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The Pits: Are Stone Fruits Really Dangerous for Dogs?

July 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Dogs and pitted fruit

As the summer months continue to heat up, you may be tossing a few delicious seasonal treats to your dog, such as fruits and veggies. Peaches are a popular summer delight, and you may be wondering whether they're a good fit for your dog's diet. The answer is: yes, but not all of the peach. Here's how to give your dog a delicious, healthy snack of peaches this season without jeopardizing his health.

The Basics of Peaches

Peaches are a healthy treat for both humans and pets. They contain high levels of fiber and vitamin A, and if your dog happens to be constipated for some reason, they could be a helpful addition. But peach pits are the real problem when it comes to your dog's health: the round, hard centers of peaches contain cyanide. You've probably heard of this deadly poison and know that it can kill (both humans and dogs). On top of that, the pit can pose a choking hazard. Under no circumstances should you give your dog a peach without the pit removed.

Cyanide Poisoning

Cyanide can be deadly, of course, and it's vital that you keep peaches out of reach of your dog. Don't store them, for instance, on the edge of a counter where a curious Fido might jump up for a bite (or five). The pit will probably seem like the best part to your dog.

If you think your dog has already ingested a nectarine or peach pit, there's no need to panic. Watch for the signs of cyanide poisoning, and call your veterinarian at the first sign of trouble.

The symptoms of cyanide poisoning include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive salivation
  • Dizziness

See a vet immediately if your dog exhibits any of these signs, and you are concerned about poisoning. If left untreated, cyanide poisoning could lead to seizures, shock, a coma, and even death.

Fruit for Dogs

In general, fruit is a good choice for dogs to keep their digestive system in good working order and give them a fun treat. Your dog will enjoy a sweet piece of fruit every once in a while, and you can be confident that you're giving them one of the few "human foods" that is appropriate for their health.

On the other hand, avoid any canned fruits (including peaches), since these are usually drenched in sugary syrup and don't offer the same health benefits as a result. You don't want to affect your dog's long-term health by feeding her too much sugar.

If and when you choose to give your dog peaches and other fresh fruit, it should always be done properly and under direct supervision. Cut up your dog's snack into manageable pieces and remove the pits or any seeds. Don't overdo it on fruit, as you could give your dog a mild case of diarrhea.

Say No to the Pits

To reiterate, remember: keep your fruit supply entirely out of reach of your dog, including peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, pears, and others with potentially hazardous pits. Peaches are fine in moderation, when given under supervision, cut up, and with the pit removed. If you suspect that your dog has swallowed a peach pit, contact your veterinarian immediately and watch carefully for the signs of cyanide poisoning such as excessive drooling, dilated pupils, and erratic behavior.

As always, you can contact us anytime with your questions or concerns about your dog's health. We'd be happy to give you any information and examine your dog to ensure they're healthy.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.

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