If your dog has eaten a peach pit, I can imagine you are quite concerned. Will they be okay? What is likely to happen to them? Is there anything you need to do? Well, here’s everything you are going to want to know and consider to help put your racing mind at ease.
So, what to do if your dog ingests a peach pit? If your dog has ingested a peach pit, contact your vet immediately. Swallowing a peach pit whole could cause choking or an internal blockage which could be fatal. Ingested peach pits could lead to cyanide poisoning, the signs of which are excessive drooling, erratic behavior, and dilated pupils. Monitor your dog closely until you arrive at the vet.
Of course, not every dog will respond in the same way.
That’s because dogs are very different.
Not just in terms of breed, size, age, diet, and activity levels, but their own unique and individual metabolic rate, too!
So, it’s impossible to tell you with complete certainty how dangerous a peach pit is for a dog; and that’s also why contacting and discussing this with a vet is so strongly advised.
They’ll be able to run tests and most importantly, support your dog throughout the process.
Let’s get onto why you should seek professional support and answer those other lingering questions you likely have!
What Happens If Your Dog Eats A Peach Pit?
Several things can happen if your dog eats a peach pit, including choking, internal blockage, illness from mold, breaking a tooth, or cyanide poisoning.
Swallowing a peach pit whole can cause your dog to choke.
If your dog suddenly paws at his mouth, has trouble breathing, or starts trying to cough, the peach pit is most likely stuck in his larynx.
Contact your vet immediately.
If the pit hasn’t gotten stuck in your dog’s throat, it could lodge itself in his gastrointestinal tract and cause an internal blockage.
The symptoms of an internal blockage include:
- Weight loss
- Severe diarrhea
- Intense vomiting
- Bloated stomach
A blocked gastrointestinal tract needs to be treated as a matter of urgency as it can be fatal.
If there’s intense vomiting, your dog can quickly become dehydrated, and some undigested materials could get sucked up into his lungs.
The sooner your dog gets to the vet, the better his chances of recovery.
Illness From Mold
Some peach pits can be moldy even if the flesh is fine.
Certain kinds of mold can cause anything from stomach upset to liver failure to seizures and tremors.
Breaking A Tooth
A hard peach pit can break one of your dog’s teeth.
If a tooth is fractured, your vet will have to remove the entire tooth to avoid the risk of infection or disease in the jaw bone. Fractures can be very painful for your pet.
Why It Happens
Peach pits contain a toxin called amygdalin: if your dog ingests enough peach pits over a period of time, this can lead to cyanide poisoning.
Cyanide impacts the red blood cells’ ability to get oxygen around the body – the body can’t access the oxygen, so it thinks there isn’t enough.
Rapid breathing ensues to try and get more oxygen, and as the oxygen can’t be used, the result manifests as various clinical symptoms and possibly death.
It Isn’t Just Peach Pits
Cyanide poisoning is also in other stone fruits: apricots, peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, etc.
Types Of Peach Pit Poisoning
There are two kinds of peach pit poisoning:
- Acute. Acute poisoning is when your dog eats a large number of peach pits at once (or peach leaves or stems, which also contain amygdalin).
- Chronic. Chronic poisoning is when a dog eats the fruit that’s fallen on the ground over a longer period of time. The accumulation of amygdalin in his system eventually builds up into cyanide poisoning and can kill him if you don’t know the signs of poisoning.
Signs Of Cyanide Poisoning
The signs of cyanide poisoning can develop in as little as 15 minutes (for acute cases) and last several hours (for chronic cases).
Initial signs of serious poisoning include:
- Increased respiration
- Faster heart rate
Later signs can be:
- Tearing eyes
- Involuntary emptying of the bladder (feces and urine)
- Excess salivation
- Abdominal pain
- Confusion or disorientation
In the final stage, a dog collapses into a coma just before death.
Note: Death can occur in as little as 30 to 45 minutes!
Can A Dog Pass A Peach Pit?
Larger dogs can pass peach pits, but given that peach pits can be fatal, that doesn’t mean they should! Smaller dogs are unlikely to be able to pass peach pits, and they may have to be surgically removed if your vet cannot induce vomiting.
Although larger dogs can theoretically pass peach pits, they cause a lot of pain as they move through the digestive tract (see below).
Given the dangers of cyanide poisoning, the best thing is to get your dog to the vet right away.
If you act quickly, your vet will hopefully be able to induce vomiting (they usually do this with an injection).
Vomiting prevents the peach pit from getting stuck and eliminates the risk of cyanide poisoning.
