If there’s any pet that requires constant attention, it’s a dog. And what should you pay the closest attention to? His diet!
As you’re probably aware, dogs are quite happy to sniff out and chow down on anything and everything. Some dogs seem to be hungry all the time, whereas others are just curious about how something might taste. Often, our doggo will wolf down all sorts of things without you even noticing. Unfortunately, this means that he might end up eating something that isn’t good for him, or may even make him sick.
Of course, it’s not always your dog’s fault. Owners may also be guilty of feeding their precious companion a particular food that they think is okay, but it turns out to be harmful.
There are lots of foods out there that harbor nutritional benefits for both humans and dogs—some of which you can even eat together (on separate plates, of course!).
So, how do you know what human food dogs can or can't eat? One food group that often confuses dog owners is fruit. We all know that fruit is good for humans, but we also have the means of eating fruit properly. That is, we can peel the skin or take out the pits. Dogs can’t!
That said, there are a variety of fruits that are safe for dogs if they’re prepared properly. Let’s look at a very popular fruit that dogs can eat: pears.
Yes, pears are safe for dogs—if the right precautions are taken before serving them up. Pears are a sweet fruit that grows on trees. They have a juicy flesh and a fibrous center. There are dozens of varieties of pear, all of which vary slightly in size, shape, and color.
Pears are a great source of essential antioxidants, plant compounds, and dietary fiber, which makes them good for both you and your dog. They’re also a yummy treat that makes for a healthy natural alternative to processed dog treats, which tend to contain artificial ingredients and added sugars.
The benefits of giving your dog pears:
Like any food—especially fruit—too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Pears may be healthy, but they’re also high in sugar. This can spell problems if a dog eats too many.
Canned pears are quite different from fresh pears because they contain even higher amounts of sugar. This not only adds empty calories to your dog’s diet which leads to unnecessary weight gain, it can also irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Avoid feeding pears to your dog if he has diabetes.
In fact, it’s best to keep pear intake minimal for any type of dog. The high fiber content of pears means that feeding too many to your dog at once could lead to an upset tummy, or at least cause diarrhea and gas.
It’s also important to note that the seeds of both pears and apples contain traces of cyanide. Although an animal would have to eat a lot of seeds to actually end up with cyanide poisoning, it’s best to avoid the risk!
If you want to give your dog pears as part of his diet, great—but here’s how to do it safely.
Try to avoid giving your dog a whole pear. As mentioned above, the seeds aren’t particularly safe if chewed and eaten in large quantities. Worse, the core can be quite tough and may cause your dog to choke. After all, you’ve probably seen how quickly dogs can inhale their food!
The best pears to feed your dog are those that are fresh and ripe. Remove any stems, leaves, and seeds. Wash the pear if it’s been store-bought, as the peel may still have traces of pesticides or other contaminants. Be sure to cut the pear into bite-sized chunks and stand by while your dog eats them to see that he doesn’t choke.
Remember, pears are a treat, so moderation is key. Vets recommend keeping your dog’s treats to no more than 10 percent of his daily meal intake. If your dog is a small breed, he’ll need no more than a slice or two every now and then. A whole pear might be a bit much for a small tummy!
It is always a good idea to ask your veterinarian just whether pears are suitable for your particular dog.