By: Dr. Juli, DVM @itsDrJuli
The vibrant colors and scents that fill farmers' markets and grocery stores during spring are a welcome sign that temperatures are rising and summer is on the way. From blackberries to cherries to cantaloupe to strawberries, summer is full of delicious fresh fruits that are favorites of pet parents everywhere.
Peaches are a warm-weather favorite for many humans, and this refreshing summer fruit can make the perfect treat during the dog days of summer. As pet parents, we often want to share life's sweetness with our best furry friends. If you're wondering whether peaches are safe to share with your pup, you're in the right place. Because dogs are carnivores, they do not require fruit to remain healthy. However, feeding your dog certain fruits, like peaches, can be a delicious and nutritious way to share a little sweetness with your pup.
The simple answer is yes; your dog can eat peaches. They are generally safe to consume in moderation, but certain parts of the fruit can be dangerous for your pup. Of course, you should always check with your veterinarian before adding new foods or treats to your dog's diet to ensure they will not interfere with your pet's current health status.
Health Benefits of Peaches for Dogs
Peaches are generally a safe treat for dogs of all ages. White peaches are less acidic, sweeter, and have a higher sugar content than yellow peaches. Both can be offered to your pup in moderation. Peaches are a low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber fruit, making them a healthy snack for your dog. They are also packed in with numerous vitamins and antioxidants to support your dog's overall well-being, including:
- Vitamin A, folate, and niacin: Support your pup’s immune system
- Vitamin C and Vitamin E: Contain antioxidants to protect cells and fight age-related changes
- Vitamin K and Copper: Support blood clotting and red blood cells
- Lutein and zeaxanthin: Supports eye health
- Magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus: Support bones, joints, and cartilage health
Are Peaches Bad for Dogs?
Always check with your veterinarian before offering your dog any new treats. Diabetic or obese dogs should not eat peaches because the sugar content can exacerbate their already compromised health. More than 50% of US dogs are considered overweight or obese, which increases their risk for joint problems, heart problems, and some cancers. Too much sugar can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset or diarrhea in dogs and cause issues with your dog's teeth. Additionally, use caution when feeding peaches to puppies or dogs with sensitive stomachs because their GI tract may not process the fruit properly.
The peach pit or stone, leaves, and stem should never be given to dogs. The pit is a choking hazard, and it, as well as the leaves and stem, contain the toxic sugar-cyanide compound amygdalin. Signs of cyanide poisoning include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and seizures. Bring your dog for immediate veterinary care if they ingest any part of the peach pit, stem, or leaves. The serrated peach pit can also cause GI irritation and put your pup at risk for a painful intestinal blockage.
Never feed your dog canned peaches, peach-flavored yogurt, ice cream, or other peach-inspired treats. Most of these human food favorites contain high sugar content, dog-toxic artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or sugar substitutes, like xylitol.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Peaches
Once approved by your dog's DVM to give your pet peaches, start by slowly introducing small amounts of peaches to gauge your pup's ability to process the fruit. Most fruits, including peaches, are treated with pesticides or other chemicals, so always wash peaches before attempting to give a piece to your dog. Remove the peach pit or any stone, stem, and leaf remnants.
Clean, fresh peaches should be cut into small pieces, approximately ½-inch sized cubes, so your dog can easily swallow them. Frozen peach pieces can also be given to your dog; however, some commercially prepared frozen peaches may contain too much sugar, sugar substitutes, or preservatives. The safest way to give your dog frozen peaches is to freeze fresh cubed pieces. Your pup's daily peach allotment should not exceed 10% of their daily calories to prevent weight gain or possible upset stomach.
Follow this general guide for feeding your pup peaches:
- Extra small dogs (<20 pounds): 1 – 2 pieces
- Small dogs (20–30 pounds): 2 – 3 pieces
- Medium-sized dogs (31–50 pounds): 4 –5 pieces
- Large-breed dogs (50–90 pounds): 5 – 6 pieces
- Extra-large breed dogs (>90 pounds): small handful (~ ¼-½ cup) of cubed pieces
Pup-Approved Peach Treat Ideas
Feeding your pup tasty treats is essential to strengthening your bond with your dog. Special treats like peaches can be a great way to praise your pup for good manners or show them extra love.
Here are some creative and safe ways to feed your dog peaches:
- As a Food Topper: Sprinkle an appropriate amount over their dog food for a surprise treat.
- Peachy Pup Cup: Add a few pieces to your dog's favorite pup cup while you enjoy your daily coffee or tea.
- Frozen Smoothie: Blend other dog-safe fruits, like bananas, watermelon, strawberries, or blueberries, with plain Greek yogurt and some water and pour into silicone trays for a special frozen treat perfect for hot days. For added health benefits, add a scoop of Probiotic Powder to support their overall gut health.
For more pup-approved dog treat recipes and tips on your dog's health, check out the Native Pet blog.