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Do you want to give your German Shepherd a refreshing fruit treat but aren’t sure if it’s safe for him? I often feed my dog apples or berries, but what about the many different fruits you see on the grocery shelves? What fruits can German Shepherds eat?
German Shepherds can eat a wide variety of fruits. Some of the best fruits they can eat are strawberries, apples, bananas, raspberries, peaches, pears, blueberries, and melon. However, seeds and pits are a choking hazard, so avoid these. Some fruits are also toxic, such as grapes, avocados, and cherries, and must not be eaten.
This article will look at the best fruits your German Shepherd can eat, in what quantities, and exactly how to feed them to your dog. I’ll also mention the fruits your dog can’t eat.
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For the complete guide to what fruits your German Shepherd can eat, read on!
- What Fruits Can German Shepherds Eat?
- Kiwi Fruit
- Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit
- Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, and Persimmons
- Oranges & Mandarins (Tangerines, Clementines & Satsumas)
- Are German Shepherds Carnivores or Omnivores?
- How Much Fruit Can a GSD Eat?
- How to Feed a German Shepherd Fruit
- What Fruits are Toxic to German Shepherds?
- Grapes and Raisins
- Star Fruit
- Tomatoes (Green)
- Final Thoughts
What Fruits Can German Shepherds Eat?
Although most good-quality dog food is optimized for dogs’ needs, adding fruits is an ideal tasty complement to a healthy diet. I like to feed my German Shepherd fruits as a reward for good behavior, and I often add them to her bowl to supplement her diet. In addition, giving your dog fruits to eat helps maintain motivation when training and is a handy option if your treat cupboard is empty!
Check Out This Cool Video on Some of the Best Fruits to Feed Your Dog…
Here’s a Quick Look at all the Fruits your German Shepherd Can and Can’t Eat…
|Fruit||Can Eat||Can’t Eat|
|Grapes & Raisins||✘|
German Shepherds can eat apples. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, and fiber. The vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. Most dogs like the sweet taste and the crunchy texture of apples, which also helps keep their teeth clean and freshen their breath.
Cut the apple into small pieces and do not feed the seeds as they contain traces of cyanide. Also, do not feed the cores as they can cause intestinal obstructions.
Apricots are tropical fruit rich in vitamins A and C. They are also full of potassium and beta-carotene, which can help fight against cancer.
It is safe to feed the fleshy fruit; however, don’t give the pit, leaves, or stem as they contain cyanide which can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. Your German Shepherd will enjoy a few small bites now and again but don’t overdo it as apricots are high in fiber, and too much fiber can lead to a tummy upset.
German Shepherds can eat bananas. They are high in potassium which can support kidney and heart functions. They are also high in vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper and are low in sodium.
They do, however, contain a lot of sugar, so only feed sparingly and do not feed the peel as they may be tough for some dogs to digest. I like to give my German Shepherd a couple of small banana pieces when we are out on a long walk as it helps give her a quick energy boost.
German Shepherds can eat blackberries. They contain a high number of valuable antioxidants that can prevent or slow down damage to cells. They are loaded with vitamins and fiber and are low in sugar too.
Don’t you love blackberry picking in the summer? These sweet and juicy fruits are ideal for sharing with your German Shepherd. Some dogs may not quite like their taste, though, yet other dogs will adore them. Frozen blackberries can be a welcome treat in the warm weather to help cool your dog down.
German Shepherds can eat blueberries. They are a superfood rich in antioxidants that prevent cell and tissue damage. Blueberries are also a great source of vitamin C and fiber, are good for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, and are anti-inflammatory.
Blueberries are a great snack for your dog and are low in calories. They are also lower in sugar content than many other fruits, which is a bonus and kinder to your dog’s teeth.
German Shepherds can eat coconut. It is full of antioxidants to support the immune system, prevent viruses and reduce inflammation. Coconut oil is also great for your dogs’ skin or coat. You must make sure to remove the shell to prevent choking or intestinal blockages.