You’ll also avoid a costly vet bill if the pit has moved further along the digestive tract and needs to be surgically removed.
In most cases, smaller dogs cannot pass peach pits – so if your vet can’t induce vomiting, the pit will have to be surgically removed.
Most dogs (and cats) will swallow peach pits whole, which lowers the risk for toxicity as the cyanide component is in the inner kernel of the pit.
Just because your dog hasn’t necessarily chewed on the pit before swallowing it, this doesn’t mean he should be allowed to pass it through his digestive tract.
Imagine trying to eliminate a peach pit – it isn’t a nice prospect so your dog shouldn’t be subjected to it.
Once the pit is broken open, the poison is exposed.
Other animals, such as horses and cattle, are at a higher risk since these animals tend to grind their food before eating.
They will eliminate the bits of peach pit, but they’ve ingested the poison.
If your dog tends to love chewing on tough, hard items, you may have extra cause to worry if he’s swallowed a peach pit.
Chances are he might pass the bits of pit, but those can be painful as well.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Pass A Peach Pit?
It can take from 12 hours to several days for a dog to pass a peach pit.
Because peach pits have rough edges, they can cause quite a bit of pain as they move through the intestinal tract.
Signs of pain in your dog include:
- Crying out, growling, or yelping
- Being grumpy or snapping at you
- Wanting to hide
- Not enjoying usual fun activities, wanting to rest more
- Being sensitive to touch or not wanting his usual cuddles
- Being reluctant to walk
- Changes in eating habits (not eating or eating significantly less)
- Depressed behavior
- Shallow or rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
If you see any of these signs indicated above, your dog is likely in pain and needs to see the vet, whether you think he’s eaten a peach pit or not.
Best to take him for an unnecessary visit than risk his health and well-being, as he can’t tell you what’s wrong.
What To Do Now Your Dog Has Eaten A Peach Pit
If your dog has just eaten a peach pit, the best thing is to take him to the vet immediately.
You can call your vet while you’re on your way, but a dog who’s eaten a peach pit needs to be treated as a matter of urgency.
Your vet will most likely try to induce vomiting if the timeframe is short enough (within 4 hours).
Vets will do a full physical exam and probably x-rays of the abdomen to make sure there are no other peach pits.
If your vet sees any signs of blockage or if the pit has moved too far into the digestive tract, your dog may need emergency surgery.
You don’t want your dog’s gastrointestinal tract to rupture – a septic infection can result and can be fatal.
How To Prevent Peach Problems
If your dog has ingested a peach pit, you’ve probably come back from the vet with a bill and a scare.
Obviously, you don’t want it to happen again, so here’s how to prevent future ‘peach problems’:
- Store peaches in your refrigerator or another place where your dog can’t get at them
- Supervise your dog around peach trees. Place a deterrent around the base of the trees so that your dog isn’t tempted. Cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, orange peels, coffee grounds, ammonia, vinegar, black pepper, and tabasco sauce are all effective doggie deterrents.
- If your dog loves the flesh of the fruit (which doesn’t cause any harm in small amounts), feed him peach pieces as an occasional treat. Remove the pit first, of course! Wash the fruit to remove any traces of pesticides.
Note: Don’t be tempted to feed your dog canned peaches, as these are full of sugar.
Other Ways To Prevent Your Dog From Getting At Peaches
If you have peach trees in your yard, here are other ways of stopping your dog from having a nibble:
- Create a barrier around your trees using fencing such as chicken wire. Make the barrier tall enough so that your dog can’t jump over it.
- If your dog is a digger, put bricks in the places where he likes to dig. Dogs don’t like the feel of bricks on their paws, so they’ll soon stop and go dig somewhere softer.
- Wrap your trees in hardware cloth (also called wire cloth) which dogs can’t chew on.
- Place pretty rocks or pine cones around the base of your trees – these are more items that dogs don’t like to feel beneath their paws.
Peach pits, while they may seem innocuous, can be very troubling to a dog that has ingested them.
So, if you are sure your dog has consumed one – whether it be whole, or a small fragment, it is best and advised to contact a vet.
Don’t delay; that time may prove invaluable to ensuring your dog does not experience any pain, complications do not arise, and the pit can be removed as quickly and easily as possible.
And if your vet is confident your dog will be able to pass it; well they will help support your dog throughout the process, and give you invaluable advice, sometimes even medications, to ensure they are able to do so.
It can take 24-72 hours for a dog to digest a peach pit. However, ingestion can pose serious health risks such as blockage or toxicity.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.