When it comes to anything that looks and smells delicious, you probably already know how curious dogs are. Their nose is like a compass that leads them to the location of the delicious food. If apricots are a mainstay in your home, there’s a huge chance your dog will be interested in them.
The question is: is it okay to share apricots with your pooch? The short answer would be, it depends. The rest of this post will explain the conditions that would make apricots safe for your dog to eat!
Nutritional Benefits of Apricots
In their daily nutritional requirements, dogs don’t need a huge amount of carbohydrates. Having carbs through fruits, however, offers some health benefits. Some of the key nutrients found in apricots are listed below:
- Vitamin A: Boosts immunity, maintains eye health
- Vitamin C: Boosts immunity, helps maintain healthy skin and coat
- Potassium: Optimizes functions of organs, improves the health of muscles and nerves, prevents muscle pain and cramping
- Beta Carotene: Minimizes risks for cataracts
Apricots can also be used as an enhancer of appetite. You can mix apricot flesh with the usual kibble of your pooch, or you can use it to get them to drink their medicine. This is particularly useful if the medicines are in the form of capsules or tablets.
Since the taste of apricots is usually palatable, it’s an excellent means of getting your dog to eat more — but only if he needs to!
Apricot Toxicity in Canines
Apricots once belonged to the list of poisonous human foods for dogs. That’s because its leaves, pits, seeds, and stems contain cyanide. This substance is highly toxic to canines.
When cyanide enters the bloodstream, the enzymes that help cells distribute oxygen throughout the body of your pet will be inhibited. As a result, your dog will become very sick, and it can lead to death if not treated immediately.
Your dog will not be able to tell what parts of the apricot are edible or not without training. If apricots lie around just where your dog usually stays, it’ll probably swallow it up like the excited pup he’s.
Hence, it’s either you keep the apricots far away from your dog’s reach, or you train him never to touch the apricots unless you’ve already peeled it.
Training Your Pooch to Leave Apricots Alone
It’s not that easy to teach your pooch to avoid certain items while allowing him to munch on other stuff. To solve this, rules and clear boundaries must be set.
You can begin by training your dog to eat only the things that come from you and leave those that lie around. It usually takes a lot of patience because dogs need to build that self-control in order to resist the delicious things that are before them.
The great thing about this is that, once your dog learns how to leave apricots alone, it will be easier for you to make him avoid other harmful stuff.
In order to achieve consistency, the other members of your household must also be on board. Otherwise, it may be difficult for your pooch to learn that treats should it only come from you — at least during the training phase.
Another thing to take note of is to teach your dog to keep out of the areas where the apricots are — or where most of your food are, in general. This minimizes the chances that your dog will eat something that it shouldn’t.
Crate training should also solve your concerns, which when you’re away can be really helpful. That way, at certain times of the day, your dog gets used to the crate. Two things are achieved:
- Your dog won’t be able to devour things mindlessly.
- Your dog will learn how to soothe himself in your absence.
Symptoms of Apricot Poisoning
Of course, even if you manage to take all the preventive measures you can think of, there will still be moments when accidents happen. Signs that your dog may have ingested the toxic parts of apricot are listed below:
- Bloody stools
- Breathing difficulties or raspy breaths
- Bright red gums
- Dilated pupils
- Heavy panting
- Fatigue and lethargy (especially obvious if your dog is high-energy)
- Shock, seizures, or spasms
- Sweaty paws
- Urinary incontinence (urinating even when they don’t want or need to)
- Watery eyes
The signs will be obvious around 15 minutes after exposure to cyanide. This will be a crucial time and you’ll need to act calmly but urgently.
What Should You Do in Case of Apricot Poisoning?
Although it may not be that dangerous to ingest a small amount of cyanide-infused parts, it is still advisable to contact your vet ASAP so that you know exactly what to do. Some apricot parts may block their digestive tract, depending on the size of your pet.
If you’re afraid he’s eaten a lot, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet right away. Your vet will be able to flush the cyanide out of the system of your pooch. In any case, you must prepare your pooch for the upcoming detox and possible shots.
As for your mental preparation, your vet will usually ask questions about the following:
- The onset of the symptoms as mentioned earlier
- Amount of apricot you think your dog ate
- The approximate timeframe when the apricot was eaten
They will ask other questions that can help them get to a proper diagnosis. Therefore, it’s important to remember as many details as possible about what’s gone down. Depending on how severe the condition of your pet is, tests such as urinalysis or blood work may be needed to be performed by your vet to ensure the accuracy of their diagnosis.
Your veterinarian will need to act quickly as soon as they notice life-threatening symptoms such as tremors, convulsions, and difficulty breathing. Otherwise, it may cost your pet’s life not to act in a timely manner.
No matter what happens, you must keep calm and show support for your pet, as this might be a tough endeavor for him if the apricot poisoning is quite serious.
