Q: Are peach pits poisonous for dogs?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2034 days ago

Mary T.

When I saw my dog gnawing peach pits from the compost, I took them away. But now I’m worried. Aren’t peach pits poisonous?

Chosen Answer

There is a very small amount of poisonous cyanide in peach pit seeds — inside the woody pits of certain fruits. Your dog should be fine, but keep him out of the compost for other reasons.

The seeds of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, and the flowering hydrangea plant have trace amounts of cyanide —hardly the amount that would poison a dog. In the case of peaches and other fruit with a woody pit (stone) the seeds are inside, until the pit dries and cracks open. Chances are, those compost peach pits had not cracked open and you took them away from the dog in time.

Just to be sure, signs of cyanide poisoning include bright red gums, labored breathing, involuntary defecation and urination, frothing at the mouth and seizures — none of which you report in your dog.

The pits themselves—whole or broken, with sharp edges— cause trouble when swallowed. And there are are other harmful things in some composts, including extremely toxic bread molds. Dogs have no business being in composts, trash, garbage, rubbish, recycling or other favorite canine haunts.

Thanks to the vets at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (bluepearlvet.com) for this answer.

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