Are Pears Good for Dogs?


In a world of obese and overweight pets, fresh fruits and vegetables can be a great alternative to more calorie-dense dog treats. But can dogs eat pears?

There are always sneaky differences between food that’s healthy for pet parents but dangerous to dogs. (Grapes and raisins; chocolate; and macadamia nuts, for example, are all bad news.) But pears are OK for dogs, just avoid letting them eat the core and only let them have a small taste.

Here’s what else a pair of veterinarians says about the big, juicy pear.

Can Dogs Have Pears?

Dogs can have pears. If your dog eats them correctly, they’re mostly harmless.

“Pears are fine,” says Renee Schmid, DVM, DABVT, DABT, a veterinarian toxicologist who works with Pet Poison Helpline.

You can probably guess the biggest problem with a pear: the core. The inside of a pear doesn’t have a big, hard pit like an avocado, but it does have a harder, more fibrous center where the seeds sit. Don’t feed that to your dog.

“That core can cause a foreign body obstruction; an intestinal obstruction, if it’s swallowed whole,” Schmid warns.

Outside the pit, your dog can enjoy the grocery-store staple Bartlett pear as well as varieties of Korean or Asian pears. Like other dog-safe human foods, there are no toxicity or poisoning concerns with this particular fruit.

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Are Pears Good for Dogs?

Pears aren’t usually bad for dogs, but they’re not exactly great for them, either. While they aren’t toxic to dogs, they’re not necessarily a vital part of a dog’s balanced diet, says board-certified veterinary nutritionist Lisa Weeth, DVM, DACVN, with Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital in Los Angeles.

“There’s just no real nutritional benefit to feeding pears as treats, other than it’s a fun way to share a snack with your pup,” Weeth tells Daily Paws.

Pears are, of course, delicious because they include sugar, so Weeth also recommends you steer clear of pears if your dog has diabetes. Check with your veterinarian if you’re ever concerned about how underlying medical conditions might guide your pet’s diet and treat choices.

Always give your veterinarian or a poison hotline a ring if you think your pet has eaten something sketchy or is exhibiting signs of poisoning.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Pears?

Canned pears, in syrup or water, are nontoxic to dogs. But sugary syrup may add calories a dog doesn’t need and can give your dog a case of gastrointestinal upset. Steer your dog toward the fresh pears, but don’t panic about giving your dog a slice or two of canned pear.

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How to Safely Feed Your Dog Pears

Pears on the menu? Be sure to prepare and share them safely with your favorite pooch per Schmid and Weeth’s recommendations. First, get the core outta there.

“The core of larger pears will be more of an obstruction risk than the smaller ones,” Schmid says. “And depending on how ripe the pear is, the core may be more soft and easily broken down compared to less-ripe pears.”

For the lowest chance of an upset tummy, remove the skin, stem, and core with seeds before cutting the pear into small morsels. That helps avoid the choking that can happen if your dogs inhale delicious snacks that are too large for their throat.

And with pears, you don’t have to overthink it. If the food is nontoxic and it doesn’t present a challenge to your dog’s specific health condition—like high-fat foods for dogs with pancreatitis—then your dog should be OK to eat it, Weeth says.

Weeth and many other veterinarians recommend pears and any other treats make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories.

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