Many dogs enjoy eating fruit as a sweet treat and we owners are often happy to offer it to them because we know it’s a natural and nutritious snack. But because not all fruits are safe for our furry friends, it’s always best to check whether dogs can eat them before feeding them to Fido. So are apricots ok for dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat apricots in moderation but you need to make sure they don’t eat the stem or the hard stone inside the fruit.
The fruity flesh of apricots is perfectly safe for your pooch to munch and can make a delicious sweet treat that can help to top up their vitamins and minerals. You can use chopped up apricots in homemade doggy ice cream recipes or other DIY goodies you make for your furry friend. Or you can simply offer them apricot on its own as a healthy treat instead of highly processed doggy biscuits.
When feeding your dog apricots remember to remove the pit (or stone) inside the fruit, and cut the apricot into bitesize pieces.
Like most fruits, you should always give your dog apricots in moderation because they have a lot of fibre and sugar, and if your pooch overindulges it will probably pup-set their stomach and give them diarrhoea. Even overeating shouldn’t cause any serious harm though unless they manage to eat the stones too.
Dogs can eat dried apricots and because they are usually safely de-stoned, you could offer one to your pup straight from the packet. It’s good practice to cut it in half first though, just to double check the pit’s removed and to prevent your dog gulping it down in one.
Dried apricots need to be fed in smaller amounts than fresh fruits though because all the nutrients inside the apricot are essentially concentrated as it is dried. Since dried apricots are much smaller in size but just as sugary, it’s super easy for your pooch to eat more of them and end up consuming an unhealthy amount of sugar.
Some dried apricots even have sugar added to them while they are made, so check the label to make sure there are no added sugars or other additives that aren’t good for your pup.
Never feed your dog mixed dried fruits with apricot in because these mixes could also contain sultanas, currants, and raisins which are all highly toxic to dogs. You shouldn’t feed Fido any dried fruit and nut mix either, because it might contain highly toxic macadamia nuts, as well as raisins and currants.
Apricot jam doesn’t usually contain any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, but they do have a high amount of sugar that isn’t healthy for your pup to have.
Too much sugar can make your dog hyperactive, and if they regularly eat too much, they could become overweight or develop diabetes. Be equally avoidant of sugar-free jams too, as these can contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs, even in trace amounts.
Although dogs can eat yoghurt, I’d advise caution with apricot yoghurt. Always check the label to make sure there are no toxic ingredients in the pot and that there are no artificial flavours.
If your apricot yoghurt is flavoured with real fruit pieces and juices, and it is free from any toxic ingredients, then it should be safe for your dog to have a lick. You can offer your pooch a spoonful of yoghurt as a special treat. But if you’re looking for a healthy fruity snack for your pup, fresh apricots or even dried apricots are probably the better choices.
Apricots themselves aren’t “bad” for dogs as they are safe to eat in moderation. Moderation is key though as overindulging your dog can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea caused by eating too much fibre and sugar in those fuzzy fruits. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t cause any serious or lasting illness if they eat a bit too much and it’s a one-off incident.
The only real problem with apricots is the pit or stone. Like many other fruit seeds and stones, apricot stones contain cyanide. When the stones are chewed, the poison is released and absorbed into your dog’s body.
A single apricot stone probably isn’t enough to put your pooch’s life at risk, unless they’re very small like a Chihuahua. However, it can still make them very unwell. It’s always best to avoid letting your pup eat apricot stones at all to avoid the risks and prevent sickness.
These hard stones also pose a choking hazard if swallowed, and they can cause intestinal blockage too. All in all, apricot stones are best avoided because they only ever spell trouble and offer absolutely nothing nutritious.
But, the flesh of apricot fruit is fine for your furry friend to eat, so feel free to offer them a dried apricot or a chunk of fresh fruit from time to time as a treat.
Apricots themselves aren’t poisonous for dogs and the flesh of the fruit is perfectly safe for a dog to eat. However, the stone of the fruit and all parts of the apricot plant are poisonous to dogs, not least because they contain cyanide.
Apricots are another member of the “Prunus” family of plants, which includes cherries, plums, peaches, and nectarines. These plants are poisonous to dogs, but the edible fruit is sometimes safe for canine consumption.
If you have an apricot tree, take care that your dog doesn’t help themselves to windfall because they will probably eat stones, leaves, and stems alongside the fruit and could become poisoned or suffer from intestinal blockage. Fallen fruit can also ferment and if eaten, can intoxicate your dog.
If your dog manages to eat a whole apricot, stone and all, you should contact your vet for advice and monitor your dog for signs of illness.
Apricots are amazing little fruits, and since they are quite small a single apricot won’t have a heap of calories or sugar. The skin has a lot of fibre in it which will help to keep your doggy’s digestion in top condition.
Apricots are reasonably nutritious with a decent amount of vitamin A and C inside them, as well as a bit of vitamin E. Vitamin A is a paw-some wellbeing vitamin and is important for keeping your pooch’s eyes healthy. Vitamin C supports their immune system, and vitamin E is vital for various cell functions and the metabolism of fat.
All those vitamins are antioxidants too, but apricots also contain other antioxidants in the form of beta carotene. These help to prevent oxidative damage to your dog’s cells and can even slow down the ageing process. Beta carotene is also turned into vitamin A inside the body, giving your pup even more goodness.
There’s no definitive rule about how many apricots a dog can eat, and the amount they can safely eat will vary depending on their size. A big breed can probably eat a whole apricot as long as the pit is removed and it’s been sliced into bitesize chunks for them.
However, a small dog should probably eat no more than half an apricot a day. Again, this will need to be cut up and the stone must be removed.
Like most fruits, the best rule to follow is the 10% rule. That means your pooch should eat no more than 10% of the recommended daily calories in treats, including apricots. 90% of their calorie intake must come from balanced meals.
Yes, dogs can eat apricots but you must make sure that the stone in the middle of the fruit has been removed first. Apricots and even dried apricots are both ok for dogs to eat and can make a nutritious, natural treat to give them a boost of vitamins as well as a juicy, sweet snack.
However, feeding your pooch a complete, balanced dog food such as Pure, which includes tons of fruits and vegetables that have loads more beneficial aspects for your dog than an apricot would.
Fruits such as apple are included in Pure recipes, as they're full of nutrients and vitamins, and they're great for digestion and gut mobility. Feeding your dog a complete meal which already contains fruits with functional benefits will be much better than overfeeding them on sweet snacks such as apricots.
Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS
Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.