Before you hand out delicious fruit to your Australian shepherd, it’s essential to know whether the fruit is safe or unsafe for dogs.
Many fruits are safe, but many are toxic and should be avoided at all costs. Let’s explain which fruits are okay, and which aren’t.
15 Fruits Safe For Australian Shepherds
Let’s run through the everyday fruit that your Aussie can safely consume.
Please note! The following list contains fruit that has been deemed safe for all dogs, BUT this doesn’t rule out the possibility of personal intolerances. For this reason, it’s CRUCIAL to always test a very small amount of the fruit before giving a bigger portion.
1. Apple (no skin, no seeds, no core)
Apples are a safe option for Aussies but it’s important to remove the seeds, pips, and core. The skin can be eaten, but it’s best if that’s removed too due to the bitterness of it. Apples are a great source of vitamin C, A, and fiber.
2. Banana (no skin)
Bananas are another household staple and fortunately, your Australian shepherd can safely eat them too. However, they are naturally higher in sugar than other fruit so it’s best to make bananas an infrequent treat. The skin must be removed first.
Although your Australian shepherd can safely eat blackberries, they can be very bitter, so it’s likely they will get refused. However, if your Aussie enjoys them, they are safe and a potent source of antioxidants and vitamins.
Blueberries are safe for Australian shepherds to eat and are often incorporated into dog treats and dog foods. Blueberries are a known superfood and contain powerful antioxidants and vitamins your Aussie can benefit from.
5. Cranberries (no skin)
Your Aussie can safely eat cranberries but it’s important that the skin is removed first. Cranberries may or may not be received well due to their bitterness, but they are safe nonetheless. They have been used to help fight UTIs in both us and our canine companions for a long time. Never give sweetened cranberries.
6. Cantaloupe (no skin, rind, seeds)
Cantaloupe melon is another safe fruit for Australian shepherds. The skin, rind, and seeds must be removed first and it’s best to only give a small amount due to the particularly high sugar content of this melon. Cantaloupe is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants too!
7. Mango (no skin, no pit)
Australian shepherds can safely eat mangos but the skin and pit can be removed. Just like with melon, mango contains a very high sugar content so this fruit must only be given in small portions and infrequently.
8. Orange (no skin, seeds)
Despite being part of the citrus family (which dogs naturally dislike), oranges can be eaten and are sometimes enjoyed. Your Aussie might refuse an orange or gobble one down. You’ll have to find out! Again, due to the high sugar, oranges should only be offered sparingly.
9. Peaches (no skin, pit, core)
Peaches are another safe fruit for Australian shepherds to eat. The skin and pit/core must be removed first and never canned peaches due to the additional sugar. Peaches themselves are high in sugar so portion control is crucial.
10. Pears (no core, skin is optional)
After removing the core, pears are a safe fruit to give to your Australian shepherd. Pears have a surprisingly high amount of sugar (more than apples) so give them sparingly. The skin can be eaten but most Aussies prefer the skin to be removed.
11. Pineapple (no skin, no brown bristles)
Pineapples are safe and edible for your Australian shepherd. It’s important that the skin has been removed AND any brown spikey bristles that might still remain. Pineapples contain a lot of vitamins and antioxidants but are very high in sugar, so moderation is important.
Pineapples are known to help with digestion, but at the same time, could prove to irritate Aussies with known sensitive stomachs. Again, this is why a very small portion of fruit should always be tested first.
Raspberries are another berry that’s safe for Australian shepherds to eat. Raspberries should be given in small amounts to avoid diarrhea and runny stools. Most berries make an excellent addition to kibble to provide an extra boost of vitamins and antioxidants.
Thankfully, strawberries are another very common and safe fruit you can give to your Australian shepherd. Strawberries should be given in moderation and could even be refused if they are particularly sharp.
14. Kiwi (no skin)
Although we can safely eat the skin of a kiwi, it’s best to remove it for your Australian shepherd. Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants, but can sometimes be bitter, causing your Aussie to refuse one.
15. Watermelon (no skin, rind, seeds)
Watermelon is another safe fruit for your Australian shepherd to eat. It’s true that we consider watermelon to be “low” sugar, but it still has a high glycemic index (meaning it digests quickly, and is likely to cause a spike in insulin). Be sure to remove the tough rind and all of the seeds before giving.
Trending article: How to deal with Australian Shepherd shedding! Tips for shedders
Important Points To Remember When Giving Your Aussie Fruit
There are a few very important things to consider when giving your Australian shepherd fruit. I have mentioned this throughout, but it’s necessary to explain in a little more detail.
