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Can Dogs Eat Pears? Are Pears Good Or Bad For Dogs?

Last Updated: December 7, 2022 | 7 min read | Leave a Comment

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This article was written by a veterinarian, but it should not substitute as contact with a trained professional. If your dog has eaten pear and is reacting adversely, contact your local veterinarian immediately.

Thinking of feeding your canine companion some pears, but aren’t sure if dogs can eat them or if they are safe? Many fruits like peaches, blueberries, and strawberries are completely safe for dogs in moderation. But that doesn’t mean it’s the same for all fruit types.

Finding healthy treats that are safe for dogs to eat is important. It can make training sessions easier and also provides a way to bond with your dog. Natural fruits and vegetables can also help introduce some variety into your canine companion’s diet, making feedings easier.

It isn’t safe to feed dogs all the same things you would eat yourself. Foods that are healthy for humans are not always healthy for our canine friends. Some human foods can even cause serious health problems in dogs. So, what about pears? Are they safe or dangerous for dogs? Let’s find out!

Are Pears Safe For Dogs To Eat?

Bowl of Green Pear Fruit
Whether pears can be safely eaten by dogs depends on how the pear has been prepared and on the individual dog.

If your dog is healthy, with no known medical issues, then feeding them small amounts of pear flesh or skin is fine. Pear is a healthy treat choice for most dogs. If you do decide to feed them to your dog, it is best to chop them into bite-sized pieces, suitable for the size of your individual dog’s mouth. A Chihuahua will eat much smaller chunks than a Great Dane!

Fresh pear flesh or rind that is appropriately ripe is the safest way for dogs to eat some pear. However, not all parts of the fruit are safe; you should take care to remove the seeds and core as they can be toxic.

If Fido has medical issues, it may still be fine to feed them pear, but it’s best to check with your veterinarian first. We’ll cover a few reasons why you shouldn’t feed pear to dogs later on.

Are There Any Health Benefits?

Human Hand Offers Two Pears to Dachshund in a Tree
When fed correctly, fresh pear is an appropriate and healthy treat.

Pears contain some nutrients that are good for a dog’s health in the right amounts. Among other vitamins, pears are a good source of Vitamin C. Eating Vitamin C is not essential for dogs (unlike humans, dogs can make their own) but it won’t do any harm and may do some good. They also contain good amounts of copper, potassium, and anthocyanins lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are important for eye health.

While they do contain sugar, this sugar is naturally occurring in the fruit and slow to release into the bloodstream, so it doesn’t cause a huge rise in blood sugar like a sugary biscuit would. However, too much sugar can still cause an upset stomach.

Pears are also a source of good fiber, which dogs need in their diet to maintain a healthy gut. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in their intestines. It also slows the release of the natural sugars in the fruit, and helps to bulk the stool (poop). A dog with a healthy gut will often pass healthier poo. This also makes it easier to scoop, which is good news for you!

How Much Can My Dog Eat?

As mentioned, pears do contain sugar. For this reason, they should only be fed in small amounts. They are best fed as a treat, only a few small pieces at a time and not every day.

They should only be fed as part of a balanced diet. All dogs should be fed a nutritionally balanced main food, and their daily treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their calorie allowance. If you need further advice about creating a balanced canine diet, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian.

When Are Pears Bad For Dogs?

There are some times when it might not be the best idea to feed pears to your canine companion. Not all dogs can have them, and there are also parts of the fruit that shouldn’t be fed to dogs.

Cores and Seeds

Core and Seeds of Sliced Open Fruit
The core and seeds of pears contain trace amounts of poisonous cyanide, so it is best to avoid consumption.

Pear seeds contain something called amygdalin. This is present in pear seeds, apple seeds from the apple core, and many other types of fruit. When the seeds are chewed, they can release a poison called cyanide into the body. The seeds contain only a small amount of potential poison so a dog would need to eat a lot of seeds, and chew them, to be affected by cyanide poisoning from fruit seeds.

However, cyanide poisoning is life-threatening if it occurs. So, even though there is a low risk of eating enough seeds to cause a problem, it is sensible to make sure you remove the seeds and core before giving pear to your dog, just to be safe.

If Fido accidentally sneaks the odd seed, it is very unlikely to cause a problem, so please don’t worry. Just keep a close eye on him.

Cooked And Canned Pears

Jar of Cooked Fruit
Cooked and canned fruit typically have higher sugar content than raw fruit, making it a less healthy option.

Plain, cooked pear flesh or skin is fine for dogs to eat but beware of the cooking process. If the pear is boiled in water, then that’s fine. If the pear has been cooked in spices or sugar, it should not be fed to a dog at all. Too much sugar is bad for dogs and rich flavors from spices can cause an upset stomach.

