Can Dogs Eat Peaches?
The question every Southern pet lover needs answered come summertime.
During prime peach season, when these Southern specialties are particularly juicy and sweet, you may find yourself wondering if you can slip a bite of peach to your favorite pooch. "Yes!" says Dr. Antoinette Martin, head veterinarian at Hello Ralphie, a telehealth company that connects pet parents to licensed veterinarians. "Peaches are generally non-toxic to dogs and can be a great summertime treat." Here are a few things to know before you serve a slice to your furry friend.
How to Serve Peaches to Your Dog
If you picked or brought home fresh peaches, remove the stems or leaves before storing them as these can be dangerous if consumed. Likewise, if your pup is a counter surfer, keep the peach bowl out of reach. While peaches are a yummy and safe treat when doled out by you—in moderation, of course—the pit can cause serious and life-threatening intestinal blockage if swallowed.
"If you ever believe your pet has consumed a peach pit, reach out to a veterinarian for guidance ASAP," says Dr. Martin.
Be sure to wash your peaches under running water before serving. Offer your pet slices or chunks of the fleshy fruit, making sure to dispose of the pit properly and ensuring it's out of reach. "A fun way to feed your dog peaches is to cut them up into slices and freeze them, especially if your pooch loves ice cubes," recommends Dr. Martin.
Are Peaches Nutritious for Dogs?
Fresh peaches are packed with nutrients, like vitamin A, vitamin E, and niacin, and minerals, like potassium, copper, manganese, and phosphorous. They're also rich in fiber. However, they're loaded with sugar (Southerners don't call you sweet peach for nothing!). So you should only offer peaches to your pup in moderation.
"The general treat rule is that 90 percent of your furry family member's dietary intake should be complete and balanced dog food. The remaining 10 percent can be treats," says Dr. Martin.
Since peaches have a high sugar content, they're higher in calories than some fruits. A cup of sliced fresh peaches has about 60 calories. Stick to just one or two slices of fresh or frozen peaches on occasion. Like any food that's not part of your pup's regular diet, too much peach could cause an upset tummy or diarrhea.
When Should You Avoid Feeding Dogs Peaches?
Since your pup really likes peaches, should you buy the canned variety year-round? No! Dr. Martin says avoid canned peaches as these are often even higher in sugar and soaked in syrup. Plus, if you have a dog with a notorious sensitive stomach, a history of pancreatitis, or other medical conditions, like diabetes, peaches are probably a no-no. Consult your vet about your specific dog's history, and always ask them about introducing your dog to new foods.