Fresh, juicy peaches are one of the great joys of summer. If you’re wondering whether you can share this delicious treat with your dog, the answer is a qualified yes, along with some caveats. Dogs, after all, are carnivores and don’t really need fruit as part of their diet. Their digestion works differently than human digestion, and some foods that are fine for us are not fine for dogs.
Peaches are a great source of vitamin A and fiber. In small, cut-up pieces the flesh of a peach is safe for your dog. But, like any food that’s not a regular part of his diet, peaches can cause some stomach upset, most commonly temporary diarrhea.
Don’t share canned or preserved peaches with your dog. They contain high amounts of sugar and may also be treated with preservatives or artificial sweeteners that can seriously upset your dog’s digestive system.
Most commercial fruit is treated with pesticides that can be toxic. Make sure you wash peaches before your dog (or you) eat them.
The biggest danger is the peach pit, or stone, as it’s called. Peach stones contain a sugar-cyanide compound called amygdalin. Although a dog would have to consume several peach pits to be affected, why take a chance with anything that can be toxic? There are a few other dangers with the pit. If your dog tries to eat it whole, it can get lodged in his throat. And, as anyone who has ever pitted a peach knows, the pit has a rough, serrated surface that can be abrasive and irritate the small intestine.
Lastly, if you grow your own peach trees or pick peaches at a farmer’s market or orchard, be aware that even the stems and leaves contain cyanide.