Can Dogs Eat Pears?
In a world of obese and overweight pets, fresh fruits and vegetables can be a great alternative to more calorie-dense dog treats. But there are always sneaky differences between food that's healthy for pet parents but dangerous to dogs.
You're forgiven if you like to double- or triple-check a fantastic food you worry might make your dog sick. Let's see what the veterinary jury says about the big, juicy pear.
Can Dogs Eat Pears Safely?
Take a beat, take a breath, and relax: "Pears are fine," says Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a veterinarian toxicologist who works with Pet Poison Helpline.
You can probably guess the biggest problem with a pear: the core. The inside of a pear doesn't have a big, hard pit like an avocado, but it does have a harder, more fibrous center where the seeds sit. Don't feed that to your dog.
"That core can cause a foreign body obstruction; an intestinal obstruction, if it's swallowed whole," she warns.
Outside of the pit, your dog can enjoy the grocery-store staple Bartlett pear as well as varieties of Korean or Asian pears. Like other dog-safe human foods, there are no toxicity or poisoning concerns with this particular fruit.
Are Pears Good For Dogs? The Health Benefits of Pears for Our Pups
Pears aren't toxic to dogs, but they're not necessarily a vital part of a dog's balanced diet either, says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Lisa Weeth, DVM, DACVN, with Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital in Los Angeles, Calif.
"There's just no real nutritional benefit to feeding pears as treats, other than it's a fun way to share a snack with your pup," Weeth tells Daily Paws.
Pears are, of course, delicious because they've got sugar, so Weeth also recommends you steer clear of pears if your dog has diabetes. Check with your veterinarian if you're ever concerned about how underlying medical conditions might guide your pet's diet and treat choices. And give your veterinarian or a poison hotline a ring if you think your pet has eaten something sketchy or is exhibiting signs of poisoning.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Pears?
Canned pears, in syrup or just in water, are nontoxic to dogs. But sugary syrup may add calories a dog doesn't need or might give your dog a case of gastrointestinal upset. Steer your dog toward the fresh pears, but don't panic about giving your dog a slice or two of canned pear.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Pears
When shared in moderation, there are many fruits dogs can eat. Pears are part of that menu. Just be sure to prepare and share them safely with your favorite pooch per Schmid and Weeth's recommendations.
"The core of larger pears will be more of an obstruction risk than the smaller ones," Schmid says. "And depending on how ripe the pear is, the core may be more soft and easily broken down compared to less ripe pears."
For the lowest chance of an upset tummy, remove the skin, stem, core with seeds, and cut the pear into small morsels to avoid the kind of choking that can happen if your dog inhales a delicious snack that's too large for their throat.
And with pears, you don't have to overthink it, according to Weeth.
"My general rule of thumb for people-foods-as-treats is that if it's nontoxic for dogs, and there are no medical contraindications (like high-protein foods for a kidney disease patient or high-fat foods for dogs with pancreatitis), then it's OK to feed in moderation," she says. Weeth and many other veterinarians recommend that pears or any other treat make up no more than 10 percent of your dog's daily calories.