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It might come as a surprise to some of you that August is National Peach Month and so we want to provide an answer to the question, can dogs eat peaches?
Ok, you were probably expecting a more exciting question but you opened this with that question in mind so let’s get to it.
Peaches are awesome. So awesome that the word peach can be used to describe people who are sweet and likable so it would make a lot of sense to want to give something that tastes so nice to your dogs as a treat, or even as a part of their diet but you should remember that some foods that humans have no problems with can be bad for dogs because their digestion works differently.
Well, if you’re considering adding peaches to your dog’s meals then yes, dogs can eat peaches, but there are some things you need to know first.
Can dogs eat peaches?
Peaches offer numerous benefits to your dog. They are filled with a host of vitamins and minerals. They contain beta-carotene and the body converts this to vitamin A which helps to maintain healthy skin and healthy eyes. It also contains vitamin C which strengthens your dogs’ immune system, helps to protect cells, and is important for healthy bones, and it contains vitamin E which is essential for cell function and fat metabolism and it helps with defense against oxidative damage.
They also contain minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. They are high in dietary fiber which helps in digestion and reduces constipation, low in calories and they can help to boost the immune system, improve the functions of the kidneys and liver. They also serve as a great source for antioxidants that defend cells from harmful free radicals (atoms that contain an unpaired electron) and this helps to ward off cancer.
Peaches can improve the health of your dog’s heart and the potassium in them also help the body to regulate blood pressure by relaxing tension in the walls of the blood vessels and eliminating excess sodium.
What Makes Peaches Bad for Dogs?
As good as peaches are, they have to be served in moderation because they have a higher natural sugar content than other fruits and berries. Too much sugar can lead to gastrointestinal upsets and diarrhea, cavities, and more serious issues like obesity and diabetes. It’s best to control the sugar intake of your dogs.
The peach seeds (usually referred to as pits or stones) contain small amounts of a sugar-cyanide compound called amygdalin and these can be toxic to dogs. They will have to consume a fairly large amount of these pits though before it can have any negative effects but it’s best to not take chances with the health of your dogs.
Besides this, they can also be a serious choking hazard by getting lodged I your dog’s throat and the pits are hard with rough surfaces and may damage their teeth and jaws if they try to chew them.
The stem and leaves contain amygdalin too so these should be kept away from your dogs. If your dog eats any of these parts that contain amygdalin you should watch out for signs of diarrhea, dilated pupils, vomiting, severe panting, abdominal pain, red gums, unusual inactivity or slowness, gagging, and a loss of appetite. If you notice any of these contacts your veterinarian immediately.
Windfall peaches are also bad for your dogs because they can lead to alcohol poisoning. Windfall fruits are fruits that have been blown off the trees by the wind. These are generally overripe and can be harmful to your dogs because when fruits lie on the ground for a while (usually a few days) they will begin to ferment. This leads to ethanol production in the fruit and consumption of a lot of these will likely lead to alcohol poisoning. Signs of this are a lack of coordination, slow heart rate, drowsiness, unconsciousness and the slowing down of their heart rate can lead to a heart attack.
Over time these fruits begin to rot and this is also harmful because molds are formed by mycotoxins and consumption of these can lead to vomiting, muscle or full-body tremors, lack of coordination, and even seizures. These can be life-threatening so as usual, if you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian.
You should also consider that there is a small chance that your dog might be allergic to peaches and this can lead to a very dangerous and possibly life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis which can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure. Some of the common signs of this are itching, wheals or hives (red swelling on the skin), a swollen face, excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these.
Some dogs might have underlying medical conditions that can be worsened by peaches or other fruits so it is ideal that you seek advice from your veterinarian before giving your dogs any human food because they can give you the best advice on what’s appropriate, what you can prepare in certain ways to make them appropriate, what to avoid completely and the appropriate amounts to feed to your dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Peach Products?
Jams in general are usually very high in sugar and these can cause stomach upsets and lead to obesity or diabetes over time. Some jams also contain xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs and so it’s best to avoid jams.
Peach yogurt contains artificial flavoring and preservatives which can be bad for your dogs. If your dog is lactose intolerant then you should avoid yogurt entirely.
The best way is to combine plain yogurt and organic peaches and make the yogurt yourself and make sure you give your dog just a little of it to see if they can digest it and if they look uncomfortable then just stay away from that type of yogurt. If they’re fine then you can go ahead but do it in moderation, preferably as an occasional treat so it won’t have any effects on their health.
How to Feed Peaches to Dogs
I know I’ve mentioned a lot of health risks but it’s best to not take any risks with your dog’s health. If you plan on treating your dogs to peaches, it’s best to follow the 90/10 rule which is that 90% of your dog’s food should be regular dog food and then 10% should be treated because as good as they might taste, your dog’s health is more important.
Don’t be worried though, it’s easy to properly prepare peaches for dogs. When preparing peaches, check them properly and make sure they’re free of mold and rot. Most commercial fruits are treated with pesticides and these can be harmful to your dog’s health so wash them thoroughly to remove any unwanted chemicals on the skin. After this, remove the leaves and stems. It’s best to just avoid these completely. Then cut them into small, manageable pieces, and make sure you remove all the pits.
You can feed these small slices of peaches to your dog and frozen peaches can be really refreshing on a hot day. You can mix these peach slices with other fruits that are safe for dogs like apples. You can get very creative with this but remember to only serve food that’s safe for your dog.
Don’t feed preserved or canned peaches to your dogs because they contain preservatives and a high amount of added sugar which are both bad for your dogs for reasons I’ve stated already.
You can mix these small pieces into their meals as a small sweet surprise treat. You can also use them as rewards while training your dogs, or even blend them with other healthy fruits which are good for dogs into a smoothie or fruit salad. Some of these fruits are mangoes, bananas, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, tangerines, watermelons, pears, pineapples, and apples. But just like peaches, they should be given in small amounts and all forms of pits or seeds should be removed and those with rinds should be peeled.
The health of your dogs is very important and you should always take care when choosing treats to give them. All fruits should that you want to feed to them should be thoroughly washed and canned or preserved peaches should be avoided because they will contain excess sugar more often than not. Windfall peaches and fruits generally should be avoided and stems and leaves too.
Peaches have a lot of health advantages but can also be very harmful if not prepared properly so I have to stress that a lot of care should be taken and they should be given in moderation as treats and not as a consistent part of your dog’s diet.
And finally, always seek professional advice, and if you notice any strange symptoms contact your veterinarian immediately.