While fruits of any kind aren't part of a dog's diet, it's not uncommon for dogs to eat peaches and other human food. Maybe your pet came across a peach tree with an abundance of peaches lying on the ground underneath. Perhaps, your dog shows interest in peaches as you eat them. Regardless, as pet parents, you simply want to know if there's any harm in slipping your dog a peach slice or two. So, can dogs eat peaches? Let's talk about it!
Health Benefits Of Peaches
Can a dog eat peaches? Peaches offer many of the same health benefits to both humans and dogs. Here are some of them:
- Vitamins and Minerals. Peaches are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, each supporting a different part of the body. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin, vitamin C strengthens the immune system, and vitamin E guards against oxidative damage while boosting fat metabolism and cell function. Peaches also contain manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.
- Disease Prevention. All of the antioxidants that peaches are packed with will help cells fight off harmful free radicals. In other words, peaches can help protect the body from cancer.
- Digestive Health. With their high dietary fiber content, peaches can aid digestion and reduce the likelihood of constipation.
- Heart Health. The potassium in peaches helps your dog's regular blood pressure. It does this by eliminating excess sodium from the blood and relaxing tension in blood vessels.
The Downside Of Peaches
With all of those benefits, can feeding peaches to your dog really be bad, and when are peaches bad for dogs? Well, yes. Dogs aren't meant to eat foods high in sugars, which all fruit is naturally. The high sugar content in peaches can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea in dogs, and it also means that they are high in calories. If your dog struggles with obesity, it's best to avoid peaches. They're also rather acidic, which can potentially upset your dog's digestion.
Spoiled And Mold
Another concern with peaches is their susceptibility to mold and spoiling, and this is particularly a concern if there is a peach tree nearby.
Moldy fruits can cause a wide variety of gastrointestinal upset, liver failure, and even seizures. Spoiled fruit ferments and changes the sugar into alcohol, which negatively affects dogs. Even the most minuscule amounts of alcohol can have ingredients in them that are poisonous to dogs.
Peach Pits Hazard
Peach pits - as well as the pits from all stone fruits, such as plums, apricots, and cherries - are hazardous and even toxic to dogs.
Peach pits contain a toxic cyanogenic compound called amygdalin. This compound is toxic to dogs and is also present in peach leaves and stems. If you notice that your dog has ingested any peach pits (or leaves and stems), keep an eye on them to monitor for any changes in behavior. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you see any signs of cyanide toxicity, including:
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- dilated pupils
- severe panting and difficulty breathing
- gagging and vomiting
- red gums
Outside of cyanide toxicity, peach pits can present other health hazards. Not only are they a choking hazard, but the hard centers can damage your dog's teeth as they bite through the peach, causing painful fractures.
If your dog swallows the peach pit whole, it will take about 12 hours or even a few days for it to pass through. In the meantime, the sharp texture and rough edges of the pit can damage the throat and stomach lining. They can even cause intestinal blockages, requiring emergency surgery to remove the obstruction. If a blockage is present and not removed, it can lead to severe complications such as rupture of the GI tract leading to septic infections and possible death.
Signs of internal obstruction include loss of appetite, generalized weakness, abdominal pain, and vomiting. If left undetected, the symptoms will worsen. This can include severe weakness, frequent excessive vomiting with foul-smelling vomitus, dehydration, and eventually shock due to fluid and electrolyte imbalance.
While it is uncommon for dogs to be allergic to peaches, it can happen. If your dog shows an allergic reaction, stop giving your dog peaches and consult your veterinarian. Signs of an allergic reaction include coughing, sneezing, swelling, hives, difficult breathing, and other symptoms.
One too many
Your dog's diet should be balanced dog food. If you feed too many peaches to your dog, it can cause gastrointestinal upset, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. And because peaches are packed with sugar, it can also increase the risk of obesity.
What Is The Best Way For Dogs To Eat Peaches?
Still, a peach now and then can be a welcome sweet treat. You'll want to avoid the pit altogether, so don't offer the peach whole. Here are some ideas to safely serve peaches:
- Cut the fleshy fruit into slices, and serve no more than two or three of the sliced fresh peaches at a time.
- During the heat of summer, a few slices of frozen peaches can be a nice treat. Or, mix peach and plain yogurt together and freeze in ice cube trays. An individual cube or two would make a pleasant snack.
- Add about 1/4 cup of blended peaches into your homemade dog biscuit recipe for a great change of flavor.
- Dice up a few peach slices and add to your dog's oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter.
Remember, while peaches are generally safe for dogs and aren't dangerous or bad for dogs outright, their stomachs aren't meant to handle the sugar of peaches and other fruits. Peaches should be a delicious treat, offered sparingly.
Can Dogs Eat Peaches In Yogurt?
Yogurt of any sort can cause a problem for lactose intolerant dogs, and store-bought peach yogurt is usually filled with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and flavors. Neither dogs nor humans are meant to digest these artificial additives. If you want to serve peach yogurt as an occasional treat, it's best to make it yourself. Give your furry friend a little bit of plain yogurt to watch for a dairy reaction. If all is well, you can combine fresh peaches and plain yogurt.
Can Dogs Eat Peach Jam?
It's best to avoid all processed jams. Jams are even higher in sugar than fresh fruit. Not only can this cause stomach upset, but it can also lead to more chronic health problems from your canine companion, such as diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners found in jams, such as xylitol, are extremely toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Peaches?
Nope! Again, these peaches contain too much sugar. And it contains extra sugar compared to fresh peaches. Most peaches are canned in either juice or heavy syrup. For this reason, avoid canned peaches.