Yes, dogs can eat peaches, but the pits are off limits! And although peaches are packed with beneficial fiber and nutrients, there can be too much of a good thing. Knowing how to properly feed peaches to your dog can help you avoid any pitfalls.
To maintain your dog’s weight, they should consume 25 – 30 calories for every pound they weigh. For example, a 40 lb. dog requires approximately 1,100 calories daily, and 90% of them should come from a well-balanced diet via the 90/10 rule.3 That leaves 110 calories, or 10% of their daily caloric intake, to be fed as treats.
An average-sized peach contains only 60 calories.4 However, your dog’s entire 10% treat allotment shouldn’t come from peaches since their high fiber and sugar can cause diarrhea, weight gain, and diabetes. Most dogs can safely consume 1 – 3 slices of a peach as an occasional treat in addition to their favorite doggie biscuit.
Like any food, there’s always that chance that your pup could be allergic to peaches, so start off with a small bite and then work up to a full slice. Should you notice any coughing, sneezing, swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or any other atypical behavior with your dog, stop feeding them peaches and consult your veterinarian at once.
Peaches can offer many health benefits to your dog. They are a great source of fiber and vitamin A, along with antioxidants which boost your dog’s immune system.5
Buying certified organic peaches is always best for your pup, but if the fruit is washed and the pit, leaves, and stems are removed, then it should be safe to serve to your dog in moderation.
The biggest danger to your dog when eating peaches is the hard stone pit. Your dog can break a tooth, damage their jaw, get the pit lodged in their throat, or cause intestinal blockage. Even if it passes through your pooch, the pit’s rough surface could cause abrasions in the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines.
Peach pits contain trace amounts of amygdalin which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.6 In large doses, cyanide can be fatal, but most dogs would have to consume a lot of peach pits before succumbing to cyanide poisoning. That said, any exposure is not worth the risk. If your dog has impaired liver function, it may not be able to filter out even small amounts of cyanide, making your furry friend more susceptible to poisoning.7
Signs of cyanide poisoning include:
● Excessive drooling
● Dilated pupils
● Breathing difficulty/panting
You should be extra mindful if you have peach trees in your yard. The leaves and stems of peaches also contain amygdalin. On top of that, if the peaches from your tree have been lying on the ground, they begin to ferment, which could cause alcohol poisoning in your dog if consumed. Be sure to pick up any fallen fruit before your dog can feast on them.
Additionally, mold and bacteria grows quickly on fallen peaches, so eating them unwashed can make your dog extremely sick.8 Be sure to wash your fruit and remove any stems or leaves if you decide to serve them to your dog. If you choose to purchase peaches from a local orchard or outdoor market, you should still wash the fruit and check for stems and leaves just to be safe.
You might think feeding canned peaches would be a great alternative since they have already been pitted, but dogs shouldn’t eat canned peaches. The problem is that canned peaches contain chemical preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and/or sugary syrup, all of which could harm your dog’s health.5
Like canned peaches, dogs should not eat peach jam or preserves because of the added ingredients. Nature provides peaches with an abundance of natural sugar, so the additional sugar added to jams can cause blood sugar spikes, diabetes, and weight gain. Additionally, chemical preservatives and artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, can cause liver damage, put your pup into a coma, and could even cause death. It’s best to keep your furry friend’s paws off any peach jam and preserved peaches.
Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so they may have difficulty digesting cow’s milk. Yogurt has beneficial probiotics that are good for your dog’s digestive system, so what is a pet parent to do?9 See if your dog can tolerate Greek yogurt, which contains less lactose, and then add a few pieces of well-washed, freshly chopped peaches on top.
Store-bought peach yogurt with the fruit already added usually contains additional sweeteners, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives that could harm your dog. If you choose to feed your dog a scoop or two of peach yogurt, keep it simple and make it fresh to keep your dog healthy.
To give your dog a nutritious summertime snack, feed only fresh, thoroughly washed peaches. Discard the pit, leaves, and stems to avoid health hazards.
Doing what’s best for your dog is every pet parent’s goal, but accidents can happen and your dog could eat something that they shouldn’t. Consider looking into a MetLife dog insurance policy, which may protect your pet — and your wallet.1,2