Fruits can be a great addition to your Labrador’s diet. I love to feed my dog fruits such as apples or strawberries. They make a great treat, especially if your treat drawer is empty! You can also add fruits to your dog’s meals to complement their diet. But what fruits are safe for your Labrador to eat?
Labradors can safely eat a wide variety of fruits, such as apples, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, melons, peaches, pears, nectarines, and blueberries. Labs can’t eat pits or the seeds of most fruits, so avoid these, and some fruits are poisonous, such as grapes and avocados.
This article will list 29 perfectly safe fruits that your Labrador can eat. We will also look at
- Benefits of feeding your Labrador fruit.
- How to feed fruit to your Lab.
- Recommended portion sizes.
Although good quality dog food is maximized for a dog’s needs, adding fruits is a delicious ideal supplement to a healthy diet.
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Some fruits make better choices than others, and I’ll tell you my dog’s favorite five at the end of the post. In contrast, some fruits are toxic to dogs, so I also mention these. Let’s get started!
- What Fruits Can Labradors Eat?
- Kiwi Fruit
- Lemon, Lime, & Grapefruit
- Nectarines, Peaches & Plums
- Oranges & Mandarines (Tangerine, Clementine & Satsuma)
- Should Labradors Eat Fruit?
- How to Feed Fruit to Your Labrador
- How Much Fruit Can a Labrador Eat?
- What Fruits are Toxic to Labradors?
- Final Thoughts
What Fruits Can Labradors Eat?
Check out the below table for a quick guide to what fruits your Labrador can eat.
|Fruit||Can Eat||Can’t Eat|
|Grapes & Raisins||✘|
Labradors can eat apples. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, phosphorus, and fiber. The vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy bones and tissue. They also help to keep teeth clean and freshen their breath. Your Lab will enjoy the sweet taste and the crunchy texture of apples.
Cut the apple into small pieces or slices, and don’t feed the cores as they can cause an intestinal obstruction. Remove the seeds as they contain a compound called amygdalin, and this gets broken down into toxic cyanide by food enzymes. However, your Labrador would have to eat many apple seeds to be poisoned.
To give you an idea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person weighing 70kg would have to eat around 40 apple cores to receive a fatal dose, so a Labrador Retriever weighing 35kg would have to eat 20!
Labradors can eat apricots. They are rich in vitamins A and C and contain potassium, copper, and beta-carotene, which can help fight against cancer.
It is perfectly safe to feed your Labrador the fleshy fruit; however, don’t give the pit, leaves, or stem. When chewed and digested, these parts produce cyanide and can be harmful if consumed substantially.
Again, it will require many pits to cause poisoning, and the exact number will depend on the dog’s size and whether your dog chews the pits to release the chemical.
Your Labrador can enjoy a few small bites now and again. However, don’t overdo it, as apricots are high in fiber, and too much fiber can lead to a tummy upset.
Labradors can eat bananas. They are high in potassium which can support kidney and heart function. They are also high in vitamins B6 and C, biotin, fiber, magnesium, and copper.
They do, however, contain a lot of sugar as they are a high carbohydrate food, so only feed them sparingly. Do not feed the peel as it may be too tough to digest.
I like to give my dog a couple of small banana pieces when we hike, giving her a quick energy boost. Bananas can also be served mashed or frozen and then sliced.
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Labradors can eat blackberries. They contain many valuable antioxidants that can prevent or slow down damage to cells and are loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K and fiber. As they are lower in sugar than other fruits, they make an excellent choice for your Lab.
I love blackberry picking in the summer, and these sweet juicy fruits are great to share with your Labrador.
Frozen blackberries can also be a welcome treat in the warm weather to help cool your dog down. However, some dogs may not like their taste, yet others will enjoy them.
Labradors can eat blueberries. They are incredibly healthy and nutritious and are an excellent snack for dogs. Blueberries are a superfood due to their antioxidant properties that help prevent cell damage and cancer and reduce inflammation. They are a great source of vitamins C and K and fiber.
They are also low in calories and lower in sugar than many other fruits making them kinder to your Lab’s teeth.
