Carrots, apples, blueberries… more often than not these fruits are on top of the snack list for most canines. But what about pears? I have recently got into the habit of giving my boys a small slice of pear every morning, and the pups seem to love it so much, they give me a look of betrayal if I forget about the treat.
I’ve always knew that pears (but not the seeds) can technically be given to dogs, yet I have hardly seen anyone feeding the fruit to their cockers. Sounds odd, doesn’t it?
And if you like pears as much as I do – and clearly as much as Coop and Fred do – sooner or later you’ll end up asking yourself…
CAN OUR DOGS EAT PEARS?
YES! They absolutely can!
Pears can be such a wonderful addition to the menu if your spaniel enjoys the taste. First of all, pears are a source of fibre, quite a bit of fibre, actually. A human serving of fruit provides 6g of it. And the fibre will keep your dog’s digestive system functioning, help to clear out the toxins, maintain healthy anal glands and may even reduce the risk of some cancers. According to animal studies, eating pears also reduced formation of ulcers in the gut.
In addition, pears are full of water to maintain hydration.
Nutrient-wise, the fruit is known as a source of vitamins C and K, and minerals potassium and copper. Thus eating pears may support the immune system, blood clotting, healthy heart and blood pressure, haemoglobin levels, maintenance and production of collagen and elastin for healthy skin and tissues, and bone formation during the growth stage. Human studies also documented an ability of pears to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes.
100g of pears also contain between 27 and 41g of phenolic compounds (antioxidants, in other words) including anthocyanins – a type of pigments that give bright fruits and leaves their colour.
The amazing thing about these flavonoids is their ability to protect the body from oxidative stress and, as a result, control and reduce the risk of inflammation and chronic illnesses. In humans, anthocyanins may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s while in animals they have been shown to slow down the speed of age-related cognitive decline.
When studies looked into aging dogs, they noticed that dogs on a diet containing anthocyanins could complete complex tasks much better than “controls” and when the diet was combined with mental stimulation the participants improved greatly within two weeks. The animals were also more agile and eager to play, which could have something to do with the antioxidant’s anti-inflammatory effect.
The bottom line – include pears in your dog’s diet whenever you get a chance. Just remember, the high water, sugar and fibre content can work as a laxative, so moderation is important.
Introduce gradually, starting with a tiny bite-size piece and gradually building up to a thin slice (for an average cocker).
Photo credit: Marjatta Cajan via pixabay