Canned pears are often soaked in syrup or fruit juice, and these are not good for dogs. The syrup increases the sugar in the fruit. Eating too much sugar puts your pup at risk of dental disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health problems associated with obesity, like joint disease.

It is possible to buy canned pears soaked in water and these are OK to feed to dogs in small amounts. The good news about canned pears is that the core and seeds are already removed, which saves you the trouble of removing them!

Homegrown Pears

White Dog Pulling a Piece of Fruit off a Tree
Dogs should be discouraged from foraging directly from trees.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a pear tree in the garden. It is not sensible to let your canine companion pick pears directly from the tree as this can be a choking hazard. A pear is quite a large fruit. If your pup does not chew it properly, it could become stuck in their windpipe or food pipe. If allowed to pick whole pears from the tree, dogs may also eat the parts that are not good for them, like the core and seeds.

It’s also best to stop your dog from picking windfall pears from the ground. Just like when picked directly from the tree, they may be a choking hazard. Or, many dogs may eat too many seeds which can be toxic.

Windfall pears are fine to be fed to dogs if they are prepared as you would prepare other fresh fruits. They should be cleaned, the seeds and core removed, and chopped into bite-sized chunks.

Be careful to check windfall pears for stinging insects. Insects enjoy windfall fruit and you do not want your pup to get stung! You should also take care that windfall pears are not moldy or fermenting, which can be bad for dogs.

Which Dogs Can’t Eat Pears?

Small Dog With Fruit in its Mouth
Dogs that suffer from obesity, diabetes, or tummy issues should be discouraged from eating pears.

If Fido has any sort of tummy trouble it is best not to feed them pear while they are unwell. If your dog is prone to an upset stomach you should be certain to talk to your veterinarian before introducing any new food or treat, as it may be more likely to upset them.

Overweight dogs should have a strictly controlled diet to help them lose weight. Your veterinarian can advise you on this. The diet may involve feeding some fruit or vegetables to them as part of a healthy, balanced, feeding plan, but this should always be done under guidance from your vet.

Dogs with diabetes may be able to eat some, but their diet should be very consistent, so feeding pear occasionally as a treat might not be appropriate. You must speak to your veterinarian about how to feed a dog with diabetes.

How Do I Know If Pear Is Safe?

Black Dog Enjoying Piece of Fruit
It is a good idea to chat with your vet before offering any new food and always start with a very small amount.

It is always best to speak with your veterinarian before changing food, even if it is only to introduce a new treat. Any change to a dog’s diet can lead them to have symptoms like being sick or passing loose poos. If you see these symptoms, you should always talk to your veterinarian.

When you first feed pear to your pup, you should give just a small amount, half an inch, cubed, with seeds removed. You should then monitor him for 48 hours for adverse reactions. If they don’t develop signs of an allergy or diarrhea, they can be fed pear again in the future. Just remember not to feed too much or too often. The bulk of your furry friend’s calories should still come from a balanced diet. Pear should only be considered as an occasional treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

My dog ate a pear core. What do I do?

Don’t worry, initially. The number of seeds in one pear core is unlikely to poison your canine companion. Just be sure to keep the core away from them next time.

Can pears kill dogs?

It is unlikely that a pear would cause a dog’s severe enough illness to threaten their life. The greatest threat is probably from choking, so be sure to feed pear to your dog in bite-sized pieces.

Are pear seeds toxic to dogs?

Yes, but a dog would need to eat many seeds to suffer from cyanide poisoning. However, it’s sensible to avoid seeds where possible by not giving pear cores, apple cores, or other seed-containing cores.

Can dogs get drunk from fermented fruit?

Dogs can suffer the effects of alcohol poisoning if they eat enough fermented fruit. These include being tired, being sick, and feeling wobbly. Dogs are much more susceptible to alcohol poisoning than humans, so avoid feeding fermented fruit to dogs.

Can my dog eat canned pears?

Dogs can eat pears canned in water. It is best to avoid pears canned in syrup or fruit juice because they contain a lot of sugar.

Can dogs eat over/under ripe pears?

It is best to avoid feeding pears to dogs if they are not appropriately ripe. Underripe pears are firm and make choking more likely. When very overripe, pears start to ferment (break-down). Fermented pears contain alcohol which is toxic to dogs.

Final Thoughts

Pears are a good, healthy choice of a treat when fed to dogs in moderation. They should be fed ripe, with the core and seeds removed, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Canned pears in water can be fed, but avoid canned pears in syrup or fruit juice.

Do not let your dog scavenge pears directly from the tree or the ground as windfalls. This can increase the chance of choking and cyanide poisoning. If you notice any adverse effects after pear consumption, then you should call your local veterinarian right away.

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