If your GSD enjoys the taste of the flesh, there is no harm in giving him a small piece or two. Despite containing the word “nut,” coconut is actually a fruit, so it doesn’t contain many proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to (such as almonds or cashews). Therefore, an allergy to coconut is quite rare.
Cranberries contain vitamin C, fiber, and manganese and have anti-inflammatory properties. They help maintain a healthy bladder, and they’re good to give to your GSD if he has a water infection. However, you may find he doesn’t like the tart taste, and I must agree, as I’m not a great fan of them!
Cranberries can be given raw, cooked, or dried but avoid cranberry juice as it contains too much sugar, which can upset your dog’s stomach, and sugar is not good for your German Shepherd’s teeth. Also, be aware that dried cranberries are often mixed with other dried fruits like raisins which are poisonous to dogs, as are grapes.
German Shepherds can eat cucumber. It contains potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium, and biotin, and is loaded with vitamins B1, C, and K, and can improve joint health and strengthen bones. Cucumber is great for overweight dogs, too, as it contains no fat and can even boost energy!
The question, ‘Is cucumber a fruit or a vegetable?’ is certainly a common one! Technically, the cucumber is a fruit, so that’s why we’ll discuss it here, even though you are likely to find them amongst other vegetables in the grocery store. It doesn’t really matter, though, as they have a lot of nutritional value. Cucumber is 96% water and so is a great tasty summer treat for your dog that will help keep him hydrated.
Dates are low in fat and are cholesterol-free. They contain vitamins A, C, and several of the B vitamins. They also contain fiber and are full of minerals. Dates are good for your dog’s heart and immune system. They are, however, high in sugar, so you will need to consider this when feeding.
Dates can be good if your German Shepherd needs a quick energy boost during a lot of exercise or play and are a good alternative to treats purchased from the store. Make sure you remove the pit before eating to prevent choking or blockages.
German Shepherds can eat kiwi fruit. Kiwi is loaded with vitamin C and potassium, which provide copious amounts of nutritional benefits. It is also high in fiber which is good for them. Do not feed the seeds as they contain cyanide. Remove the skin to prevent choking, and never feed kiwi fruit whole.
Although the fruit’s flesh is safe to eat, the high fiber content may not agree with your dog and could cause a stomach upset or diarrhea due to its laxative effect, so feed sparingly. For this reason, I have never tried my German Shepherd on kiwi fruit! There are many other alternatives listed here.
Lemon, Lime, and Grapefruit
Lemon, lime, and grapefruit (citrus fruits) flesh are safe for your German Shepherd to eat. However, they provide little or no nutritional benefit for your dog. They are also not recommended due to their high citric acid content, which can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Remember, too, that the digestive system of dogs is much more sensitive than humans! Most dogs will not like the bitter taste of citrus fruits and will not thank you for giving them even a lick!
If you decide to try your dog with a taste of citrus fruits, remove the peel to prevent possible choking or obstructions. Also, do not feed the pith (the white parts) or seeds as they are toxic in high amounts. I don’t think feeding these fruits is worth the risk!
Mangos are a tropical fruit popular in the summer.
German Shepherds can eat mango. They are a good nutritious treat containing vitamins A, B6, C, and E; however, they contain a lot of sugar, so you need to consider this before feeding mango to your dog. They are also high in fiber which most dogs aren’t used to, so only feed sparingly.
Although the skin and flesh are quite safe for your German Shepherd, the skin may be hard to digest, and the pit contains traces of toxic cyanide. The pit is also a choking hazard and could cause a blockage in your dog’s digestive system, so avoid it at all costs.
German Shepherds can eat melon, such as cantaloupe and honeydew. Melon is an excellent source of vitamins, dietary fiber, and potassium. Its high antioxidant qualities are good for promoting healthy cell function and reducing cancer and arthritis.
Melon is low in calories and high in water content. Small pieces are nice and refreshing for your German Shepherd, especially on hot days, which helps keep him hydrated.
Melon does, however, have high sugar content, so only feed in moderation. The seeds and rind need to be avoided to prevent choking and possible digestive problems.
Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, and Persimmons
German Shepherds can eat nectarines, peaches, plums, and persimmons. These stone fruits are a good source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones. They also contain fiber for healthy digestion and potassium, which is good for heart and kidney disorders.
