Can dogs eat peaches?
Peaches are a summer fruit that many people love to eat fresh or cook with. However, can dogs eat peaches? Some fruits are safe for dogs to eat, while others should be avoided. When it comes to peaches, there is an element of risk depending on the type and ripeness.
Peach pits and leaves are highly toxic to dogs, cats, and other small animals because they contain cyanogenic glycosides. This will poison any animal that tries to eat them. In smaller quantities and when ripe, the fruit itself poses little risk. Let’s look at some details about whether your dog can safely eat peaches or not.
The health benefits of peaches for dogs
If your dog likes peaches, there’s no reason not to let him have some. Like many fruits, peaches are high in vitamin A, which can have health benefits for both dogs and humans. Peaches are also a source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron.
Potassium and iron are particularly important for dogs and their health, as high potassium levels in the blood and low levels of iron are both signs of heart disease in dogs. Peaches are also a source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can help prevent digestive issues in dogs.
- Minerals and vitamins
There are many vitamins and minerals in peaches, including vitamin B2 and B6, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. These vitamins and minerals help prevent a variety of diseases and illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, skin infections, eye diseases, arthritis, and infertility in dogs. Peaches could also strengthen your dog's teeth!
- Disease Prevention
Heart Disease: Peaches are high in potassium and low in sodium, which can help keep blood pressure normal and prevent heart disease in dogs.
Bones and Joint Health: The vitamin A in peaches can help keep bones and joints healthy, which is vital in preventing arthritis.
Risks During Pregnancy: There are no indications that peaches pose any danger to pregnant women, though pregnant dogs should avoid them.
- Digestive Health
Dogs can eat peaches as they are a source of pectin, which can help prevent digestive issues in dogs. Pectin is a soluble fiber that can help reduce the risk of diarrhea, constipation, and other intestinal issues in dogs. Peaches have anti-inflammatory properties that help manage colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases in dogs.
- Heart Health
Peaches are high in potassium and low in sodium, which is important in preventing heart disease in dogs. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in dogs over six years old, so preventing heart disease is extremely important for protecting your dog’s health.
The heart relies on a balance of fluids to function properly, and too much fluid can damage the heart. Peaches can help balance fluid levels in the body by replacing sodium with potassium. This can help prevent high blood pressure and its damage to the heart.
Why Are Peaches Bad for Dogs?
The pits and leaves of peaches are toxic to dogs, cats, and other small animals and can pose a choking hazard, but the fruit itself is not. This is because peach pits contain amygdalin, a compound that is broken down in the body to produce cyanide. Peach pits also contain small amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which is a byproduct of amygdalin. Both cyanide and hydrogen cyanide are highly toxic to animals and humans.
Cyanogenic glycosides are present in many common foods, including apples, apricots, cherries, red peppers, and almonds. Green almonds and apricots don’t have dangerously high levels, but the rest of the above are best avoided because they are more likely to cause problems. Dogs that consume enough of these foods are at risk of cyanide poisoning, which can be fatal.
Peach pits could cause a blockage
The pit of a peach is toxic to dogs and other small animals, which may initially lead to an upset stomach as it contains cyanogenic glycosides. Symptoms of cyanide toxicity from peach pits include vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.
If the animal ingests a large number of pits, it could suffer from a gastrointestinal blockage due to the peach pit fragments getting stuck in the intestine. If you notice your dog has eaten a peach pit, take them to the vet as soon as possible. They may need surgery to remove the blockage.
Parts of the peach contain cyanide
The amount of cyanide in the peach depends on the variety, its ripeness, and storage conditions. The leaves, stem, and unripe fruit have more cyanide than the ripe flesh.
The skin contains more cyanide than the flesh, and the pit contains the highest amount. If the peach is ripe, then the amount of cyanide is very low.
The amount of cyanide in unripe peaches is dangerously high and can be fatal to small animals. If you feed unripe peaches to your dog, you must remove the pit and skin to reduce the amount of cyanide.
Windfall Peaches May Cause Alcohol Poisoning
If the peaches are overripe and slightly fermented, they could cause alcohol poisoning in dogs. Alcohol poisoning can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. The fermentation process that creates alcohol also produces hydrogen cyanide, which is highly toxic to your dog.
Feed your dog only very ripe, soft, and squishy peaches to avoid alcohol poisoning. Avoid feeding your dog peaches that are green in color, as they have not yet ripened.
