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What Fruits Can German Shepherds Eat? (29 Best Choices)

Last Updated: December 28, 2023

As a fellow German Shepherd owner, you likely share my quest for nutritious and delicious treats to pamper your furry companion. Incorporating fruits into their diet is an excellent way to achieve this.

However, not all fruits are safe or enjoyable for German Shepherds. Selecting the right ones is key.

German Shepherds can eat various fruits, such as strawberries, apples, bananas, raspberries, peaches, mangoes, pears, blueberries, plums, and watermelon. However, grapes, avocados, star fruit, and cherries are toxic and should not be eaten.

Many expert canine nutritionists recommend incorporating certain fruits into your dog’s diet, thanks to their rich vitamin and iron content. But what exactly does healthy feeding entail for your furry friend?

In this article, I’ve meticulously selected the top 29 safe fruits that are perfect for your German Shepherd’s diet, ensuring they get the best in both taste and nutrition.

German Shepherd and a bowl of fruit
My German Shepherd with a bowl of fruit

The Good and Bad: Fruit Choices for German Shepherds

Although most good-quality dog food is optimized for dogs’ needs, adding fruits and other products like raspberry treats is an ideal complement to a healthy diet. Or you may wish to feed your GSD a homemade diet and include some fruit.

“I like to feed my German Shepherd fruits to reward good behavior, and I often add them to her bowl to supplement her diet. ” – World of Dogz

In addition, giving your dog fruits to eat, among other products, helps maintain motivation when training and is a handy option if your treat cupboard is empty!

Below is a complete list of fruits your dog can eat (and those to avoid).

Fruit Can EatCan’t Eat
Apple
Apricot
Avocado
Banana
Blackberries
Blueberries
Cherries
Coconut
Cranberries
Cucumber
Dates
Kiwi Fruit
Lemon
Lime
Grapes & Raisins
Grapefruit
Mango
Melon
Nectarine
Peach
Plum
Olives
Oranges
Star Fruit
Tangerine
Tomato (green)
Clementine
Pear
Persimmon
Pineapple
Raspberries
Satsuma
Strawberries
Watermelon

You can also check out the video below…

Apple

German Shepherds can eat apples. They are a good source of vitamins A and C and calcium – essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. They also contain fiber to aid digestion.

Most dogs like apples’ sweet taste and crunchy texture, which helps keep their teeth clean and freshen their breath.

Caution: 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.

1 Red and 2 green apples

Apricot

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.

Caution: 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.

Apricot with one cut into half

Banana

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.

However, they contain much sugar, akin to a strawberry, so only feed sparingly. Do not feed the peel, as they may be tough for some dogs to digest.

“I like giving my German Shepherd a couple of small banana pieces when we are on a long walk, as it helps give her a quick energy boost.” – World of Dogz
Bananas with one of them peeled off

Blackberries

German Shepherds can eat blackberries. They contain many valuable antioxidants and a beneficial amount of phosphorus that can prevent or slow down cell damage. 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, yet other dogs will adore them, just like the flavor of a ripe strawberry. Frozen blackberries can be a welcome treat in the warm weather to help cool your dog down.

Bunch of blackberries ready to feed your dog

Blueberries

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, phosphorus, and fiber, are excellent for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer, and are anti-inflammatory.

Blueberries are an excellent 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.

Fresh Blueberries

Coconut

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 dog’s skin or coat.

Caution: You must remove the shell to avoid choking or intestinal blockages.

If your GSD enjoys the taste of the flesh, which can be a similar experience as savoring a strawberry or a blueberry, there is no harm in giving him a small piece or two.

Despite containing the word “nut,” coconut is a fruit, so it doesn’t have many proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to (such as almonds or cashews). Therefore, an allergy to coconut is quite rare.

Coconut broken into half to feed a dog

Cranberries

German Shepherds can eat cranberries. They contain vitamin C, fiber, and manganese and have anti-inflammatory properties. They help maintain a healthy bladder and are good to give to your GSD if he has a water infection.

Cranberries can be given raw, cooked, or dried.

  • Avoid cranberry juice as it contains too much sugar, which can upset your dog’s stomach, and sugar is not good for their teeth.
  • Also, be aware that dried cranberries are often mixed with other dried fruits like raisins, which are poisonous to dogs, just like grapes.

However, you may find your dog doesn’t like the tart taste, and I must agree, as I’m not a great fan of them.

A bowl of cranberries

Cucumber

German Shepherds can eat cucumbers. They are excellent treats for your dog as they are virtually fat-free and contain many minerals such as potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.

They are also loaded with vitamins B1, C, and K, improving joint health, strengthening bones, and better for regulating blood pressure over time.