Additionally, they contain phytochemicals. Scientists believe these compounds can help to fight cancer and heart disease.
Watch This Video To Learn 7 Best Fruits For Your Dog…
Labradors can eat coconut. It is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system. It helps prevent viruses, reduces inflammation, and can even help to treat yeast infection.
Coconut oil is also great for your Labrador’s skin and coat. The natural oils lead to shinier fur and less dry skin. If your dog enjoys the taste of the flesh, there’s no harm in giving him a couple of small pieces. Make sure to remove the outer shell and husk, as these can be harmful if swallowed.
Also, coconut doesn’t contain many proteins that people with tree nut allergies are sensitive to, so a coconut allergy is quite rare.
Labradors can eat cranberries. They are a superfood containing vitamins C, E, K, manganese, and fiber. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and this study showed that antioxidant capacity was significantly increased in animal organs after being given cranberry juice.
These little fruits help keep cancer at bay and boost the immune system. They have antibacterial properties to help to prevent and control urinary tract infections, as evidenced in this study.
However, your Lab might not like their tart taste, so you may need to mix them into your dog’s food to incorporate them into their diet. They can be given raw, cooked, or dried but avoid cranberry juice containing sugar.
Labradors can eat cucumbers. They contain calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin and are loaded with vitamins B1, C, and K. Their benefits include improving joints and connective tissue and strengthening bones. They can also help to freshen your doggie’s breath.
Although you are more likely to find cucumbers in the vegetable aisle in the grocery store, they are technically a fruit. Hence, it’s included here. It doesn’t matter, though, as they have a lot of nutritional value, and they are healthy for your Lab to eat.
As they contain around 96% water, they make a great tasty treat in warm weather and will help to keep your Lab hydrated. They are also ideal for overweight dogs as they are low in calories and boost energy.
Labradors can eat dates. They are packed with many nutrients and provide several health benefits. Dates contain fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamins A, B, and C, and disease-fighting antioxidants. They are low in fat, cholesterol-free, and healthy for your Lab’s heart, eyes, and immune system.
Despite the confusion, dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, and they are usually sold dried. The confusion lies in their similar appearance to raisins (dried grapes), which are poisonous to dogs.
They are, however, high in sugar, so you will need to consider this when feeding to avoid a stomach upset, but they can be good if your Lab needs a quick energy boost during lots of exercise or play. Make sure you remove the pit before feeding to avoid choking or buy ones with the pits already removed!
Labradors can eat kiwi fruit. They are a sweet fruit loaded with vitamin C, potassium, iron, and fiber, providing vast nutritional benefits. Their antioxidants help to protect against cancer and strengthen the immune system. They’re also suitable for the digestive system.
Although the flesh is also safe, it’s hard for your dog to digest. It contains a high amount of insoluble fiber, which can cause a stomach upset. Never feed kiwi fruit whole, but cut it into slices.
Lemon, Lime, & Grapefruit
Although the flesh of lemon, lime, and grapefruit is not toxic for Labradors to eat, they are not recommended due to their high amounts of citric acid. Too many of these fruits can cause a stomach upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. They also provide little or no nutritional benefit for your Labrador.
Remember, too, that the digestive system of your Labrador is much more sensitive than humans!
Additionally, most dogs will not like the strong smell of these citrus fruits and won’t even lick them; never mind eat them! If your Labrador does brave it and snaffles a piece, make sure you have removed the peel first.
Also, do not feed the pith (the white parts) or seeds, as all of these parts contain compounds called psoralens. These are toxic to dogs, especially if a large enough quantity is consumed. There are far better choices to choose from.
Labradors can eat mango. Slices of mango make a sweet, nutritious treat that contains vitamins A, B6, C, and E. They are also full of fiber. But they do have a lot of sugar, so feed them sparingly, as too much mango can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
You should remove the skin as your Lab will find it difficult to digest. The hard pit is a choking hazard, so make sure this is also removed. If the stone is accidentally swallowed, it can cause a severe blockage of your dog’s digestive system. Serve by cutting it into bite-sized chunks, and you can also feed it frozen.