One drawback is that these fruits are quite sugary, so you must consider this if you wish to feed them to your dog. However, they would be okay to give as an energy booster whilst out on a long walk or during excessive play.
Remember, do not feed the pit or seeds to avoid poisoning, choking, and possible digestive obstructions.
German Shepherds can eat olives. They contain many vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is good for your dog’s eyes and immune system. They are high in natural fats, so one or two plain, unsalted olives can be a healthy snack.
Many people think of olives as vegetables; however, they are technically fruit as they contain seeds and are the fruit of the olive tree. The confusion is that they are often seen as a vegetable in the culinary world. Even though they are safe for dogs, I have never fed them to my German Shepherd as I don’t like their taste!
You will need to remove the pits to prevent choking or blockages further down! Olive pits also contain toxic compounds, and they could even crack your dog’s teeth which could be not only very painful for your dog but expensive if you have to pay out dental costs!
Oranges & Mandarins (Tangerines, Clementines & Satsumas)
German Shepherds can eat oranges and mandarins, such as tangerines, clementines, and satsumas. These citrus fruits are full of nutrients and fiber and are loaded with vitamin C, which can benefit your dog’s immune system and flush out toxins.
However, they should only be given in minimal quantities due to their acidity and high sugar content. Like other citrus fruits, probably your dog won’t quite like the acidic zing!
You must only feed the flesh part of the fruit as the peel is hard to digest. In addition to this, the peel, seeds, and the white pith contain toxic compounds and so must not be given. My German Shepherd turns her head away after the slightest sniff, telling me she is not interested. She certainly doesn’t care for oranges due to their bitter or sour taste.
German Shepherds can eat pears. They are high in potassium, vitamins A, C, K, and fiber, and are believed to reduce the risk of strokes and have anti-cancer properties due to their antioxidants. Vitamin K is known for increasing bone density.
They contain a high amount of sugar so feed sparingly, especially if your German Shepherd needs to lose a few pounds! Before feeding your dog, you must remove the core and seeds to prevent poisoning, choking, and digestive blockages.
German Shepherds can eat pineapple. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are good for your dog’s digestion and immune system. It also contains bromelain, which helps your GSD absorb proteins. As it is also quite sugary, only feed sparingly and remove the prickly peel and crown.
Pineapple is great if your dog needs a quick energy boost during a long walk which my German Shepherd often does!
Frozen chunks of pineapple make an excellent snack in the summer and help keep your dog hydrated. However, avoid canned pineapple as it contains lots of added sugar.
Raspberries are great for dogs in moderation as they are low in sugar and calories and contain lots of fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help joints and so they are perfect for older dogs.
The only downside is that they contain a small amount of xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. If consumed in large amounts, it can be fatal due to its toxicity; however, one or two are just absolutely fine. My German Shepherd loves raspberries, and I like to give her frozen ones when the weather is hot.
German Shepherds can eat strawberries. They are full of fiber and vitamin C, contain an enzyme that can help keep your dog’s teeth nice and white, and are low in sugar. Strawberries are also high in antioxidants, and they may help slow down the aging process and strengthen the immune system.
Strawberries can help with weight management, especially if your dog is a little on the heavy side. They are nice and refreshing in the hot summer months, and they can also be given frozen to help cool your dog down and keep him hydrated. They are a great fruit for dogs, and my GSD adores them.
German Shepherds can eat watermelons. It is full of vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium and helps maintain healthy muscle and nerve function. It contains 92% water, so it’s another great way to help keep your dog hydrated during the summer.
Everyone loves a nice refreshing piece of watermelon in the hot weather; the only downside to this fruit is all the fiddly seeds! Remember to remove the seeds before giving watermelon to your German Shepherd and not feed the rind to prevent choking or intestinal blockage.
Are German Shepherds Carnivores or Omnivores?
If you’ve found yourself reading this article, you may also wonder if dogs should eat fruit or whether they should stick to eating meat. So, are German Shepherds carnivores or omnivores?
