What Fruit Is Bad For Dogs? (You’ll be Suprised by No 3)

Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by adrienne hardwick

We all love to give our dog’s a sneaky treat, there’s no denying it. The issue is that it can be hard to know what’s safe. No one wants to be saying “good boy” one second and then racing to the vet the next. But what about fruit, can you give that to your pooch? 

What fruit is bad for dogs? 

Grapes and raisins can be lethal, as can avocado and unripe tomatoes. Even hedgerow berries are problematic and citrus can cause some seriously upset stomachs. So as you can see there are a few to avoid.

It can feel a little daunting to navigate the world of pup-safe treats. Let us take the hard work off your shoulders and tell you more details about these fruits your dog should avoid.

#1 Grapes 

These little fruits might be small, but they are so toxic to your dog that even one or two is enough to put them at serious risk. Of course, size matters here and while a great dane isn’t likely to be at risk after a single grape it could easily be fatal for a chihuahua

The exact cause of grape toxicity is unknown, and there are some dogs who will react more adversely than others. If your dog eats grapes, it maybe wise to contact your vet for some advice

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea within a few hours of ingestion
  • Tenderness in abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst and urine production
  • Decreased or no urine production

#2 Raisins 

Raisins are just dried grapes, so the risk to your pup is just as great. Once again, the size of your dog is likely to impact the effect this fruit has on their body but it should not be taken lightly – especially since we know so little about what makes raisins toxic. 

Both grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure, and it is essential that you take them to the vet if you are concerned they may have eaten raisins or you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea within a few hours of ingestion
  • Tenderness in abdomen
  • Dehydration
  • Increased thirst and urine production
  • Decreased or no urine production

#3 Unripe Tomatoes 

Before you panic about feeding your dog RIPE tomato, those are fine. The issue is UNRIPE tomatoes and the actual tomato plant – both of which are toxic to dogs. This is because the plant, leaves, and unripe tomato contain solanine

Solanine is a poison that is commonly found in plants that are part of the nightshade family (hello tomatoes). In large quantities, it is harmful to dogs and mostly concentrated in the green part of the plant. 

If your dog has decided to munch on an unripe tomato in the back garden, make sure you watch out for the signs of tomatine poisoning below and take them to a vet right away:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Cardiac effects
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

#4 Rhubarb 

The rhubarb plant contains something known as soluble oxalates, and these are not only highly toxic but concentrated in the leaves. The crystals are also contained in the stems but to a much lesser degree – which is why we can eat them. 

It is a common form of poisoning in livestock and other large grazing animals because they tend to consume higher concentrations of soluble oxalates while eating through the day. However, dogs that eat enough will also experience symptoms of poisoning. 

In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to renal failure, and so if you think your dog has eaten any rhubarb you should take them to the vet and watch for these symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Inappetance
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Bloody urine
  • Changes in thirst and urination

#5 Persimmon Seeds

Now, persimmon seeds are not actually toxic for your dog but they do pose another risk. The seeds and pit of the persimmon increase the risk of an intestinal blockage – something that can prove fatal to your pup if left untreated. 

Some blockages can be removed through the vet flushing out their system, but more severe cases will often require surgery in order to save their life. 

Usually, an intestinal blockage will leave your dog feeling quite lethargic and they are likely to go completely off their food as well as stop drinking. These are the most common signs, and if you notice any you should call up the vet immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration

#6 Cherries

There is nothing wrong with cherries as a fruit, in fact, they are quite rich in nutrients. However, it is the pits that are dangerous – not for the reasons you might think, either. The pit, stem, and leaves all contain cyanide

Now, there is not enough cyanide in these to cause poisoning after eating a single one, but if your dog were to munch on a whole bunch of them then it could be a different, fatal, story. Furthermore, the pits do carry a small risk of intestinal blockage. 

If your dog has had a large number of cherries, you should call your vet and look out for both the symptoms of intestinal blockage (above) as well as these for cyanide poisoning:

  • Vomiting 
  • Heavy breathing 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Coma 

#7 Avocado

While avocado might be a tasty treat for you, other animals would have to disagree. Every part of this fruit carries high concentrations of persin – a fungicidal toxin. While it is safe for humans to consume, it is actually fatal to many animals. 

