Your furry friend is your best friend, and you always want to keep them safe and healthy. You may be asking yourself, “can dogs have apricots?” Dogs can eat the flesh of apricots but not the seeds or stems. Dogs should eat dried apricots in moderation because of the high sugar content. Apricots are a well-liked staple among many American diets. You find this fruit prominent in delicacies such as fruit salads, pies, tarts, cheesecakes, jam, and the occasional topping of yogurt, ice cream, and cereals.

Are Apricots Safe for Dogs?

Feeding your dog apricots can be beneficial to their overall health because apricots contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure and improve digestion. However, the apricot tree’s seeds, pit, leaves, and stem contain cyanide, a toxic substance also found naturally in fruits like almonds, peaches, and apples. Dogs may choke on seeds or stems as well. 

Cyanide is harmful to dogs because it prevents the proper function of cytochrome oxidase, an enzyme necessary for the cellular transportation of oxygen. If ingested in large amounts, cyanide can affect oxygen uptake by functional cells, resulting in cell death and fatality.

Clinical Signs of Cyanide Poisoning 

Acute cyanide poison from fresh apricots and other cyanide-containing foods can become evident in your dog within 15 to 20 minutes of ingestion. The clinical signs of apricot poisoning include: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dilated pupils
  • Bright red gums
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden death

The best way to prevent cyanide poisoning is to monitor all that your dog eats. Keep all food in a secure location. 

Treating Cyanide Poisoning from Apricots

If you suspect your dog is experiencing cyanide poisoning, immediate medical attention is required. Call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline®—at (855) 764-7661—if you have any concerns about poisoning. Your vet may use activated charcoal to expel the poison from your dog’s stomach. Your dog should be able to recover, but their recovery will depend on previous health conditions.