Can Dogs Have Dried Apricots?

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Introduction

When it comes to feeding fruits to your dog, there's always a lot of misconception and misinformation. While there are plenty of fruits that are toxic to your dogs, there are a few safe ones to feed your pup, and fortunately, dried apricots are part of this group - if done correctly. 

While we certainly recommend getting dried apricots cleared with your dog-tor before feeding them to your dog, a few dried apricots every few days shouldn't pose a real problem for your pup. Apricots become an issue for your dog when your pup ingests the stems, leaves, or pits, which are known to contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is incredibly toxic for dogs. 

Dried apricots, though, typically are de-stemmed, de-pitted, and do not contain leaves, making them a safe, occasional treat for your pooch. Want to know how to avoid apricot toxicity for your dog? Do you want to be familiar with the signs of apricot poisoning so you can be aware of your dog's well-being? We've got the all the apricot-information you'd ever need below. Read on!

Signs Your Dog has had Too Much Apricot

Fruit, especially dried fruit, can offer your dog a few benefits when fed to them occasionally (and with your vet's permission). In general, your pup can glean vitamins, minerals, fibers, and energy from the occasional dried apricot, however, there's always risk associated with feeding your pup this treat. 

As we said above, the issue with apricot is the stems, leaves, and pits. While this shouldn't be an issue with dried apricots, it's always possible that your dog gets his or her paws on a trace amount of the cyanide from these parts of the apricot. 

So, how can you tell if your dog is having an adverse reaction to dried apricots? Check for signs of difficult breathing, dilated pupils, and discolored gums. These are all tell-tale signs of cyanide poisoning. Additionally, your pup could experience things like panting, lethargy, fatigue, extreme weakness, shock, and in extreme cases, sudden death.

Body Language

You dog might be experience cyanide poisoning from the apricots you've fed them if they're showing signs like:
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Dropped Ears
  • Tail tucking
  • Pupils dilated
  • Nose wrinkled
  • Whale eye
  • Sleepiness

Other Signs

Here are a few other signs to look out for:
  • Bright red gums
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden death
  • Collapse
  • Lethargy
  • Shock

Cases of Apricot Toxicity

Historically, apricots are some of the most common toxic human foods for pups. The cyanide in the apricot pit, stem, and leaves inhibits the enzyme in dogs that allows cells to transport oxygen through their body, making your dog incredibly ill, or potentially killing your pup. This has been a well-documented issue in veterinary journals, studies, and experiments. 

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, acute cyanide poisoning, the kind of poisoning that your dog could get from ingesting apricot leaves, pits, seeds, and kernels typically occur quickly, as soon as 15-20 minutes post ingestion. Typically, your dog will display signs of excitement initially, followed by dyspnea, tachycardia, bitter breath, and stagger struggles before they collapse if left untreated.

The Science of Apricots and Dogs

The issue with apricots doesn't lie within the actual fruit itself, rather, the accessory parts of the fruit are what contains anger. The seeds, leaves, pits, and stems of apricots are all toxic for your dog because they contain trace amounts of cyanide, which is highly toxic for your dog.

While apricots themselves are rich in vitamins and nutrients, the other parts of the apricot are incredibly toxic, and as dogs aren't able to determine which parts of the apricot they can eat, it's likely that feeding them an apricot that contains seeds, pits, or stems will result in apricot toxicity. Signs of apricot toxicity typically occur fairly quickly, in some cases showing up in just 15 minutes post-ingestion. 

Training Your Dog to Avoid Apricots

It's almost impossible to train your dog to avoid certain types of human food while allowing them to eat other kinds of food, so it's important that you give your dog overall rules about when and what he or she can eat. Train your dog to only accept treats from you and to only eat things you lay down for mealtime. Ensure that your house guests, friends, and family, are on board with this rule, as consistency is going to be key. 

That being said, it's important that you train your dog that begging is never acceptable. If your dog thinks begging is okay, it's likely someone will eventually slip up and feed your dog something they shouldn't, which could be incredibly detrimental to your doggo. 

It's also important that you train your dog to stay out of the area where you keep your food - that includes your kitchen, your pantry, your dining room, and possibly your living room. Training your pooch to avoid these areas will help cut down on the chance that they ingest something on accident that could be harmful, like, apricot pits, stems, or leaves. 

It's also important that you crate train your dog so they'll be less likely to let their curiosity get the bets of them while you're gone. Keeping your pup in a safe, comfy crate while you'er gone will significantly cut down on the chances of them eating things that could be harmful to them.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe From Cyanide Toxicity:

  • Keep all apricots (and stemmed fruits) out of your dog's reach.
  • Train your dog to stay out of the kitchen (or pantry, or wherever you keep your apricots).
  • Store your dried apricots in a sealed container.
  • Keep your dog in his or her crate while you're gone to avoid any incidents.
  • Have a plan ready with your vet in case of cyanide poisoning.