Dogs have the highest resistance to persin, but this doesn’t make avocado safe for them to consume. Plus, the amount of persin that is lethal is unknown, so why risk it? You also have the stone in the centre which is a choking and blockage hazard.

If your dog has decided to feast on avocado, you should make sure to call your vet immediately so that they can check your dog over. Make sure you look out for these symptoms too:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty with producing stools

#8 Hedgerow Berries 

Hedgerow berries are a little more complicated, and you might be looking at this like “wait, what? My dog eats blackberries all the time.” Well, blackberries are an example of a perfectly SAFE hedgerow berry – there are others you need to look out for. 

Black and White Bryony berries are very toxic to dogs, and such a severe laxative in humans (and dogs) that even 16th Century doctors said not to use them for treatments. If your dog does eat these, make sure you take them to the vet as it can cause severe dehydration. 

Dogwood berries are not toxic, but they can cause an upset stomach as well as vomiting. While it is unlikely to become anything serious, do make sure you contact your vet if you become concerned for their wellbeing. 

Unripe elderberries can cause cyanide poisoning if your dog eats enough of them, and the plant itself also contains cyanide. So, while the ripe fruit is perfectly safe for consumption you will want to keep them away from any that haven’t finished ripening. 

#9 Lemon and Lime 

There is nothing toxic about lemons and limes, but they can cause gastric upsets in large quantities. We all joke around by letting pups have a quick lick of a lemon when they are young (those reactions!) but letting them eat the whole thing will definitely get messy. 

Since limes and lemons have a lot of citric acids, this is what causes stomach upsets when they eat them. Plus, dogs tend to hate the bitter and sour taste so why give it to them? Your dog may also react differently depending on their size and how sensitive their stomach is. 

#10 Orange 

Dogs CAN eat oranges, but there isn’t much point in giving it to them and the citrus in this fruit can lead to a dodgy stomach. Since dogs don’t really need vitamin C supplementation, there is NO nutritional value for them in oranges. 

If you do decide to feed them an orange, make sure you remove the peel first. This is because it’s really rough on their digestive system and the natural essential oils that are in the peel can be overwhelming for their sensitive noses. 

How Can I Introduce Fruit into My Dog’s Diet? 

Dogs love fruit, and in the wild, wolves often scavenge for berries when food is scarce. Fruit is good for them too, rich in good vitamins and minerals that help to boost the immune system and contribute to a coat that shines. 

Introducing fruit into your dog’s diet is really easy, but make sure you remember that adding new things can cause a little gastric distress in the beginning. Their stomach will settle over a few days, so start out small. 

First, remember what NOT to feed your dog. All the fruits above are prime examples of what needs to be avoided in their diet. Things like bananas, blueberries, and apples are delicious treats that they are sure to love, and you can even throw in some veggies for extra crunch. 

Take a look at our guide on whether your dog can eat bananas and are they safe?. Can they eat banana skin? find out.

Next, your dog isn’t human and won’t benefit from roasted veg drizzled in olive oil. Raw is usually the best way forward and the fruits should be chopped finely to avoid choking before being added to the food. They will love the different textures and flavours. 

It’s ok if your dog isn’t a huge fan of your fruit selection. All dogs are different and have varying tastes. Just keep trying some pup-safe fruits to see what they like. Here are some great suggestions, all of which are completely safe for them to eat:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini (Courgette)

Final Thoughts 

We understand how stressful it can be trying to figure out what you can and cannot feed your pup. That’s why we hope this guide has helped you to learn more about which fruits they need to stay away from, why, and the ones that you can add to their food bowls. 

Unripe tomatoes? Who knew, right? There are some truly bizarre ones that you just don’t think of, and that’s why research is so important before you share your snacks with your dog. 

Want to learn more about the foods your pup can and cannot eat? We have a whole series of care guides dedicated to your pooch. Come check them out

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