When summer is coming, one of the most popular things that we see in the grocery stores is delicious fruits like nectarines. We know how luscious they are and how enjoyable and juicy they taste. What about for our dogs? Can dogs eat nectarines safely? The good news is that not only can a dog eat the fruit of the nectarine, but they also contain a lot of health benefits for your pup.
Some of the things that nectarines contain that are good for your dog are:
Dietary fiber — Fiber does wonders for a dog’s digestive tract. It helps prevent bad bacteria from building up in the intestine and promotes good colon health.
Magnesium — Magnesium helps in the absorption of vital nutrients and vitamins and also aids the nervous system to function properly
Potassium — Potassium helps your dog’s kidneys keep functioning normally. It also helps their heart function, as well as for muscle function and normal digestion.
Vitamin C — This is an essential antioxidant. It helps to reduce cognitive aging and inflammation.
Vitamin A – This vitamin helps your dog’s eyesight. It also helps with cell function, immune function, growth, and fetal development for female dogs.
The fruit is also good for the digestive tract of your dog. However, one of the things you want to be careful about is how much you give to your dog.
How Much Should My Dog Have?
The amount that you give your dog is going to depend on your dog’s size. For instance, if you have a rottweiler, your dog will be able to eat a lot more than if you have a toy poodle. What’s going to happen if your dog has too much nectarine? Well, since it is full of fiber, it can lead to two big problems for your pooch:
Diarrhea — Dogs who eat a lot of nectarine pieces are going to have diarrhea. This can lead to other problems, such as being dehydrated. If your dog has diarrhea, give them a lot of water and make sure they’re drinking it.
Upset Stomach — This is another common problem with having too much fiber, which is the main benefit of nectarines. If your dog’s tummy is upset, they may just be laying on the floor or just not acting like themselves. This won’t last forever, but you can avoid this by watching how much of a nectarine you give them.
Generally, you should only give a dog a couple of pieces of nectarine occasionally. Remember the bigger the dog’s size, the more they can handle. But proceed with caution.
Remove the Pit
If you give your dog nectarine, never give them the pit. There are many dangers associated with fruits that have pits. Below are some of the most common:
Teeth Damage – Nectarines have hard pits. So, if your dog gets ahold of it, it can damage his teeth. If the fracture reaches the dog’s gumline, it means that the whole tooth has to be removed due to jawbone disease and infection risk.
Esophageal Damage – There are rough edges on a nectarine’s pit, and these can damage your dog’s esophagus. The esophagus lining of a dog is very sensitive and can become eroded by chemicals or physical injury. This can result in an ulcer or esophagitis. These conditions might make your dog too sore to eat. If it completely tears, pneumonia can set in.
Obstruction – If a nectarine pit gets into a dog’s stomach, it might become stuck there or in the dog’s intestines and cause an obstruction, which often required surgery. Signs of this type of obstruction include abdominal pain, absent or decreased appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is the most common problem reported by owners when the dog ingests a pit. If they eat indigestible parts of fruit, you want to speak to your vet.
Cyanide poisoning – This poison is in the very center of most stone fruits. It isn’t released unless the pit’s been chewed and the broken pieces have been ingested. Cyanide toxicity is often deadly quickly. If there’s only a little bit in the system, a dog might be salivating, breathing with difficulty, or might rapidly become paralyzed or have seizures. This is an emergency, so you need to contact your vet on the way to the vet hospital so that treatment can be started immediately when you arrive.
Moldy Pits – Some kinds of mold won’t hurt your dog and others can make them sick. This can range from an upset stomach to a failure of their liver, to seizures and tremors. The nectarine’s pit might have mold on it even though the fruit’s fresh. That’s why you want to cut apart the nectarine and only give the fruit to the dog.
Don’t Feed Your Dog Canned Nectarines
You should avoid canned fruits as they’re really sweet. The sweetness comes from the preservatives. They’re filled with sugar, which is not good for a dog. If you are going to give your dog nectarines, stick with the fresh ones.
If you have some fresh nectarines, feel free to share some with your dog. However, be careful not to give them too much, and make sure they are fresh. Dispose of the pit properly, so your dog doesn’t accidentally get poisoned or swallow it. The last thing you want is to turn a tasty summer treat into a trip to the vet.
Featured image credit: stevepb, Pixabay