As a dog owner, it can be hard knowing what food items are safe and unsafe for dogs to eat. We often think fruit is safe for dogs to eat, but some can be dangerous to your canine companion. Today, we are asking the question “are pears bad for dogs to eat?”
In this article we are going to be looking at the different parts of a pear, and whether they are safe or dangerous for dogs. We are also going to be looking at products that contain pears and see if they are safe for canines to eat.
Once you have finished reading this article, you should have all the information you need to answer the question “can dogs eat pears” and whether you should feed them to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Pears?
In one word, yes, your dog can eat pears, but as with all things there is a bit more to it than that. While pears contain a whole load of nutrients that are great for dogs, the fruit itself may not be ideal for canines.
Pears can produce some unwanted side effects and you need to know the risks of feeding your dog pears. Some parts of a pear are more dangerous than others and you should always exercise moderation when feeding them to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Pear Cores?
We now know that pears are safe for dogs to eat, but what about pear cores. Dogs should not eat pear cores and you should always remove them before giving a pear to your dog. The seeds of a pear can also be dangerous to dogs as they contain cyanide (although a small amount admittedly), which can lead to cyanide poisoning.
Additionally, if your dog swallows a pear core it can lead to a blockage in their intestinal tract. If you believe this has happened, you need to consult with your vet immediately. In most cases, a pear core will pass through without trouble, but an obstruction can happen.
Can Dogs Eat Canned Pears?
Just like most canned fruit, canned pears are not good for dogs to eat. They typically contain way too much sugar, which can lead to tooth decay and weight gain. Canned pears can also contain other added ingredients that may irritate your dog’s digestive system.
Nutritional Value of 178g Pear
Before we go into why pears are both good and bad for dogs, let’s look at the nutritional content of one.
- Fiber – 22% DV
- Copper – 17% DV
- Vitamin C -10% DV
- B6 Vitamin – 5% DV
- Vitamin K – 9% DV
- Magnesium – 3% DV
- Potassium – 5% DV
- Sugar – 17 grams
Remember the “DV” is the recommended daily value for humans.
Why Pears Can Be Good for Dogs
They Contain Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an incredibly important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for humans, but it’s slightly different for dogs. While humans need to get vitamin C externally, dogs can naturally produce it on their own.
That means that vitamin C is not considered to be an “essential” nutrient for dogs; however, it may be useful for older dogs. This is because some older dogs may not be able to produce vitamin C as efficiently. Supplementing with fruit like pears may give an extra boost to an older dog’s vitamin C levels.
Vitamin C is important because it fights many diseases in dogs and can help to boost their immune system.
Pears Are High in Fibre
Fibre is an extremely important part of a dog’s diet. It can help to improve their heart health, lower cholesterol levels and keep their digestive system in good working order.
If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or constipation, increasing their fibre intake is one option that may help their problem. While increasing fibre is great, giving your dog too much can lead to the opposite effect.
They Can Help Strengthen Your Dog’s Bones
Pears contain a whole lot of vitamin K which is known to increase bone density in both humans and dogs. Higher bone density results in healthier and stronger bones in dogs, which can only be a good thing.
This means that pears are great for active breeds of dogs that put a lot of stress through their bones from running and jumping about. Increasing bone density is also important for older dogs as well, as a dog’s bones will inevitable become weaker as they age.
In addition to increasing bone density, vitamin K is also known to improve many blood functions of a dog’s body.
They Can Make Your Dog Smart
Well, that’s not exactly true, but pears do contain a good amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is essential for proper brain development and function. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for the secretion of important hormones like norepinephrine and serotonin. These hormones affect your dog’s mood, so make sure you keep your dog loaded with vitamin B6.
They Contain a Good Amount of Antioxidants
Antioxidants can help to protect your dog’s cells from deterioration and fight different forms of cancer (such as colon cancer). They can also aid in preventing problems that come along with gaining in both humans and dogs alike.
Pears Are Great for A Healthy Heart
While pears are not typically known for their potassium content, they do contain a sizeable amount. A single pear contains about five percent of a humans recommend daily intake of potassium, so they should provide more than enough of it for dogs.
So what does potassium actually do? It is an electrolyte mineral that is known to promote regular heart function. This is obviously incredibly important for a healthy heart in both humans and dogs. If potassium levels get too low, it can lead to Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats).
Why Pears Can Be Bad for Dogs
Pears, like all fruit, can be bad for dogs. Overfeeding your dog pears can lead to health complications and side effects. The more pears you feed your dog, the more likely they will develop negative side effects.
Too Many Pears Can Lead to Tooth Decay
One major issue with pears is their sugar content. A single pear contains around 17 grams of sugar, which is similar to other fruit such as oranges, pineapples and blueberries. While this is a significant amount, pears still have less sugar than fruits like mangoes and cherries.
The problem with too much sugar is that it can lead to tooth decay in dogs (and humans of course). While it is recommended that dog owners regularly brush their dog’s teeth, the reality is that many of us don’t. Dental dog food products can also be expensive, so many dog owners do not use them.
Before you feed your dog pears or any fruit for that matter, always consider the sugar content. If you do start feeding your dog pears, watch for any signs of tooth decay and try to regularly clean their teeth.
They Can Lead to Weight Gain
Sugar can not only lead to tooth decay, but it can also cause your dog to gain weight. Too much sugar will pack on the pounds, so it is best to avoid it. Excess weight gain can lead to a number of health complications like diabetes, heart problems and joint issues.
You should always consider your dog’s overall diet before introducing a new food item to them.
Pears Can Cause Diarrhea in Dogs
Like we said earlier, fibre can be beneficial to dogs, however, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Fibre can help your dog’s digestive system, but too much of it can cause changes in their stools, and possibly diarrhea.
A dog’s diet tends to be much higher in protein, with fibre being less important. This is because dogs do not actually need that much fibre to have a healthy digestive system. Giving them too much fibre can overload their system and produce unwanted side effects.
If your dog is suffering from minor constipation, increasing their fibre intact can be beneficial. Dogs who are experiencing severe constipation should be taken to a vet immediately. You can then ask your vet if supplementing fruit into your dog’s diet would be beneficial for their condition.
The American Kennel Club has more information on the risks of pears to dogs.
How Much Pear Can Dogs Eat?
As we have already stated, moderation is the key here. Instead of giving your dog a whole pear all at once, you should only give them a couple of slices as an occasional treat. Avoid giving your dog pears everyday as this can lead to the problems we listed above.
The main basis of your dog’s diet should be quality dog food, not fruit. Fruit and other food items should only make up around 5% of your dog’s daily food intake.
How Can Dogs Eat Pears?
The first thing you should always do is was the pear as thoroughly as possible. Pear skin can contain a range of different bacteria, and pears are usually sprayed with a whole host of different chemicals. While pesticides and chemicals sprayed onto pears are not likely to cause trouble, it is better to be safe than sorry.
For the next step remove the core, stem and seeds of the pear. As we have already stated, these parts of a pear should not be fed to dogs because of a number of risks.
The skin of a pear is perfectly fine for dogs to eat, so feel free to leave it on. Pear skin contains a lot of nutrients, which can be beneficial to dogs.
As we wrote above, only give your dog a couple of small slices as a treat. Don’t give them the whole pear, especially if it is your first time feeding it to them. Over the next 24 to 48 hours, monitor your dog’s stools for any changes.
Additionally, monitor your dog to see if they are showing any signs of side effects or an allergic reaction. While it is unlikely that your dog will be allergic to pears it can happen. If your dog is acting happy and they experience no problems, feel free to occasionally feed them pears.