German Shepherds are omnivores. They benefit from eating meat, but their dietary needs have adapted over thousands of years of domestication. They now obtain key nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables which they can digest. Even their molars have flattened to grind up non-meat foods.
If we look at the history of dog domestication, they survived alongside humans by eating their leftover meat, potatoes, veggies, and old bread. Today’s dogs like to survive on a diverse diet of meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and all of these foods are often included in commercial dog food.
If you feed your dog well-balanced, healthy dog food, there is no real need to provide additional fruits. However, ask yourself this question – would you prefer to give your German Shepherd a small piece of fruit instead of a low-quality dog treat that is highly processed and full of artificial preservatives, colors, and additives? I certainly know which I would prefer!
We have already learned that the nutrients in fruit are great for the health and maintenance of your dog’s body that will help boost your dog’s overall health and help prevent disease.
Fruits help strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve skin, hair, and eyesight and help digestion:
“Adding fruits and vegetables to your pet’s diet will help ensure that they’re getting plenty of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to help them stay strong and healthy and boost their immune system.”Dr. Sarah Nold, Veterinarian at Trupanion
Pet treats can also be high in calories, so fruits and vegetables can provide a healthier alternative.
Other benefits are the potassium in fruit can reduce a dog’s risk of heart disease and stroke, and some fruits are superfoods (rich in nutrients) and may protect against cancers:
“No single food or food component can protect you against cancer by itself. But research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and other plant foods helps lower risk for many cancers.”American Institute for Cancer Research
An important point to note is that if a vet treats your dog for any medical condition, it is recommended to consult with them before trying your dog with any new fruit, especially if your dog is diabetic, as many fruits are high in sugar.
How Much Fruit Can a GSD Eat?
Like most dog owners, I like to give my German Shepherd a healthy diet. I’m sure you’ll know that many store-bought treats are high in calories and not very nutritional at all. Every dog owner needs something quick and easy that is readily available in the home, and an occasional small piece of fruit will do the trick perfectly. So, how much fruit can a German Shepherd eat?
Fruit should not make up a significant part of your German Shepherd’s daily diet; however, an occasional piece of safe fruit can be very healthy for your dog. A good rule of thumb is that treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of their total calories for the day.
The other 90% should come from dog food that’s healthy and well-balanced.
Fruits should be fed sparingly to your German Shepherd to avoid any stomach upset or, even worse, dreaded gas and diarrhea! Remember, the digestive system of a dog is much more sensitive than us humans!
Keep the portion size small. The same rule applies to other “people foods” that you may occasionally give to your dog, such as these 34 human foods here.
To help you with this, here are some recommended portion sizes of fruits that your German Shepherd can eat. This is only a rough guide, and you can adjust this depending on your dog’s size, activity level, and age.
I’ve also included the hazards to avoid for each fruit so that you can use it as a quick reference guide:
Recommended Fruit Portion Sizes
|Fruit||Portion Size||Hazards To Avoid|
|Apple||1-2 slices||Seeds and Core|
|Apricot||1 slice||Leaves, Stem, and Pit|
|Banana||1-2 pieces (1-inch chunks)||Peel|
|Cranberries||1 dessert spoon|
|Dates||Half a date||Pit|
|Kiwi Fruit||1 slice||Seeds and Skin|
|Lemon||A lick to try!||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Lime||A lick to try!||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Grapefruit||A lick to try!||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Mango||1-2 slices||Peel and Pit|
|Melon||1 slice (1-inch chunks)||Seeds and Rind|
|Nectarine||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit|
|Peach||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit|
|Plum||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit|
|Persimmons||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit and Seeds|
|Orange||1 bite-sized segment||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Tangerine||1 bite-sized segment||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Clementine||1 bite-sized segment||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Mandarine||1 bite-sized segment||Peel, Pith, and Seeds|
|Pear||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Seeds and Core|
|Pineapple||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Peel and Crown|
|Strawberries||Half of a large berry|
|Watermelon||1 slice||Seeds and Rind|
How to Feed a German Shepherd Fruit
If your German Shepherd is new to fruit, it’s best to try experimenting with a small amount of one type so that if your dog does react, you will be able to determine the cause.
