Diversifying your rascal’s diet prevents allergy development and improves gut health, and fruits are a great way to add variety.
Since variety is the spice of life, let’s deep-dive into the question: Can dogs eat nectarines?
Nectarine Health Benefits for Dogs
Vitamin A for Skin, Muscle, and Tooth Health
Nectarines are loaded with vitamin A, which is essential for the function of muscles, skin, and nerves, and contributes to tooth health.
This means that vitamin A is necessary for your pup to maintain optimal health. In fact, a deficiency can result in night blindness.
Magnesium for Bone Health and Energy
Nectarines are also a great source of magnesium, a multifunctional mineral. It contributes to bone health and produces energy at a cellular level allowing your dog’s body to easily absorb vitamins.
Another plus? Unless your dog has kidney problems, it’s virtually uncommon for dogs to have too much magnesium.
Potassium for Balancing Fluids
The potassium in nectarines brings balance to your dog’s body. This allows enzymes, nerves, and muscles to work at optimum efficiency -you just may need some nectarines yourself to keep up with your pooch!
Why Nectarines Are a “Sometimes” Food for Dogs
Nectarines are fiber-rich. This can be incredibly helpful for your dog’s digestive health, but too much can cause stomach aches, as well as diarrhea or constipation.
If this ends up happening, just comfort your buddy until it passes. It isn’t fatal, but anyone who’s had stomach problems knows how torturous it can be!
The vitamin C in nectarines fights harmful free radicals in your dog’s body and reduces inflammation and age-related cognitive decay.
However, too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea especially when taken all at once.
On top of that, your dog is actually synthesizing its own vitamin C, as we speak. A boost of this vitamin can be beneficial if your bud is ill or ingested a toxic substance. It’s otherwise important not to overdo the nectarines.
As with any high-sugar content food, too much fruit can cause gastrointestinal issues for your dog. And again, this will lead to tummy problems which can mean vomiting and diarrhea.
Another undesirable result? Hyperactivity. My dog once got into the ice cream at a company picnic, and it was as if someone pressed his fast-forward button that day. I needed four shots of espresso to help tire him out!
And of course, too much sugar can lead to diabetes in the long run.
The Dangers of Nectarines for Dogs
Avoid Canned Nectarines
Never give your dog any canned fruit. The added sugar from the syrup, preservatives, and fake color make canned nectarines almost like nectarine-flavored candy.
It can cause all the prior-mentioned sugar-related problems, as well as obesity and tooth-decay.
Watch Out For the Pit!
Always cut around the pit when you give nectarine pieces to your furry friend, and never give them a whole stone fruit.
The pit is a choking hazard and also contains trace amounts of cyanide, which prevents the body from using oxygen.
If you think your dog has swallowed a nectarine pit, the first thing to do is to stay calm. The second thing to do is to look for the following symptoms:
- Dilated pupils
- Heavy breathing
Don’t attempt any home remedies and immediately call your veterinarian.
Remember that your dog’s body size and weight affect how susceptible they are to poison. The same pit will affect a 6lb dog more than it will a 200lb dog.
Make Sure the Nectarine Isn’t Rotten
No one likes rotten fruit, including your four-legged friend. In addition to them being unpleasant though, bad fruit produces ethanol, which is toxic to dogs.
And while a fallen fruit may have helped Isaac Newton discover gravity, you should keep them away from your pets. If a nectarine falls from its tree, it can develop brown rot. Moreover, your dog could get into the pit if he’s munching on a whole fruit without supervision.
Nectarines and Peaches
Nectarines are essentially mutated peaches.
They’re genetically similar to peaches, except that nectarines have smooth skin while peaches are fuzzy. Nectarines are also smaller and sweeter.
The two stone fruits are nutritionally similar. If you’re considering giving peaches to your dog, a lot of the nectarine rules we outlined here apply.
Nectarines come in a few variations. White nectarines contain more sugar and less acid. Yellow nectarines are tangier and their lower sugar content makes them slightly healthier for dogs.
A freestone nectarine contains a loose pit, making it much easier to chop up for your dog. On the other hand, the pit in a clingstone nectarine sticks hard and fast to the fruit flesh.
How to Give Your Dog Nectarines
Gauge Your Dog’s Stomach
As when you’re introducing any new fruit to your furry friend, start with a little bit at a time. A gradual introduction will allow you to gauge how their body reacts to the fruit.
Even if your pooch takes to the fruit fast, don’t automatically start feeding them more at their beck and call.
I once bought a special canned food for my dog at Christmas. I figured he deserved a fun holiday meal as well. He lapped the whole dish up, but ended up with the worst runs at 2am that morning.
It’s always best to err on the side of caution, even with fruit!
Consider Your Dog’s Size
Once it’s apparent that your dog enjoys and can easily digest nectarines, cut them into pieces appropriate for their size.
One or two slices will suffice for small breeds and up to five will do for a large dog.
Give Nectarines as a Treat
Feed nectarines to your furry friend in the same way that you would feed them treats. This will ensure that they benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber without overdoing the bad stuff.
Use it as a reward during training or if they need comforting.
Thinking of nectarines as an occasional, healthy treat is a good way to serve it in moderation.
Check with Your Veterinarian
If you really want to play it safe, check with your veterinarian before giving your dog human food. If your vet gives you the green-light, start slow -as mentioned.
Your vet will likely veto nectarines if your dog is overweight, has high-blood sugar, a heart murmur, or any other symptom or condition that makes sugar especially detrimental.
Can Dogs Eat Nectarines?
The answer is yes, but only in moderation.
There are many fruits out there that dogs simply shouldn’t eat. Grapes, for example, can cause acute kidney failure in dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
See this great video for a list of human foods never to feed your dogs:
Fortunately, nectarines don’t fall into that category!
They’re packed with vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium, which help improve your dog’s muscle and bone health, coat health, and electrolyte balance among many other benefits. Vitamin A, specifically, is an essential vitamin for all dogs.
In moderation, the dietary fiber and vitamin C in nectarines can improve your pup’s digestion and immune system. However, too much of either can cause stomach issues.
Never feed your dog canned nectarines and always avoid the pit! Always pre-cut your fruit to the appropriate size for your dog, consult your vet, and only give this stone fruit to your buddy once in a while.
By following these guidelines, nectarines can be offered to your dog in a safe and enjoyable way!