Dogs are curious creatures and they tend to want to taste all the food that their owners eat. There may be a time when you were eating a nectarine and your dog wants to have some of it. However, you may be conflicted about whether giving your dog some of it will not pose any harmful effects. As a pet owner. it can be quite rewarding to share something you enjoy eating with your pets.
But, can dogs eat nectarines? Dogs can eat nectarines, but when giving nectarines, you have to take into consideration the portion size of the fruit. One to two small slices of it is enough for smaller breeds while you can give up to 4 slices maximum to larger breeds.
When we are introducing unusual food to our pets, the number one question that we need to address is whether it is safe to give it to them or not. There are already several fruits and vegetables that are harmless to humans but contain chemicals that can be harmful to our pet dogs. Thankfully, nectarines are not included in this list. They can be eaten by dogs without causing any harm. However, there is a caveat. Dogs can safely eat nectarines only in moderate amounts.
Is it Safe to Give Nectarines to Dogs?
Compared to other fruits, nectarines contain higher amounts of sugar per fruit. Like humans, dogs are still prone to develop diabetes and obesity if their sugar intake is not monitored. Some breeds are known to be predisposed to these disease conditions. When giving nectarines, you have to take into consideration the portion size of the fruit. One to two small slices of it is enough for smaller breeds while you can give up to 4 slices maximum to larger breeds. it is also best to give your dogs fresh ones and not those that were preserved in cans or bottles. All of the preserved fruits have added refined sugar to them to increase their shelf life.
Another reason why the portion size of nectarines should be considered is because of their dietary fiber content. When you give too much fiber to your pooch in one sitting, his tummy may not be able to adjust immediately to the increase in fiber. This can lead to stomach issues like bloating and diarrhea. Too much fiber can also make your pet constipated especially if it is dehydrated. To prevent this from happening, just keep the portion sizes small and your pet can enjoy this fruit and its benefits without any health issues.
Benefits of Nectarines to Dogs
High in Vitamins A and C
Like most fruits, nectarines have high vitamin content especially with A and C. Generally, dogs can already make their supply of vitamin C but a little extra may not hurt. Vitamin C plays a major role in oxidative stress and this can be very helpful especially when dogs are experiencing stress at the moment or undergoing a disease. In addition, vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant and also gives additional benefits to maintain or improve the health of the eyes, skin, and fur.
High in Dietary Fiber
Nectarines can be a good source of dietary fiber for your dogs. When you think that the current diet of your pet is lacking of fiber, you can supplement it by giving small portions of nectarines. You just need to start very small and increase your way up because a sudden increase of fiber in the diet can lead to stomach problems.
High in Potassium and Magnesium
Nectarines can give your dogs an extra boost of potassium, This mineral is necessary for fluid and electrolyte balance along with other processes inside the dog’s body. Magnesium also plays a very important role in your dog’s bone health. It also helps in the absorption of vitamins in its body.
The Potential Dangers of Nectarines
Can dogs eat nectarines? Yes, but only in moderate amounts. Too much of it can cause problems. Since this is a sweet fruit, it also follows that it contains high amounts of sugar. Like humans, dogs can also develop diseases that are related to diet. When the dogs eat too much sugar, this can make them hyperactive. It is given daily in high amounts, it can lead to weight gain and possible development of Diabetes especially to those breeds that are predisposed to the disease. Furthermore, a constant increase in the sugar levels of a dog’s body can lead to insulin resistance which makes its body less efficient to use sugar in its bloodstream. Thankfully, this condition can be prevented by only giving a small amount and giving the fruit occasionally.
Other potential dangers associated with nectarines is feeding dogs rotten ones or if the dog swallowed the pit. Rotten nectarines contain ethanol. This substance is dangerous to dogs when it is ingested. Also, the pit of nectarines may have a trace of cyanide. Cyanide is a poison. When feeding this fruit to dogs, always make sure that the pit is removed. If the dog accidentally ingested the pit, call the veterinarian immediately so that prompt treatment can be given.
How to Give Nectarines to Dogs
Check for Allergies
When you want to introduce a new food item to your pet, you have to check whether your dog is allergic to it or not. At first, give a very small amount. A tiny piece pinched off from the fruit is enough. After that, observe the dog for any signs of hypersensitivity. Watch out for signs like scratching, bloating, redness, difficulty breathing, puffiness, and lethargy. If you have noticed some of these signs, stop giving the food immediately and contact your veterinarian if the allergic response becomes severe.
Dosing your Dogs
The portion size that can be given to dogs varies depending on its size. Generally, small to medium breeds can have a maximum of 2 thin slices and 4 slices for large breeds. You can start the first dose of this fruit by giving a half slice for small breeds and 1 slice for medium and large ones. When the dog has adjusted to the fruit, you can gradually increase the dose.
Serving the Nectarines
When humans want to eat fruit, all they have to do is just wash the fruit and bite into it. This is not the case for dogs. When you want to give them nectarines, cut the fruit into small slices. Never give this fruit as the main food for your dogs because one piece of nectarine can cause the sugar levels in your dog’s bloodstream to go over the roof. You can give these slices to your dog as is. There will be dogs who will not show interest in the fruit at first because it is new to their diet. If this is the case, you can further chop up the thin slice and mix it with its usual food. Always remember to remove the pit, seeds, stones, or pips from the fruit since this can cause blockage in the dog’s gut. Never give your dogs preserved nectarines. The sugar content in preserved ones is very high in sugar.
Using Nectarines as Treats
Pet owners usually give their dogs treats daily. Treats can be used as a tool for positive reinforcement for the kinds of behavior you want your pets to show. In other words, this helps dogs understand when they are being a good boy or girl. For something to be used as a treat, it must give the dog a pleasant experience whenever it is given. Most treats used are highly palatable food that comes with a taste that dogs crave.
Ever wondered if you can use this fruit as treat for your pooch? Yes, you definitely can. Just like other treats, you just need to remember the 10% rule, meaning that the combination of the treats you feed your dog in a day must not exceed 10% of his diet. Bear in mind that this should also be an occasional treat only. Giving your dogs nectarines once a week should be enough.
Dogs can eat nectarines. This fruit packs many health benefits due to its vitamins, mineral, and fiber content. Its sweet taste also makes it an appropriate treat to give to your dogs a few times a month. However, too much of a good thing can be dangerous for your pets. The right dose and preparation of nectarines should be followed to prevent any health risk involved in giving too much of this fruit.