Apricots - they are delicious, tropical, and tasty fruits! Maybe they're one of your favorites, maybe you're not a fan - either way, what matters most about them is knowing if they're good or bad for your dog. So, can your dog safely eat an apricot?
The verdict is your dog can safely eat apricots - sort of.
Apricots are generally harmless for pups, but you definitely shouldn't let them eat any of the seeds! Apricot seeds (and other parts of the plant) contain trace amounts of cyanide, and cyanide can be super-harmful (or fatal) if eaten in large portions!
Apricots are a pretty good provider of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, however, as stated, the seeds, leaves, pit, and stem should not be eaten. In short, if your dog eats small amounts of the apricot fruit alone, all should be well. To be on the safe side, though, don't give the whole fruit to your pooch.
Signs Your Dog Might Have Apricot Poisoning
As we mentioned earlier, apricots in small amounts aren't harmful to your dog, but we definitely don't recommend tossing a whole apricot to your dog as a treat. It's possible your dog can be poisoned from eating parts of the apricot, so you'll want to keep an eye out for certain signs if they ever get into a whole bag of the yummy fruit.
Signs of toxicity can be noticed as early as 15 minutes after ingesting apricot, so you'll need to notice and react quickly. Your dog might have a hard time breathing if he's experiencing apricot poisoning. His pupils might dilate and he also may have bright red gums. Your dog could exhibit signs of fatigue, weakness, and lethargy - especially noticeable in high-energy dogs. Your dog can also suffer from shock in response to apricot poisoning, a very serious symptom that can lead to death!
Historic Causes of Apricot Poisoning
We know what you're thinking - historic causes of apricot poisoning? Isn't that just the dog eating too many apricots? Well, you're right. But it's not always because someone fed a dog too much of the fruit. Sure, you get the off chance that a person who isn't familiar with dogs is over-feeding their pup apricot, resulting in a fatal situation or making their dog really sick.
Sometimes though, dogs can get into things lying about the house without your control. This is one of the biggest causes of apricot poisoning in dogs - their curiosity gets the best of them, they go for an exploring trip, get into the apricots, and eat way too many.
That's why it's important to always know the symptoms that go with apricot poisoning - you may not always know what your dog ate, but if you know the signs to look for, you may just be able to save their life! If you keep apricots in the house, keep them out of reach from your dog so they can't over-indulge.
Science of Apricot Poisoning in Dogs
We understand that apricot poisoning can be sort of confusing - if the apricot fruit isn't poisonous, what part is? The bad part of the apricot is in the seed, stem, and the leaves. These are the highly poisonous parts for dogs because they contain cyanide. To understand better how cyanides are poisonous for your dog, it's better to first understand what cyanide is.
Cyanide is a salt or ester of hydrocyanic acids containing the anion CN- or the group - CN. In other words, they're the specific chemicals that are known to the cyano group. in the cyano group, each carbon atom possesses three chemical bonds to the nitrogen acid. In nature, cyanides come from specific types of algae, fungi, and bacteria and are even found in certain plants.
The reason plants have cyanide in them is to prevent animals from eating them - it's a fruit defense mechanism! The cyanide toxin inhibits cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme that's necessary for cellular oxygen transport, which prevents appropriate oxygen uptake by the cells. When your dog ingests toxic amounts of cyanide, they can die fairly quickly!
How to Train your Dog to Stay Away From Apricots
Training your dog to avoid eating things they shouldn't has a lot to do with their basic grasp on commands in general. Make sure your dog is well-acquainted with things like "don't," "no," and "drop it." These can be life-saving if you catch your dog chomping down on apricots. Additionally, you'll want to make sure that your dog isn't too afraid of the vet. Train them to be happy when going to the vet with lots of positive reinforcement, treats, love, and affection.
The treatment following apricot poisoning might include medicine, so make sure your dog is comfortable taking pills from your hand, eating it in their food, or is good with a throw-and-catch game for their medicine.
By a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 04/06/2020