Can Dogs Eat Peaches? How to Share the Summer Treat With Your Pup Safely
When summer arrives, so does peach season. The luscious, fiber-filled fruit appears at grocery stores and roadside stands, and the big question for pet parents is: Can dogs eat peaches?
They can, but there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to peaches for dogs. Make sure you're offering them a safe amount while avoiding the parts of the peach—like the pit—that can be harmful.
Can Dogs Have Peaches?
Yes, dogs can have peaches—for the most part. Veterinary nutritionist Sean Delaney, DVM, DACVN, says the fruits are safe snacks except for three elements:
- the leaves
- the stem
- the pit
Luckily, those are easy to remove before you or your dog settles down for this summer snack.
Are Peaches Good for Dogs?
Peaches have some health benefits, but you want to make sure you don't overdo it.
"Peaches can be a rich source of dietary fiber that supports gut health," says Delaney, whose website builds safe, complete recipes for veterinary clients. "Fruits like peaches also provide natural antioxidants that likely fight oxidative damage, which is believed to be a leading cause of aging."
Some dogs, however, respond to too much or too little fiber in their diet with stomach upset and diarrhea, so don't go crazy with raw peaches or other fruits. Also, some dogs may have conditions like diabetes that require sugar moderation. It's always a good idea to check with your veterinarian first before introducing new foods to your dog's diet.
But does dietary advice change when you prepare peaches for your dog in different ways? Let's take a look.
Wash your peaches before you or your dog eat them to avoid pesticides, and be sure to remove the stem, leaves, and pit.
If you heard that peaches contain cyanide, you're not wrong. It's just likely not as big a risk as some make it out to be, according to Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a veterinarian toxicologist who works with Pet Poison Helpline.
"Peach pits contain cyanide, but the pit has to be crushed to expose the seed inside and the seed has to be chewed, so it's not generally a big issue," Schmid says.
Schmid says the peach pit can also cause an obstruction in the intestines, so remove the pit, cut the raw peach into small pieces, and you're fine to give some to your dog.
Extra calories are likely the biggest problem with canned peaches if sugar or other ingredients are added. You'll want to avoid canine obesity, so Delaney recommends restricting treats like peaches and other foods that aren't part of your dog's nutritionally complete diet to just 5–10 percent of your dog's total daily calories.
That's why it might be best for you to avoid canned peaches based on their extra sugar and calories.
How do you make sweet peaches even better? That's right: Drizzle on honey. Add sugar. Pop on the grill.
If your grilled peaches are cooked—otherwise unchanged—peaches, don't worry. Let them cool off and they're dog-safe. But if you've added extra stuff (like butter) to make them taste better, consider giving your pup just a small taste and not a bowl full of this stuff.
Extra calories aren't the only issue with processed peach products like peach yogurt. Schmid says dog owners need to be certain that peach products don't include xylitol, a sweetener that's dangerously toxic to dogs.
Just a little xylitol can cause a sudden drop in your dog's blood sugar and cause severe liver damage. Too much dairy can also cause dogs stomach upset or diarrhea, so proceed with caution.
Peach Sorbet or Ice Cream
The same warnings from peach yogurt against xylitol and too much dairy apply here. Do you want a peach treat that cools off dogs and still tastes great? Freeze small peach pieces (cut small to avoid choking) and offer those on a hot day.
What About Peach Pit Poisoning?
The risk of poisoning is low, but there is still cause for worry. If your dog eats an entire peach with the pit (also called a "stone"), there's a slight chance he could be poisoned by cyanide, so call your veterinarian if you see signs of poisoning.
The bigger issue is that peach pits can cause choking, obstructions in the intestines, and irritation to your dog's throat and digestive system as they pass. "For that reason, I would try to avoid giving dogs access to the pit," Schmid says.
If your dog does manage to eat a peach pit, call your veterinarian if you don't see the pit appear in your dog's poop on schedule.
Other Healthy Fruits Dogs Can Eat
Peaches aren't the only dog-friendly fruit. Other good choices after you remove skin, peels, seeds, and other less-than-digestible stuff could include:
- Apple (cut up without the core and seeds)
- Banana (but take off the peel first!)
- Cherries (no pits though please)
- Cranberries (hey, some dogs dig 'em!)
- Mango (peeled and without the pit of course!)
- Orange (peeled)
- Tangerine (peeled)
- Watermelon (no rind, no seeds!)