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Pomeranian chewing on a pear

The essentials

  • Pears are full of health benefits — Pears contain vitamins such as C, A, and K and are rich in other nutrients.
  • Pears should be given in small amount — While they are a healthy treat, pears also have a high sugar content, so be mindful of how much you feed your dog.
  • Not every pear is suitable for eating — Make sure you wash any pear you intend to give to your dog and remove the seeds, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide.

Pears are a great way to add nourishment to your dog’s diet. Full of vitamin C, vitamin K, and other valuable nutrients, they can be a great addition to your pup’s treat intake. However, like all treats, pears need to be given in moderation. They have a high sugar content, increasing the risk for obesity, and they also have the potential to harm your dog if you feed them the wrong part of the pear.

Follow the proper guidelines, though, and keep a watchful eye out for stomach upset or allergic reactions, and you can feel just fine if your canine enjoys a pear or two.

How to safely feed your dog pears

It’s best to talk with your veterinarian before adding new foods to your dog’s diet, but pears are a healthy snack that nearly any vet will recommend.

Best fed in small quantities, a small piece of fresh pear is a great way to up the fruit consumption of your four-legged friend. It’s important that they are fresh pears, since canned pears are generally stored in a thick syrup that makes them unhealthy.

Ways to add pears to your dog’s diet

Use pears as a food topper — While dog food provides almost all of the nutrients your pup needs,  sometimes your dog might benefit from an extra treat. Put small pieces of ripe pears on top of their food, and your dog will thank you. Just be mindful that pears do not exceed more than 10% of their caloric intake.

Make pear yogurt — Some dog owners associate human food with being bad for their dogs to eat, but there are many foods you can share with them. One of them is yogurt. Add some extra flavor by adding fresh pear to plain, sugar-free, xylitol-free yogurt. However, be mindful that dogs become more lactose intolerant as they age, causing gas and stomach upset.

Mix with other dog-safe fruits — Nobody likes to see their dog suffering through the summer heat. Using pears and other dog-safe fruits, mash them up and freeze them to make popsicles your dog will absolutely love. Be sure to break up popsicles into small pieces, or use ice cube trays for big dogs, so that this won’t be a choking hazard.

Stuff a KONG toy — A great way to combine exercise with a delicious snack, putting pear slices in a toy makes for an entertaining show. Traditional pears or Asian pears can be used to make your pup work for a low-calorie snack.

How many pears can dogs eat? 

Dogs have a sensitive digestive tract, so introducing new food like pears can lead to an upset stomach. Generally, pears are a safe choice, but check with your vet if you have any questions about your dog’s health.

Small dogs. Breeds that average between 2-30 pounds, such as Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and Beagles, should be given small portions of pear. One slice of pear should do it, but make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces. Be careful that they are not a choking hazard.

Medium dogs. Even as the breed gets bigger, it is important that each slice of pear is still cut into bite size pieces. Two to three cut-up slices will be a good amount, but be careful to watch your dog for any serious weight gain. High in natural sugars, large amounts of pear can be unhealthy for them. Medium-sized breeds are best defined as weighing between 30-50 pounds, like border collies.

Large dogs. Even larger dogs that weigh 50+ pounds, like pit bulls, German shepherds, and labs, should only have a small handful of pieces. Feeding pears to dogs as an occasional treat gives them valuable antioxidants and plenty of fiber, but they are not a meal supplement. No matter how big your dog is, you should not give them a whole pear.

Puppies. Your puppy will likely love the sweet taste of pears, but you should not make it a treat that you give them on a regular basis. Pears are healthy but lack all the nutrients that puppies need while growing. It is important that they get most of their nutrition from their puppy food. Therefore, the right amount would be a couple of cut-up pieces.

Common dog pear allergies 

Dogs can have allergic reactions to many things in the world around them, but introducing new foods has the best chance of aggravating an unknown allergy or giving your dog an upset stomach. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms, it is best to take them to an emergency vet to get them checked out. Itching, inflammation, diarrhea, and vomiting are all signs of a possible allergic reaction. There might also be a case where your dog has accidentally eaten some of the toxic seeds.

The safest way to avoid allergies is by practicing caution when feeding your dog new fruits. Watch for reactions; if you see any, remove the fruit from their diet.

Alternatives to pears for treats 

Pears pack a lot of healthy benefits into one small, bite-size snack, but they are not the only healthy treat you can give your dog. Consider some of these other options if your dog has negative reactions or you simply want to add some variety.

Frequently asked questions

Can dogs eat pears with skin?

Yes, the skin is safe for your dog to eat, but wash it well to ensure no pesticides are still on it. Organic pears are the best for this.

Can dogs eat any type of pear?

All pears are safe for your dog to eat, though some, like Asian pears, are higher in sugar content than others.

What happens if my dog eats a pear?

In moderation, pears are a great choice as a healthy snack for your dog. Packed full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, it can benefit your dog. However, you should monitor them to make sure they don’t eat the cyanide-filled seeds.

Are there fruits my dog can’t eat?

Some toxic fruits, such as grapes and raisins, can harm your dog. Pears are a great alternative; they are non-toxic and offer many health benefits.

Will pears cause my dog to gain weight?

Pears are very high in natural sugars and can cause weight concerns if your dog eats too many of them. Canned pears could also cause problems due to the syrup that they are packaged in. However, in moderation, pears are a tasty snack that your pup can enjoy without gaining weight.