Are you looking to expand the variety of fruits and vegetables you offer your dog? Then you picked the right post to read. The answer to the question “Can dogs eat nectarines” is a resounding yes!
In fact, nectarines are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals when fed in moderation. Most dogs love the juicy, sweet flesh, and nectarines make an excellent purée or dried fruit treat for your dog.
With a little preparation, dogs can safely eat many fruits and vegetables, including nectarines and peaches! In this post we will cover a bit of info about nectarines and peaches, and how you can safely incorporate these fruits into your dog’s diet!
Can Dogs Eat Nectarines?
Yes, you can offer your dog small portions of nectarines and peaches. There are still possible dangers to eating these fruits, however, so read on and don’t just toss a whole nectarine to your dog and walk away.
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Nectarines are a common summer fruit, and we think of them as a smooth-skinned version of their cousins, peaches. In fact, peaches and nectarines are considered the same species even though they are classified agriculturally as different fruits.
Peaches and nectarines are members of the rose family, and are related to other well known fruits like cherries, apricots and plums. The fruits in this family commonly have a hard, inedible pit in the center that has to be removed before giving it to your dog (read more below on the dangers of pits).
Nectarines and peaches are both delicious and nutritious fruits that are high in fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. They contain about 63 calories per serving, and so fit into a healthy diet for most dogs.
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Here are some of the vitamins and minerals you can expect to find in a serving of nectarines/peaches (as % of daily recommended value):
- 12% Vitamin C– Good for respiratory problems and to maintain healthy bowels.
- 9% Vitamin A– Supports liver, lung and kidney health.
- 8% Niacin- Crucial for overall health and supports gastrointestinal health.
- 8% Potassium- Required for the functioning of nerves, muscles and enzymes.
- 10% Dietary Fiber- Assists with digestive health and helps prevent constipation.
Possible Dangers from Eating Nectarines
While it is safe to offer your dog a few slices of nectarines or peaches, you should be cautious about letting your dog play with a whole piece of fruit. While the flesh of the fruit is safe for your dog to eat, there can be side effects, and the pits hold several dangers for dogs.
While most dogs can eat a small amount of fruit with no side effects, you want to start with small portions, and gradually build up to larger ones.
Some dogs may be more sensitive to eating a new fruit, and giving too big a portion of nectarines or peaches could lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. If their digestive system isn’t use to eating fruit it could throw things off. Also, in some dogs the fruit can ferment in their digestive tract, leading to gas and flatulence.
So start with small portions, and then increase the amount they eat gradually! Use fruit as a treat and make it a regular part of their normal diet to avoid side effects.
Avoid the Pits
Never give your dog a whole piece of the fruit, or allow them to chew on the pit at the center of nectarines or peaches (or any stone fruit, really). These pits present a real danger to dogs.
Chewing on the pits could break their teeth, leading to higher dental bills and even the loss of teeth.
Also, dogs can easily swallow the pits. These pits are the perfect size to get stuck in the digestive tract. If that happens, your dog will need surgery to remove it.
There is another danger to these pits, however. Inside the pit is a little kernel that contains a chemical compound called amygdalin. When ingested, this compound turns to hydrogen cyanide in the stomach. This might not be enough to kill a large dog, but could still be dangerous and lead to toxicity. In small dogs, a single pit could contain enough amygdalin to cause a serious reaction, even leading to death.
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So make sure you remove the pit before you allow your dog to eat a peach or nectarine, and be careful that you dispose of the pits where your dog can’t get to them. Also, if you have a tree in your yard, be sure your dog isn’t sampling the fallen fruit when you are not watching.
Save your money and avoid the pitfalls of stone fruits!
Ways to Incorporate Fruit into Your Dog’s Diet
With the pits safely removed, you are free to treat your dog with nectarines and peaches!
Start with a couple of fresh slices as a treat, and then branch out as your dog becomes accustomed to eating this tasty fruit. Dogs often enjoy sweets, and fruit is a great way to satisfy their sweet tooth in a healthy fashion.
You can even give your dog frozen slices as a summer treat. There are many different ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into their diets, so have some fun making special fruit treats for your dog!
You can take puréed nectarines and freeze them into ice cube trays to make a quick and easy summer frozen treat for your dog!
If you want to get fancier (maybe for a puppy party?), mix the purée with some plain yogurt and add in pieces of other vegetables or fruits like carrots and blueberries. You can freeze this mix in ice cube trays or even little cups, and you will have your own homemade “pupscicles!”
Dried fruit, in moderation, can be a tasty and healthy chew treat for dog too!
If you have a dehydrator you can make them yourself to avoid the extra sugar and preservatives often found in commercial fruit mixes. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put the fruit on cookie sheets and dry them in your oven on the lowest setting. It might take 12 hours or longer, but your dog will thank you. Sweet potatoes are a great option for a homemade dried chew too!
Enjoying the Fruits of Success
Once your dog has become accustomed to eating nectarines and peaches, you will start to look forward to the Dog Days of Summer and the bounty of the fruit harvest. These fruits are a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, and contain many vitamins and minerals that your dog will benefit from. Just be careful about those pits, and you will have a fruit eating pup for years to come!
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Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician. Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.
To read more of Jen’s work, check out her website: mywickedtribe.com