Labradors can eat melon, and it’s an excellent source of vitamins, dietary fiber, niacin, folate, and potassium. Its high antioxidant properties are good for promoting healthy cell function and reducing the risk of cancer and arthritis.
Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are low in calories and high in water content. Small pieces are tasty and refreshing for your Labrador, especially on hot days.
Melon does, however, have high sugar content, so only feed in moderation. You shouldn’t feed the seeds and rind as they are not easily digestible. My dog loves a chunk of melon, especially in the summer.
Nectarines, Peaches & Plums
Labradors can eat nectarines, peaches, and plums. They are good sources of beta-carotene that the body converts to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones. The fleshy parts are okay for your Lab to eat but avoid the stone to prevent poisoning, choking, or GI blockage.
These stone fruits also contain lots of fiber for healthy digestion and potassium – good for heart and kidney disorders. They are also full of antioxidants to ward off cancer and boost overall health and the immune system.
These fruits are pretty sugary, so you must consider that if you wish to feed them to your Lab.
Labradors can eat olives. They are perfectly safe for dogs to eat. Nutritionally, they contain many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good fats. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, which is good for your Labrador’s eyes and immune system.
A couple of plain, unsalted olives can be a healthy snack for your Lab. But here is the caveat. You will need to remove the pits to prevent choking, blockages, or cracked teeth! Dental costs are expensive – and the pits contain toxic compounds. However, your Labrador would have to ingest many of these to suffer severe poisoning.
Oranges & Mandarines (Tangerine, Clementine & Satsuma)
Labradors can eat oranges and mandarins. They are loaded with vitamin C, which can benefit your dog’s immune system and flush out toxins. They also contain fiber and potassium.
But there are some warnings. Like other citrus fruits, your Labrador may not like the acidic zing of oranges! However, if you find you have a citrus-loving pooch, only give a tiny amount due to their high sugar content and tartness. Too much sugar and citric acid can cause an upset stomach.
You must only feed the flesh part of the orange as the leathery peel is hard for your Lab to digest. Also, the seeds and the white pith contain toxic compounds, so avoid these. My dog turns her head away after the slightest sniff. She certainly doesn’t like oranges.
Labradors can eat pears. They are high in potassium, vitamins A, C, and K, and are loaded with fiber. Vitamin K is known for increasing bone density. Pears are believed to reduce the risk of strokes and have anti-cancer properties due to their antioxidants.
Pears contain a high amount of sugar so feed sparingly, especially if your Labrador needs to lose a few pounds. However, a few slices can be a healthy and nutritious treat throughout the week. Like apples, the core and seeds will need to be removed first.
Labradors can eat persimmons. They include a large amount of vitamins A and C. They also contain many other nutrients, such as antioxidants, fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, and beta-carotene.
The benefits of persimmons are that they can improve overall health and help to combat cancer. They can also reduce inflammation and help with constipation due to their high amount of fiber. Beta-carotene produces vitamin A in the body, and this is good for your Labrador’s eyesight.
It’s okay to give your Lab a small taste of persimmon once or twice a week, and it makes a nice sweet treat. Take precautions with the seeds, as these can trigger a stomach upset, so you need to remove them before feeding.
Labradors can eat pineapple, which can make a healthy treat as it’s full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are good for your dog’s digestion and immune system. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that provides anti-inflammatory properties.
If you wish to try your dog with a small piece, remove the prickly peel and crown first. Pineapple is also quite sugary, so only feed sparingly unless your Lab has quite a taste for this fruit and needs a quick energy boost during a long walk!
Frozen chunks of pineapple make an excellent snack in the summer and will help to keep your Lab hydrated. Avoid canned pineapple as it contains lots of added sugar.
Raspberries are excellent for Labradors to eat as they are low in sugar and calories and contain lots of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
They have anti-inflammatory properties that can help the joints and are perfect for senior dogs or those with mobility issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
Raspberries contain a tiny amount of xylitol. This natural sweetener can cause death due to its toxicity if consumed in large amounts. However, don’t be put off by this, as your Labrador would have to eat an awful lot.
