Just peachy, or is it? Can dogs eat nectarines?
Nectarines belong to the Rosaceae family of fruits that also include peaches and plums. Just like peaches they are packed full of goodness. They are sweet, tasty and on a hot day a perfect treat.
Can dogs eat nectarines? If you fancy sharing with your furry friends, read on to find out more.
What are nectarines?
Nectarines are a smooth skin mutation of a peach. They look very similar to each other, with the only visible difference being that the nectarine has a smooth skin rather than the fuzzy skin of a peach.
Genetically the two fruits are almost the same with only one gene variant between the two.
Nectarines can have white or yellow flesh. With the white fleshed variety tends to be slighter sweeter than the yellow. Just as with peaches, nectarines are classified as either freestone or clingstone varieties.
The difference between the two is noticeable when you cut into the fruit. The flesh of a freestone variety will come away from the pit very easily. Whereas the pit clings to the flesh of the clingstone variety.
Often, the only way to eat a clingstone variety is to nibble your way around the pit.
What are the benefits of nectarines?
Nectarines are packed full of vitamins and minerals making them a nutritious treat. They contain beta-carotene and vitamin A which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
In addition, it’s worth knowing that they also provide a good amount of fibre for healthy digestion, as well as potassium for general health and wellbeing.
Can dogs eat nectarines? Yes, but as with all fruit and vegetables, it’s best if you start off by giving your dog a small amount. You then need to watch your dog.
If they don’t show any ill effects, then you can increase the amount or frequency.
Despite being low on the glycemic index remember that all fruits contain sugar. Never over indulge your dog as their teeth and waistline won’t thank you for it.
What are the risks of nectarines?
Although the flesh of nectarines and peaches is fine for your dog to eat, you do need to be careful of the pit.
The pit contains traces of cyanide and is also a choking hazard. There is some debate as to whether the cyanide seeps out from the pit into the surrounding flesh. However, as long as you cut around the pit carefully, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Never be tempted to give your dog canned fruits or ready prepared fruit salads. These often contain a highly concentrated sugar syrup. Your dog may enjoy the taste but it won’t do them any good at all.
If your dog does accidentally ingest a nectarine or peach pit, take them to the vet if you notice any of the following signs;
- Painful stomach
A dog’s body size and weight plays an important role in how susceptible they are to toxins. It is possible, although it’s unlikely, that they will suffer side-effects from swallowing a single peach pit. Potentially they could suffer acute cyanide poisoning.
Dogs have a much lower tolerance to some toxins than we do. If your dog regularly eats fruit with seeds or pits, there is a chance the traces of cyanide will have a cumulative effect over time and cause toxicity.
The greater risk, however is that if your dog eats the pit it will get stuck and cause a blockage in their intestinal tract. So to be on the safe side always prepare fruit for your dog and give it to them in slices. Never leave your dog unsupervised or in a position where they can help themselves to fruit.
This is especially important if you grow fruit at home. Once fruit has fallen from the tree it can become a major health hazard to your dog. As fruit decomposes it produces ethanol (alcohol) that is extremely toxic to dogs. Never leave your dog unattended where they can have free access to windfall fruit.
Can dogs eat nectarines?
Yes, in small doses. It’s recommended that the nectarines are prepared carefully and cut into slices so that your dog doesn’t have access to the pit.
It’s highly unlikely that your dog will be affected by cyanide poisoning from eating a single pit. The more likely scenario is that if the pit is ingested it will cause a blockage.
If you do decide to share some fruit with your dog then a good rule of thumb is never let your dog eat pips, seeds, pits or stones as these can all contain chemicals that present a danger and can be toxic to your dog.
If you fancy trying your dog with nectarine, substitute one for the peach in the tasty treat below.