“Cucumbers, along with being a refreshing and energy-boosting snack for overweight dogs, can be a powerhouse against certain diseases due to their hydration capabilities. ” – World of Dogz

Being 96% water, they make a great, tasty summer treat that will help keep your pup well-hydrated during the warmer months.

Cucumbers sliced to add to the platter

Dates

German Shepherds can eat dates. They make a good snack as they are low in fat and are cholesterol-free. Dates contain vitamins A, C, and several 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 an excellent alternative to treats purchased from the store.

Caution:

Make sure you remove the pit before eating to prevent choking or blockages.

Dates with seeds

Kiwi Fruit

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 provide 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 an upset stomach 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.

Multiple Kiwis placed on the table with one of them cut into two halves

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!” – World of Dogz
  • If you decide to try your dog 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.

Given the potential risks, feeding dogs these fruits might not be the best choice!

A range of citrus fruits on a table

Mango

Yes, German Shepherds can absolutely indulge in mangoes. They make for an excellent treat that is rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and E.

  • Remember that mangoes have a high sugar content, so consider your dog’s dietary balance before feeding them this delectable fruit.
  • Additionally, the high fiber content may be novel to your dog, so it’s necessary to limit mango portions.
  • While the skin and flesh are relatively safe for your German Shepherd, note that the skin might be tough to digest.
  • The pit is particularly hazardous as it houses 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.

Mangoes are especially popular in the summer, serving as a refreshing and wholesome snack for your German Shepherd.

Focus on feeding your dog safe portions of fruit that are rich in essential factors like zinc and fatty acids.

Fresh Mangoes stacked on a table

Melon

German Shepherds can eat melon, such as cantaloupe and honeydew. Melon is an excellent source of vitamins, dietary fiber, potassium, and even zinc. Its high antioxidant qualities promote healthy cell function and reduce cancer and arthritis.

Melon is low in calories and high in water content and also provides a good amount of fatty acids. Small portions are nice and refreshing for your German Shepherd, especially on hot days, which helps keep him hydrated.

Melon does, however, have a high sugar content, so only feed in moderation. The seeds and rind must be avoided to prevent choking and digestive problems.

Melon cut into portions

Nectarines, Peaches, Plums, and Persimmons

German Shepherds can eat nectarines, peaches, plums, and persimmons. These stone fruits are a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and zinc, 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 pretty 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 while out on a long walk or during excessive play. They can also interfere with the absorption of zinc and other essential nutrients.

Do not feed the pit or seeds to avoid poisoning, choking, and possible digestive obstructions.

Peaches and Plums placed on a table

Olives

German Shepherds can eat olives, and one or two olives are perfect treats for your German Shepherd in controlled portions.

Olives contain many vitamins and minerals, including fatty acids, 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 some olives can be an excellent healthy snack for your dog.

  • You must remove the pits to prevent choking or blockages further down the digestive tract.
  • Olive pits also contain toxic compounds, and they could even crack your dog’s teeth, which could be very painful for your dog and expensive if you have to pay out dental costs.

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 considered vegetables in the culinary world.

Multiple olive types placed on a platter

Oranges and Mandarins (Tangerines, Clementines & Satsumas)

German Shepherds can eat oranges. They can also eat mandarins, such as tangerines, clementines, and satsumas. These citrus fruits are full of nutrients and fiber and contain 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. Your dog probably won’t quite like the acidic zing like other citrus fruits.

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 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.” – World of Dogz
Oranges cut into multiple pieces

Pears

German Shepherds can eat pears. They are high in potassium, vitamins A, C, K, and fiber, 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 lot 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.
Multiple pears with one of them sliced

Pineapple

German Shepherds can eat pineapple. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, 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 excellent if your dog needs a quick energy boost during a long walk, which my German Shepherd often does.

Frozen pineapple chunks make an excellent snack in the summer and help keep your dog hydrated. However, avoid canned pineapple as it contains lots of added sugar.

Pineapple pieces ready to feed

Raspberries

German Shepherds can eat raspberries. They 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, making them perfect for older dogs.

The only downside is that they contain a small amount of xylitol, 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.

Raspberries placed in a container

Strawberries

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, which may help slow the aging process and strengthen the immune system.

Strawberries can help weight management, especially if your dog is a little on the heavy side. They are refreshing in the hot summer months, and you can also give them frozen to help cool your German Shepherd down and keep him hydrated. They are an excellent fruit for dogs, and my GSD adores them.

Strawberries placed on a table

Watermelon

German Shepherds can eat watermelon. It contains vitamins A, B6, C, and potassium and helps maintain healthy muscle and nerve function. It contains 92% water, so it’s another excellent 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!

