Growing Fruit Trees? A Word Of Caution For Dog Owners

Stepping into your backyard to pluck a fresh plum from your very own tree and enjoying the sumptuous snack anytime you like must be a delight. Your pup will think so, too, especially if they're the kind of dog that chews on everything. But you might want to think twice about growing fruit trees if you've got dogs in the family. Many fruit trees that bring a bountiful harvest grow fruit that contains toxic pits or seeds that could harm your dog, so there is a lot to consider before planting a fruit tree in your backyard

Even if you are meticulous about picking up dropped fruit, a wild critter or your dog could snatch it before you can. It may be a good idea to invest in a net that surrounds your tree or sits beneath it above the ground to keep the fruits off the yard or away from wildlife altogether. That way, you don't have many pits and seeds around your lawn. 

"Garden netting is probably the best solution for protecting fruit from squirrels, as well as birds," Joshua Siskin, gardening expert, wrote for the Orange County Register. "The entire tree will need to be wrapped so you would probably want to keep your trees at a height of eight to 10 feet, a recommended practice in any case due to the ease of harvest when a fruit tree is kept at that size."

Why are pits and seeds toxic to pets

Let's say you're growing a peach tree in your backyard. Choking might be your first concern if a rogue peach pit catches your dog's eye. Although that is worrisome, a larger problem persists for that pup. Fruits like peaches, avocados, apricots, plums, cherries, and apples all have seeds or pits that contain cyanide — which, if you didn't know, is poisonous. These toxic pits and seeds also pose a risk to other animals like horses and cats as well, giving you a good reason to keep your pets out of your garden or yard orchard. 

Veterinarian JoAnna Pendergrass told Daily Paws that a dog doesn't even need to eat something like a plum pit for it to harm them. A bite to unleash the toxin is all it takes for your dog to get very sick. If your dog happens to chomp on or swallow a pit or seed, you need to contact the Animal Poison Control Center right away. 

It isn't just the pits and seeds you need to be careful of. The fruits mentioned above with cyanide-laced insides also have traces of the poison on the outside too. Stems and leaves can also contain the toxin and are easily digested by an unsuspecting dog. 

Too much fruit can make a dog sick

Foodies know all too well that too much of a good thing can turn one's stomach. The same is true for dogs. Some dogs will stop eating when they've had their fill, but others will eat and eat until they're sick. Unfortunately, when it comes to fruit, too much can be bad. Especially with certain kinds of fruits like apricots, moderation is the key to a healthy dog. For instance, to a dog, the fibrous apricot becomes a kind of laxative. 

Different dogs can have different reactions to snacking on fruits. Some dogs can eat fruit as a treat, while others might end up with a stomach ache or even diarrhea from it. Fresh fruit from your fruit tree is a sweet treat for you and your best pal, so long as it's something safe for them and not something like avocado or grapes. It is possible to grow fruit trees in a dog-friendly yard as long as you keep the falling fruits away from your curious pups or feed them bits in moderation.