To put this into context, a 10kg dog would have to eat at least 32 cups of raspberries to prove fatal. As the average adult Labrador weighs three times this amount, that’s a hell of a lot of raspberries!
My dog loves raspberries, and she enjoys them frozen when the weather is warm.
Labradors can eat strawberries. They are full of fiber, vitamins C, B1, B6, and K, folic acid, potassium, iodine, and magnesium. They are also a good source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, which keeps your Lab’s skin healthy and its coat shiny.
Strawberries are high in antioxidants. They can help slow down the aging process, strengthen the immune system, and help with weight management. Despite their sweetness, they are surprisingly low in sugar and calories.
They also contain malic acid (along with apples) that can help keep your dog’s teeth nice and white as it’s a natural enamel whitener.
Strawberries are a delicious fruit to eat. My dog adores them all year round.
Labradors can eat watermelon as they are full of vitamins A, B6, and C and fiber to aid digestion. They also contain potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Watermelon contains 92% water, so it’s another excellent way to help keep your dog hydrated during warm spells. Everyone loves a nice refreshing piece of watermelon in the hot weather, including my dog. Serve by cutting it into cubes.
All the fiddly seeds should be removed – and don’t feed the rind.
Should Labradors Eat Fruit?
Almost everything we eat plays a part in keeping us functioning like a well-oiled machine. But what about our pets? We’ve just discovered that dogs can eat fruit, but should they?
Labradors can eat fruit. They provide additional nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Fruit can be a big health boost for your dog and help reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases, including cancer.
Fruit helps to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve skin, hair, and eyesight, and help with digestion.
Fruits are low in calories and fat and make an excellent choice if your Labrador struggles with obesity and needs to lose weight. As pet treats can be high in calories, fruits can provide a healthier alternative.
Labradors can eat fruit as dogs have adapted to an omnivorous diet through the domestication process. Dogs also have molars used to grind and crush plant matter, such as fruits and vegetables. Although most good quality dog food is maximized for most dogs’ needs, adding fruits is a healthy complement to their diet.
The diagram below shows how domestication has influenced “omnivorous” dog characteristics (highlighted in white boxes). It reflects the traditional feast-or-famine lifestyle of the wolf, the dog’s carnivorous ancestor. In other words, Labs can eat both animal and plant foods and remain perfectly healthy.
To discover more about exactly what your Lab can and can’t eat, check out this article; Best Diet for Labradors. It has loads of info on nutrition, types of diet, how much to feed, etc.
How to Feed Fruit to Your Labrador
Here are some guidelines on how to feed fruit to your Labrador:
- Introduce fruit slowly to avoid any tummy troubles!
- Wash the fruit first to eliminate any dirt, bacteria, or remaining pesticides.
- Remove any pits, seeds, or rind. These hazards include poisoning, choking, gastrointestinal blockage, stomach upset, or cracked teeth!
- Offer small bite-sized pieces or slices to prevent choking.
- Fruits can be mashed or pureed.
- Frozen fruits are excellent in the summer and help to keep your dog cool.
- Be wary of canned fruit as many contain sugary syrup.
- Avoid fruit juice due to its high sugar content and acidity.
How Much Fruit Can a Labrador Eat?
You should only feed fruits to your Labrador in moderation. As a general guideline, treats that you give your dog should not add up to more than 10% of their total calories for the day. The other 90% should come from dog food that’s healthy and well-balanced.
It’s best to feed fruit to your Labrador like you would any other snack and keep the portion size small.
Recommended Portion Sizes
Below are the recommended fruit portion sizes when feeding your Lab. It’s only a rough guide as exact portions will depend on your dog’s size, activity level, health, and age.
