As more and more of us look to boost our diets with more vitamins, minerals and altogether natural and healthy meals, it stands to reason that loving dogs owners often want to help their dogs eat better too.
Many dog lovers are experimenting with different ways to help their dogs eat more varied and satisfying diets packed with nutrition.
With that being the case, can dogs eat pears? And even if they can, should pears be fed to your dog at all?
Are pears good for dogs?
Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients that are essential to health and wellbeing – in people, especially.
So while dogs can eat pears, their digestive systems within are different enough that they handle, process and ultimately gain their energy and nutrition from food in a very different way to how humans do.
So while the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables for people stands at five portions a day, that’s massively more than what your dog would need.
Having said that, it’s remiss to suggest that dogs gain nothing from eating pears. Pears offer lots of goodies to dogs if prepared and served up the right way.
Vitamins and fiber found throughout the flesh of the fruit and in the skin of the pear can do wonders for your dog’s health, but you’ll find that a slice or two of pear every so often is all you need to make the most of these advantages and boost your dog’s health.
More than this, it’s important to remember not to give your dog the core of a pear, and especially not the stalk and seeds.
The seeds of pears contain traces of cyanide – not enough to do your dog harm as a one-off, but certainly quite dangerous in bulk.
Dogs have hardy appetites and it may be tempting to toss an apple or pear core their way to demolish, rather than throwing this part of the fruit in the garbage.
Yet the garbage is the better place for it because the seeds can not only carry cyanide in small doses but also cause complications in digestion, just as a pear stalk can.
Blockages and obstructions can occur, especially in younger dogs, older dogs, smaller dogs or puppies who are still learning how to pace themselves when eating.
Besides the risk of choking hazard and obstruction here, you should also avoid feeding your dog canned pear slices or otherwise processed pears.
The chemicals and sugars and syrups added to pears through these processes increase dogs’ risk of diabetes, obesity and other long term ill effects and weight gain.
However, stick to slices of ripe fresh pear, while avoiding letting your pup eat the seeds, stalk or core, and you have nothing to worry about.
Health benefits of pears for dogs
There are lots of reasons why dogs can eat pears – although all good things ought to come in moderation.
Even the largest dog needs far less fruit than their human masters do to take advantage of the effects, and too much fruit, including pears, can cause an upset tummy for your pooch if you overdo it.
However, the benefits of feeding pears to your dog are fantastic.
These fruits come enriched with vitamins throughout, giving a boost to your pet’s immunity to illness, as well as speeding their recovery if they’ve been under the weather.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C are particularly strong in pears that you feed to your dog, and it won’t take long after first feeding pears to your pet for you to notice altogether brighter eyes, a spring in the step and a healthy, shiny coat.
However, there’s also fiber to be found in pears, more than you might realize – and certainly enough to help keep your dog timely with their end to end business.
Fiber is especially strong in the skin and very outermost flesh of a pear, so leave the peel on these fruits when cutting them up to feed your dog if you want the best advantages to be felt.
Remember, a little goes a long way when it comes to feeding your dog fruit. Their internal systems are sensitive enough that they can get a lot of benefits from what to we human beings seems a very small amount of pear or other fruits.
In fact, there is natural sugar in both pears and other fruits – bananas and strawberries especially – that is high enough to be a genuine risk of weight gain and diabetes in dogs if they chow down on fruits too much.
However, don’t panic – you’d need to essentially be making pears the cornerstone or center of what you feed your dogs for that to happen. If you treat pears as an occasional treat or a training reward snack, it should be fine.
How many pears can a dog eat daily?
Dogs need far less fruit and vegetables in their diet overall than their human masters, and can get an upset tummy if they even come close to trying to eat as many as we are recommended to.
It’s a big difference to keep in mind, but it’s worth considering – you’re smart indeed to ask how much fruit a dog should eat, of any kind.
Yet the reality is – according to the experts – than even an entire pear is too much for even the largest dogs breeds if you were to offer your dog one pear a day.
A couple of slices of pear are all you really need to introduce your dog to vitamins and fiber in the ways we’ve described.
In fact, for smaller dog breeds, even that could be excessive! A chunk of pear is all they need, every so often.
You don’t need to worry about getting into a regular habit of dicing up pear slices on your dog’s dinner every day, especially if you have a puppy, an older dog or one of the smaller dog breeds.
As we said, a little goes a long way – a slice or two of pear every so often is all you need.
You might instead be tempted to give your dog a whole pear, with its core removed, once a week to boost their vitamin intake, energy, and immunity.
Yet even feeding a dog a pear all at once in this way can be a bit overwhelming to their systems, causing tummy upset.
It’s always best to slice pears up like you might when giving them to a very young child.
What to do if your dog eats a pear
If you catch your dog going through your shopping or otherwise sneaking food, you might be worried that he or she has eaten a whole pear, or more than one.
Because there is nothing toxic in pears to dogs overall, you have nothing to worry about – unless your dog has also eaten the core.
Eating a whole pear, core and all, is unlikely to let the cyanide in the seeds do your dog any harm unless your pet is expressly and deliberately sneaking several pears whole daily – maybe from a tree in your garden, foraging them up from the ground.
If you know your dog is eating a lot of whole pears without your permission, you might want to see if the vet can give him o her a check-up.
However, if this is a one-off occurrence, you have little to worry about except perhaps an upset tummy.
In young dogs especially, new and interesting foods like this cause a bit of a surprise to the system, and you might hear their stomachs gurgling as they plod around feeling tired with a tummy ache.
Lots of rest, water and reassurance from their family are needed to help them feel better. In especially bad cases of an upset stomach in dogs though, be wary of vomiting or diarrhea.
Be wary of the choking hazard pears can represent too – even pear slices you’ve cut up especially can be risky if your dog gulps them down without chewing properly.
And of course, the seeds and stalk of the plant are choking hazards, and ought to be removed from the pear before handing it over.
As such, if your dog has eaten those, watch out for spluttering, coughing, and hacking.
Some dog owners can be understandably worried about feeding certain kinds of fruit to their pet, no least since so very many of these fruits can have toxic side effects that we as humans never feel.
Luckily, dogs can eat pears and suffer no toxicity or ill effects – especially if they are never given the core of a pear or the stalk.
Remember, dogs need less fruit than us to enjoy a healthier lifestyle, so even the equivalent of an entire pear daily is above and beyond what they need.
But feel free to throw a few cut up pear slices to your pooch every so often to keep them enriched with vitamins and fiber.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.