Autumn is traditionally a time of bounty—a season when we celebrate a fall harvest rich in fruits and vegetables. But when it comes to our pets’ health, some fruits and vegetables are dog safe, while others are hazardous. So how can you tell the difference?
Dogs & Fruits
Dogs are omnivores by nature, which means that in the wild they eat both meat and plants. But as our pets, dogs are likely to encounter many fruits they would not see in nature, and some can be hazardous (or even fatal) if ingested.
Safe Fruits. Let’s start with the good news. There are many fruits that are completely safe—and even nutritious—for dogs to eat. These include:
- Mango (stone removed)
- Peaches (stone removed)
- Pears (stone removed)
- Oranges (peeled)
Many of these fruits are high in vitamins A and C, minerals (such as potassium), and antioxidants, which support your dog’s overall health and resistance to disease. These fruits may be given occasionally as treats.
Hazardous Fruits. Now for the cautions. Many fruits contain substances that dogs cannot metabolize effectively, or others that are simply toxic to canine physiology. Fruits to avoid include:
- Avocados—avocados contain persin, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs
- Grapes (or Raisins)—grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and cause kidney failure
- Cherries—the meat around the cherry pit contains cyanide, a fatality hazard.
- Tomatoes—the green parts of the tomato plant contain a chemical called solanine, which is toxic to dogs
Dogs & Vegetables
Like fruits, vegetables are likely to be encountered commonly by household pets. Knowing which are safe to eat (and which aren’t) can be invaluable to your dog’s health.
Safe Vegetables. A number of commonly eaten veggies are safe for our canine companions as well. These include:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
Many of these common vegetables can be found in vegetable-based dog foods, as they contain vitamin A, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial substances.
Hazardous Vegetables. Some vegetables contain substances that are toxic (or even fatal) to dogs. These include:
- Asparagus—while not toxic, asparagus is difficult for dogs to eat and requires extensive boiling to prepare.
- Onions—onions are a NEVER for dogs, as they contain substances that can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture.
- Mushrooms—also a never for dogs, certain mushroom species contain substances that can be upsetting or hazardous to your dog’s physiology.
Keeping Dangerous Foods Away From Dogs
Like any toxic substance, all food items that are potentially dangerous to pets should be kept out of reach of sniffing noses and prying paws. A bin or crisper can keep cherries or grapes fresh, while avocadoes can be stored at room temperature, on a shelf that’s out of your pup’s reach.
Accidental Pet Poisoning
Sometimes our pets get into things they shouldn’t, despite our best efforts. If you believe your dog has ingested a toxic substance, don’t panic. Call your vet immediately or contact the ASPCA’s poison control line 24/7 at (888) 426-4435. Be sure to describe the substance your pet ate, the amount that your pet consumed, and when the poisoning occurred. Pet poison control experts can advise you on the next steps in getting your dog the treatment it needs.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. We hope you and your pets have a safe and bountiful autumn! (Disclaimer: We recommend consulting with a veterinarian before serving your pup human food.)
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.
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