When feeding fruit to your German Shepherd, if it contains a pit or seeds, remove these as they contain traces of cyanide which is toxic and extremely harmful if eaten in large quantities. Pits can also crack teeth, are a choking hazard, or cause a blockage in the dog’s digestive system.
To be on the safe side, I avoid giving these fruits to my German Shepherd to avoid the risks!
It’s best to wash and clean fruit for your dog just like you would for your family, as this helps rinse away any dirt and residual chemicals. You can cut the fruit into small pieces, mash or puree. Some dogs might not like the texture of the fruit, so you can always try them as frozen treats as I do with raspberries and strawberries.
Avoid feeding your German Shepherd canned fruit as it contains too much sugary syrup and will upset your dog’s stomach. Fruit juice is also best avoided because of its high sugar content, and citrus juices like orange will be highly acidic.
What Fruits are Toxic to German Shepherds?
While many fruits in and around your house are perfectly safe for dogs, some are very dangerous, so it’s critical to learn which fruits German Shepherds can’t eat due to their toxicity.
The main fruits toxic to German Shepherds are grapes and dried variants, raisins, sultanas, currants. Even low dosages can cause acute kidney failure and death. Other poisonous fruits to dogs are avocado, star fruit, unripe (green) tomatoes, cherry stems, pits, leaves, and rhubarb leaves.
You will also need to take extra care if you grow fruit at home as once the fruit has fallen from the tree and starts to decompose, it produces ethanol (alcohol) which is also toxic to dogs, as are these other foods. Never leave your dog unsupervised where there is free access to fruit.
If you plan on sharing some fruit with your German Shepherd, make sure you don’t feed him anything you find on this list!
German Shepherds should not eat avocados. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain person, is a toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much persin as the rest of the plant, but it is still unsafe for your dog to eat.
If you are a Mexican food lover like me, keep your German Shepherd away from your guacamole!
German Shepherds can not eat cherries as the cherry pit, stem, and leaves contain toxic cyanide, killing dogs if ingested in high quantities. Although the flesh of the cherry is relatively safe, it can cause an upset stomach, also if eaten in large amounts.
Cherry pits can also pose a danger as they are a choking hazard and can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. This risk is also increased in smaller breeds. For these reasons, I don’t recommend feeding your German Shepherd cherries.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to German Shepherds and, if ingested, can cause acute kidney failure and death. This also includes other dried grape variants like sultanas, currants, and any foods containing grape extracts. The fatal dose is unknown; however, a tiny amount can cause symptoms.
To learn more about why German Shepherd can’t eat grapes, be sure to check out this post.
Star fruit is an exotic fruit that is extremely toxic to dogs. Your GSD must not eat it as it can lead to sudden kidney failure. It contains calcium oxalate, and when soluble oxalate salts are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, they bind with the body’s calcium, resulting in a sudden drop, leading to acute renal failure.
The exact amount of star fruit that your German Shepherd can eat safely is not known. It could be hazardous even if your dog ate only a small amount, especially in smaller breeds that may be more at risk. Less than half of star fruit could make your dog ill.
German Shepherds can not eat tomatoes if they are green (unripe) as they contain the toxic substance solanine, which can cause heart problems, difficulty breathing, and severe stomach upset. The stems and vines are also poisonous; however, ripened red tomatoes are generally considered safe.
You will need to take extra care if you grow tomato plants in your garden. Either fence them off from your dog or make sure to supervise him at all times.
You now know what fruits your German Shepherd can safely eat to complement his diet – and the ones to avoid! We all love to reward our doggos with treats and experiment with new ones, and fruits make a great option.
Remember to check with a veterinary professional if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s dietary health or possible food allergies or intolerances.
I also think it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s weight, and I like to take my German Shepherd to the vets every 3 months for a check-up.
For a ton of other useful food-related info, check out my giant guide, What is the Best Diet for German Shepherds? This detailed post leaves no stone unturned and covers everything from nutrition to different dog food types, including what to feed and what not to feed your dog.
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