Thinking of feeding your canine companion some Peaches, but aren’t quite sure if it’s a good idea? Peaches are a sweet, juicy fruit that many of us as dog owners enjoy, and it might be tempting to share this treat with your dog.
Many dogs will happily accept most human foods offered to them. In fact, some fruits like papaya, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, and blueberries offer some great antioxidant support for your canine companion if mixed in with their dry kibble. But, not all human foods are good for dogs, and some may even be toxic.
So, can dogs eat peaches? As a general rule, the answer is ‘yes, they can!’, but there are a few things you should know before feeding this tasty summer fruit to your pet. Let’s dive in and take a deeper look.
Are Peaches Safe, or Good for Dogs?
In short, yes, the flesh of a peach is safe for canine consumption. As with any type of fruit, you’ll need to make sure you feed them to your pup in moderation. Because peaches have lots of natural sugar, it’s best to not go overboard when feeding them to your canine companions.
Peaches can provide some of the same health benefits to dogs as they do to humans. They contain lots of beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A, sometimes known as retinol. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system and is good for skin and eye health.
They are also a source of vitamin C which helps to protect cells throughout the body and is especially important for bone health. They also contain plenty of fiber which regulates blood sugar levels and helps with digestion.
As with many fruits, peaches have high water content. This means they can provide a hydrating snack for your pup. Because of their high water content, they are a great option for pups in the summer when the weather is warmer and peaches are more readily available. They have a high sugar content which will usually make them very appealing to most canines. But, bear in mind that as with any treat, moderation is key!
Always make sure to thoroughly wash the peach and remove the pit or stone before feeding it to your dog. Similar to pineapple, It is recommended to slice the fruit into bite-sized chunks to prevent choking.
Why Are Peaches Bad for Dogs?
Peaches themselves are not bad for dogs. But, there are a few things you should be aware of before feeding them to your pet. They have a high sugar and fiber content. An upset tummy may lead to diarrhea, particularly if your dog eats a larger quantity. If you know your pup has a sensitive stomach, then it is probably best to steer clear of peaches altogether.
Excess sugar in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity and even diabetes. So stick to feeding a small serving of peaches at any one time. Also, don’t feed it too regularly either. It should be an occasional treat rather than a daily one! If your pup is already overweight or has diabetes, then it is best to pick an alternative snack.
Peach Pits Could Cause a Blockage
The pit or stone from a peach poses the biggest risk to your dog. It is not only a choking hazard but also could obstruct your dog’s digestive tract if swallowed. Left untreated, obstructions like this can be fatal, so always contact your veterinarian for advice if your pup swallows a peach pit.
Even if the pit manages to pass through without causing an obstruction, the serrated edges of the stone are abrasive and can cause some serious irritation and damage to the lining of your dog’s digestive tract.
Peach pits are also very hard, and if your dog tries to chew on one, he could damage his jaw or even fracture a tooth.
Parts of the Peach Contain Cyanide
It is also worth noting that peach pits, along with the leaves and stems of peaches, contain a compound called amygdalin. The digestive enzymes in a dog’s gastrointestinal system will break this compound down into hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic in high doses. Luckily, there are only trace amounts of amygdalin in a single peach pit, so most dogs would need to eat many peach pits to reach a toxic dose of cyanide.
The exception to this would be a dog with liver disease. If your dog has impaired liver function, then the liver might not effectively filter out toxins such as cyanide, and he may be more susceptible to cyanide poisoning. Either way, peach pits still pose several multiple risks if they are eaten, so always avoid allowing your pet access to these.
Windfall Peaches May Cause Alcohol Poisoning
Windfall peaches (and other fruits) should always be avoided, as these can pose some potentially serious health risks. Peaches that have been lying on the ground for a few days will begin to ferment, and this leads to ethanol (alcohol) production within the fruit. If your pup eats a lot of fermented peaches, then he is likely to be at risk from alcohol poisoning.
Signs of toxicity from alcohol include lack of coordination (Fido may appear ‘drunk’), drowsiness, unconsciousness, slow heart rate, possibly even leading to a heart attack and death. Even relatively small amounts of alcohol can cause canines to become very sick. So, if you suspect your pup has eaten fermented peaches, then contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.
Windfalls Can Also Cause Mold Toxicity
After a few days, windfall peaches will start to rot and become moldy, which presents another significant risk to dogs. Food mold is formed from mycotoxins which, if eaten by your dog, can make him very sick.
Signs that your dog may have eaten mold include vomiting, un-coordination, muscle tremors, full-body tremors, and seizures. If left untreated, mycotoxin toxicity can be life-threatening so contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect any mold was consumed or you notice any symptoms.
Other Health Risks
Always make sure a peach is thoroughly washed before feeding it to your dog to ensure they are free from any chemical herbicides or pesticides. If these chemicals are used properly and at the correct concentrations, they are unlikely to cause any toxic effects — but it is still not worth taking the risk.
Although uncommon, there is always the small chance that your dog might be allergic to peaches. An allergic reaction could manifest as anything from hives on their skin and excessive drooling to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. As with any new food that you give your dog, begin by offering him a very tiny amount of peach to make sure he has no adverse reactions.
Avoid giving your dog canned peaches, especially peaches in syrup. These tend to have a very high sugar content and may even contain harmful additives or artificial sweeteners such as xylitol which can be extremely poisonous to dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
While peaches themselves are not harmful to dogs, there are other associated risks that you should be aware of. Peaches can be safely enjoyed by your dog as a tasty, sweet treat, just be sure not to feed him too many!
Dogs can eat peach skin as well as the flesh of the fruit but make sure to thoroughly wash the peach to ensure it is free from chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides. Always remove the peach pit and ideally slice the peach into small bite-sized chunks before offering it to your pup. If you follow these simple rules, there’s no reason why your dog can’t enjoy the occasional piece of peach just as much as you do!