Caution: Remember to remove the seeds before giving watermelon to your German Shepherd and not feed the rind to prevent choking or intestinal blockage.

German Shepherd Eating Watermelon

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.

German Shepherd With a basket of Apples in the Garden
German Shepherd With a basket of Apples in the Garden

If you feed your dog well-balanced, healthy dog food, there is no 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!

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, Vet 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 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.” – AICR

Quantities & Warnings

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.

Every dog owner needs something quick and easy readily available in the home, and an occasional small piece of fruit will do the trick perfectly.

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 the fruit you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of their daily calories.” – World of Dogz

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, a dog’s digestive system is much more sensitive than a human’s!

Keep the portion size small. The same rule applies to other “people foods” that you may occasionally give to your dog.

To help you with this, here are some recommended portion sizes of fruits that your German Shepherd can eat. It 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:

FruitPortion SizeHazards To Avoid
Apple1-2 slices Seeds and Core
Apricot1 sliceLeaves, Stem, and Pit
Banana1-2 pieces (1-inch chunks) Peel
Blackberries2-3 berries
Blueberries2-3 berries
Coconut1 sliceShell
Cranberries1 dessert spoon
Cucumber3-5 slices
DatesHalf a datePit
Kiwi Fruit1 sliceSeeds and Skin
LemonA lick to try!Peel, Pith, and Seeds
LimeA lick to try! Peel, Pith, and Seeds
GrapefruitA lick to try! Peel, Pith, and Seeds
Mango1-2 slicesPeel and Pit
Melon1 slice (1-inch chunks) Seeds and Rind
Nectarine2-3 bite-sized piecesPit
Peach 2-3 bite-sized pieces Pit
Plum 2-3 bite-sized pieces Pit
Persimmons2-3 bite-sized piecesPit and Seeds
Olives1-2 olivesPit
Orange1 bite-sized segmentPeel, Pith, and Seeds
Tangerine1 bite-sized segment Peel, Pith, and Seeds
Clementine1 bite-sized segment Peel, Pith, and Seeds
Mandarine1 bite-sized segment Peel, Pith, and Seeds
Pear2-3 bite-sized pieces Seeds and Core
Pineapple2-3 bite-sized pieces Peel and Crown
Raspberries2-3 berries
StrawberriesHalf of a large berry
Watermelon1 sliceSeeds and Rind
Recommended fruit portion size for German Shepherds

Feeding Fruits To GSD: Guidelines

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 can 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 safe, 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 sugar and will upset your dog’s stomach. Fruit juice is also best avoided because of its high sugar content, and citrus juices like oranges will be highly acidic.

Toxic Fruits To Avoid

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 their dried variants, raisins, sultanas, and 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, 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.

Never leave your dog unsupervised where there is free access to fruit.

If you plan on sharing some fruit with your German Shepherd, don’t feed him anything you find on this list!

Avocado

Avocadoes sliced and placed on a table

German Shepherds should not eat avocados. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, 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. Nonetheless, 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!

Cherries

Cherries placed together

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 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 placed next to each other

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.

Star Fruit

Star Fruit (whole & sliced)

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.

Tomatoes (Green)

 Green Tomato raw

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 must take extra care if you grow tomato plants in your garden. Either fence them off from your dog or supervise him at all times.

FAQs

What are the benefits of feeding your dog fruit?

Feeding German Shepherds fruit can provide a variety of benefits. The most obvious benefit is that it can provide them with essential vitamins and minerals they may not get from their regular diet.

Fruits are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from free radicals and other toxins. Additionally, fruits are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help with digestion and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases.

How much fruit can German Shepherds eat per day?

The amount of fruit a German Shepherd can eat daily depends on a few factors, including age, size, and activity level. Generally speaking, adult German Shepherds should not consume more than 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. Puppies should not consume more than 1 piece of fruit per day.

How do I know if a fruit is safe for my German Shepherd to eat?

Look for commonly eaten fruits like apples, bananas, and berries, which provide nutrients. Avoid any fruits on poisonous lists or those causing stomach upsets.

How much fruit can I give to my German Shepherd in one serving?

For one serving of fruit, stick to 1-2% of your German Shepherd’s daily intake, about 1-2 teaspoons per 10 pounds. Cut fruits into small, bite-sized pieces so they aren’t gulped down fast. Monitor for diarrhea, which means it was too much.

How can I prevent my German Shepherd from eating toxic fruits?

To prevent toxic fruits, never leave any within reach unattended. Supervise during outdoor activities and clean up fallen fruit. Consider a “leave it” command to reject unfamiliar foods. Your best bet is to remove poisonous fruits from your home and environment.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.
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