As dog lovers, we’re tempted to share just about everything we’re eating with our furry friends. It makes it even harder not to when your pup begs for whatever food you’re enjoying. With foods that we believe are healthy, like apricots, we have to be extra careful not to give our dogs something that could actually be harmful. So, before you toss a piece of dried or fresh apricot to your pooch, you should know if it’s as safe for dogs as it is for us.
While we can give the green light on offering a few bites of apricot flesh for your pup, the pit of this stone fruit is downright dangerous. We’ve got all the details below.
Is Fruit Okay for Dogs?
We may think of fruits and vegetables as healthy foods that can cause little to no harm in moderation, but we also know that fruit is sugary and may not be so healthy for dogs.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs are meat-eaters and don’t require fruits or vegetables to maintain their wellbeing. Since all of the nutrients they require come from meat, fruit isn’t necessarily beneficial for dogs. The high sugar content of some fruits can be an issue for canines, and since they don’t get the same benefits from eating it that we do, it’s best to keep the fruit in our dogs’ diets to a minimum.
Fruits and vegetables, in general, can be occasionally offered to your pup as an addition to their normal diet, but be careful about the specific fruit you offer. As you’ll see below, stone fruits can be problematic.
What About Apricots Is Bad for Dogs?
Pet experts at PetCareRX note that the fleshy part of an apricot is perfectly safe for dogs, but the pit contains trace amounts of cyanide which can cause major issues.
As humans, we know not to eat the pit of an apricot, but an overzealous pup just looking for a quick snack may gobble down the whole fruit without even realizing there’s a pit. If they do discover the pit, they may choose to chew it and swallow the pieces. PetCareRX warns that symptoms of cyanide poisoning in dogs can include shortness of breath, bright red gums, and in some cases, it could be fatal.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats an Apricot Pit?
If you accidentally feed your dog a whole apricot including the pit, or if you have an apricot tree in your yard and you think he or she may have ingested a fallen apricot, watch for the symptoms of cyanide poisoning closely. If you do notice any of the warning signs you should immediately take your dog to the vet. In fact, you may want to take your dog proactively if you know an apricot pit was consumed.
So, It’s OK to Feed My Dog Apricot Flesh?
As long as the pit isn’t included in your apricot snack, feel free to toss a piece or two to your dog. Rover.com says that apricots do offer some benefits to dogs in that they provide potassium and beta carotene. If you have dried apricot or pitted fresh apricot, your pup can enjoy the sweet treat along with you.
One thing to avoid is giving your dog apricot with any additional sugar. Some snack companies add sugar to dried pieces of apricot to make them more appealing to humans. But according to VetMD, sugar can cause the same problems in dogs as it can in humans. These problems include weight gain, diabetes, and cavities. Make sure your dried apricot doesn’t have added sugar. Better yet, stick to fresh, pitted apricots to be safe.
Is Too Much Apricot Bad for My Dog?
As is the case with any food, too much apricot can be detrimental to your pup.
The first potential issue is the high sugar content. Whether your apricot snack has added sugar or not, fruit has a relatively high amount of sugar, which can be bad for your dog in large amounts.
The fiber in apricots is another potential problem for dogs. Experts at Hearthstone Homemade maintain that too much fiber can cause insufficient absorption of other important nutrients in dogs. So, while it’s generally healthy for dogs to have fiber in their diets, too much of it can be a problem.
The Final Verdict
The flesh of apricots is perfectly safe for your pup in moderation and can be enjoyed dried or fresh as long as it doesn’t contain any added sugar. The pits of apricots should be carefully avoided, as they contain small amounts of cyanide which can cause major problems for your dog and can be fatal. If you think your dog has eaten an apricot pit, consult a vet immediately.
Featured image credit: stevepb, Pixabay