Windfalls Can Also Cause Mold Toxicity
When peaches have fallen to the ground and have started to rot, they can also cause mold toxicity in dogs. If the peach has been lying on the ground for more than a few days, it has probably started to grow mold. This mold is toxic to dogs as well as humans.
To avoid mold toxicity, you should only give your dog extremely ripe peaches that have fallen to the ground. Be careful not to feed them too much though, as they contain a lot of sugar. You must pick up the peaches after a few hours, or the mold will start to grow. You must also wash the peaches before feeding them to your dog.
Other Health Risks:
Apart from cyanide poisoning and alcohol poisoning, peaches can also cause diarrhea and vomiting. Unripe peaches contain high amounts of hydrogen cyanide, which is toxic for your dog. Peaches are healthy, nutritious, good sources of vitamins, and healthy for your dog's digestive system when eaten ripe.
However, some dogs are allergic, so you should test them with a small amount before feeding them regularly. Peaches should only be given to puppies at least eight weeks old.
How Should You Feed Peaches to Your Dog?
Unripe peaches are toxic to dogs, so you should cut the skin off and remove the pit before feeding them. As they ripen, they become much safer (though they should still be watched for alcohol poisoning). Peaches have many health benefits, such as being an antioxidant and high in fiber. They are very high in sugar and should be given in moderation.
A single peach is enough for a small dog, while larger breeds might require two. You can also make a homemade dog treat with peaches by cutting them up or with peach jam and mixing them with yogurt or peanut butter. You can also freeze peaches to make a healthy ice treat for your dog on a hot day.
Peach Slices with Other Dog-Safe Fruits
If you are concerned about your dog eating too many peaches, you can balance it out by feeding them other fruits as well. For example, foods like bananas are a great source of energy and many vitamins. Bananas are also safe for dogs, and you can mash them or slice them up to feed your dog.
Another great fruit to feed your dog is cantaloupe, as it is also high in vitamins and healthy nutrients. Cantaloupe is also very low in sugar, making it a good choice for dogs on a low-sugar diet. You can also feed your dog strawberries, blueberries, apples, and other low-sugar fruits.
Dog Biscuits with Peaches
You could also make a healthy homemade dog biscuit with peaches. By combining flour, oats, and peaches, you can make a delicious treat for your dog. You can also add other safe ingredients to your dog's diet, such as peanut butter, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
You can make a peach crumble that is low in sugar and suitable for dogs on a special diet. You could also bake a peach pie and cut it into small pieces for your dog to enjoy.
Some dogs have allergies to certain fruits, so you can also make frozen peaches that are suitable for dogs with allergies. By boiling a few peaches in water with a little bit of almond extract, you can make a delicious and nutritious frozen treat for your dog.
You can also mash the peaches, add some water, and freeze them to make an ice cream treat. Frozen peaches are also suitable for dogs with diarrhea, as they are very soothing to the stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can peaches kill dogs?
Peaches themselves do not kill dogs, but rather their toxic components do if the dog eats enough of them. The exact dose of poison in a peach would vary depending on the size of the dog and the ripeness of the peach.
Symptoms of cyanide poisoning could include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficulty breathing, and cardiac arrest. The dog might also show signs of excitement or aggression and muscle tremors and seizures.
As a general rule, if your dog is vomiting or having diarrhea and you’re not sure why, it’s a good idea to rule out the possibility that he might have eaten something toxic.
Can my dog eat canned peaches?
The majority of peach-related poisonings come from unripe peaches. Canned peaches have been cooked, which degrades the poison. The skins have also been removed, making them a safe option. If your dog has eaten unripe peaches or fresh peaches with their skin, get him to a veterinarian immediately.
The vet will likely induce vomiting, administer activated charcoal, and possibly IV fluids. Peaches are not dangerous to dogs, so it's perfectly fine for them to eat canned peaches, as they will be fully ripe. Remember, you can’t tell if a peach is unripe simply by looking at it. Some people will cut open the peach and examine its color, but this is not a reliable method.
Most dogs will enjoy eating a fresh peach, but before you let your dog sample this tasty treat, be aware of the potential risk. Peaches are toxic to dogs when they are unripe. Feeding your dog peaches should be done in moderation, as over-indulgence can cause tummy troubles.
If you have any concerns about feeding your dog peaches or any other food, talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you if your dog can eat peaches or not and if there are any special considerations.