Nectarines are one of my favourite fruits. I love the sweet and tart flavour of their yellow-white flesh… just thinking about them makes my mouth water.
During the summer months, we often have nectarines in our fruit bowl: they’re a regular feature actually. Given that we have a Whippet who is not averse to getting her snout into places she shouldn’t, especially where food is concerned, it’s right to understand the foods dogs can eat.
Equally it’s vital know about the foods dogs should never eat… some of them might surprise you.
With this in mind, I turn my thoughts to nectarines. Can dogs eat nectarines? Are they bad for dogs? Or is it okay to feed your dogs the occasional nectarine slice?
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Nectarines? Are Nectarines Bad for Dogs?
- Nectarines & Nutrition
- Nectarine Nutritional Information
- How to Add Nectarines into Your Dog’s Diet
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Nectarines? How Are Nectarines Bad for Dogs?
You may have arrived here looking for a definitive answer, so I won’t keep you in suspense.
Yes, dogs can eat nectarines… but there are some clear caveats you need to be aware of, since nectarines do pose a risk to dogs.
Although the juicy flesh of nectarines is not at all bad for dogs (see the section on nutrition below) nectarine stones (pits), stems and leaves are potentially bad for dogs.
Firstly, the stone, stems and leaves contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is toxic. While I wouldn’t want to cause you panic if your dog has eaten a nectarine stone or a bunch of nectarine leaves, you should definitely keep an eye on your dog for signs of cyanide poisoning. These include:
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- Dilated pupils
- Excessive drooling
- Apparent dizziness
Cyanide poisoning is serious and can be fatal. So, as with many things where dogs are concerned, if you’re in any doubt at all about something your dog has eaten, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take advice from a veterinary professional as soon as possible.
A further problem with nectarine stones is that they are a potential choking hazard and if swallowed whole they can block the digestive system… both equally serious medical issues.
Given that nectarine stones are hard and scratchy, it’s entirely possible that your dog may hurt its mouth or even break a tooth if it tries to chew on one.
Though dogs can eat nectarine flesh quite happily (indeed there are many health benefits), care should be taken not to overfeed them. Fresh nectarines are high in sugar and overfeeding them to a dog may result in weight gain.
Preserved nectarines are even higher in sugar than raw fresh nectarines. Indeed, preserved fruits of any kind are not only high in sugar but also contain preservatives and artificial sweeteners that could cause stomach upsets.
No-one wants that!
It’s also worth noting that even fresh nectarines can upset your dog’s digestive system since they’re high in fibre.
So the upshot is… dogs can eat nectarine flesh but you shouldn’t overfeed them: too much of a good thing ain’t good!
Nectarines & Nutrition – How Are Nectarines Good For Dogs?
I recognise that so far the discussion on dogs and nectarines has been pretty doom-laden. However, as I’ve said, dogs can eat nectarines in moderation. In fact, nectarines offer multiple potential nutritional benefits to dogs.
Nectarines are packed with minerals and vitamins. They’re high in fibre, which helps to bolster digestive health and prevents constipation, and they’re rich in antioxidants too.
Nectarines are an excellent source of:
- Vitamin A: Supports lung, kidney and liver function.
- Magnesium: Supports nerve and muscle function, the immune system, heart and bones.
- Vitamin C: Protects against respiratory and bowel problems, reduces inflammation, supports the immune system.
- Potassium: Supports muscles and the nervous system.
- Vitamin K: Helps to regulate blood function (enables blood to clot).
- Niacin: Promotes a healthy digestive system and overall wellbeing.
- Folate: Supports DNA synthesis and red blood cell production.
- Calcium: Promotes healthy teeth, bones, nails and coats.
Nectarine Nutritional Information
The following table shows some of the the nutritional benefits in 100g of raw nectarine:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.28g|
|Lutein + Zeaxanthin||130µg|
How to Add Nectarines into Your Dog’s Diet
So we’ve established that nectarines can be good for dogs, in moderation of course. So what’s the best way to include them in your dog’s diet?
Well… before you give your dog nectarines you should wash them well. As with any fruit we bring into our homes, many come from places where pesticides and other chemicals may have been used to grow them.
You should also remove any stem, leaves and all traces of the nectarine stone. We’ve touched on the reasons why they’re bad for dogs above, so I won’t rehash it now.
Cut the nectarines into small slices and either feed them to your dog just as they are, or freeze them as a refreshing summer treat.
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If you like the idea of frozen nectarine-based dog treats, why not try pureeing them and mixing them together with yoghurt and carrot? Put the resulting puree into an ice cube tray and pop one out to cool your dog down when it’s hot outside.
If your have a dehydrator at home, you might consider drying nectarines as opposed to buying them at a supermarket or grocery store. This can save a small fortune and ensure that your dried fruit treat contains only nectarine and no excess sugar and other ingredients to improve shelf life.
Dogs can eat nectarine flesh but they should never eat the stones (pits), stems or leaves which all contain cyanide.
Used wisely, nectarines can be a juicy nutritional treat for your dog. However, as with any treat, it’s wise not to overfeed.
Your dog should be getting its nutrition from the main food you provide it. Treats should remain treats and should not become something your dog eats at will on top of its normal food.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that too much of a good thing, especially acidic fruit that’s high in fibre can play havoc with the digestive system. In sufficient quantities nectarines, may give your dog a stomach upset.
Id’ love to hear your thoughts about dogs and nectarines. Have you had a bad experience with them? Or perhaps you give your dog nectarines as a treat? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page to let me know.
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