Can Dogs Eat Peaches? How to Share the Summer Treat With Your Pup Safely
While peaches are fine for dogs as an occasional treat, here's why you should steer clear of sugar-heavy, peach-flavored products and those dreaded peach pits.
Summer is almost here, and that means peach season. The luscious, fiber-filled fruit is at grocery stores and roadside stands, and the big question for pet parents is: Are peaches ok to share with my dog?
Are Peaches Good or Bad for Dogs?
Peaches are safe for dogs (minus the stem, leaves, and pit), says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Sean Delaney, BS, DVM, MS, DACVN, whose website builds safe, complete recipes for veterinary clients.
"Peaches can be a rich source of dietary fiber that supports gut health," Delaney says. "Fruits like peaches also provide natural antioxidants that likely fight oxidative damage, which is believed to be a leading cause of aging."
But some dogs respond to too much fiber (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 at them.
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. People stuck at home during the pandemic giving their dogs more treats than usual might have led to an increase in canine obesity rates, but those issues were already there, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
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.
Canned peaches aren't toxic but might be best to avoid based on the extra sugar and calories they add.
How do you make sweet peaches even better? That's right: Drizzle on honey. Add sugar.
If your grilled peaches are just raw, cooked peaches, don't worry. Let them cool off and they're dog-safe. But if you've added extra stuff (like, say, this delicious recipe with butter) to make them taste better, consider giving your pup just a small taste and not a full-on dog 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 warning from peach yogurt against xylitol and too much dairy goes for frozen peach treats like these. 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 to Do If Your Dog Eats a Peach Pit
If your dog eats an entire peach with the pit (also called a "stone"), there's a very small 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 obstructions in the intestines as well as scratch and irritate 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. Call your veterinarian if you don't see the pit 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: