even though wild dogs look cool eating raw meat in the movies, it may not be so good for your house pet. Raw meat can contain loads of bacteria that can cause vomiting and other stomach issues for your dog. If you want to feed your pet any scraps of meat, cook it thoroughly for peace of mind.
7. Yeast Dough
Uncooked yeast dough is absolutely off limits for animals. Dough rises when heated, so it’ll do the same in your dog’s tummy. Avoid this nasty side effect by keeping any dough away from your pet.