Yes, dogs can eat nectarines as a treat, however, they must not eat the stone or seed as it is dangerous for them.
A nutritious treat in moderation!
Nectarines are a fresh juicy, nutritious and delicious treat in summer. Like peaches but without the fuzzy skin, they are high in dietary fiber, low in calories and packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
However, we have to remember that Dogs are carnivores and unlike us human’s, they don’t need fruit as part of their diet. Some fruit and vegetables are a healthier treat alternative, particularly when you compare to many of the processed dog treats on the market, that are packed with salt and preservatives.
So, whilst your dog can eat nectarines, it’s best to think of them as an occasional treat, rather than something they need every day.
As your dog’s digestive system is different from ours, the soluble fiber in nectarines that is so good for us, is actually not so good for your dog.
The problem is that it ferments quickly – so if your dog eats too many nectarines and they may get diarrhoea or an upset stomach.
Nectarine preparation tips for your dog
- Fresh is best. Avoid canned nectarines as they are usually soaked in sugary syrup.
- Wash first. As you would with your own fruit to wash away any toxic pesticides.
- Cut out the stone. Unless you are using freestone or semi-freestone varieties where the fruit pulp separates easily from the seed.
- A frozen treat will last longer. Try freezing them on hot summer days. Freeze slices or cut them into small pieces and place in ice trays filled with water.
- Dehydrate. If you want a less messy treat, dehydrate nectarine slices in the oven – great for when you are out and about with pup.
What to do if your dog eats a nectarine stone
Yes, it is true that fruit pits or stones in nectarines, cherries, peaches and plums contain cyanide, however, the FDA has confirmed that cyanide poisoning is rare unless your pet eats a lot of pits and chews them up. The cyanide is contained within the kernel, which is the seed inside the centre of the pit. Given that the pit must be crushed or ground to release the cyanide, a gastrointestinal obstruction is a bigger risk for dogs and cats that eat stone fruit pits.
If your dog has eaten a nectarine stone / pit or seed, do the following:
- Removal: If you can, try to remove it from his mouth before he has had a chance to chew it or swallow it.
- Check his teeth: Some stones, particularly cherry stones are very hard and can fracture a tooth if bitten the wrong way.
- Swallowing: Some stones have rough edges that can damage the oesophagus lining. Watch out for gagging, vomiting or a reluctance to eat.
- Obstruction: If the pit makes it to the stomach, it could get stuck there or in the intestines. Monitor your dog over the next 24 hours for any signs of stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea or decrease in appetite. Most importantly, call your vet if you are worried.
So, this stone fruit season, keep hold of your pits and share a nectarine treat with your dog.
Does your dog enjoy nectarines? Or have you had a scare with a nectarine stone? Share your story with us.