Pears are one of the sweetest parts of the fall and winter season. But, can dogs eat pears, or should you avoid sharing this sweet treat with your furry friend?
Yes, dogs can eat pears. It’s one of several fruits dogs can eat, and it may even have health benefits when it’s served alongside a complete and balanced diet. But there are a few risks of feeding pears to pets, and every dog owner should know what they are before they share a pear.
So, if you have a few minutes to spare, learn the best practice for feeding pears to dogs. With these tips, you’ll be able to share this healthy treat with your dog all season long.
How Can Dogs Eat Pears Safely?
Letting your dog eat a small amount of pear can be good for them, but letting them eat too much or eat the wrong parts of the fruit can have consequences. To keep your dog safe, follow these best practices for sharing a pear with your pet.
Don’t Feed the Pear Seeds or Core
In general, you shouldn’t feed your dog any part of the pear that you wouldn’t eat. So, you should only feed your dog the skin and flesh from ripe pears. The pear seeds and pear core can be dangerous for your dog to eat.
Not only do these parts of the pear present a choking hazard, but pear seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide. It could be very dangerous for your dog’s health if they eat large amounts of pear seeds. You should also avoid giving your dog a whole pear because they might eat the entire thing — seeds and all.
Cut the Pear Into Bite-Sized Pieces
Some dogs have a tendency to swallow their food whole. If this sounds like your pet, you’ll need to cut pears into small pieces before you give your dog a bite.
A slice of pear that you would eat may still be too big for small dogs, and it could be a choking hazard. Cut the fruit into pieces that are about the same size as a dog treat that you would use for training.
Be Careful About Quantity
In addition to small pieces, you should feed pears in small quantities. Whenever you introduce your dog to a new food, you’re introducing their digestive system to something new — something it may never have encountered before.
While dogs are perfectly capable of digesting pears, the very first time that their digestive tract encounters the food, it may need time to adjust. And if you feed your dog too much pear too soon, it can lead to an upset stomach.
So, when you first start giving your dog pears, start small. Feed one or two bites, and use pears as an occasional treat. Once your dog is used to this new food, you can make the fruit a daily, healthy snack or feed slightly larger portions.
But, human foods and dog treats combined should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Make sure your canine companion is still getting 90% of their calories from a complete and balanced dog food. While pears are a relatively low-calorie food, they can still contribute to weight gain if you overfeed your pup.
Don’t Feed Canned Pears
Fresh pears contain natural sugars, but canned pears contain all the natural sugars found in fresh pears, plus a lot of added sugar. Their high sugar content makes canned pears an unhealthy choice for our furry friends. So, stick to fresh pears.
Talk to Your Vet If Your Pet Has a Pre-Existing Condition
While pears are a healthy snack for most dogs, they do contain natural sugars that may not be good for diabetic dogs or dogs on certain diets.
Dogs who are on a special dietary plan to address obesity may benefit from having pears added to their diet in place of a less healthy snack, like a high-fat dog treat. However, your vet may recommend against feeding pears to an overweight dog to prevent additional weight gain.
The best thing you can do for pets on a special diet is talk to your vet. Your vet can provide more information on how new foods will affect your dog’s diet.
Are Pears Good for Dogs’ Overall Health?
Can dogs eat pears? Yes. But are pears good for dogs? As long as you have a healthy dog on a normal diet, pears can be a great snack. They’re low-fat, they contain beneficial micronutrients, and they’re a wholesome whole food. Here are some of the nutrients that pears can provide to your pet:
- Dietary fiber: One pear contains roughly six grams of fiber. Fiber for dogs can help promote a healthy digestive tract and keep your dog regular.
- Vitamin A: With about 45 IU of vitamin A in your average pear, this fruit can help promote healthy immune function, as well as skin and eye health.
- Vitamin C: A pear has roughly 7.7 mg of the antioxidant, vitamin C. While vitamin C isn’t an essential nutrient for dogs (their bodies produce it naturally), it can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy immune function.
- Vitamin K: An essential nutrient for dogs, vitamin K helps your dog’s blood clot. An average pear contains about 6.2 ug of vitamin K.
- Potassium: There’s about 206 mg of potassium per pear. This electrolyte that helps your dog’s heart, muscles, and nervous system function properly.
Other Fruits and Veggies for Dogs Who Love Pears
Healthy whole foods can have a variety of benefits for your dog when they're fed as part of a complete and balanced diet. If you want to add more healthy human foods to your dog’s diet, try incorporating these dog-friendly fruits and vegetables. Just do your research to make sure you safely feed each one to your dog.
- Watermelon: Pears are a great fall and winter fruit, but if you want a summer fruit for your dog, look no further than watermelon. Like pears, this fruit is sweet and crisp and loaded with antioxidants.
- Cantaloupe: Another sweet and crisp melon, Cantaloupe is full of healthy micronutrients and is a favorite among discerning dogs.
- Berries: For a big boost of antioxidants, berries, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are all healthy snacks for our canine companions.
- Apples: This fruit has a taste and texture that’s similar to pears, and it provides similar micronutrients.
- Sweet potato: For more fall and winter favorites, this high-fiber veggie can help keep your pet regular. Plus, dogs love the sweet taste of sweet potatoes.
- Pumpkin: A quintessential autumn crop, pumpkin is one of the best fiber sources for dogs. Vets often recommend it for dogs that have upset stomachs. You can make it part of your dog’s diet year-round by adding dehydrated pumpkin for dogs to your pantry.
- Brussels sprouts: Cruciferous green veggies are just as healthy for your pet as they are for you. Add raw or cooked Brussels to your dog’s diet for a big, seasonal nutrient boost.
- Kale: While it’s another cruciferous green, not all dogs like the taste of kale. But, if your dog does like it, kale is one of the healthiest winter snacks you can share with your pet.
Share a Pear With Your Pet
As long as you prepare pears safely for your pet, your canine companion can enjoy them as part of a healthy diet. Make sure you cut pears into bite-sized pieces, feed them in small quantities, and avoid giving your pet pear seeds or cores.
If your dog is on a special diet or has any pre-existing health conditions, always talk to your vet before feeding your pet a new food. As long as you follow these guidelines, your dog can eat pears — and this food may even become their new favorite treat.
At Native Pet, we believe in the power of whole food for dogs. That’s why we make our all-natural, air-dried supplements for dogs using functional whole food ingredients. You can see quality and care in everything we make, from our air-dried pumpkin for dogs, to the all-natural cranberry in our Bladder Chews, and the green-lipped mussels and turmeric extract in our Relief Chews.
If you want to add more healthy, whole-food ingredients to your dog’s diet, you can pick up Native Pet supplements online or at select Target locations.