Peaches are sweet, juicy, and full of essential nutrients. Some of the biggest benefits of these bright orange fruits include high amounts of fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. They also include key minerals like potassium, copper, and magnesium. One of the quintessential summer fruits, peaches are a mainstay on warm afternoons and an excellent choice for getting more of the good stuff in your day. But are they okay for our dogs? Experts say yes—though there are some guidelines! Here’s what you need to know about feeding peaches to Fido.
How to Safely Feed Your Dog Peaches
Our dogs don’t need fruit in order to have a well balanced diet, but a couple small pieces of peach—including the outer skin, if so desired—are a tasty treat that many pups enjoy. That being said, there are definitely some rules that you’ll want to follow to ensure that you don’t upset your dog’s stomach.
First, never give your dog a whole peach. Peaches are high in natural sugars and are quite acidic, so they need to be fed in moderation. A couple small slices are more than sufficient as a treat, and reduce the risk that your dog will have any stomach troubles in response to the fruit.
One of the biggest reasons moderation is important here is that peach pits are dangerous to dogs. In addition to being a serious choking hazard, peach pits, sometimes referred to as peach stones, can get lodged in the GI tract and cause an intestinal obstruction. Since peach pits are not readily digested, surgery is typically recommended if this occurs. Another concern with peach pits ifs they contain a toxic sugar-cyanide compound called amygdalin. Similar to apple seeds, it takes a high amount of this cyanide compound to pose a problem (more than you’ll find in one peach pit), but there’s no reason to risk it. Amygdalin is also in stems and leaves of peaches, so don’t let your dog near them.
While we’re speaking about toxins, try to only feed your dog organic peaches. Non-organic peaches are treated with pesticides that can easily permeate that thin outer skin. If you don’t have organic peaches (and even if you do), wash the fruit well before feeding—a good rule of thumb for your dog’s sake, and for yours!
And finally, don’t feed your dog canned or preserved peaches. These types of peaches are high in added sugars and usually contain preservatives as well, both of which can lead to tummy upset—so stick to fresh peaches only.
Get Creative With These Dog-Friendly Peach Recipes
Peaches are perfectly delightful on their own, but feel free to get mindfully creative when it comes to feeding them to your dog. Remember that treats (even fruits and veggies) should only make up ten percent of your dog's diet, so any snacks should be fed in moderation. Here are a few ideas that you might want to try.
Make peach pup-sicles: Dice a small amount of fresh peach very small and mix it with Greek yogurt, then portion into an ice cube tray and freeze. Grab-and-go when your dog needs a frozen snack on hot summer days. You can also skip the yogurt and just freeze individual slices to share.
Stir up some peach oatmeal: We’ve talked before about the benefits of oatmeal for your pup. Amp it up by adding diced peaches and a teaspoon of all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter.
Bake peach dog biscuits: Make a peach puree by boiling a peach for 60 seconds and then (carefully) removing the peach with a slotted spoon and transferring it to an ice bath. Once cool, remove the skin and pit, and blend the peach until smooth. Combine ¼ cup of the peach puree with one cup of whole wheat flour, a teaspoon of honey, and a dash of cinnamon, kneading until a dough forms. Roll the dough out and cut it into fun, small shapes, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are baked through.
As with all human foods, the key to feeding your dog peaches safely is to practice moderation. Start with a small amount and give your dog time to digest it so you can be sure that no stomach upset occurs. If your pup likes it and responds well, you can feed a bit more, though still limit the amount because of the fruit’s sugar and acid content. Use peaches as a sometimes treat instead of an everyday indulgence, and as always, be on the lookout for any sort of allergic reaction. If you notice that your dog has difficulty breathing after eating some peach, starts coughing, or develops hives, head to the vet and stick to other dog-friendly fruits moving forward.