Should I Worry If My Dog Eats Apricot?
There are generally no problems with apricots for dogs as long as they only eat the flesh. Since it is filled with beneficial nutrients, they can be treated well by an occasional apricot treat.
Additionally, apricot seems to have the kind of sweetness that dogs love. Try giving a little piece of apricot flesh and see if it suits their taste.
Make sure your dog can only eat apricot under your supervision, however. As mentioned earlier, unless you permit them to eat it, it is worth the effort to ignore apricots. This greatly reduces its chances of eating the cyanide parts.
How About Dried Apricots?
Without any problems, dogs can eat dried apricots. Because dried apricots are harder than fresh ones, it can be a good snack for pets who love chewing and nibbling on things. You can even use it as a treat for training. If your dog loves those, it can also be a good alternative to jerky-type treats.
Some dogs don’t even bother chewing on their treats, though. They just go straight to swallow it without trying to find out how it tastes. If your dog is like this, you have to watch out because they can get stuck in their digestive tract with these food particles.
When this happens, the dog will usually have a stomach upset. In this case, a trip to the vet may be needed to clear the blockage carefully.
If you’re ever going to feed your dog with dried apricots, it’s best to cut them into smaller pieces. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about stuck apricots in your dog’s system. If he’s an avid chewer, however, you can leave the dried apricot in his normal size and let your pooch chew away as he likes!
After a meal, you may give your dog some apricot flesh. It should be fine to have a few small pieces. Remember not to overfeed your dog because too many apricots can cause diarrhea and stomach upset.
Apricots also have sugar content, so it’s best to limit its consumption to a few times per week, and with only small servings.
If you go for fresh apricots, thoroughly wash the meat before cutting it into smaller, more digestible pieces. Get rid of the toxic parts in a safe place and make sure your dog can’t find it no matter what. You don’t want him to be curious and sniff it out of its place of hiding. And you certainly don’t want to be caught off guard when he eats something that should have been inaccessible to him.
As for dried apricots, small parts of the pit may be left over during the production process. Go over the piece thoroughly before giving it to your pooch.
Like any new food, introducing apricot to your dog’s diet gradually is important. You can try to start with only two small pieces. Then you can raise the limit to five small pieces per day when there are no adverse reactions.
In any case, ask your veterinarian for recommended amounts of apricot servings. Also, don’t forget to brush your dog’s teeth afterwards as you don’t want to leave a lot of sugar residue in his mouth.
Avoiding Cyanide Poisoning from Apricots
The best way to deal with apricot poisoning is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Following a few key steps, making sure your pooch is safe from cyanide poisoning goes a long way.
In summary, here’s how you can keep your pet from being poisoned by apricot cyanide:
- Make all apricots at home inaccessible to your dog.
- Train your dog to stay away from areas where you store your food.
- Train your dog to only get treats from you (for now).
- Train your dog with the crate. This will reduce the likelihood of any unfavorable accidents if you are not there to monitor.
- Create a first-response plan with your veterinarian just in case an apricot poisoning happens.
Apricot for Dogs FAQs
Can dogs have apricot nectar?
Feeding your dogs, ready-made apricot nectars sold on the market are not safe. Because it is made for human consumption, to produce a sweeter taste, it has added sugars.
However, if you make it yourself, you can give your dog apricot juice. That way, you know exactly what’s in it. You can either go for plain juice, or if it’s hot outside, you can make him an apricot smoothie.
Can dogs have canned apricot?
Canned apricot doesn’t only have added sugars; it also contains salt and spices. These ingredients are not safe for dogs, particularly if the quantity is tailored to people.
Can dogs have apricot yogurt?
Most flavored yogurts may have ingredients that are unsuitable for dogs. They also have added sugars to make the fruity flavor stand out.
If you want to give your dog yogurt, go instead for the plain yogurt. You can make a yogurt apricot smoothie for your pooch together with the fresh apricot.
Can dogs have apricot jam?
Jams from apricot sound like they really taste good. And while the nose of your dog may agree, it’s better to withhold fruit jams from your dog of any kind. That’s because it’s full of sugar as well.
Can dogs have apricot jelly?
Like jams, jellies also have high sugar content. Keep these food items away from your dog to ensure that he won’t be tempted to eat them.
Conclusion: Only the Apricot Flesh is Safe!
Dogs love eating fruit during snacks time, especially when it’s as delicious as apricots. If your dog seems to like to sniff the apricots lying around at home, you might want to give him some apricot flesh. Only the flesh is safe for canine consumption.
Remember, apricots should only be accessible to your dog if they are peeled or dried. Otherwise, the mistake of eating the poisonous parts (pits, stems, seeds, leaves) may be made. Contact your veterinarian immediately in case of apricot poisoning.