I’ve also included the hazards to avoid for each fruit.
|Apple||1-2 slices||Seeds & Core|
|Apricot||1 slice||Leaves, stem & pit|
|Banana||2-3 pieces (1-inch chunks)||Peel|
|Coconut||1 slice||Shell & husk|
|Cranberries||1 dessert spoon|
|Dates||Half a date||Pit|
|Kiwi Fruit||1 slice||Skin|
|Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit||A lick to try!||Peel, pith & seeds|
|Mango||1-2 slices||Peel & pit|
|Melon||1 slice (1-inch chunks)||Seeds & rind|
|Nectarine, Peach & Plum||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit|
|Oranges & Mandarines (Tangerine, Clementine & Satsuma)||1 bite-sized segment||Peel, pith & seeds|
|Pear||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Seeds & core|
|Persimmon||2-3 bite-sized pieces||Pit & seeds|
|Pineapple||1-2 bite-sized pieces||Peel & crown|
|Strawberries||Half of a large berry sliced|
|Watermelon||1 slice (1-inch chunks)||Seeds & rind|
What Fruits are Toxic to Labradors?
While many “people” foods that you find in and around your home are perfectly safe for Labradors, some are quite dangerous, so it’s vital to learn which fruits dogs can’t eat. But first, here are a couple of tips:
Pro Tip! Take care if you grow fruit at home, as once it has fallen from the tree and starts to decompose on the ground, it produces ethanol (alcohol). This is an additional toxin to dogs, so they must never be left unsupervised where they have free access to fruit.
Pro Tip! To find out what other foods are toxic to dogs, check out this article, Foods Poisonous to Labradors: Including Hidden Dangers!
Labradors should not eat avocados. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain person, a toxin that can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Many animals and birds are susceptible to avocado poisoning and although dogs are less prone, serious cases result in a heart attack.
Although there is no evidence that the pulp contains persin, its high-fat content can cause your dog to suffer from pancreatitis, especially if he is sensitive. If you are a lover of Mexican food like me, keep your Lab away from guacamole!
You must exercise caution if you decide to give your Labrador cherries. Even though the flesh of the cherry is safe, it can cause an upset stomach if eaten in large quantities.
The main danger is that the cherry pit, stem, and leaves all contain toxic cyanide, although your dog would have to eat a large amount to be poisoned. The pit is also a danger and can cause choking. For these reasons, I don’t recommend feeding your Lab cherries.
Grapes & Raisins
Grapes, raisins, and other dried variants are highly toxic to Labradors.
Scientists have still not identified the exact toxin but it’s known that even a small amount can cause acute kidney failure and subsequent death. If your dog accidentally eats grapes contact your veterinarian urgently as treatment is critical.
Foods containing grapes are all sources of poison so keep your Lab away from products such as baked goods, trail mix, granola, and raisin bran cereal.
Star fruit is an exotic fruit that is extremely toxic to Labradors if ingested in large amounts, as it can lead to acute kidney failure.
Similar to rhubarb leaves, it contains soluble 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 in calcium which can lead to acute renal failure.
The exact amount of star fruit that can poison your Labrador is unknown. Although smaller breeds are more at risk, keep star fruit away from your dog and ensure he never gets into the garbage!
Tomatoes are technically a fruit, so we’ll discuss them here!
Although the ripened red fruit of the tomato is generally considered safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant, and the unripened tomato, are toxic.
Green tomatoes contain a substance called solanine. Although your Lab would need to ingest a large amount, solanine poisoning can cause respiratory problems, weakness, tremors, and severe stomach upset, although a large amount would have to be ingested.
Vets successfully treated this lucky 10-week-old Labrador puppy who had eaten a nightshade plant species containing solanine.
We all love to reward our dogs with treats and experiment with new ones, and fruits make a great option. I did promise to tell you about my dog’s 5 favorites, and these are apples, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and melons.
Here are a few takeaways from the article:
- There are many fruits you can safely feed your Lab. Some make better choices than others.
- Know the fruits that are toxic to dogs and don’t allow your Lab access to fallen fruit if you grow your own trees.
- Experiment by feeding slowly and sparingly.
- Dogs can digest fruits as they are omnivores.
- Consult your vet before feeding, especially if your dog has a health condition, allergy, or food intolerance.
Also, consult your veterinary professional if you have any concerns about any aspect of your Lab’s dietary health. I also think it’s essential to monitor your dog’s weight and I like to take my dog to the vet now and again for a check-up.
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