Summer Ingredient Safety: Ingredients Dogs Can & Can’t Have
Summer Ingredient Safety: The summer warmth and sunshine brings with it barbecues, picnics and plenty of tasty treats. What if you drop a grape on the ground and your dog gobbles it up before you can grab it? Find out which summer fruits are safe for dogs and what to do if your dog eats something he shouldn’t have.
The flesh of a cherry is okay for dogs to eat. The pit, stem and leaves contain cyanide, though, which is toxic to dogs when ingested in large quantities. The pits can also cause an intestinal obstruction. It’s a lot of work to remove the stems, leaves and pits to give your dog a small treat, so you may want to treat him to more dog-friendly options instead.
As with peaches, mangos and cherries, dogs can eat grapefruit flesh. Most will find the bitter taste unappealing, though. Plus, the flesh contains citric acid, which, in excess amounts, can result in loose stool. The grapefruit rind (skin) has essential oils that are toxic to dogs and it’s also very acidic. This can negatively affect a dog’s digestive system.
Dogs can eat the flesh of peaches, which contains vitamins A and C, antioxidants and other nutrients. The pit, also known as a stone, contains trace amounts of cyanide, however, and so do the leaves and stem. The stone also presents a choking hazard and could cause an intestinal blockage. Plus, the abrasive texture of the stone can damage the esophagus and intestines.
Blueberries are a tasty, low calorie treat. Use caution when feeding them to a dog, though. Their small size could be a choking hazard for some dogs and eating too many could cause digestive upset.
The mango flesh is not only safe for dogs, but it also contains essential vitamins like A, B6, C and E. Although the skin is technically edible, it’s difficult for dogs to digest. If you want to treat a dog to some mango, make sure you remove the pit, which contains cyanide and could also cause an intestinal blockage if ingested.
Like blueberries, strawberries are another safe and tasty treat for dogs. Strawberries are rich in fiber and vitamin C and have a high water content. Before serving a dog this treat, trim the stem off and cut them into an appropriate size for the dog to avoid any choking hazards.
This popular summer fruit is a big no-no. It’s the only fruit on this list that is considered toxic in any form (including raisins) and in any amount. The exact cause of toxicity is unknown, however, and dogs may have varying reactions based on how much they ingest and their own size and health. It’s best to keep grapes far out of a dog’s reach.
THE 90/10 RULE
Remember to keep all treats to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to ensure all treats in a given day make up no more than 10 percent of the dog’s total daily calorie intake. The other 90 percent should come from a complete and balanced food.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG EATS SOMETHING TOXIC
If you suspect a dog has eaten one or more grapes, a peach pit or any of the other toxic parts of the above fruits, contact your veterinarian right away. They can tell you what to watch for or advise bringing him in based on any symptoms.
Take the guesswork out of treating dogs this summer by giving him one of Purina’s tasty treats. Not only are they completely safe for dogs, but they’re also made with some favorite summer ingredients:
→ Beneful Playful life with Real Beef & Egg with Blueberry Accents
→ The Pioneer Woman Chicken & Blueberry Recipe Waffles Dog Treats
→ The Pioneer Woman Classic Shortcake Biscuits Dog Treats made with real strawberries
HELP ADOPTERS LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE FOODS DOGS CAN AND CAN’T HAVE AT PURINA.COM/EXPERTISE
Click here for a printable flyer to share with your adopters with more information on Summer Ingredient Safety.