Fruit has a lot of sugar
Even though fruit contains “natural” sugar, it’s still sugar, and too much of it is still a very bad thing for our dogs.
It’s true that all fruit has a different amount of sugar, and sometimes the difference can be significant.
Fruit that has the highest sugar content on the list above include mango, pineapple, orange, melon (both kinds), and peaches. Fruits like apples and berries tend to have a lower amount of sugar, but again, they still have plenty and so a small portion is necessary.
Sugar content is the main reason why it’s important to limit how much fruit your Aussie has.
Fruit shouldn’t be a staple of their diet, instead it’s best reserved as a high-value reward on few occasions.
Removing skins, seeds, rinds, and pits
There are two essential reasons to remove the skin, seeds, rinds, and pits when offering your Aussie fruit.
The first one is that they could be a choking hazard. The pit of mango or the core of an apple is big enough to be a choking hazard.
Additionally, certain seeds, like apple seeds, actually contain trace amounts of cyanide upon digestion. Cyanide is of course a toxic chemical and in large enough amounts can be fatal.
The 15 fruits mentioned above have all been deemed safe for canines to eat, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility of your Australian shepherd having their own intolerance.
This is why it’s crucial to test a very small amount of the fruit with your Aussie, before giving her a larger portion.
After giving your Aussie a test amount, wait 30 minutes and observe her carefully. Does her behavior change? Does she suddenly become quiet or distant? Does she have diarrhea or is throwing up?
If she looks completely fine and unaffected then it’s pretty safe to assume she is tolerant of that fruit. And even then, portion control is still necessary.
In addition, although fruit is very much a “healthy” snack in small amounts, it could be too much for those Aussies with sensitive stomachs. So this is something else to keep in mind.
Popular read: How hard are Australian Shepherd puppies to train?
Fruit That Your Australian Shepherd CANNOT Eat
So let’s clarify which fruit your Australian shepherd can’t eat. The following fruit are either outright toxic or are known to cause digestive upset.
I know, Avocado, a fruit!? In fact, Avocado is actually a berry.
It’s worth becoming familiar with these items, as many of them are common household ingredients. Something as “normal” as a tomato is actually likely to upset your Aussie’s stomach significantly.
Trending article: Top 10 most compatible breeds for Australian Shepherds
Additional Ingredients Toxic For Australian Shepherds
Unfortunately, the list of toxic ingredients doesn’t stop there. The following list contains known items that all dogs should not consume.
● Cooked bones
● Onion, Garlic & Chives
● Xylitol (artificial sweetener)
While we can easily identify the items listed here, there’s one that sneaks into many products without us realizing it, and that’s Xylitol.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that’s literally in hundreds of everyday products that we consume (toothpaste, candy, gum, peanut butter, and much more).
Xylitol is toxic for our dogs and would make them extremely ill if they were to consume even a small to moderate amount.
What’s worse is that Xylitol is found naturally from a plant, so this enables brands to switch out sugar for this artificial sweetener and then label their product as “all-natural” which could make us think that it “must be safe” for our dog when it certainly is not.
What To Do If Your Aussie Gets Sick After Eating Fruit
If you decide to give your Aussie some fruit, only to see her looking rather uncomfortable 10 minutes later, what do you do?
There are a few things to consider:
● Was the fruit from the “safe” list or “toxic” list?
● How much fruit did she consume?
● How bad is her reaction and how long is it lasting?
If the fruit was from the safe list, that’s already a lot better situation to be in. In this case, it’s likely that your Aussie just isn’t used to the fruit, or she has her own intolerance. In most cases, she’ll likely get over the discomfort within an hour or two.
The second thing to consider is how much fruit did she consume? Even fruit that your Aussie can tolerate, will likely get the better of her stomach if she’s consumed too much… That’s just the nature of fruit. This is why small portions are important.
And how long is her reaction lasting? Is she still exhibiting significant discomfort an hour after consuming the fruit? In this case it would be necessary to contact your veterinarian for further help.
Situations when contacting your Veterinarian is necessary:
● If she consumed a known toxic ingredient and is having a bad reaction
● If her bad reactions are worsening or lasting longer than one hour (after eating safe fruit)
● You are aware she has consumed a significantly large portion of fruit (safe or unsafe)
I will mention, though, that it’s always important to use common sense when assessing your Aussie. If you have a feeling something is really wrong, don’t wait around or hesitate in contacting your vet. If you think she’s just experiencing mild discomfort after having tried some fruit (safe fruit) for the first time, it may not need veterinary attention.
Popular article: How to help Australian Shepherd lose weight
Check out our other Australian Shepherd articles on The Puppy Mag